Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

April 2, 2020

Patient in Focus: Brown Pelican 0A2

Russ Curtis
Brown Pelican spreads its wings in care at International Bird Rescue

After 95 days in treatment for a wing fracture, Brown Pelican 0A2 was released back to the wild. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

The Long Road to Recovery

Late last month we released a young Brown Pelican who came to us in 2019! This bird was found in Half Moon Bay, CA, in December standing around looking dazed on a beach, ignoring dogs running up to him. After his rescue, he was brought to our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center for care. Radiographs showed this bird had suffered a wing fracture – the ulna.

The pelican’s radiograph (x-ray) shows the (ulna) wing fracture.

Sometimes fractures of the ulna in birds can be successfully treated with splints and wraps, but due to previous experience with pelicans recovering from ulna fractures, Bird Rescue’s veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr opted to place orthopedic pins and two external fixators, securing the fracture site from two different angles.

Pinning can reduce the probability that a bird will develop range of motion problems in their wing joints as a result of a prolonged time in a wrap. Pinned wings are generally kept wrapped only for the first few days, then the bird can have the wing unrestrained for the duration of healing, which lets them wiggle and move and keep their joints in good shape. This pelican patient then had a long road to recovery ahead under the expert care of our rehabilitation technicians, needing to fully regain the strength in its wing to be able to survive again in the wild.

For this pelican’s ulna fracture, our veterinarian placed orthopedic pins and two external fixators to its wing. Photo: Dr Rebecca Duerr – International Bird Rescue

Bird bones generally heal much faster than mammals – after just 3 weeks, the ulna had healed and the pins were removed. Although he did not have any range of motion problems in his joints, the wing was very weak. Once he was ready, we moved him to our pelican aviary where he could bathe and preen, and start exercising by swimming. When birds bathe, they vigorously move all the muscles and joints of the chest, shoulders, and wings, and this provides amazing exercise for a bird recovering from a wing injury.

Once he began flying, we could see he was flapping asymmetrically with the formerly broken wing not extending fully with each flap, but thankfully this improved with practice. Due to the large size of our pelican aviary, we are able to see when a pelican is not flying normally or is compensating for a mobility deficit. We could see that as his flight strength and coordination improved, he persisted in leaning his head to one side when flying. As plunge-divers, Brown Pelicans have a very athletically intense way of catching dinner in the wild; consequently, we kept him for more exercise until his flight normalized. We want every bird we release to be as able-bodied as wild birds that never had a health crisis, so that they have the best possible chance of leading a long wild life.

After 94 days in care, he was finally ready for us to put bands on his legs and say Good Bye and Happy Fishing to Blue Band 0A2!

Before heading out for release, Brown Pelican 0A2 has final photos taken with James Manzolillo, Bird Rescue rehabilitation tech. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

April 1, 2020

Here Come The Baby Birds!

Russ Curtis

Orphaned ducklings are some of the baby birds we will enter into care this spring.

Dear Bird Rescue Supporter,

Our doors are still open for wildlife and that’s a good thing. Baby bird season is quickly upon us and we will need your help to keep them fed and cared for!

We need to raise $5,000 and if you donate today your donation will be DOUBLED by an anonymous donor!

Thank you for ALL your support during these uncertain times. It’s what keeps us moving forward. As always, your generous support is much appreciated!

Be well and please take care of your brood, too,

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

P.S. – We also have another eight oiled Western Grebes coming into care this week – rescued from the natural oil seep that is prevalent along the coast in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

March 31, 2020

Ordering Through Amazon? Use Our Smile Link

Russ Curtis

We always encourage folks to shop local when they can, but for many of you during the COVID-19 pandemic, online ordering has been one of the safest ways to shop. So if you’re ordering through Amazon can we ask you a favor? Use the AmazonSmile program link and the retailer will donate a portion of your purchases to us.

Through the Smile program Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to International Bird Rescue, These are the same products and services as offered by Amazon.com.

You can also you check out our Amazon.com Wish Lists, which feature a wide variety of products we depend upon every day. You can choose from our Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay center Wish Lists.

Thank you again for helping us make sure Every Bird Matters!

