Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

June 4, 2010

Distressed oiled birds emerge in worst U.S. spill

The images are haunting this week in the unabated BP Gulf oil leak as video and photos of heavily oil coated birds flash across the screen for all the world to see. (Above: CBS-TV News Video)

By Thursday afternoon still photographs taken by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press showed images of multiple distressed seabirds caught in an oil slick on Louisiana’s East Grand Terre Island. See more: Boston.Com’s The Big Picture

For many these are the first horrific images they’ve seen; it surely will not be the last as the 6 week oil leak continues to spew crude in the Gulf Of Mexico.

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19 Responses to “Distressed oiled birds emerge in worst U.S. spill”

  1. A New England Life Says:

    I can't help but wonder, did anyone try to save these birds, or just let them sit there, drowning in oil because it makes a good video/photo?

    We get the picture, and it's a bad one. I want to see what is being done to help. Why won't the media show more of what is being done to save the oiled wildlife?

  2. Janice Says:

    To ANEL,I just tried to watch the video and couldn't! How can anyone watch and video as this helpless bird fell over and drowned! I'm Horrified!!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    ANEL and Janice: I had the same feeling as you both, how can you just sit there and take pictures and videos without helping? Well, there is a rescue response being conducted and these pictures are invaluable to spreading the message that folks should be making donations to avian rescues all over the country (as the spill continues to spread). Also, I doubt that this news reporter had the skills or equipment to save these birds. It's best to leave that work to the professionals. As a picture says a thousand words, a picture can also save a thousand birds. I'm glad to hear that BP is funding the bird rescue. Keep up the good work IBRRC!

  4. KansasMom Says:

    When Riedel came upon these birds, he had neither the equipment nor expertise needed to help them. The area of the coast where the pictures were taken was cleaned up by this morning and the birds rescued by wildlife experts.

  5. mark758 Says:

    "He will peck at you"?
    WTF
    Take the pictures, then go over and pull the bird up on the sand, roll it upright and call a rescue team.
    WTF
    I'd like to PECK at the guy that was saying that.
    WTF!!!!!!

  6. Carlin Says:

    Please set up your sight on facebook. Pleeez!!!!

  7. Bob Says:

    BP COO DOUG SUTTLES "We'll find who's at fault"

    HMM, PRETTY SURE FAULT HAS BEEN FOUND ALREADY DUDE…YOU MISSED THE NEWS FLASH…I GUESS YOUR $68 MILLION GULFSTREAM G550 THAT YOU TOOL AROUND IN LIKE UR PERSONAL TAXI DIDN'T COME WITH DIRECTV. HERES SOME ADVICE: CRAWL INTO A HOLE AND NEVER EVER COME OUT OF IT. BP, THAT IDIOT IN THE US GOV THAT ALLOWED YOU IDIOTS TO CUT CORNERS, DISREGARD SAFETY PROTOCOLS, BASICALLY THUMB YOUR NOSE TO EVERYONE, YOU ARE ALL AT FAULT. EVERY ONE OF YOU CORP BRAIN OF A SUCK HUMANS ARE AT FAULT. BUT NO DOUBT YOU AND YOUR STUPID CEO THATS A BUMBLING FOOL WHOM NO DOUBT OBSTRUCTED JUSTICE, REFUSED TO HAND OVER IMAGES,INFORMATION THE DAYS AFTER THE BOOM SO TO MINIMIZE YOUR EVENTUAL EPA FINE…YOU WILL ALL GET YOUR MULTI MILLION END OF YEAR BONUSES. BIZ AS USUAL.

    OH AND COAST GUARD…YOU BOYS WERE ALSO IN COLLUSION WITH BP, HELPED THEM COVER UP HOW DEVASTATING THE SPILL REALLY WAS. SHAME ON YOU. SHAME…ON…YOU. ALL OF YOU HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR CRAPPY HANDS.

  8. Duncan Says:

    The pictures are truly horrific but we are seeing very little news about the bird rescue operation. Are there enough people on the ground to cope with the numbers. How many bird rescue centers have been set up and is BP funding as many as are needed?

  9. Webcoot Says:

    We have funding in place and staffing already for 4 oiled wildlife care centers in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

    Fort Jackson is the headquarters has the bulk of oiled birds in care, but that may shift as the oil slick hits the shores of AL, MS and the Florida panhandle.

