Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for November 2016

November 24, 2016

Wishing You A Very Happy Thanksgiving!


From this Leach’s Storm-Petrel and all of the staff and volunteers of Bird Rescue, we wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!

We are most thankful for your continuous support of our mission to mitigate human impact on aquatic birds for the last 45 years. This work would be impossible without you. Our hands, your help, makes all the difference in caring for birds like this tiny storm-petrel.

Although Leach’s Storm-Petrels usually fly at night, if you could see them, you’d recognize them by their distinctive zigzagging flight. They are colonial nesters that build their homes of dry grasses and stems and can be found burrowed in a field or among rocks. (Author, Stokes) Learn more about the Leach’s Storm-Petrel from our friends at Audubon by clicking here.

Want to help give a bird a second chance? Then mark your calendar for #GivingTuesday next week and remind your friends about us by forwarding this email! Thanks for your continued support!

Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

 

November 11, 2016

Shot In Face, American White Pelican Is Recovering

shot-awpe

After second surgery White Pelican is recovering from gunshot wound. Photo: Rebecca Duerr–International Bird Rescue

At International Bird Rescue we do not normally receive very many American White Pelicans, but in the past few months we have admitted three of them: one with two broken legs (see story), one currently in care at our Los Angeles center for minor injuries, and one that somebody shot in the face! Now admittedly, fall is hunting season and these guys live in wetlands where duck hunting happens, so it is possible this wasn’t malicious and the bird was hit by a stray bullet. Regardless, it is, of course, illegal to shoot pelicans.

x-ray of white pelican sinuses

X-ray shows bullet lodged in Pelican’s sinus cavity.

This gorgeous bird came to us after being found in Palo Alto at Matadero Creek at the Baylands. His first caregivers at Peninsula Humane Society noted the bird had blood in his mouth and inflated skin around his eyes with a scab under his left eye. Our vet thought from the initial pictures we were sent that it could be a gunshot wound. She was correct: the scab was an entry wound and the bullet was lodged on the opposite side of the roof of his mouth after passing through his cheek. The bullet was still lodged in his sinuses at the roof of his mouth (see x-ray, right).

Removing the bullet was easy but the passage of the object through the bird’s face caused abnormal air movement in his head. The inflated ‘cheek’ skin persisted and got worse until he was so visually impaired he was unable to look downward very well. White Pelicans need to be able to search below themselves in the water for dinner, and this guy was having trouble even navigating walking downhill very well. So, during a second surgery, our vet opened up both problematic cheeks and sutured closed any holes she could find that might be causing the air leakage and took a tuck in his facial skin lest he be left with, as the staff put it, “bags under his eyes”.

So far so good. His abnormal facial inflation has not returned and his wounds are healing. We have hopes he’ll be ready to release before too long!

awpe-recovering

American White Pelican with abnormally inflated facial skin under his eyes after a gunshot injury to the face, shown prior to his second surgery. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue

Photo of American White Pelican resting while recovering from his second post-gunshot surgery

Recent photo of American White Pelican resting while recovering from his second post-gunshot surgery, kind of a “face lift”. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds-International Bird Rescue