Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for November 2010

November 30, 2010

Every bird matters: Your donation does too!

Dear friend,

Perhaps you have heard this wonderful and apocryphal story before. It is one I have always found especially pertinent to IBRRC’s work.

An old man was walking along the beach and saw in the distance a young boy who appeared to be dancing and gyrating at the ocean’s edge. As the man got closer, he realized that the boy was not dancing at all. The tide had gone out, beaching thousands and thousands of starfish. The boy was throwing starfish one after the other back into the ocean so that they might survive.

“Son, you can’t possibly throw all of those starfish back. How can what you are doing possibly matter,” the old man asked.

As the boy threw yet another starfish back into the safety of the ocean, he replied “it mattered to that one.”

That story captures the heart and soul of IBRRC’s work. It matters to every bird we save.

This holiday season, please consider making a generous contribution to International Bird Rescue Research Center. For the next six days, a generous donor will match your contribution dollar for dollar, up to a total of $5000.

For four decades, IBRRC has been at the forefront of efforts to rescue and rehabilitate seabirds threatened by oil spills, other man-made injuries, and unusual illnesses. Our work has taken us to South Africa, Latin America, Alaska, and of course most recently to the front lines of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even as many of our most experienced rescue workers toiled in the Gulf, seabirds and other aquatic birds continued to pour in to one of our two West Coast rescue facilities. We treated more than 2,800 pelicans, grebes, herons, geese, ducks and other species at our Northern and Southern California facilities between April and October.

BP paid the costs of our Gulf rescue work, but our day-to-day operations depend on donations from people like you.

And, for the next six days, your donations will be matched dollar for dollar, up to a total of $5000. Please give generously today.

Our centers and rescue teams are available 24/7 every day of the year. And it is rare for a day to go by without new arrivals requiring urgent medical care.

You can be assured that your life-saving donation to IBRRC will go far. Much of our work is handled by volunteers who give countless hours of time and love to the birds we treat. Your gift will cover medical supplies, food for recovering birds, and the other necessities of maintaining two state-of-the-art avian ERs.

Just like the boy in the story, our work has mattered — to thousands of birds that survived the trauma of oil slicks, fishhook injuries, and mass outbreaks of illness with a little help from people who care.

Thank you for your past concern and thank you in advance for your generous support during this holiday season.

Sincerely,

Jay Holcomb, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

P. S. A recovering pelican eats 5 pounds of fish a day. Your donation will help ensure that the birds in our care stand the best possible chance to thrive in the wild once they are released.

November 24, 2010

Year end update: Just two words: Thank you.

Dear Friend,

As I reflect on our accomplishments in the past year, I want to thank you for making this work possible through your continued support and encouragement.

Supporters like you are vital to keeping our rescue centers up and running – so that we can continue to save birds from all types of crises, maintain our ongoing research and training, and remain prepared to deploy at a moment’s notice in response to a massive emergency like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf.

During the months many of us were in the Gulf, supporters like you made it possible for us to continue all the other rescue work we do around the clock, every day – and there was plenty of it. Below are just some of the numbers that paint the picture of our ongoing work made possible through your support:

365 — days each year we are caring for oiled and injured birds at our two rescue centers in California.

5406
— total number of birds treated at our rescue centers so far in 2010. The five most common species treated were: Mallards, Brown Pelicans, Black-Crowned Night Herons, Western Grebes, and Canada Geese.

2839 — number of Pacific birds admitted and treated at our two rescue centers in California between April 20 and September 30, during the height of the Gulf spill.

4 — number of smaller West Coast oil spills IBRRC responded to in 2010.

5 – the number of oiled birds received in the last week from natural seep along the California coast.

600 —number of critically ill pelicans treated by us following the heavy rains, flooding and pollution from run-off that hit the California coast in January 2010.

5 — pounds of fish consumed by a recovering pelican every day.

25,000+ — hours logged by IBRRC volunteers in 2010.

39 — number of years IBRRC has been rescuing and saving injured seabirds from crises. (That’s right, 2011 is our 40th anniversary!)*

24/7 — hours and days a week IBRRC is on-call for wildlife emergencies.

