Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for October 2015

October 25, 2015

The Release Files: Common Murres

Ten more healthy Common Murres returned home this week. The seabirds were among hundreds of beached murres that have been rescued along the Northern California coast. They were released on October 23rd at Fort Baker in Sausalito, CA.

Photo Common Murres

Common Murres await release back to the wild. Photo by Elizabeth Russell

The hungry, exhausted murres – a diving seabird that looks a lot like a penguin – seem to be affected by the changing marine environment. Ocean water temperatures have risen along California and scientists believe that warmer currents associated with El Niño weather pattern may be to blame. As fish head for cooler water, the foraging birds may find a meal harder to reach.

Since July 1st a total of 468 murres have been delivered to our clinic. In October alone we’ve received 100+ new patients. Usually this time of the year we receive about 10 of this species each month. See earlier post

Bird Rescue has received seabirds from Monterey to Mendocino. The center which is located in Fairfield has deep above ground pelagic pools to allow the murres to swim, eat and gain their strength back.

Similar strandings with murres and other pelagic seabirds have been reported from Oregon to Alaska.

You can support the care of these seabirds by adopting: http://bird-rescue.org/adopt-murre

Media reports

10 birds return to San Francisco Bay after month-long rehab: ABC7-TV

Bird Rescue Center Releases Rehabilitated Seabirds: Getty Images

Biologists work to save massive number of sick sea birds: KTVU 2-TV

Along the Pacific Coast, a seabird is starving — and we don’t know why: PRI Radio

 

October 17, 2015

Murre-cy! That’s A Lot Of Murres!

Nearly 400 hungry, sick Common Murres have come into care since July. Photo by Russ Curtis

More than 425 hungry, sick Common Murres have come into care since July. Photo by Russ Curtis

How many hungry, sick Common Murres have poured into our Northern California center over the last 3+ months? A lot!

Since July 1st a total of 460 Murres have been delivered to our clinic. In October alone we’ve received 100+ new patients (updated Oct 25th). Usually this time of the year we receive about 10 of this species each month.

From Monterey to Mendocino the struggling seabirds have been transferred to Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay Center. The center has deep above ground pools (pelagic pools) to help the affected Murres swim, eat and gain their strength back.

The starving seabirds has raised red flags among ocean scientists. They believe that as waters warm along the California coast, some diving birds are starving as fish go deeper to reach cooler waters, putting themselves out of the birds’ reach. This past summer Northern California coastal waters have warmed 5 to 10 degrees above historical averages.

Similar strandings with Murres and other pelagic seabirds have been reported from Oregon north to Alaska.

You can support the care of these seabirds by adopting: http://bird-rescue.org/adopt-murre

See: Exhausted, Starving Seabirds Continue To Swamp San Francisco Bay Center

 

October 12, 2015

The Release Files: Masked Booby

Photo Masked Booby and Red-Footed Booby at International Bird Rescue

Masked Booby, left, stretches its wings before being released – a Red-footed Booby waits its turn. Photos by Bill Steinkamp

The wayward Masked Booby is back in the wild. It was released at White Point in San Pedro after about a week in care. The Booby was originally found in Newport, Oregon and then flown from Portland to Los Angeles after wildlife officials contacted our Southern California center.

Masked Boobies are tropical birds and its very unusual to see this species in Southern California let alone along the Oregon coast. Read earlier post: We Love Boobies!

Photos by Bill Steinkamp

Photo Masked Booby exam at International Bird Rescue

Photo Masked Booby release

Photo of Masked Booby release at White Point, San Pedro by International Bird Rescue

October 3, 2015

We Love Boobies!

Photos of Masked Booby and Red-Footed Booby at Bird Rescue's Los Angeles Center.

Masked Booby (left) and Red-Footed Booby at Los Angeles Center. Photos by Bill Steinkamp

What’s better than one booby?! How about two?

We have a pair of very rare boobies in care at our Los Angeles Center: a Red-footed Booby and a Masked Booby. Both of these seabird species are uncommon West Coast visitors. Red-footed Boobies can usually be found in tropical and sub-tropical waters across the globe. Masked Boobies have an enormous range that stretches from the Caribbean Islands to Australia. These unusual birds make a striking pair and we hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do.

Redondo Beach Animal Control found the Red-footed Booby last month at the Redondo Beach fishing pier. The officer observed that the bird was not moving. After transport to Bird Rescue, the booby was examined and found to be emaciated and molting with poor feather quality. It had some mild eye trauma that has since healed. (See: Patient of the Week, Sept.25, 2015)

Masked Booby was flown from Portland after being found along the coast at Newport, Oregon.

This Masked Booby was flown via Alaska Airlines from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles after being found on the Oregon coast.

The Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) is the smallest of the booby family, standing just over two feet tall and with a wingspan over three feet.

On September 11th, a passerby captured the Masked Booby in Newport, Oregon. The bird was brought to the local Newport Field office of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Later, it was transferred to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where Curator of Birds CJ McCarty and her team cared for it. The bird came in quite thin – weighing only 1,405g.

The USFWS contacted International Bird Rescue and requested the Masked Booby be moved to Bird Rescue in California for continued rehabilitation and release closer to its natural range. Alaska Airlines agreed to transport the booby free of charge from Portland, OR, to Los Angeles, CA this week. All of us at Bird Rescue would like to say a big thank you to USFWS, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Alaska Airlines for working together to get this bird the help it needed!

On Oct 1, the bird received a full examination by our veterinarian, Rebecca Duerr DVM, and was found to be bright and alert and in general good health, having gained a substantial amount of weight while at the aquarium.

The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is the largest of the booby family, standing about three feet tall and with a wingspan over five feet. According USFWS, this bird is only the second Masked Booby that has been reported north of Mendocino County, California.

Both birds are resting comfortably in the outdoor aviary at our center located in San Pedro, and are working on gaining more weight before release. When introduced to the other booby in the aviary, the Masked Booby sidled over to the Red-footed Booby along the edge of the pool and gave a big squawk of greeting to the other bird. They have been a fine pair of aviary booby buddies ever since.

You can help cover the cost of care of these birds by donating now: http://bird-rescue.org/donate

Photo of Masked and Red-footed Boobies at Bird Rescue Los Angeles

Both boobies are resting comfortably in the outdoor aviary at our center located in San Pedro, and are working on gaining more weight before release.