March 19, 2020

In Time of Crisis: #LookUp

Russ Curtis

“I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.”
– John Burroughs

While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed in these challenging times, we encourage you to find solace in nature. A common thread unites our community: a deep love of birds and an appreciation for the natural world.  A simple walk outside, a deep breath, and the unexpected sound of a bird’s song can calm strained nerves in times of stress. Every bird we rescue and release renews our hope – its resilience is a second chance. At times like this, birds can give us a reason to keep looking up.

As we navigate uncertain times together, Bird Rescue will share bird images and stories that give us hope and resolve to face an uncertain future. We invite you to share your stories, photos and reasons to keep looking up in the comments and post photos on social media of your view looking up and tag us @IntBirdRescue with the hashtag #LookUp. Together we can inspire others to act towards balance with the natural world even in times of uncertainty.

Remember to #LookUp.

Brown Pelican stretch, photo by Alan Murphy, Photographers in Focus

 

Baby American Coot, photo by Bill Steinkamp, Photographers in Focus

 

Snowy Plovers on beach

Sanderlings (Calidris alba), photo by Rory Merry, Photographers in Focus

 

Cattle Egret, photo by Sara Silver, Photographers in Focus

 

Baby Mallard checking our a dragonfly, photo by Kim Taylor, Photographers in Focus

 

Black-necked Stilts, photo by Ingrid Taylar, Photographers in Focus

 

African Penguins released after cleaned of oil Treasure Oil Spill, 200. Photo by Jon Hrusa, Photographers in Focus

 

Clark’s Grebe swims carrying chick, photo by Patricia Ware, Photographers in Focus

 

American Bittern chicks, photo by Marie Travers, Photographers in Focus

 

Greater Flamingo on Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Photo by Yeray Seminario, Photographers in Focus

 

Snowy Egret, photo by Kim Taylor, Photographers in Focus

Baby Western Grebe, photo by Marie Travers, Photographers in Focus

 

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California by International Bird Rescue

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California. Photo by Angie Trumbo – International Bird Rescue

March 17, 2020

Keep Looking Up

JD Bergeron
Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California by International Bird Rescue

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California. Photo by Angie Trumbo – International Bird Rescue

Dear Bird Rescue Supporters,

First of all, please accept my wishes for continued good health and wellness for you and your families. We’re all in this together, and together we will endure and eventually thrive.

The health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, and the community are always our top priority. As in an oil spill response, human safety must be secured first, then we can focus on our patients. We are treating the current situation with all the care of our usual emergency response work.

Western Grebe chick snuggles in a feather duster in our wildlife hospital. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

We’ve taken steps to protect our staff inside our two California wildlife centers. Over the weekend, we began changes to our operations to minimize human interactions while maintaining high-quality care for the birds in our centers. At that time, we temporarily suspended our in-house volunteer programs and encouraged all administrative staff to work from home for all but critical banking and similar tasks. All business travel has been cancelled.

Yesterday, six San Francisco Bay Area counties (and the City of Berkeley) issued shelter in place ordinances. Importantly, veterinary hospitals are considered essential and are therefore exempted from mandatory closures. Because of this and the 70+ waterbirds currently in our care, we remain open daily to treat sick, injured, and orphaned waterbirds. As of now, the following changes are in place:

• Injured wildlife may be transported to us for treatment, but drop-off procedures have changed. Rescuers are discouraged from entering the facility; instead, a staff member will greet rescuers to receive the bird. If you’ve found a bird, please review this page.

• We are postponing or cancelling all upcoming public events through April 15th, and will continually reassess the situation for events planned after that date.

• We are exploring the option of providing educational webinars and live-video feeds to engage you and your families in the next few weeks. Please watch our social media (linked below) for updates and schedules.

While it may be easy to feel overwhelmed in these challenging times, we continue to work with injured and orphaned birds, one day at a time and one bird at a time, and we continue to release birds back into the wild as they become well enough. Every release matters.

No matter what our flock is facing, a common thread unites us: a deep love of birds and an appreciation for the natural world. At times like this, birds can give us a reason to keep looking up.

As we navigate this crisis together, we will continue to share updates and stories that heal, #lookup.

