Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

June 10, 2014

Mourning the loss of Jay Holcomb, our hero

Jay-Holcomb-International-Bird-RescueIt is with great sorrow that we share with you the news that International Bird Rescue Executive Director Jay Holcomb has passed away. Jay was surrounded by family and friends upon his passing in Modesto, Calif. on June 10, 2014.

For decades, Jay was a force of nature in his mission to save wild birds all over the world, giving a voice to the animals who need it most and teaching us to follow in his footsteps. We offer our deepest sympathies to his family at this time.

Because of Jay’s spirit and dedication, International Bird Rescue during his tenure grew into a global leader in wildlife rehabilitation — training animal professionals all over the world in emergency response and inspiring new generations of environmental advocates.

Barbara Callahan, our longtime Director of Response Services and a global expert on aquatic wildlife, will serve as Interim Executive Director during this difficult time. Thank you, Barbara, for your leadership and devotion to a cause that Jay cared so much about.

A memorial service is planned, and details will be announced soon.

Friend, mentor, hero: Jay, you are forever in our hearts. Thank you for devoting your life to animals. We cannot think of a more noble pursuit. — IBR Board of Directors

Read Jay’s obituary here.

Per his wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a memorial fund established in Holcomb’s name benefiting wildlife rescue efforts at International Bird Rescue. We have set up a Jay Holcomb Memorial Fund page here.

We also wanted to share with you some wonderful words from Jay, written on the occasion of our 40th Montana 43 7.21.11 Hayden Nevill Jay rinsing c hawkanniversary in 2011:

I am a wildlife rehabilitator; that’s been my career and my life. All I have ever wanted to get across was the value, importance and beauty of animals, and to accept some accountability and responsibility for their welfare – especially when they are impacted by human activity.

This desire was born out of watching and befriending animals as a kid, and by listening to disturbing things that people thought of them.

Very early in my life, I became aware that I had a sense of purpose that I could not shake – nor did I want to – so I just lived as I was compelled to. At age 5 or so, I became aware of an intense desire to help animals but had no idea how to make it happen. I held that knowingness in my mind, knew it would happen, and basically allowed it to unfold in front of me. 


We would love to hear any remembrances you have of Jay. You can leave a note on the comments section of this ongoing memorial thread below. We’ll be putting together a book of these remembrances for Jay’s family and will have it on display for an upcoming memorial service.

95 Responses to “Mourning the loss of Jay Holcomb, our hero”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Jay, we miss you already. Thank you for your service and for devoting yourself to wildlife.

  2. Andrew Says:

    Jay, you will be missed. Thank you for being my friend and for teaching me so much.

  3. Rebecca Dmytryk Says:


  4. Deborah Heritage Says:

    Rest in peace my friend. Your legacy lives on. You’re professionalism and dedication to wildlife has made, and will continue to make, a huge impact on their welfare for years to come. You’ve always been an inspiration to me, and I’m blessed to have known you and proud to keep your legacy going as a volunteer with International Bird Rescue.

  5. Dani Says:

    Fly my friend fly. With love and renewed energy to help wildlife, your passing, though sad, is a reminder to do all i can to live and love fully. I will miss you. Come see me sometime. Dani

  6. Mara Says:

    The world has lost a true hero. We will miss you, Jay.

  7. Kim Vierra Says:

    We lost a great man today, and he will be missed bu all who knew him

  8. Diane and Doug Says:

    We will do our best, Jay, to follow your lead; your courage and commitment will sustain us.

  9. Karen & Dan Says:

    A tremendous loss for all of us and all of the birds. We’ll do our best to try to carry on and remember as Jay frequently said “it’s about the birds”.

  10. Deanna Barth Says:

    Proud to have known this wonderful man whose passion and enthusiasm for birds was infectious. Such a huge loss to the wildlife community. He is soaring free with the pelicans now….

  11. Crystal Norris Says:

    My friend your passions, joy for life and laughter will be missed but you will always hold a special place for all of who knew you. So fly free my friend… we’ll be looking for you in the sky

  12. Mary Ellen Rayner Says:

    What an inspiring and wonderful man. A great loss for those of us in the wildlife community for sure!
    Keep soaring Jay!!! We miss you now and always.

