Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for December 2010

December 29, 2010

A Recipe For Bird Rescue

Dear Friends,

What does it take to rescue a sick or injured bird?

Every year, IBRRC cares for more than 5,000 stricken aquatic birds at our two California rescue centers.

We are currently caring for dozens of birds oiled by natural seep of oil along our coast, birds impacted by the massive storms that are moving through California and birds with gun shot injuries and fishing line entanglements. We also receive many species of waterfowl like a tundra swan (right photo) that was found cold and weak in a farmer’s field.

These birds’ lives depend on the kindness of strangers — people like you.

Will you make a contribution to help them? Through December 31, friends of IBRRC will match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000. That means your support will go twice as far to help birds.

Our centers are the last line of defense for sick and injured birds. If we didn’t exist, there would be nowhere else for them to go.

As a result, at any given time we often have hundreds of birds in our care. And we depend heavily on our wonderful volunteers to help a small paid staff keep our clinics open 365 days a year.

IBRRC’s recipe for rescue:
1. Capture or admit the stricken bird
2. Perform triage
3. Provide treatment and medication
4. Feed and house in a safe environment
5. Observe, monitor and evaluate for release
6. Release back into the wild

Ingredients: Medicine, Water, sheets, towels, Medical supplies, pools, food and trained staff and volunteers

Costs to feed and care for a recovering bird vary by species, but ranges from $10 to $50 a bird per day.

Please help us continue to rescue these birds. Your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, through December 31, doubling your impact on helping birds.

Thank you in advance. Your support means so much to us.


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


P.S. If you prefer to mail a check, please send it to:

c/o 2010 Gift
4369 Cordelia Road
Fairfield, CA 94534
Phone: (707) 207-0380 Ext. 109

December 27, 2010

Your gift will go twice as far to help birds

During these last days of 2010 your gift to IBRRC will go twice as far to help birds. Between now and December 31, 2010 a generous donor has agreed to match all gifts, dollar for dollar, up $15,000.

Oiled, injured and sick aquatic birds arrive at one of our two California rescue centers nearly every day. This year, we have treated more than 5,500 birds – and that doesn’t count our Gulf Coast oil spill response. Costs for treatment, care, feeding and rehabilitation of most of those birds come from private donations.

Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end contribution to the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Prefer to mail a check? Please send it here:


4369 Cordelia Road

Fairfield, CA 94534

Phone: (707) 207-0380 Ext. 109

And thanks for your support!

December 25, 2010

Warm holiday greetings from IBRRC

December 22, 2010

Volunteer: Why I help birds for free at IBRRC

Dear IBRRC Friend,

My name is Karen Sheldon, and I’m a volunteer at IBRRC’s Northern California bird rescue center. From one bird lover to another, I’d like to tell you a little about my experience caring for injured aquatic birds over the past four years.

If you’ve never visited IBRRC’s rescue centers, they’re like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They are not zoos by any means; they’re hospitals. The birds are there for a variety of reasons. But regardless of whether they are sick, injured or oiled, our ultimate goal is the same: to return these birds to the wild.

That’s why I hope you’ll consider making a year-end gift to IBRRC. No matter how large or small, I can guarantee you that your support makes a difference to these birds.

When a bird is ready to return to the wild, one of the volunteers usually drives it out to a release point. We call it “getting a ride out to the beach.” Watching these little guys who have been in our care for days when we open their cages – there’s nothing quite like that moment. Some of them are very cautious – they don’t want to get out of the enclosed space, and they very carefully get into the water. Others immediately rush up to join a group and fly away.

It’s these experiences that make all the long hours cleaning cages and dodging bird bites worth it.

And I can tell you firsthand that IBRRC wouldn’t exist and these releases would not be possible without the donor support. The Northern California center operates on only five paid staff and about 60 volunteers. And in 2010, we admitted more than 2,650 birds for care and treatment. I can’t stress enough how critical donor contributions are to keeping the centers running – and making these “rides out to the beach” possible.

I hope you will help us make more releases possible with your support.

Thank you so much for all you do to help us rescue birds.


Karen Sheldon
Volunteer, IBRRC Northern California Bird Rescue Center

December 11, 2010

Success! Another beer can collared gull rescued

A rescue team from WildRescue and IBRRC captured another beer can collared gull today in San Francisco. The gull had the can removed from its neck and was released.

This is the third bird captured with a cut beer can secured to its neck. This gull was captured at San Francisco State University. The can was removed and the bird had only minor feather damage to its neck. The gull was released quickly back to the wild.

There have been multiple sightings of birds flying around with these neck collars. A $6,500 reward for information leading to an arrest has been in place since November. One bird was rescued last month at Lake Merced and another in Half Moon Bay.

“This is a federal crime punishable by severe fines, imprisonment, or both,” says Rebecca Dmytryk, with WildRescue, the group 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.

WildRescue asks that instead of 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.

Media report:

Gull freed of beer-can collar – more need help: San Francisco Chronicle