Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for May 2014

May 2, 2014

Patients of the week: Baby Hooded Mergansers

HOMEPhotos © Suzi Eszterhas

All of our patients this week are deserving of the patient of the week honor, but we thought we would feature some of our youthful additions.

See them now on our Bird Cam

We have two baby Hooded Mergansers that arrived this week at our San Francisco Bay center. Photographer Suzi Eszterhas took a few images of an exam and feeding. Similar to our Mallard ducklings, these birds currently are kept in a “duckling box” with plenty of access to food.

Other baby patients in care include herons that have been rescued from the 9th Street Rookery in Santa Rosa, CA after they fell from their nests. More on these great birds next week!


May 2, 2014

Array of pelicans in care this week

American White Pelican#14-0358 in care at SF Bay Center
Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

While Pink has garnered national attention in recent days due to a particularly heartbreaking cruelty incident, International Bird Rescue’s California centers have been caring for many other pelican patients as well. Here are a few snapshots:

American White Pelican (above): This beautiful bird arrived at our San Francisco Bay center on April 19 from Wildlife Rescue of Silicon Valley, having been found in Morgan Hill, CA unable to fly. Our team observed several wounds of unknown cause, including one on the animal’s upper left chest.

The bird is scheduled to undergo surgery soon for a suspected abscess. Currently this pelican is in our pelican aviary and is flighted. As you can see, the bird also is in breeding condition, with a large “horn” protruding from its upper mandible.

Photo by Julie Skoglund

Oiled Brown Pelican: Over the past month, our Los Angeles center has received two fully oiled pelicans found on Southern California beaches. The first one was 100% oiled by a contaminant with the consistency of motor oil (click here for the previous post on this pelican). The second oiled animal can be seen above in a photo prior to the wash.

Photo by Kelly Berry

Hatch-Year Brown Pelican: Both our centers typically receive large numbers of young pelicans, many found thin, dehydrated and wandering in heavily urban areas. The first such “hatch-year” bird arrived on Saturday to our Los Angeles center, having been found at the Long Beach Aquarium. The patient was both dehydrated and anemic upon arrival, though despite her condition, she began to self-feed right away.

All of these birds are available for a Pelican Partner adoption. Find out more about this unique program here.

May 2, 2014

The week in bird news, May 2

Tristan Albatross, photo by JJ Harrison via Wikimedia Commons

• A simple ruse is doing wonders to save albatrosses from becoming entangled in deep-sea trawling nets and drowning. The Cape Times in South Africa reports:

The solution was simple: a 30m rope is tied to the back of the trawler and about five to 10 “streamers” are attached to the rope at intervals of about 2m. A road cone at the sea end of the rope provides drag to ensure the line remains taut and keeps it aloft from the vessel. It runs parallel with the trawl cables. The streamers hang down and flutter in the breeze, distracting and confusing the seabirds enough to keep them away from the trawlers’ cables.

The bird-scaring lines, or tori lines, were invented by the Japanese captain of a long-liner fishing vessel.

Data on the successful method was announced Tuesday by Birdlife South Africa following a seven-year study. [Cape Times]

• A toxic algae bloom event in California’s Monterey Bay is killing seabirds due to domoic acid poisoning. [KSBW.com]

• Researchers find that several species of birds have actually thrived in the area surrounding the nuclear power station in Chernobyl, Ukraine, which exploded in 1986. [ScienceNews.org]

• Records from the The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey show that over the past five years wildlife contractors killed over 1,600 protected Semipalmated_Plover_(Charadrius_semipalmatus)_RWD1birds, including Semipalmated Plovers, without permission at John F. Kennedy International Airport. “It appears they will kill anything they see and they don’t think twice about it,” said Jennifer Barnes of Friends of Animals, which recently filed a federal lawsuit to suspend migratory bird killing at Kennedy. [Huffington Post Green; photo via Wikimedia Commons]

• Are wind farms “giant Cuisinarts for birds?” [News Channel 8 – Portland]

• Meanwhile, the Atlantic looks at ways to minimize bird kills at solar plants. [Atlantic]

• Reward in pelican mutilation case doubles to $20,000 amid outrage. Via LA Times: “Far too often, we see victims of senseless cruelty at the hands of people who are never punished,” Jay Holcomb, International Bird Rescue’s executive director, said in a statement. “We are thankful for the support of an anonymous donor to bring further attention to this horrifying case, and grateful for the Port of Long Beach’s support of Pink’s long-term care.” [Los Angeles Times]

Tweets of the week:






May 1, 2014

“Pink” on the slow road to recovery after second surgery completed; reward doubled to $20K

IBR-Pelican Surgery 04282014_4
Photo by Bill Steinkamp

As the story of “Pink” the mutilated California Brown Pelican continues to touch animal lovers across the country, an anonymous Southern California donor has doubled the reward money to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vicious attack on this protected bird.

The additional reward money comes as the Port of Long Beach announced Thursday that it will give $5,000 towards the surgical and rehabilitative care of Pink, an adult bird captured by Long Beach Animal Care Services on April 16 with the pouch severed from the animal’s bill. The extent and nature of the wound is consistent with a human-caused injury with an unidentified sharp object.

“The Port of Long Beach has made great strides in recent years in improving the harbor environment both for people and wildlife, polb_h_4cand we’re happy to be able to support the rehabilitation of Pink the Pelican,” said Al Moro, Acting Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “We’re looking forward to seeing Pink back in the skies over the harbor very soon.”

Over the past five days, Pink has undergone two surgeries — one on Sunday, the other on Tuesday — by International Bird Rescue staff veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr. The pelican was under anesthesia for a total of six hours as Dr. Duerr completed hundreds of stitches to repair the injury.

“Enough is enough,” said Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of International Bird Rescue. “Far too often, we see victims of senseless cruelty at the hands of people who are never punished. We are thankful for the support of an anonymous donor to bring further attention to this horrifying case, and grateful for the Port of Long Beach’s support of Pink’s long-term care.”

Upon capture over two weeks ago at the 5400 block of Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, Pink was extremely anemic, likely from blood loss. By the first surgery, the bird was back up to near a normal red blood cell count, important for any animal undergoing lengthy surgeries. The pelican is currently being cared for in an indoor enclosure and is under the expert care of International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center team.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is seeking information on this federal crime, which is punishable by a fine of up to $15,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months. Anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the mutilation of this bird should contact USFWS at 310-328-1516. Tips may be given anonymously.Slashed-pelican-fund

The $20,000 reward is also supported by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Lourdes Rivas & Patti Ballaz of Los Angeles, as well as several concerned citizens in the Los Angeles area who wish to remain anonymous

International Bird Rescue depends on the support of the public to care for animals injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear wounds and other human-caused injuries. To make a donation, please click on the image to the right.

Update: Dr. Rebecca Duerr took this photo of Pink following the second operation, which lasted about three hours.