  13. Coleen Says:

    It has been an honor to know you, learn from you and love you my dear friend. Your wisdom and teachings live on in all of us. I’ll forever pay it forward. Always listening, Coleen

  14. Curt Clumpner Says:

    All we can hope for in life is that our actions have consequences and perhaps they inspire others to do good things. Both were true for Jay. May he rest in peace.

    Raise a glass

  15. Michele M Says:

    I am deeply saddened by the news of the passing of such a truly inspirational man.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jay during my internship with IBR and remember him always with a smile on his face. Such a down to earth and caring human being. I agree with what Mara said above, the world has lost a true hero.
    Rest in Peace

  16. Linda Jensen Says:

    Oh my – my ❤️ is so very sad tonight to see this. Jay was a one-of-a kind person full of love and caring and a willingness to help birds in need, no matter what it took. He had a sense of dedication and concern and determination that will be a legacy unmatched by anyone. Praying for his family and friends now.
    RIP dear Jay, I am glad I had the pleasure to meet you and work with you at the bird center.
    The world was a better place with you in it! You touched the lives of thousands of people and too many birds in need to ever count.
    Bless your soul Jay.

  17. Linda Morgan Says:

    Jay is a hero to me and I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him better. The birds have lost an eloquent spokesperson. Jay will be missed by everyone who knew him.

  18. Kai Says:

    Thank you for your passion. Thank you for sharing it with us, so we in turn can share again. Shalom Aleichem

  19. Ana Paula Cruz Says:

    Dear Jay,
    Fly away to Heaven along with all the little ones (and the not so little) you loved so much and taught we all to love and care.
    It was a honour to have met you and, although so briefly, have worked with you.

  20. Nick Jenkins Says:

    One of those very rare real wildlife people. Jay you made a difference.

  21. Rene Simon Says:

    The world lost a hero this day. Thank you Jay for everything you did, and for what you have set in motion in this world. Rest in Peace, you will be greatly missed.

  22. Sarah Scarth Says:

    Gone but never, ever forgotten and forever in our hearts. Thank you Jay for all you did, all you gave and all you shared. Honored to call you a friend and to have had the privilege of working with you. Deepest condolences to his Mum and sisters, friends, IBRRC and all those who mourn the loss of one of mankind’s finest! RIP dear Jay. Love Sarah xxx

  23. Lynn Miller Says:

    Jay inspired and supported me on this trip called life in wildlife rehabilitation. We in the rehab community have lost one of our heroes. Thank you Jay, your legacy is truly inspirational.

  24. Becky Brimley Says:

    What a great loss. I’m so sorry.

  25. Flo Tseng Says:

    Jay – I’ll always remember my first spill with you and the countless other hours that we worked and played together. We got lost in Milpitas together and you named me Flo-be-won. I am so very sad today but my life is better for having known you for many years. You will always have a place in my heart.

  26. Cynthia Reyes Says:

    My first experience with wildlife rehabilitation was an oil spill and, practically, the first person I encountered when I showed up to volunteer was Jay. His passion, caring and commitment to wildlife was immediately evident and infectious to all of us who worked with him. The experiences I had during that event changed the course of my life. My world was never the same and he will forever be a part of that. We have lost a true warrior for wildlife. Rest in Peace Jay.

  27. Ellen Says:

    Oh no! A deeper loss the animal kingdom will not experience. Jay was a remarkable, unselfish being who spent every waking minute helping other animals. The loss is tremendous. Rest in peace, dear man.

  28. Marge Gibson Says:

    R.I.P. Jay. Your loss will be felt worldwide by both the individuals you touched and the wildlife you cared so deeply for. Your enthusiasm was nothing short of amazing and inspiring.

  29. Daphne Wrobel Says:

    Those we hold closest to our hearts never truly leave us. They live on in the kindness they have shared and the love they brought into our lives. Rest in Peace Jay…

  30. Cassandra Koenen Says:

    My thoughts are with Jay’s friends, family and colleagues. Jay truly is a hero for the animals and his dedication an inspiration. Rest in peace.

