Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

October 5, 2019

Patient of the Week: Brown Pelican With Severe Torn Pouch Undergoes Surgery

Russ Curtis

An adult female Brown Pelican with a severely torn pouch was admitted into care at the International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Wildlife Center in San Pedro on Sept 20, 2019. 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.

Your donation makes our work possible with pelicans like this

Luckily, rescuers found the pelican and brought her to our friends at Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network who then transferred her over to us where she could undergo surgery to repair her pouch.

The cause of this bird’s injuries are currently unknown, but it appears that her pouch must have been caught on something that necessitated ripping to get loose. Fishing gear is such a common problem in this species that our suspicion is that she got caught on a hook.

Despite the severity of this bird’s wounds, our successes with past patients with similar injuries, like Pink the Pelican, give us confidence for a positive outcome for this patient. Our veteranarian, Dr. Rebecca Duerr, spent 2.5 hours repairing the worst of the injuries to the middle and right side of her pouch and neck. The bird was so weak that Dr Duerr decided to leave the left side for later repair rather than putting her through another 1+ hour of surgery. Consequently, the left side is stapled closed right now, and a second procedure will be scheduled soon, after she has regained her strength.

Stay tuned for more updates on this critical patient!

Brown Pelican in first surgery for torn pouch: Dr Rebecca Duerr, Julie Skoglund and Kylie Clatterbuck working in wildlife center in Los Angeles. Photo by Angie Trumbo

October 1, 2019

Your Bird Mask Awaits You At The Night-Heron Masquerade Party On Oct 26th

Russ Curtis

Party goers will be able to choose from a selection of free hand-painted masks at the Night-Heron Masquerade Party on Saturday, October 26th in San Francisco.

Dear friends,

You are invited to join us for the biggest Bird Rescue celebration of the year!

We are throwing a glamorous Night-Heron Masquerade on the beautiful Ohana Floor of Salesforce East in San Francisco to commemorate and support our ongoing work rescuing and rehabilitating San Francisco Bay Area birds. Buy Tickets

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2019
Time: 5:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Address: 350 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94103
Tickets: $150 – $195 (Early Bird special ends on Oct 14th)
**Cocktail attire suggested. Hand-made masks will be provided!

The Masquerade will feature delicious vegetarian flavors, an open bar, amazing auction items, professional photographers, and a variety of fun opportunities to celebrate our work and the birds that we care for. What better way to start your Halloween weekend celebrations or spend a classy, uplifting evening?!

Spread the word – share the event on Facebook!

Please note: the deadline to register for this event is Tuesday, October 22nd. Full name and email address are required for all attendees and guests. A government-issued photo ID that matches your registered name is required at the entrance. Unfortunately, Salesforce does not allow day-of additions ahead of the event.

 

September 9, 2019

Team Yes We Peli-CAN! With Community Support, Conquers the Bridge Once Again

Russ Curtis

On Labor Day 45 members of Team Yes We Peli-CAN! participated in the annual Conquer the Bridge Race in San Pedro, CA.

Bird Rescue supporters in right blue team shirts could be spotted on two iconic California bridges on Labor Day, September 2, 2019.

Team sponsors included Chevron and Bakeology.

In San Pedro, 45 members of  Team Yes We Peli-CAN! walked and ran over the Vincent Thomas Bridge in the 11th annual Conquer the Bridge Race. This community event, part of the region’s Fleet Week celebration, draws thousands of participants and offers the perfect opportunity for Bird Rescue to raise awareness of the birds that share our local habitat and the work that we do for them.

At the same time, volunteers from our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center and their mascot dog, Finnegan, walked together over the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in support of the team’s efforts. “I was thrilled to see so many members of our Bird Rescue family united, here in San Pedro and hundreds of miles away in Northern California, taking on this physical challenge and being an active part of our communities and promoting the important work that we do for the birds” said Angie Trumbo, Yes We Peli-CAN! Team captain.

All summer long, Team Yes We Peli-CAN! Has worked to fundraise in support of animal care at our wildlife centers with a goal of reaching $15,000 by race day. Thanks to their efforts, a generous team sponsorship from Chevron, and numerous donations from the public and Bird Rescue supporters, we surpassed our goal, bringing in just under $16,000!

With another successful run as Team Yes We Peli-CAN! under our belts, we look forward to next year and bringing the team back for Conquer the Bridge 2020!

