Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for December 2016

December 31, 2016

**LAST CHANCE** Your donation will be matched!

donate-midnightGreetings, Bird Rescue Family:

This beautiful Northern Fulmar carries a message of THANKS! We are within $5,000 of our year-end goal.

To that end, an anonymous donor has stepped up to match your gift today up to $2,000! Please give generously today and DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! Your gift is fully tax-deductible and will ensure proper care and shelter for injured and oiled birds to recover and be released back into the wild.

It’s not too late to help us reach our $75,000 year-end fundraising goal this year, which goes directly to helping more than 5,000 injured, sick, orphaned and oiled sea and water birds each year. We’re so close to reaching our goal, and we cannot do it without your support!

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December 31, 2016

Can You Fix This Printer?

Dear Bird Rescue Supporter,

Nearly 20 years ago I stumbled into this organization as a volunteer that only had one request from me: Can you fix this printer? Back then the non-working printer was at Bird Rescue’s Berkeley ram-shackled headquarters in Aquatic Park. When I said Yes, it opened me up to the important and awe-inspiring work of wildlife rescue.

murre-release-2015Along the way I’ve learned how to clean bird pools, build net-bottom caging and to mostly tell the difference between the species of grebes. I got really hooked when I was asked to help in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2000 to assist in saving 20,000 oiled African Penguins. Yes, I have the scars to prove it and a list of life-long friends from the international community of wildlife lovers.

Last year in the San Francisco Bay Area, I learned that the public loves its wild birds as much as I do. When hundreds of scoters, grebes and other aquatic birds came to our Northern California fouled by a mystery goo, everyday people responded. They opened their generous hearts and checkbooks and made the difference for these suffering animals. They saw the birds as vital to our natural world as the air we breathe.

I now help manage the technology at Bird Rescue which includes making sure more than just the printers work. We have website and blog, live bird cams and thriving social media to educate the public. During big events, I help share the bird’s story by sharing it with the media.

Working at Bird Rescue is a family affair and my 13-year-old daughter has grown up around all this activity. Ask her to help me fix a problematic printer and you will get the teenage eye roll. Ask her if she wants to go on a bird release, and she’s the first one out the door. During more than one release she has opened the cage doors and I have seen the delight in her eyes as healthy birds return to the wild. (See video)

If you believe in the birds as much as I do, won’t you please contribute with a donation for our efforts here on the West Coast and around the world?

Thank you,

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December 30, 2016

Note from our Vet: The Broken, the Lacerated, and the Critically Injured

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Dear Friend,

Here at International Bird Rescue we specialize in caring for waterbirds that have been affected by people—whether contaminated by oil or Mystery Goo, baby birds that have fallen from nests onto hard concrete, or birds who become entangled in fishing line or have hooks embedded in their body.

bird-special-donate-buttonAs Bird Rescue’s veterinarian, I specialize in treating the worst off of our patients—the broken, the lacerated, and the critically injured. With the invaluable help of our staff and volunteers we are able to pull off some pretty amazing recoveries—like my favorite patient of the year, an American White Pelican who arrived with two broken legs! He recovered very well after having pins in both legs—he’s shown here being released back into a flock of his own species. Read more here.

Even our youngest and tiniest patients often need surgical help: this Green Heron chick had a pin placed in his wing to help his bones grow straight and strong after being broken in a fall.

My other favorite patients of the year were our adorable Double-crested Cormorant chicks. I was so proud of our team for raising these delicate chicks into fat, feisty youngsters without making them at all comfortable around people! Raising wild animal babies to not only grow up strong and healthy but to remain psychologically wild is always a challenge.

But the high quality medical care we are able to give our patients would not be possible without your help. Each year we need surgical supplies, orthopedic pinning equipment, and bandaging materials for treating hundreds of fishing gear injuries, plus medications and a whole lot of food to feed our patients.

I ask you to please consider making your largest contribution to Bird Rescue to help us pay for these critical supplies and more to give birds the care they so deperately need and deserve. Please help us by making your generous gift today!

Sincerely,

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December 23, 2016

Success Stories: Snowy Egret #A09

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Released in 2012, this Snowy Egret was spotted, photographed and reported this month by Leslie DeFacio.