  31. Vivek Menon Says:

    RIP Jay. I came into touch with him twice with IFAW and both times I went away with the feeling that his life was focused on just one thing. Bird rescue. Those that he helped in life will remember him. My deepest condolences

  32. Lloyd Brown Says:

    I am very proud to say that I worked with Jay on the Treasure oil spill in July and August of 2000, in Capetown, South Africa. The man was an inspiring professional. I last saw him at the IWRC symposium in Fort Lauderdale where he was leading another group of rehabbers through how to save oiled seabirds The birds of the planet and all of us who work to save them mourn his death.

  33. Dawn Says:

    While we open our hearts to mourn the passing of a hero. Let’s continue to open our wallets to ensure his legacy – I know I will.

  34. Dave W Says:

    Frances Moore Lappe once said “Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in”. Jay’s presence, passion and leadership truly changed the world, one sick, injured, orphaned and oiled bird at a time. He lives on through the people who loved him and learned from him.

  35. Mark Rauzon Says:

    Thank You, thanks to you, thanks for you.

  36. Karen Schwartz Decker Says:

    We lost a true hero and champion for wildlife, and we all need to follow his example. Thank you, and RIP, Jay.

  37. monte merrick Says:

    Thank you Jay for providing the space for so many, like me, to discover their own destiny working on behalf of wild animals. I am fortunate to have spent those years working with you. Take care and travel well.

  38. Kristel Says:

    Jay, you deserve all the respect we can give. God allowed our paths to cross and I will always remember the time!

  39. Debbie Pappas Says:

    The world itself has felt this tremendous loss. The animals and all creatures Jay helped in his lifetime, either directly or through education has been very fortunate for his time on this planet and his work and knowledge will continue to benefit many, many more.

  40. Hannah Nevins Says:

    Jay – you taught us all so much. Meeting you and Marc and Barb -like a rock star of the animal rescue the at the unbelievable South African Spill. You were a true leader. Your tireless work inspired us all to work as hard and laugh often.

    Pelicans fly with your spirit my friend…
    “Exultation is the going, of an inland soul to sea,—
    Past the houses, past the headlands,- Into deep eternity” -Dickinson

    Much Love and sympathy to the IBR crew.

  41. Bernardo Alps Says:

    There are a few people that make you sleep a little bit better at night, safe in the knowledge that the world is a better place because they are on watch. We lost one of those giants yesterday, but I know that I will carry Jay’s enthusiasm and “can do” attitude in my heart forever.

  42. Estelle van der Merwe Says:

    Jay, rest in peace. Free of pain in the beauty of creation and surrounded by the loved ones who have gone before you and the animals you loved and rescued in your lifetime. You have done so much and you have left the world a much better place for having been you. We will never forget you.

  43. Sean Says:

    Jay gave me an opportunity that changed my life and opened a door for me that I didn’t know existed. I didn’t have the chance to spend much time with him, but the time I did was truly inspirational. I didn’t know what passion was until I met Jay. Very sad to hear this news. My heart goes out to his friends and family.

  44. Francesca Lord Says:

    I was so sorry to hear about Jay. My deepest sympathies to his family, friends and to everyone at IBRRC. He was a great man and my one comfort is knowing that he left a great team in place!

  45. Jody Turner Says:

    Jay so impressed me during the SF spill… his energy was wonderful. I wanted to serve his vision, his warmth and his skill made it so. I know the birds flew him to a beautiful place… he is loved by so many in this world winged and alike. which makes me think, he has his wings at last.

  46. Johnny R. Pedersen Says:

    A uniqe person is gone. Even here in Norway he left lasting impressions on everyone who met him. Its his methods and techniques for rehabilitation of oiled birds that is the standing protocoll we follow on spills here – like the two latest spills, Full City spill (2009) and Godafoss spill (2011). Im glad i had the opportunity to meet such an inspiring person. Rest in peace Jay.

  47. Bob Bills Says:

    We have lost a true champion for wildlife. Jay was an inspiration for us all. RIP Jay.