• Follow us via our website & blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email, so stay tuned. (Sign up for email updates here)

• You can watch our two live BirdCams to see what’s up at our two wildlife centers.

Thanks to support from people like you, Bird Rescue treats thousands of water birds in crisis each year. Like everyone, we are being hit hard financially by this pandemic, which means your support is essential, now more than ever. Where possible, we encourage you to maintain your annual giving, become a monthly recurring donor, or make a pledge that can be fulfilled by year-end. Together, we can inspire others to act towards balance with the natural world.

Stay safe and keep looking up,

 

 

 

 

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

 

March 6, 2020

Meet Ralph: A Bird with Peculiarities

Russ Curtis

“Ralph” earned his name for this Northern Fulmar’s propensity to vomit as self defense. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

We’re seeing a lot of fulmars in care lately (more about this below). These pelagic birds (often confused with gulls) have some, well, peculiarities—chief among them being their “special” reaction to anything they perceive as a threat, which, unfortunately, includes humans who attempt to help them. How exactly do they protect themselves? By projectile-vomiting a stinky orange liquid straight at the perceived enemy. Watch this semi-gross video!

That brings us to one particular fulmar we’ve recently taken into care. He started off being identified by his temporary leg band, Yellow-119. But he’s become popular with our followers, who have suggested different names for him based on his spewing abilities. He’s now been dubbed “Ralph”—a name we get a chuckle out of, and one that’s a lot better than some of the other terms for vomiting that have been offered!

Hungry Fulmars need to eat. Won’t you help? Donate here

Ralph is a “light morph” Northern Fulmar that came into care in late February after he beached himself in Monterey. Staff and volunteers have watched as he’s gained some weight (despite barfing and thereby losing some grams along the way!), stabilized, and begun eating well. And staff and volunteers have also learned not to take it personally when Ralph spews orange-colored stinky stuff (disgusting orange Kool-Aid?) their way.

Another “peculiarity” of fulmars is their beak, which is a bit different – some followers have asked whether Ralph’s beak is broken. Rest assured, it is not broken. Fulmars are members of the tubenose family, which have evolved a special gland to remove the excess salt that builds up from all their ocean-going feeding frenzies. That odd-looking part of the beak is where salt is secreted.

Ralph is one of more than 30 Northern Fulmars that have come into care at our two California wildlife hospitals since the start of this year. All of them have arrived hungry, anemic, and underweight, and most have had trouble thermoregulating. The critical hospital care we provide involves thermal support to warm them, fluid therapy, and tube feedings until they are well enough to eat on their own. According to our friends at beach-watch organizations, they’re finding increasingly more dead fulmars on area beaches, the reason for which is not yet known. Read more

Your donations enable us to continue saving birds’ lives. We are ever grateful to those of you who help us feed and provide needed care for seabirds so that they can be returned to their natural lives.

Northern Fulmar “Ralph” enjoys some outdoor pool time at the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. He’s gaining weight and hopefully limiting his barfing.

 

February 21, 2020

Patients of the Week: Northern Fulmars

Dr. Rebecca Duerr

A white morph Northern Fulmar. In the outdoor pools, these seabirds need to be monitored carefully as they are quite cantankerous and prone to squabbling. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

Every few years we receive quite a few of one of our favorite species all at once, namely Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis). These oceanic birds are small relatives of albatrosses, and are adored by many wildlife rehabilitators for their beautiful faces and intense musky smell that no two of us will describe the same.

Some of the 23 Northern Fulmars that have come into Bird Rescue’s two California wildlife centers.

Since January 2020, we have received 23 fulmars – 19 in Northern California and 4 in Southern California. All have been anemic, underweight, and most have had trouble thermoregulating. Critical care for them involves thermal support to help them stay warm, fluid therapy, and tube feedings until they feel like eating again. Help feed a fulmar

Currently, three birds are showing signs of a disease we have seen before, where the birds have often-severe anemia, hemorrhages and inflamed blood vessels in their feet, and are at risk of dying from secondary infections. In 2012, during our last large influx of fulmars, we were able to contribute to the discovery of a novel fulmar virus that may be responsible, as the closest relative virus causes similar symptoms in chickens. Much remains to be discovered about the disease challenges of wild seabirds! Read the paper here

Once they are able to stay outside in our pools, they can be quite cantankerous and prone to squabbling; hence, we often have to monitor them carefully to make sure individual birds are getting along. Despite fulmars stranding in horrible nutritional shape, once they start eating, they often gain an enormous amount of weight. Three birds have already recovered and been released as plump, vigorous birds back into the ocean.