One of the biggest rewards of working in wildlife rehabilitation is seeing treated birds released back to the wild. The one thing better is learning that these patients are now thriving back in nature.

This holiday season at International Bird Rescue one particular bird brings us further joy. A Snowy Egret released in 2012 was spotted in the San Francisco Bay Area this month by bird enthusiast Leslie DeFacio of Alameda, CA. She reported the bird as active, wading, walking, pivoting, flying, and overall very healthy looking.

This Egret was treated at our San Francisco wildlife rehabilitation center back in May of 2012, after being rescued after falling from the nest at West 9th Street rookery in Santa Rosa, CA. After providing supportive nutritional care and treatment for a minor elbow wound, it was released in June of 2012 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Shoreline Park in Oakland. Before release it was banded with red band number A09.

Flighted Snowy Egret A09 at Bay Farm Island. Photo by Leslie DeFacio

DeFacio submitted an online bird banded report that indicated the Egret was seen at Bay Farm Island, Shoreline Park in Alameda – not far from the release location in 2012. It was seen with 4 – 6 other Snowy Egrets foraging/feeding at sunset along the shoreline of the San Leandro Channel. This Egret has also been spotted and reported multiple times in 2015 – most recently in April 2016 by avid birder Cindy Margulis, Executive Director, of the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Tracking rescued and rehabilitated birds after release provides us with valuable information. Before release we secure ID markers-loose, non-obstructive, plastic and/or metal bands-around one or both legs. These enable us to gather data on returning patients, live sightings, breeding success, travel patterns, and life span.

At Bird Rescue we add our own special colored bands to certain bird species: Red bands for Snowy Egrets, white bands for Black-Crowned Night-Herons and the blue bands for Brown Pelicans. You can learn more about the banding program here: https://www.bird-rescue.org/our-work/research-and-education/banding-program.aspx

Since 2009 our citizen science project relies on the public to spot and report these banded aquatic birds that have been banded with special colored bands. If you see a banded bird, please report it here: https://www.bird-rescue.org/contact/found-a-bird/reporting-a-banded-bird.aspx

Thanks again to Leslie DeFacio and Cindy Margulis for submitting this important location data on A09. With the public’s help we expect to see more of these success stories in the future.

A09 Snowy egret was also photographed and reported in Alameda in April 2016. Photo by Cindy Margulis

Snowy Egret A09 was also photographed in Alameda, CA and reported in April 2016. Photo by Cindy Margulis

December 21, 2016

Your Donation Is DOUBLED!

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Greetings, Bird Rescue Family–

bird-special-donate-buttonAn anonymous donor has stepped up to match your gift today up to $10,000! Please give one generous 2016 gift today and DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! Your gift is fully tax-deductible and will ensure proper care and shelter for injured and oiled birds to recover and be released back into the wild.

It’s not too late to help us reach our $75,000 year-end fundraising goal this year, which goes directly to helping more than 5,000 injured, sick, orphaned and oiled sea and water birds each year. We’re half way to reaching our goal, and we cannot do it without your support!

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December 7, 2016

An Unhappy Anniversary

Selendang-Ayu-Spill-Response 2004 in Alaska's Unalaska Island area on Berring Sea

Selendang-Ayu-Spill-Response 2004 in Alaska’s Unalaska Island area on Berring Sea

On the eve of the anniversary of the Selendang Ayu Spill (December 8, 2004), we are saddened to hear of the misfortune to the M/V Exito and her crew last night. Our hopes and prayers are with the captain and crew and their families.

The Exito and her crew were contracted with B​ird ​Rescue​’s Response Team during the M/V Selendang Ayu Oil Spill, a particularly challenging spill in the Aleutian Islands. selendang-ayu-spill-response-sc-sean-photos-117Because of the remoteness of the spill site, Bird Rescue contracted with the M/V Exito and the M/V Norseman, two crabbing vessels (think ​“Deadliest Catch”) that were available for when the fisheries around ​the island of ​Unalaska were closed because of the spill.

The Exito and her crew hosted several of our Response Team in addition to a specially-retrofitted Wildlife Stabilization unit, and was used to provide an at-sea “base camp” for our Responders and the wildlife they captured in extremely remote areas. Their contribution was invaluable to the wildlife we were able to help, and we hope that the missing crew are safely returned home.

You can read more here in an article from Alaska Dispatch.