  48. Troy Celis Says:

    Bless you Jay…I only knew you a short while when I was a young man….I knew you were special right away. You showed me how to tube feed doves and pigeons…and I am raizing three birds right now. You left a lasting impression….may your spirit fly high with all the amazing birds you helped over the years….take care my friend Troy

  49. tom rusert Says:

    Sad news indeed. Jay and his immense spirit will always be part of all of us. Thousands of birds over decades that have been released back to the wild after thoughtful care by Jay and his mentors…are tipping their wings tonight to Jay Holcomb. Without question, anyone who knows the California birding community and his 40 years of “giving” unselfishly… knows he is the Rich Stallcup of the bird rescue world. No one cared more about imperiled birds. On many occasion over the years… it was a joy to be with Jay…a brilliant and dear man.

  50. Adele Moore Says:

    Rest in peace Jay because you’ve earned it.

  51. Siri Lervik Says:

    Dear Jay, You will always be in our memory as a true role model. Thank you for all tireless and inspiring pioneer work. We promise to keep your spirit up and give a voice to the animals who need it most.

    Deep condolences, on behalf of NOAH- for animal rights, Norway

  52. Susan Kirks Says:

    Jay was grace, the gift of life to those who were fortunate to have a path that interfaced with his, an individual from whom I felt the deepest sincerity and clarity I have known. He will be missed in ways words could never express. His contribution to the natural world will sustain, on and on. To the IBR staff, volunteers and his family and closest friends, sincere sympathy and caring thoughts to you in this very sad time.

  53. Edith Augustyn Says:

    Jay you and your team were an inspiration to all at SANCCOB from the first oil Spill (the Apollo C) and numerous spills thereafter, the biggest being the Treasure Spill. You came, observed and then suggested (never enforcing your will on others) improvements which were gladly accepted and followed. I learnt how to wash oiled penguins from you and your team and how to persevere when all else looked hopeless. Rehabilitators all over the world have lost a very sincere and loyal friend. My sincere condolences go out to your family, colleagues and friends. Fly with the Angels Jay, free from suffering and pain. Thank you for your kindness and love to both humans and all kinds of animals and birds. Will always remember you with cherished memories and love.

  54. Cindy DiMaggio Says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of Jay ‘s passing. I met him during the BP oil spill when I was volunteering. Jay was friendly and very warm to all of us. His energy and passion for doing what he loved was remarkable . The rehab world will miss him so much. Thank you Jay for being one of the good guys

  55. Dana Michaels Says:

    This is indeed sad news. It’s probably safe to say Jay did more to help wildlife at oil spills than anyone else on the planet, starting with the disastrous 1971 Chevron tanker collision in San Francisco Bay. That’s when the rescue group that later became IBRRC got started.

    Doing media relations at many California oil spills, I could always count on Jay to provide the latest information on wildlife impacts, rescues, recoveries and releases. When he wasn’t busy saving oiled birds, he did great news interviews that educated the public. Such a kind, honorable, hard-working person deserved to live much longer.

  56. Vanessa Glidden Says:

    Too sad…I hope it can be a comfort to Jay’s family to know just how much people cared for and appreciated him. I’m grateful for all Jay did for wildlife, and like so many others – I’ll miss him.

  57. Anita Marlin Says:

    I never met you, Jay, but I’ve always admired you. What a great organization you have built. You were such a reassuring force during the Gulf Oil Spill — and for every incident around the world where pelagic birds were in distress. You will be missed by them and by me!

  58. Madeline Averett Says:

    I loved Jay as a person and as my boss. He taught me so much about myself and about life and about wildlife rehab. I look back with great fondness to my days with Bird Rescue. Jay always brought a smile to my face because of his bright light in the world. I am very sad.

  59. Perrie'Lee Prouty Says:

    My life was first touched by Jay when I got to work with him during a baby brown pelican oil spill in Louisiana.

    I remember his dedication, his knowledge of rehab and husbandry issues, his great sense of humor when you needed to be bucked up in the intense heat and long hours. I am already getting emails from others that knew him all of us agreeing what a tremendous loss to not only the oil response community but to the rehab community. May his loving soul rest in peace and be an inspiration to future generations of people wanting to make a difference for the wild creatures that share our planet. For me he is one of those inspirational people whose path I am honored to have crossed.