Again, I can’t thank you enough for helping to make this work possible. We truly could not do it without you.

Sincerely,

Jay Holcomb, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

*P. S. We look forward to keeping you updated on our plans to celebrate IBRRC’s 40th anniversary in the spring of 2011.

November 24, 2010

Boogaloo for birds Dec 4th in Hermosa Beach

Join us on Saturday, December 4 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Café Boogaloo, in Southern California for a party to benefit International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in San Pedro. The center rehabs injured wildlife, often pelicans and gulls from this area, and responds to international ecological crises like the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

$10 entry will deal you into our bar-wide game of Go Fish to meet new people and compete for a prize! Catch some football as you enjoy one of our specialty cocktails then take a break to bid in our silent auction of gifts generously donated by local businesses. If alcohol, games (to watch and to play), and shopping isn’t enough to motivate you to come by, check out www.ibrrc.org to see what great work your partying will support!

Cafe Boogaloo

1238 Hermosa Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254-3529 

http://www.facebook.com/ibrrc#!/pages/Cafe-Boogaloo/116119835078335

November 19, 2010

Public’s help still needed to locate injured gulls

The public is being urged by rescuers to keep an eye out for the remaining beer-can-collared gulls in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recent sightings of the adult and juvenile Western gulls have come in from Bolinas Lagoon to San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf to SF State University out near Lake Merced. The bird (top, right) is a second year juvenile Western Gull photographed on November 17th at San Francisco State University in the southwestern area of the city.

Like most wild birds, they are understandably wary of approach. If you see one of these birds please send or call in details – Time, Date, location, and a pic if possible – phoning (831) 429-2323 and/or emailing rescue@wildrescue.org. Two organizations are collaborating on this effort, International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) and WildRescue (Monterey).

The reward has been raised to $6,100 for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who collared the gulls.

Earlier this week a team from WildRescue successfully captured one gull at Lake Merced and removed the beer can from it’s neck. Video of the gull rescue is on YouTube

See more information here: http://wildrescues.blogspot.com/

November 17, 2010

Reward raised to $6,100 for info on collared gulls

As the search continues for other beer can collared birds in the San Francisco Bay Area, the reward has been raised to $6,100 for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who collared the gulls.

Thanks to a generous $5,000 pledge from the California Beer and Beverage Distributors (CBBD), the reward will help to focus more attention in stopping the prankster (s) from collaring anymore birds. The CBBD is a nonprofit representing 100 beer distributors and brewer/vendor members in California.

Earlier this week one of the gulls was captured by a team from WildRescue and the beer can removed from its neck. It was caught at Lake Merced in San Francisco. See video below

November 17, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill talk in Monterey December 4th

After spending nearly 5 months along the Gulf Coast, lead wildlife rescuers will give an eye opening account of their experiences on Saturday afternoon, December 4th in Monterey, CA.

Jay Holcomb of International Bird Rescue (San Francisco), world leader in oiled wildlife recovery and aquatic bird care, will join WildRescue (Monterey) directors Rebecca Dmytryk and Duane Titus in recounting their experiences. Anecdotes and never‐seen video clips and pictures will offer a firsthand look at what it was like to be on the frontlines of the largest oil spill disaster in U.S. history.

The program will be presented at Monterey Peninsula College ‐ Lecture Hall 103, 980 Fremont St., Monterey, CA. It starts at 3 PM and will until 4:30 PM. Download the flyer

Tickets are $15; $20 at the door.

Buy online now:

http://wildrescue.bigcartel.com/product/gulf-oil-spill-presentation-at-mpc

The talk benefits WildRescue, a Moss Landing CA based wildlife rescue group.

November 16, 2010

One beer can collared gull finally rescued!

This week rescuers captured a beer can collared gull in San Francisco. The WildRescue team caught the bird at Lake Merced out near the San Francisco Zoo and removed the aluminum beer can from the bird’s neck.

Experts believe that someone is maliciously catching gulls (seagulls) and collaring them with cut beer cans. Thanks to reports by members of the public and birders, sightings have come in from San Francisco (Pier 39 and another juvenile gull at Lake Merced), Half Moon Bay and various locations around the Bay Area.