Dark morph Northern Fulmar. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

February 7, 2020

Success Stories: White Pelican Back In The Wild After Months in Care

Dr. Rebecca Duerr

This American White Pelican is a survivor. He was released at McNabney Marsh in Martinez, CA. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

After 143 days in care this resilient American White Pelican is back in the wild.

This huge bird came into care in September 2019 and it was finally released last week. He was originally found in Santa Rosa, CA with a smelly, infected, open fracture of the wingtip. It was treated at our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center

On examination, we found a deep tunnel full of infected material open to the fracture zone. On radiographs, we could see that the bones were shattered right next to the proximal metacarpophalangeal joint. Two wingtip bones that are normally fused were not only broken free of each other, but had infected debris in the space between them.

White Pelican wing tip x-ray

Initially, clinic staff and veterinarian focused on getting the infection under control while simultaneously stabilizing the fracture with a splint/bandage combination. Infected tissue was removed under anesthesia, and the wound healed very well. Unfortunately, the bones did not fuse to each other like they need to do in order for the bird to fly. The bird had what is called a non-union, where fragments of bone persist in staying separate, and this non-union is one our vet had not encountered before. Consequently, she decided to try pinning it, inserting threaded cross pins in an ‘X’ pattern to force the two bones to be immobilized in relation to each other. Thankfully it worked.

After the pins were removed, our staff had to help this patient regain strength in its wings to prepare for release. White pelicans can be a bit difficult to get to fly in an aviary even when there is nothing wrong with their wings, and this bird was no exception. He just didn’t want to cooperate. So for this bird, Wildlife Center Manager Isabel Luevano made his physical therapy progress a personal priority and several times a week made him flap strongly while being safely supported in hand, and then would boost him over the pool, thus encouraging him to fly and land on the water; no small feat with a huge bird. All of the hard work by staff and volunteers paid off!

During recovery, the White Pelican received generous pool therapy at the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

 

February 1, 2020

Would you like to help design the next great Bird Rescue shirt?

Russ Curtis

Some of the current Bird Rescue t-shirt designs. See the store

Calling all graphic designers. We want to invite YOU to help us create a new Western Grebe T-Shirt!

Inspiration #1: Western Grebe

Bird Rescue is holding a design contest for our new shirts to be released in April 2020. This contest is open to all members of the public and the details are as follows:

• Contest opens on Feb 1, 2020, and artwork must be submitted by March 20, 2020, for consideration. Semi-finalists will be selected and notified by March 27, 2020.

• Artwork must feature the Western Grebe. The style should be in line with International Bird Rescue’s signature look and style.

• Artwork can utilize no more than 4 colors.

• No copyright infringement. All designs must be your original artwork.

• Shirts will be full-front screen printed with the Bird Rescue logo on the back.

• By entering this contest, you are granting International Bird Rescue the exclusive right to print and reproduce your artwork on our merchandise, marketing and social media channels.

• This contest is open to all ages. Minors will need the authorization of a parent or guardian to sign over use of the design if theirs is chosen as the winner.

• We will accept a maximum of 3 submissions per person.

HOW TO ENTER:

Please send your artwork via email to contest@bird-rescue.org. The initial submission should include your design in .pdf/.jpg/.png format. Please include the following information:
Full Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Mailing Address

*If your artwork is selected as a finalist, a ready-for-print vector file (.ai/.eps) will need to be submitted to us by April 1st. Minor edits/revisions to the artwork may be requested.

GRAND PRIZE:

The winner’s artwork will be prominently featured on the new Western Grebe shirts set for release in April 2020. The winner will receive two free shirts, be featured on our Bird Rescue Blog, and have the opportunity to tour one of our wildlife centers with up to 3 guests. Sorry, but we are not able to cover your travel costs. The winner will be selected and notified by April 10, 2020.