    My thoughts and prayers are extended to his family and many friends and colleagues.

  60. Scott Newman Says:

    On the first day we met in Seward AK, at the start of the Exxon Valdez response, you said, “we can’t pay you but you can move your tent from the cannery back-yard to the rehab center, shower where we wash the birds at the end of the day, and we will feed you well”. What you didn’t tell me is that working with you would change my life forever and that is exactly what happened. I know I am one of thousands who’s path in life you have not only influenced, but you have changed for the better.

    We will miss you but you leave behind a global legacy and a community who carry on with your spirit, enthusiasm, love for wildlife, and most of all, wonderful memories from the time we shared with you. My thoughts are with you, your family, friends and the IBR team.

  61. Angela Cancilla Herschel Says:

    I am lucky to have been able to know you and l will remember you …..always

  62. Diana Granados Says:

    Jay and I met in the 70′s and were active on the WRC board and the transition to IWRC. Although we followed our passion into different avenues for the welfare of our fellow animal travelers in life our common thread was to raise awareness of their value as sentient beings. We often connected at various conferences or other venues and Jay’s energy, clear concise vision, humor and just overall great friendship made our infrequent meetings seem timeless and he will be missed.

  63. Scuba Otter Says:

    My heart is heavy, and I add my grief to the chorus of others that also mourn his loss. Words are inadequate, but I can only say that my sorrow is deep and sincere, and I’m grateful to have known/worked with him. The world has lost a great man. My deepest sympathies to his extended family, and his enormous circle of friends whom he touched and inspired. We’ll miss him tremendously.

  64. Michael Fry Says:

    I met you while you were just a kid helping Alice Berkner in Berkeley. You worked for me briefly in Hawaii with shearwaters, and I worked for you during the Exxon Valdez. Quite a ling trip, and very fruitful. You are missed, and will be remembered. Your life was a success.

  65. Nicolette Says:

    How do you say goodbye to a part of your heart? I expect your Guardian Angel services to continue uninterrupted. I love you, then, now and always.

  66. Donna Callison Says:

    For the thousands of birds that you have helped and the thousands more that will benefit from your compassion, I thank you. You have contributed greatly and deeply to bringing respect and compassion to wildlife rehab. My life has been enriched from what your example has taught me. My 10+ years as a volunteer at IBRC has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Rest well.

  67. Aurelle Garnett Says:

    Profoundly saddened to learn of Jay’s illness and passing . . . May the bright light of his love forever continue to inspire bird rescue and care wherever it is needed in the world!

  68. Jared Says:

    Rip, will miss you Jay…. You were one awesome person…. It was a privilege meeting you….

  69. sharon kantanen Says:

    Our guiding light has been extinguished… thank you Jay for showing us the way…
    We will carry his legacy forward
    sharon kantanen

  70. Cathy Garner Says:

    I met Jay 40 years ago and remember how much he gave to everyone, including me. No matter how busy he was, no matter what was happening, he always made time for me. He walked me through many difficult wildlife cases and did it with love and, best of all, humor. I shall miss him terribly. Goodbye my dear old friend.

  71. Linda Says:

    With a sad heart wishing a exultant flight home to a man who truly earned his wings. Our meeting in the harbor at Seward and the ensuing months of Exxon Valdes cleanup opened up my life in totally unexpected ways. You did most assuredly “have a life”…….not least as the phenomenal “Fox Island fou-fou underwear fisherman”! Rest in peace and love Jay, I’m grateful to have shared that chapter with you..

  72. Chuck&Joan Says:

    Reading the memorials for Jay is prove of a life
    well lived& meaningful to all creatures great& small.
    We should all strive for such a legacy.
    Your work here is done,Jay.
    Now is our turn to carry on.