Runners and walkers on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, CA. Photos by International Bird Rescue

 

September 3, 2019

You’re Invited to the October 26th Night-Heron Masquerade in San Francisco

Russ Curtis

Calling all night birds to join us for an upbeat Bird Rescue celebration on Saturday, October 26th from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., on the beautiful Ohana Floor of Salesforce East in San Francisco. Buy Tickets Now

Come to the event to share your love of birds as well as living plants on Salesforce’a Ohana East 30th floor.

The Masquerade will feature delicious vegetarian flavors, an open bar with wine and beer, amazing auction items, and fun opportunities to celebrate the rescue and rehabilitation of San Francisco Bay Area birds. The event is a perfect starting point for your Halloween weekend celebrations, or as a classy, uplifting evening all on its own.

A selection of masks will be available to attendees. There is no need to bring a mask! Cocktail attire is suggested.

The Ohana Room in Salesforce East offers a gorgeous setting with lovely 30th floor views of San Francisco and beyond, over 3000 live plants, 65 different species! In the decor, a self-playing piano, and a giant screen for photographic highlights of our bird rescue efforts. The venue is easily accessible by BART and MUNI.

Please note the deadline to register for this event is by Tuesday, October 22nd with a full name and an e-mail address for all attendees and guests. A government-issued photo ID is required at the entrance. Unfortunately, Salesforce does not allow day-of additions ahead of the event. The event is at 350 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103. The venue is easily accessible by BART and MUNI.

If you would like to become an event sponsor, please contact Toni Arkoosh Pinsky at toni.pinsky@ bird­rescue.org or JD Bergeron at 510.289.1472.

The Ohana Floor in Salesforce East offers a gorgeous setting with over 3000 live plants and views of San Francisco Bay. Photos by Russ Curtis – International Bird Rescue

 

August 19, 2019

Release of the Week: Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night-Herons

Russ Curtis

A bevy of Snowy Egrets, many from the Oakland Heronry Rescue in July, were released this month at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

With supporters looking on, another group of Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons, were released back to the wild last week at Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline.

A pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons saunter out of cages back to the wild spaces in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

Most of the released birds were part of the Oakland Heronry Rescue that began on July 10th after a large ficus tree containing a rookery of 50+ nests, split at the trunk and toppled in front of the downtown Oakland U.S. Post Office at Jackson and 13th Streets. The rookery included many nesting birds with baby egrets and herons, some of them which spilled onto sidewalks below.

Over a three day stretch, a total of 90 birds were rescued – including 51 Snowy Egrets, 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 17 eggs.

You can still donate via the GivingGrid!

Thankfully a concerned citizen noticed these birds in crisis and immediately called our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center to come to the rescue. A Bird Rescue team, including JD Bergeron, Executive Director and Michelle Bellizzi, Response Manager, was on the scene right away at Jackson at 13th Streets and began gently scooping up the surviving birds and preparing them for transport to our clinic in Fairfield.

Read: It always starts with a phone call

After the remaining tree was deemed unsafe for the public as well as the nesting birds, the team worked alongside a tree service that helped trim branches and collect all the remaining eggs and birds in nests.

“This rescue has been an epic journey for us all–on-scene rescuers, partners, staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters!” said JD Bergeron.

“The plight of these fallen birds caught the attention of many who dare to hope that people can still come together to make good things happen. TV, radio, blogs, and newspapers helped to carry this good news story in the midst of so much bad news,” Bergeron added.

Thanks to our generous donors, Bird Rescue was able to raise enough in donations to cover the food, medicine, and daily care for these young herons and egrets. But our work doesn’t end with these 90 birds — we provide wildlife rescue and rehabilitation programs 365 days a year, and our 3,500+ patients each year don’t come with insurance.

The support of the community means the world to us and reinforces to us the belief that each of us, every day, must take action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves. You can still help us with a donation

A Snowy Egret gets ready to fly off in Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

August 13, 2019

It Always Starts With A Phone Call

Michelle Bellizzi

Baby Snowy Egrets, many that had tumbled out of nests onto a downtown Oakland sidewalk, were gently scopped up and put into boxes for transport to Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

Note: First person post by Michelle Bellizzi, Bird Rescue’s Response Manager

After the ficus tree collapsed, Oakland city crews cleaned up the fallen branches. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

On Wednesday July 10, 2019, I’d just arrived home from work and was getting dinner together, when The Call came in. International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center Manager Isabel Luevano had picked up a message on the hospital phone describing a sad scene: a large ficus tree next to the downtown Oakland U.S. Post Office and used for nesting by the city’s iconic Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets had collapsed, and numerous baby birds had fallen with their nests across a city sidewalk.

