Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

June 17, 2010

CNN report: Cleaning oiled birds in Louisiana


Duane Titus talks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on his visit today to see the ongoing oiled bird care at the Fort Jackson Wildlife Center in Buras, Louisiana.

As of noon today, 634 oiled birds have been captured, 783 dead birds collected and 42 have been released – mainly in Florida. Official wildlife numbers available each day around Noon CDT.

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4 Responses to “CNN report: Cleaning oiled birds in Louisiana”

  1. Renee Prince Says:

    Just saw a feature about your work on CNN last night and was impressed by the dedication and the work of all at the International Bird Rescue Research Center. Please understand that this is not a letter about blame. However, I believe more people are needed to help right now. There are surely more birds than “twenty response team members” (the figure mentioned in your previous blog entry) on the ground there can handle, especially including the birds out in the wild that have to be collected safely. They, the truly innocent oil spill victims, need more boat operators and trained capture personnel to get them in for clean up before they are too far gone to withstand the process, and every day of delay, of not having the people in place to respond proactively and quickly, is causing more oil exposure, more damage to internal organs, more dead. If not now, then in the immediate future, more people are needed to do everything from manning wildlife hotlines to building bird triage or clean up centers, and their training and mobilization should start now. Many of us, rather than using existing lodgings, would be willing to stay in campsites surely empty of tourists.
    It is certainly a tangled ball of who should do what, but someone should be mobilizing the thousands of volunteers willing to help. After locals are given slots (rapidly! they are right there and willing to help), then others from around the US must be allowed to help the wildlife. How many more birds could be collected and cleaned in time to save more lives with another thirty people or another sixty? Of course facilities must be organized, tasks that could and should be delegated to volunteers as well.
    I believe that simply putting my name on a list and "waiting to be called" is virtually useless. I’ve read of volunteers able to help who haven’t been contacted or even acknowledged as being on a waiting list (as on the BP site), or they don’t even know who to contact. The volunteer bottleneck, whether red tape or organizational in nature must be fixed.
    I realize you can’t effect these changes, but the next time you’re on camera please let other organizations into the volunteer process rather than sending would-be volunteers into the bowels of a US Fish and Wildlife Service waiting list, or the Tri-State Bird Rescue site, which, when I tried, had no way for volunteers like me who live outside the area to even respond with our contact info. Sending donations (which are not even allowed to go toward the Gulf spill clean up) doesn’t do it for me personally. I work as a freelancer in the film business, so money is tight, but between shows I do have time, willingness and skills.
    Please let the public know that Audubon has started a volunteer response center where people from anywhere in the US can sign up to do many different, specific, vital tasks, and they will be part of a smaller, more manageable volunteer list. The link is http://www.audubon.org/campaign/advisory/advisory1006.html#volunteer. By the way, the link to Audubon on your site is broken. I sincerely hope that they, if no one else, will find a place for me before my free time ends as my next job begins.
    I hope somebody can act on these suggestions, for those of us who feel deeply frustrated at being kept from participating, from helping to save the animals we love when we have the time, the transportation, and the ability to help.
    I worked for months on the Exxon Valdez clean up as a volunteer, and would have loved to help with the birds and otters, but was kept out of the animal work by just this kind of bureaucratic tangle. I still regret this, as I have handled birds all my life and my skills might have been better used to help those devastated creatures rather than shoveling oiled beaches, as I did. However, the work I did do, the chance to make a difference, changed my life profoundly, and I encourage anyone who can to contact an appropriate oil response organization—and I wish them good luck in getting past the fences that keep us from being good neighbors.

  2. Jane Says:

    The birds and sea mammals get into oil slicks/pools while hunting. Has anyone explored "artificial" methods of feeding near nesting sites, etc., that would encourage these animals to stay away from the contaminated waters? Can we create "aqua stations" similar to aqua salmon farms, supplied with food fish, placed near the nesting/living sites? The animals would be supplied with a food source free of oil.

    Has the placement of barriers near the nesting areas begun?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Reply to Jane's post,
    The barriers, food & water stations for wild life near or close to nesting areas is an excellent idea, good going Jane I really hope someone with the authority and conviction will take up your suggestion, as some of the experts, and scientist have said, it will be close to impossible to save the plant life of the estuaries, so the least we can try to do is to save some of the bird populations.

    regards Ed

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Has anyone investigated using circuit board technology to draw off the oil from feathers ,skin and fur that duplicates the natural minerals used as dispersants and oil eating bacterias too with frequency ranges of vibrations that alter every 2 mins.? This technology is used for water cleansing and may be able to be adapted for oil and also replicating the gobbling bacterias that will eat their way through globs of oil which will save time in cell production and leave the minerals in the ground.A local sound studio may help with the frequency ranges which I think come from the chemistry of the substances.
    I thought a hand held joy stick/wii controller and a usb stick could make this technology device portable. You may be able to pop an animal in a pipe or tank or pool and have a drawing off tank., and have the circuit board hook on the side. Maybe the methane could be usable too in closed water cycle seaweed mulch productions. Maybe the estuaries could have tidal sluices across them and they be programmed to gobble the oil up by floating on the tides.
    I will keep the thoughts coming together and hope you will too.Catherine Berg Australia.cathyberg@hotmail.com

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