  10. Gulf Coast Fund Says:

    If your organization is in need of support, please look into applying for an emergency grant from the Gulf Coast Fund. We are trying to get the word out as much as possible about our emergency grant program, because we want to lift up organizations on the ground that are doing great community-driven work. So check out the application link, and please feel free to distribute widely:

    http://gulfcoastfund.org/apply-for-a-grant/emergency-grants.html

  11. Anonymous Says:

    this environmental halocaust is the most horrible event I have ever witnessed. realizing the pain and suffering of the bird/mammal is consuming me, as if I am feeling their pain. I have cleaned oiled birds before and it is hard work but is worth the effort, if it only helps a few. I feel so totally helpless and frustrated by this catastrophe, I cannot sleep, my personality, I feel, has changed and I do not feel that I can enjoy life any longer. I just wish I could help somehow, bycotting anything to do with bp is a start and supporting renewable energy gives me hope, but still, every minute, every second an innocent life is wiped out, it is just too much to handle, how is everyone who cares about the environment and it's creatures handling this situation emotionally?

  12. Lindon's Place Says:

    Horrific tragedy… but I have to thank the people who shot and posted this video for the world to see.

    It's just so terrible. I'm heart sick over this. The impact and loss of our natural wildlife is immense.

    People need to see this and remember. And make sure that this (if we ever recover) never happens again. We most hold those accountable for this crime.

  13. Lauren Says:

    I saw these photos and watched the CBSNews video last week. I honestly thought it was going to be a CBS report just about the birds and the spill, but I was horrified to find out that it was three minutes of watching the bird struggle to even move when the waves swept over it.

    My stomach churned and I nearly cried.

    As a photography hobbyist (haha, I'm no pro,) I must applaud Charlie Riedel for capturing such painful, strong images of these helpless animals. I think it is so important that he show the world what is really happening.

  14. Margaret Says:

    I too would like to know if those filming for CBS called for help for these birds? Did they even try to pull the dying bird out of the water!? What the hell; footage is more important than life! This enrages me to no end!

  15. Sommer, from Humboldt Bay Says:

    The IBRRC came to my home town to help with a little spill that happened here in 1996. I volunteered with the rescue effort for three weeks. It broke my heart. Working with oiled birds was one of the very saddest experiences of my life. Our spill taught me a lot about my relationship to the land and sea, to animals, and to oil. It also taught me about compassion and about the ways in which certain remarkable, angelic people can dedicate themselves to caring for others.

    The deepwater spill is so very much worse that it is difficult for me to comprehend what it must be like. I am scared. Really and truly scared. For the first time in my life, I have a real and profound fear that my children will not be safe in this world as they reach adulthood.
    After all these years, I remain grateful to the IBRRC staff — for your fortitude and your ability to do this difficult work, day in and day out. Thank you for all you do, and stay strong!
    Sommer, from Humboldt Bay

  16. chege wa kariuki Says:

    Dear IBRRC
    please keep up the good work saving these birds.
    I'm a bird ringer, research assistant and a bird guide in east africa and would be so much willing to volunteer rescue the birds in case need be or arise. Have a month and a half free to volunteer before am back to my work
    You can contact me at chegeATbirdwatchingeastafricaDOTcom
    or you could let me know any organization that needs my free service.
    Many thanks
    chege wa kariuki

  17. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with all, especially Bob. I think BP execs should be prosecuted for this crime on our wildlife and
    environment. they are SCUM SCUM SCUM. I HOPE HE
    NEVER GETS HIS LIFE BACK AND BURNS IN HELL.
    It has made me profoundly depressed and wish there
    was something I can do. I am not handling this well
    emotionally either. `i also believe that we should
    not allow any more deep sea drilling. I would
    rather take the bus or pay more for gas than to have
    this ever happen again,

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Thank God there are people like you who can clean these birds and give them a second chance. Just to see them clean, heads held high, spreading and flapping their wings is so awesome. I thank God for you because I think if I had to clean them I would be psychologically destroyed for life. So it really warms my heart to know there are people who can do it, I'm not saying it is easy for anyone. Hopefully when this is done, you can all go on vacation to a nice spot where the pelicans are flying and diving for food in a happy, clean environment!!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Thank God there are people like you who can clean these birds and give them a second chance. Just to see them clean, heads held high, spreading and flapping their wings is so awesome. I thank God for you because I think if I had to clean them I would be psychologically destroyed for life. So it really warms my heart to know there are people who can do it, I'm not saying it is easy for anyone. Hopefully when this is done, you can all go on vacation to a nice spot where the pelicans are flying and diving for food in a happy, clean environment!!

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