Luckily, I live just a short distance away from the site and was able to grab my partner and convince him that saving baby birds was *the* thing to do in the evening, and together we headed down to the site. On our way, I received a text from Response Services Director Barbara Callahan, who had picked up a call on our 24-hour Oil Spill Emergency Hotline about the situation. We were met at the site by JD Bergeron, Bird Rescue’s Executive Director, and his partner Travis (Bird Rescue has a wonderful tradition of wrangling our significant others to step in when needed, and all of our husbands, wives, and partners are angels!), as well as concerned locals and city workers prepared to clean up the mess.

We quickly discovered that the tree in question had split in half, and the City needed to clean the fallen branches from the sidewalk. The remaining half of the tree was in imminent danger of falling as well and would need to be removed.

One of the people on-site was Shirl Simpson, the Branch Manager of the Post Office, and it only took a few moments for Shirl to become one of my favorite people in the world. Upon seeing the downed tree, the nestlings, and the remaining bird nests in the tree, Shirl said unequivocally: “We are going to save these birds – these are OUR birds, and we’re not going to let anything happen to them.” Shirl was the person who had contacted our Emergency Line – she had remembered a Channel 7 story on Bird Rescue and went to “Seven on Your Side” to find our number.

The sight of the tree was intimidating and heartbreaking: half of the tree was down with baby birds in the branches on the ground, and the half that remained standing had approximately 40 nests visible in the canopy…which was 30 feet up and inaccessible without a cherry picker.

“We are going to save these birds – these are OUR birds, and we’re not going to let anything happen to them.” said Shirl Simpson (seated), the Branch Manager of the Post Office, along with JD Bergeron holding a rescued Black-crown Night-Heron. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds–International Bird Rescue

On Wednesday evening, our job was clear: rescue the babies that had fallen and clear the sidewalk, and work on a plan for the remaining tree on Thursday. We sprang into action working alongside the Oakland City workers, carefully searching through the downed branches to extract any babies and handing the cleared branches to the city workers for chipping. We rescued 18 baby herons and egrets, and cleared the downed half of the tree just before dark. The birds were taken back to our Fairfield facility by 9:30 pm.

Later on Thursday and Friday, JD and I returned to the site to collect additional birds and to oversee the complete removal of the tree. Because the tree itself was on Postal Service property, Shirl hired Davey Tree service to remove the birds from their nests and capture unflighted birds in the tree canopy *and* cut the tree in sections as they removed the birds.

JD and I stayed on the ground playing outfielder, collecting the birds from the workers in the picker, and identifying areas in the canopy with birds so the worker was aware of birds moving through the foliage and nest areas. Because of the slow nature of the work, birds were transported to the facility midday and in the evening.

Interestingly, as the workers moved through the tree south to north, the birds got older! Apparently most of the nests on the south side of the tree were nestlings, and the north side of the tree housed the birds that were **just about ready to fledge**. As less and less tree was available to hide in, the birds congregated at the north edge and several proved to be good fliers and able to fly from tree to tree, and the decision was made to not capture them. By noon on Friday, the last branch had been cut, and the last birds were driven to our center so the real work could begin!

News Media Stories

Black-crowned Night-Herons, Snowy Egrets released into wild after surviving Oakland tree collapse, ABC-7-News

Using a cherry picker, Davey Tree Service, helped safely remove other birds and nests before trimming the tree back in front of the Post Office at 13th and Jackson Streets in downtown Oakland. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

July 29, 2019

Video of the Oakland Heronry Rescue

Russ Curtis

Watch this video to learn how International Bird Rescue jumped into action starting on July 10, 2019 to rescue dozens of baby herons and egrets when their rookery tree partially collapsed in downtown Oakland.

A total of 90 birds ended up being rescued over three days. This included 51 Snowy Egrets, 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 17 eggs. Read more

Donate today at https://www.givinggrid.com/HeronryRescue

July 12, 2019

Bird Rescue Jumps Into Action in Oakland – Rescuing Baby Birds from Fallen Tree

Russ Curtis

Birds rescued in Oakland include 50 Snowy Egret chicks and nestlings. All are now in care at Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. 📷 > Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

Disaster struck this week at a large heron and egret rookery in downtown Oakland, CA. A large ficus tree split and partially toppled on Wednesday, sending dozens of baby birds tumbling to the ground.