Inspiration #2: Western Grebe chick

January 28, 2020

Send A Special Valentine’s Day Card To Your Loved Ones

Russ Curtis

Do you love birds as much as we do? We suspect you do! And what better way to share that love than with a special Valentine’s Day card for your loved one?!

For a minimum $25 donation, we will send a beautiful handwritten card to someone you love letting them know a gift was made in their honor.

Complete the donation by February 10th to ensure that the card reaches your special someone by the holiday. Better yet, do it today!

In the meantime, watch our new video For the Love of Birds

 

January 12, 2020

Patient of the Week: American White Pelican With Back Injury

Russ Curtis

One month of care and healing for this White Pelican is very visible. Photos by Angie Trumbo – International Bird Rescue

What a difference a few weeks of care can make!

In mid-December 2019, this young male American White Pelican was found in a Long Beach parking lot, cold and anemic, with a huge wound across his back and a small pouch laceration. We suspect he may have been struck by a vehicle. He was brought to our Los Angeles Wildlife Center where our team members assessed the pelican’s condition and provided him with IV fluids and tube feedings to stabilize his condition.

His major injury involved the skin of his back over his shoulder blades, which had been ripped off completely, with a deep scab covering the whole area. Part of our assessment included finding out if the bones of this bird’s shoulders were damaged in a way that would impact his future ability to fly, and our veterinarian currently doesn’t think so. Pelicans are such good healers that we are hopeful that the muscles and other structures needed for flight in the wound zone will continue to heal well. Usually, once pelicans regain their enthusiasm for eating, they can heal surprisingly severe wounds with help from their caregivers.

Since his intake, staff members have been regularly cleaning and dressing the pelican’s large wound, and now, after several weeks of care, it is showing great improvement! The pelican is also proving to be a voracious eater and (see video) has already gained over 1,800 grams since he arrived! We currently feed pelican patients Peruvian Smelt, which typically costs $1.50/lb, and this particular patient can eat about 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of fish a day. Fish choices for our patients are a balance of quality, availability, palatability, nutritional needs of current patients, and cost.

You can help feed this beautiful pelican and the dozens of other birds currently in care by making a donation today!

December 31, 2019

So Many Birds To Celebrate This Year!

Russ Curtis

Dear Bird Rescue Supporter,

As this year comes to an end, we want to remind you that we have a lot to celebrate in 2019!

With your support, our accomplishments became yours:

• In July our team mobilized as a mission of mercy to rescue nearly 100 baby Herons and Egrets from a fallen tree in Oakland.

• Because of a band return, we learned that an oiled King Eider from a spill in 1996 we helped rescue, treat and release, lived another 23 years in the wild. From all reports, this beautifully colored male sea duck may be the oldest lived King Eider. This band return underscored our long held belief that properly treated oiled birds can and will live long lives beyond capture and cleaning.

• With loving, restorative care, a majestic Brown Pelican with severe pouch laceration is again back in the wild.

Before time runs out, won’t you make one more tax-deductible gift this year?

With your encouragement and generous donations, our life saving work will continue to grow in 2020!

With best wishes for a Happy New Year,

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

December 28, 2019

2019 Patient of the Year: Brown Pelican Y41 With Severe Pouch Laceration

Russ Curtis

The results are in. It was a tight race, but a victor has emerged!

The 2019 Patient of the Year is the Brown Pelican with the severe pouch laceration. It clearly made the biggest impact on our Bird Rescue family this year, winning 30% of the overall public vote.

“…The bird’s pouch was laid open on both sides up and back onto her neck, completely cut loose from the rest of her mouth. Although she survived the initial injury, she was starving to death because she was unable to eat…”

Blog post Oct 2019

This pelican is not only a prime example of the impacts humans can have on wildlife, but also the remarkable resiliency of these majestic creatures. It also shows that the best efforts by concerned individuals can give a gravely injured bird a second chance at life.

Thank you to all of you who voted, to the skilled staff and volunteers whose attentive care got this pelican (blue-banded Y41) through to release, and to the generous donors without whom this work would not be possible.

This patient was just one of more than 3,500 birds we helped this year! If this story inspires you to take action, and help other birds get a second chance, please join us: Make a donation to International Bird Rescue today to help us continue to rescue waterbirds in crisis and create more success stories like this one!