  73. Nieves Monge Says:

    I am sorry to hear about Jays passing and for the loss that his family and friends are feeling. I am grateful that I got my first working experience through IBRRC as that has allowed me to do what I love the most, care for wildlife.
    Here is quote from Paulo Coelho, Aleph
    “We never lose loved ones. They accompany us; they don’t disappear from our lives. We are merely in different rooms.”
    Paulo Coelho, Aleph

  74. Mary Kenney Says:

    I had the honor of meeting Jay during the Cosco Busan incident and in subsequent wildlife rescue training classes. Very heartbreaking to hear of his passing and I know he has inspired countless others to follow in his footsteps. Thank you Jay, thank you to all who care for our precious wildlife – his legacy lives on through you.

  75. Juliette Says:

    Very sad to hear. I became a support from a radio story where he was interviewed. He then called me personally when I donated. That kind of involvement and integrity has made me a lifetime supporter! I pray that with your passing, many will step up to carry on…thank you for making me aware and giving me a way to care about the wildlife I love…

  76. Jim Lilley Says:

    I only met Jay the once; at a conference in Estonia. Over the course of that week I could not but help be impressed with his passion and enthusiasm and what I have learned of his life’s work I have discovered since then. I have also been fortunate enough to see his ‘work’ in those that came to New Zealand to help us when the ‘Rena’ ran aground and his legacy is here as well reflected in the birds released on our beaches

  77. Nancy Teater Says:

    What impressed me about Jay and the other dedicated people who rescue animals is the day-to-day learning about what the birds and other animals need and the constant improvement in care that has resulted. I have seen a couple of videos of “the early days” and am astonished by what we did not know when rescue organizations started to get organized. Jay’s legacy is felt in many ways and many places. RIP, Jay

  78. Pam Tuomi Says:

    The world has lost a pioneer but his examples of caring and the lessons he taught will live on. I was proud to know, and occasionally work with, you. God speed.

  79. Elaine Livesey-Fassel Says:

    As a long time animal welfare/protection/rights advocate, I am so aware that we are losing so many of the courageous and compassionate people who were the founders of our animal concerns. It is with great sadness that I now learn of the passing of Mr. Holcomb. To respect his work and memory, we who are left must carry the torch these creative and heroic people carried so very well with great pride and pleasure in this most worthy task! Thank you Mr. Holcomb!

  80. Martha Says:

    A rare combination of successful hands-on rehabber and executive. The birds and we are lucky he shared his brief life with us. Fly free, Jay.

  81. Team Pelican Says:

    From Team Pelican:

    For decades you have watched over us and gave us back our wings when it was restrained.

    For those you were not able to save, you sent us off with dignity and sense of self worth.

    It is now our turn to watch over you. We have given you a set of wings to soar with us in the great sky above.


  82. Chris Soucy Says:

    To all of our colleagues at IBR. We send our deepest condolences. It was truly a terrible week for wildlife advocates. The day after Jay passed, another wildlife pioneer also left us. Len Soucy, founder of The Raptor Trust in NJ died on Wednesday from complications with heart disease and asthma. The Raptor Trust was founded in 1982 and has cared for over 90,000 wild birds since it opened it’s doors. Len was a leader, a researcher, an educator, and an advocate for wildlife and conservation in every way. A fine tribute to both Jay and Len can be found here, written by their common friend Ed Clark of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.


  83. David A. Gill Says:

    We had the extreme pleasure of visiting the Fairfield facility about 7 years ago, and were
    SO impressed with what we observed, the memory will never fade or die. Though we id not
    have the opportunity to meet Jay personally, I felt/feel his ‘spirit’ throughout, and know
    he will remain ‘close’ in numerous ways!! Blessings to all his family and close work
    colleagues! May we rendezvous in the higher plane when it becomes our ‘turn’!!

  84. Renata Engel Says:

    So sad. The birds, and the planet have lost a hero.

  85. Meryl Faulkner Says:

    I feel so sad. I met Jay many – 30 plus – years ago at an IWRC conference (when I was a naive seabird /shorebird caregiver) and and was immediately impressed by his friendliness and willingness to share his knowledge on seabirds and their care. Over the years I’ve intermittently spotted him at wildlife conferences where oiled wildlife care was usually covered and he always had a smile on his face and a friendly hello. He was always willing to share information and it was always good to talk to someone who like myself was an aficionado of seabirds – despite their ability to peck, bite and produce copious amounts of poop!