The two organizations collaborating on this effort, International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) and WildRescue (Monterey), are seeking the public’s help is locating other birds. They ask that instead off attempting to capture the birds, which can make them more wary and harder to catch, sightings should be reported immediately by calling (831) 429-2323 or emailing rescue@wildrescue.org.

“This is a federal crime punishable by severe fines, imprisonment, or both,” says Rebecca Dmytryk, with WildRescue, one of the groups spearheading this effort. The US Fish & Wildlife Services, who administrate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act under which this act is punishable, has been alerted to these incidents.

Birds were first spotted by the public in August around San Francisco.

November 15, 2010

Fifth grader organizes DAWN donations for spill

We received five big mystery boxes this week at our offices in California that helps bolster your faith in humanity.

Inside the well packed cartons were 168 bottles of DAWN dishwashing liquid. They were donated by school kids organized by fifth grader Evan Meadows at St. Genevieve School in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.

In a letter from his mom, Kathie Meadows, she says:

“My son, Evan Meadows, a fifth grade student was so moved by the Dawn commercials he saw over the summer he decided he wanted to something to help and to raise awareness of the plight faced by the animals affected by the BP Gulf Coast spill. 

He spearheaded a campaign asking kindergarten through grade 4 to donate one bottle of Dawn dish detergent to send to you at the International Bird Rescue Research Center to assist you in the massive effort of cleaning the animals…”

The 500 pounds of dishwashing liquid were shipped free from a local UPS store.

By the way, IBRRC has been using DAWN for more than 30 years to help remove oil from birds feathers. Dawn’s parent company, Procter & Gamble has been a long-time supporter of wildlife rescue efforts including year-round donations of DAWN to the bird rescue group’s two California bird centers. See: Dawn Saves Wildlife

Thanks to Evan and his fellow students at St. Genevieve School!

Read more:
Fifth-grader organizes campaign for the Gulf crisis

November 10, 2010

Search still on for beer can collared birds

The search is still on for the cruel prankster who has been putting beer cans around birds necks in the San Francisco Bay Area. So far at least 5 birds have been spotted with these aluminum collars. Sightings have come in from Lake Merced and Pier 39 and as far south as Half Moon Bay.

Rescuers are asking people to call the WildRescue hotline to report sightings: (831) 429-2323 or emailing rescue@wildrescue.org

Two organizations are collaborating on this rescue effort: International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) and WildRescue (Monterey. They are seeking the public’s help is locating the birds. They ask that instead off attempting to capture the birds, which can make them more wary and harder to catch, sightings should be reported immediately.

November 4, 2010

Who’s collaring Bay Area gulls with beer cans?

It has been confirmed by wildlife experts that someone is maliciously catching gulls (seagulls) and collaring them with cut beer cans. Thanks to reports by members of the public and birders, sightings have come in from San Francisco (Pier 39 and another juvenile gull at Lake Merced), Half Moon Bay and various locations around the Bay Area.

The two organizations collaborating on this effort, International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) and WildRescue (Monterey), are seeking the public’s help is locating the birds. They ask that instead off attempting to capture the birds, which can make them more wary and harder to catch, sightings should be reported immediately by calling (831) 429-2323 or emailing rescue@wildrescue.org.

“This is a federal crime punishable by severe fines, imprisonment, or both,” says Rebecca Dmytryk, with WildRescue, one of the groups spearheading this effort. The US Fish & Wildlife Services, who administrate the Migratory Bird Treaty Act under which this act is punishable, has been alerted to these incidents.

Through an anonymous donor, a $1,000.00 reward being is being offered for the arrest and prosecution of the person or persons committing these crimes. Anyone interested in adding to the reward should contact either organization.

Both organizations are recruiting members for their search and rescue efforts. Anyone interested in receiving training and volunteering as a rescuer should contact them through their websites: www.ibrrc.org or www.wildrescue.org

Media report

Bay Area birds found with jagged beer cans around their necks: MercuryNews.com

(Top photo courtesy of Don Battle)