A concerned citizen saw these birds in crisis and immediately called our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center to come to the rescue. A Bird Rescue team, including JD Bergeron, Executive Director and Michelle Bellizzi, Response Manager, was on the scene right away at Jackson at 13th Streets and began collecting the surviving birds to take into care.

By the end of day on Friday, July 12, teams had rescued a total of 90 birds – including 51 Snowy Egrets, 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 17 eggs.

Meanwhile, back at the clinic, staff and volunteers worked late into the night to prepare special enclosures for the incoming patients and take care of their immediate needs as they arrived.

We are so grateful to be able to care for all of these precious baby birds but rely on the public’s support to cover the costs of care for all of our patients.

Won’t you help us with a donation so these baby birds have a second chance at life?

One of the 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons rescued in Oakland is weighed during intake at our clinic in Fairfield.

What happens when a bird is rescued?

Our partners also deserve praise. They stepped forward to help us, including the Golden Gate Audubon, Oakland post office staff, law enforcement, and Davey Tree Services, the city-hired arborists to rescue the rest of the baby birds from this tree before the tree was taken down.

Our clinic assesses and stabilizes the birds; any eggs collected are put in incubators, and all chicks will need to be hand-fed by staff and volunteers multiple times a day. Each of these rescued birds will require weeks and sometimes months of care before they are able to be released back into a safe environment.

These birds – especially the Black-crowned Night-Herons– hold a special place in the heart of Oakland residents. Earlier this year, local school kids urged and won a petition to have the Oakland City Council declare the Night-Herons the official bird of Oakland. Read more

If too care for wildlife, please contribute what you can to help raise these birds in need!

Thank you for your generous support.

After the initial rescue of baby herons and egrets on Wednesday, a city crew cleans up a large part of a fallen tree in downtown Oakland, CA. IBR photo

On Thursday, working with Davey Tree Service using its cherry picker, teams helped carefuly capture heron and egret chicks and nestlings in the damaged ficus tree. 📷 > Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

Some of the Snowy Egrets rescued from the downtown Oakland rookery. 📷 > Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

JD Bergeron, Executive Director at Bird Rescue, directs rescuers while helping man a safety net to catch chicks and nestlings just in case they fall. 📷 > Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

Black-crowned Night-Herons rescued at Oakland rookery. 📷 > Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

June 25, 2019

Published: Port of Los Angeles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project

Russ Curtis

This year International Bird Rescue was proud to complete the Port of Los Angles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project, which was generously funded through a grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF). This program involved a unique approach and included a three-step process to assess and mitigate impacts on wildlife in the Port of Los Angeles.

The first step in the program was to gather historical data from all organizations that service wildlife in the Port in order to assess effects on wildlife.

The second step entailed outreach and training for businesses and industry working in the Port in order to provide them with updates on laws and regulations, assessment abilities, and solutions that seek to mitigate wildlife impacts.

The third step was to formulate recommendations for future mitigation of wildlife impacts.

We are happy to report that Bird Rescue accomplished all of the goals set forth for the project, and at the same time built positive relationships and solutions for the future. We hope that the work conducted during this project will serve as an initial model that can be expanded and improved going forward to continue to address a rapidly changing environment in which we humans can live side-by-side with our local wildlife populations.

View the final report PDF 3.6 MB

 

June 21, 2019

Port of Los Angeles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project: June 24th Presentation

Russ Curtis

What: Port of Los Angeles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project, a special presentation: Hosted by International Bird Rescue and the Los Angeles Wildlife Center. Download Final Report PDF 3.6 MB

When: Monday, June 24, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM

Where: The Plaza At Cabrillo Marina, 2965 Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, California 90731 Map

Thanks to a generous grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF), International Bird Rescue has conducted a study on the impacts to wildlife in the Port of Los Angeles. The study will be presented to the public on Monday evening, June 24, 2019 at 7 PM. There will also be a panel discussion with local experts. Refreshments will be served.

The study was conducted to weigh the human-generated impacts on marine wildlife at the Port of Los Angeles operations. Bird Rescue focused on the waterbirds that wade, dive, feed, and reproduce there. There had been port environmental impact reports before, but no review of wildlife incidents stretching back so far historically, or cast a net so wide.

Part of the study’s findings include education and outreach efforts that involve simple, straight-forward, and practical ways to minimize human-animal impacts (aka “Urban Wildlife Conflicts”), correctly identify common and uncommon wildlife behaviors, recognize signs of distress, and provide easy, direct, convenient resources to contact when intervention might be required.

This San Pedro event is free and open to the public.