    It is such a loss to us all.. He’ll be missed.My condolences to his loved ones and friends.

  86. Pamela Ball Says:

    I feel honoured to have known, worked with and learned from Jay. He touched the hearts of so many people that he can rest assured that his legacy will be continued. A life, albeit too short, well lived. It’s time now to fly with the birds. RIP Jay.

  87. Marian Isaac Says:

    A heartbreaking loss. This dear, great man gave his heart to the survival of the avian world that we all love and treasure. During any spill emergency, we knew that Jay would be guiding IBR’s emergency response to save as many birds as possible. Amid great tragedies we could rest a little easier knowing that Jay was on the job. He made belonging to IBR an honor.

    During one spill, I was mopping the floor in the big warming room, not yet knowing how to do anything else. I looked up to see how much more I had to do. There was Jay mopping the opposite side.

    Pelicans flying in a chevron will always be a salute for dear Jay.

  88. Judy Kordich Says:

    I met Jay in 2003. He helped pick up dishes, feed birds, clean up stuff…and then I found out he ran the place! He was so positive in every encounter. It seemed like he knew us all and always had a ready smile and a helping hand. I will miss this marvelous man. Judy Kordich

  89. Ron Henry Says:

    So sad, we lost a true guardian angel of our planets fragile wildlife. Lets hope that his years of hard work and dedication inspire more people to value and respect our wildlife. May his spirit soar high with all the birds he released back into the wild.

  90. Agni Kaldma Says:

    Estonian Fund for Nature is mourning our good friend and teacher, Jay Holcomb.

    We reveal our gratitude for Jay Holcomb who helped us in the Estonian Mystery Spill back in 2006 and after that to build up the operational preparedness for oiled wildlife rehabilitation in Estonia. With his help and dedication an oiled wildlife centre was established in Estonia in 2006 and knowledge of oiled wildlife rehabilitation was brought to governmental authorities and volunteers. Jay took care of our oil spill victims, even spent nights next to them in an outdoor pool tent to keep an eye on them. Today Estonia is one of the countries that is best prepared for oiled wildlife incidents among the Baltic Sea countries and for that we are deeply indebted to Jay and his colleagues from IBR. We are and will always be most grateful for his work and help. We share our sympathy with Jay’s family and friends at this difficult moment of loss.

    Jüri-Ott Salm
    Agni Kaldma

    Estonian Fund for Nature


  91. James Poplin Says:

    I met Jay at the Fairfield Center. I was new and cleaning duckling pools in the heat. I notice a gentleman cleaning next to me. It was Jay, thinking he was a volunteer, cleaning like me. I was telling how good I felt. Helping. He smiled. Jay I will continue working beside you ! When I look across the Delta, it’s a better place, when I look at California, it’s a better place, when I look at the world, it’s a better place, because of you. Our local hero. James Poplin (2001)

  92. Victoria Carpenter Says:

    Jay, Thank you.
    I’ll always remember your warm support on a steamy Louisiana August day during the BP spill. I wish I’d had a chance to know you better.

  93. Terry Miller Says:

    Gentle winds to a gentle soul. Jay, you proved that man can soar high in life! You are the example to others what a difference one person can make. Your life was one well lived with deep and needed value. Ahh, but for us left here, we will miss your leadership, kindness and dedication. My heart is heavy and my eyes glisten with tears. The knowledge that you inspired and taught hundreds of others to recognize the plight of wildlife and how they could help softens my grief. We are eternally grateful.

  94. MS Says:

    Those who devote themselves 24/7 to caring for animals, to saving the lives of animals, to making this planet better for animals, immediately goes to the top of my list! Thank you for all you’ve done — thank you for your wonderful contributions — this is a big loss for humanity, for the animal kingdom, for our world!

  95. Tricia Says:

    Oh Jaybird – you will always be in my heart. Thousands of birds are flying and feeding in Monterey Bay – I watch them and think of you, and all you have done for our avian friends. Fly high.

Leave a Reply