For our 2019 Patient of the Year contest, we asked you WHY you voted for the bird you did – many of you provided us with inspiring answers. This is Wordie graphic using your own words describing why these birds & our work matters to you. Thank you!

 

 

December 24, 2019

Warmest Holiday Greetings From Bird Rescue

Russ Curtis

Dear Bird Rescue supporters,

As we close out 2019, we would like to wish you the happiest of holidays!

May the New Year be filled with warmth, peace, happiness, and harmony with each other and our natural home.

Thanks again for all your generous support of our mission,

Sincerely,

Team International Bird Rescue

 

December 20, 2019

Oldest Known King Eider Found 23 Years After Oil Spill Care

Russ Curtis

Male King Eiders are super colorful sea ducks commonly found in Arctic waters. CC photo by Ron Knight

A new bird banding report shows something truly remarkable: the oldest known King Eider – a species of sea duck – was a 24-year-old oil spill survivor cared for by International Bird Rescue. This finding proves once again that rehabilitated, formerly-oiled birds can survive many years after treatment and release back to the wild.

The latest discovery involves a male King Eider that was oiled as an adult during an oil spill in Alaska in 1996. The recovered bird survived 23 years after oiling and release, and according to federal banding information, this may well be the oldest known King Eider.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Lab, which administers the scientific banding or ringing of wild birds in the U.S., the previously oldest recorded King Eider was an unoiled female that was at least 22 years 1 month old when she was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Nunavut, Canada.

In 1996 rescued King Eiders were cleaned of oil after being flown to Anchorage from the Pribilof Islands. Photo © International Bird Rescue

This important news underscores what Bird Rescue has been advocating from its beginnings: oiled birds can and DO survive to live normal lives when rehabilitated after oiling, with appropriate resources and skilled staff. This is especially true when wildlife experts follow the protocols that have been refined over our nearly 50-year history.

Watch the video: Every Release Matters

“Bird Rescue has developed and remains at the forefront of the State of the Science for oiled wildlife treatment and rehabilitation,’ said Catherine Berg, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator for Alaska. Berg was one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Alaska Oil Spill Response Coordinators. (Ron Britton was also worked as the National USFWS Oil Spill Coordinator and managed the Citrus spill along with Pamela Bergmann at the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance, and Claudia Slater of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.)

“Seeing this kind of evidence of rehabilitated bird survival is truly a tribute to their dedication to the advancement of the science and to improving the care of injured birds.” Berg added.

The long-lived eider is also a testament to both Bird Rescue’s and the State of Alaska’s commitment to the successful concept of having a centralized response center to care for affected wildlife, rather than attempting the care and cleaning of animals in a remote, inaccessible location. All the birds from this spill were transported from a remote island for care in a centralized facility run by Bird Rescue in Anchorage.

The long-lived King Eider carried the Federal Band #1347-54951.

The reported King Eider was originally oiled during the M/V Citrus Oil Spill that began in mid-February 1996 in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands around St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea, approximately 300 miles from the nearest mainland, and 750 miles from Anchorage. One hundred eighty-six birds, mainly eiders, were rescued near St. Paul and transported by U.S. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft to Bird Rescue’s Anchorage emergency response center. After medical stabilization, washing, and rehabilitation, the cleaned seabirds were again transported (a four hour flight) back to St. Paul Island, where their release was celebrated by the community and with the participation of schoolchildren.

Bird Rescue is proud of its work and the body of knowledge regarding the care of oiled wildlife that it has cultivated and shared since its inception in 1971. Data such as band returns on these species provide critical feedback to our rehabilitation processes, and clearly we are on the right track.

The deceased eider (Federal Band #1347-54951) was taken near English Bay on St. Paul Island earlier this year. The metal band number was reported to the USGS Bird Banding Lab and they shared the information with Bird Rescue.

Male King Eiders are known for their very ornate and distinctive plumage. The male’s black and white feathers are accented by a reddish orange bill, bluish crown and greenish cheek. They are found in Arctic waters.

This is the fourth King Eider from the 1996 spill that has been reported through the Bird Banding Lab.