Background

Bird Rescue and Harbor Community Benefit Foundation have built a strong partnership over the past five years, with HCBF supporting an impactful summer research internship program for several years. This year, HCBF offered Bird Rescue an opportunity to study current and historic issues affecting wildlife in and around the Port of Los Angeles, and to suggest mitigation measures. The Project is also helping to identify opportunities for further improvements to the health and safety of both marine wildlife and people.

About International Bird Rescue: In 1971 after 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the bay, concerned individuals led by a registered nurse named Alice Berkner jumped into action, bringing International Bird Rescue to life. We have always had to pave a road where there is none. Staff and volunteers work with tenacity alongside clients, partners, and the public to find solutions. Today, we research best practices at our crisis response hospitals in California and Alaska and share them worldwide. Our mission is to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis. We dream of a world in which every person, every day, takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

 

May 31, 2019

Goleta/421 Pier Oil Release Spill Event: Anything Can Happen

Russ Curtis

Site of the spill in Goleta, CA near 421 Pier at Haskell’s Beach.

On May 29, 2019 International Bird Rescue was activated for spill response by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) after approximately 80-125 gallons of crude were released into the Pacific Ocean on May 28 in Goleta, CA. This type of response is well within Bird Rescue’s wheelhouse, and we know what to expect: Within hours of notification, responders Susan Kaveggia and Jeannette Bates were on site and prepared to capture affected wildlife on May 29 and 30.

Luckily, few animals were impacted by this event, but just as in every drill or spill scenario, it pays to expect the unexpected! Several novel challenges came up during this event to keep everyone in the response thinking, including whether a pelican observed eating an oiled crab moments before capture was considered “contaminated” (ultimately, the bird was indeed considered oiled due to observable oil on its feet), and how to identify and process a deceased oiled sea cucumber (thanks to oceanic biologists!). Because we live in California and have a well-established and practiced Wildlife Response Plan and experienced responders in-state, these unexpected and unforeseen issues were resolved quickly without disrupting the response.

Bird Rescue is always ready to respond to an oil spill, whether it happens locally or abroad. In the same month as the Goleta Spill, our Response Management team traveled to Perth, Australia for SpillCon and Vancouver, BC for the Clean Pacific Conference. These events are sponsored by Industry and OSROs (Oil Spill Response Organizations) for Industry, and are a great opportunity to talk with our colleagues and share how Bird Rescue can help professionally manage and respond to wildlife affected in a spill.

 

May 27, 2019

It’s Dinosaur Week at Bird Rescue!

Russ Curtis

Celebrating Baby Herons and Egrets – Modern-Day Dinosaurs!

The connection between the today’s birds and their ancient dinosaur ancestors was first suggested in 1860 with the discovery of the feathered dinosaur, Archaeopteryx, in Germany. Today, when we look at the baby herons and egrets in care at our wildlife centers, that relationship couldn’t be more obvious. From their shape and appearance to the sounds they make, there is no question that these birds are modern-day dinosaurs!

The week of May 27-31, 2019 we will be highlighting the baby dinosaurs that come into care each year and the challenges they face in the modern world. Whether it’s nesting in busy, urban areas or conflicts with people, vehicles, or domestic animals, these birds need our help!

As part of Dinosaur Week, we have two special ways that YOU can take action today to help us raise the hundreds of baby “dinosaurs” that will come to us this year!

Adopt one of these Dino Birds

Each year our wildlife centers take in hundreds of orphaned baby herons and egrets. All of this work is funded through generous donations from supporters like you! To help, you can symbolically adopt one of  baby birds: Adopt a Baby Black-crowned Night-Heron!

Buy a limited edition Dino Bird Rescue t-shirt

In celebration of Baby Dinosaur Week at Bird Rescue, we are releasing a limited edition International Dinosaur Rescue T-Shirt! This design will only be available to order between now and June 2nd–order yours today!

Also, to help celebrate this Dino week we are giving away special dinosaur bird rescue t-shirts. Three lucky winners will chosen this week. Enter to win here

May 22, 2019

Kids Speak Up, Take Action for Black-Crowned Night-Herons in Oakland!

Russ Curtis

Celebrating victory at city hall: Kids from Park Day School and supporters after the Black-crowned Night-Heron was named the Official Bird of the City of Oakland!

Many of the Black-crowned Night-Herons that are injured or orphaned come in to care at our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center from rookeries in Oakland, CA.

One of the best ways to take action to protect birds in crisis is to use your voice! Even the smallest voices can make a big difference, and Bird Rescue was proud to support the efforts of elementary school students from Park Day School earlier this week as they set an example of how to speak up on behalf of birds.

It all began in 2017 when a group of third-graders learned about Black-crowned Night-Herons and the threats they face in their home town of Oakland. The city holds multiple breeding colonies for these birds, and each spring hundreds of them come into care at Bird Rescue and other wildlife rehabilitation centers when baby herons fall from their nests onto hard pavement or into busy areas. Moved by the plight of these unique birds, the students jumped into action and started a campaign to name the Black-crowned Night-Heron the official city bird of Oakland. Over the following months, they spread the word and gathered thousands of signatures.

Two years later, the hard work of these tenacious kids paid off! Bird Rescue Executive Director, JD Bergeron, had the pleasure of attending a city council meeting to support the students as they made their final presentation before city officials. A vote was held, and the motion to give the Black-crowned Night-Herons the official designation passed unanimously!

Each of us can make a difference, just like the Park Day School students. Keep an eye out for the challenges your local birds and wildlife face and raise awareness of them in your community!

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” – Wangari Maathai

Back in 2017, the students jumped into action and started a campaign to name the Black-crowned Night-Heron the official city bird of Oakland.

 

May 10, 2019

This Spring We’re Rescuing Hundreds of Orphaned Ducklings!

Russ Curtis

Duckling in care with feathers contaminated with super glue. Photo by Jeanette Bates-International Bird Rescue

Each spring, hundreds of baby birds come into care at Bird Rescue. Human-wildlife conflicts are the primary causes of these admissions. As urban development continues, suitable nesting habitat decreases, bringing people and baby birds into contact.

Between our two California wildlife centers, this May we have over 200 ducklings already in care, including the little one pictured here that came in contaminated with super glue! Our team was able to remove enough of the glue to give the duckling full range of movement. To avoid putting the duckling through the stress of a rigorous wash process, we will wait for this patient to molt the contaminated down fluff naturally as its new feathers grow in over the coming weeks.

You can help protect baby birds in a variety of ways this season! Here are a few of our top suggestions:

  • Wait to trim your trees until nesting season is over (October – November)
  • If you see baby birds, give them space! Sometimes parents are nearby but are frightened of humans
  • Keep natural areas free from litter
  • Know when to rescue a baby bird, and when not to – Read some great tips from Audubon here.
  • Support your local wildlife rehabilitation organizations

If you would like to support Bird Rescue during baby bird season this year, consider symbolically adopting a duckling! Your donation will go a long way towards helping our orphaned patients grow up strong and healthy, and eventually return to the wild. Duckling adoptions can make a great birthday present or Mother’s Day gift too!

Your Duckling adoption comes with a downloadable certificate to honor that special loved one.

 

May 9, 2019

Innovative Wound Treatment Leads to Clark’s Grebe Release after 105 Days!

Russ Curtis

Clark Grebe’s had a tricky hock lesion to treat.

A Clark’s Grebe that was found oiled in Goleta and transferred down to our Los Angeles Wildlife Center for care presented an interesting challenge for treatment. Although he was only lightly oiled, due to being stranded, cold, starving, and burned by the oil, he had dead skin on both of his hocks that had adhered to the bones, which was a big cause for concern. After a full day of intensive care, this grebe was able to be washed and begin the drying and waterproofing process. Over the course of his trips out to the pools and back in for waterproofing checks, it became clear that the hock lesions on this grebe were infected and would need further treatment.

For the next several months, our staff invested a lot of time into treating this bird’s injuries. This investment was not only to try hard to save this individual, but also because these injuries and infections are commonly seen in diving birds and present a significant treatment challenge in many species. The clinical care of patients like this helps us to figure out what works and what doesn’t. One important new tool in our success in treating severe infections like this bird had is an antibiotic-impregnated polymer gel designed for use in dental abscesses in dogs (see: ClindOral). Our vet got the idea after seeing a talk on sea turtle wound care at a conference–sea turtle patients also often need to be housed in the water while their wounds are treated, so have a lot in common with Western Grebes!

After 105 days in our care, all of the hard work and specialized veterinary treatment paid off! This beautiful Clark’s Grebe was finally ready for release on May 8th, he was taken out to Cabrillo Beach and returned to his natural home in the wild!

We want to give our staff a huge thank you for working so hard and applying so many innovative techniques and treatments to this patient’s care, making it possible for him to have a second chance!

After more than three months in care, the Clark’s Grebe was released back to the wild.