Volunteers join Bird Rescue’s Executive Director JD Bergeron, second from right, during a bird watching trip to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
Our wonderful International Bird Rescue volunteers help every day in so many ways. To honor their commitment, IBR Executive Director, JD Bergeron helped organize a bird walk last week to to Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve. In the busy world of rescuing birds, a trip for relaxation and connecting with nature is so very important.
During the walk, volunteers from our Los Angeles Center scanned the reserve waterways located in Huntington Beach, CA. The payoff was great: The group spotted 41 different bird species, including a very handsome Reddish Egret and a striking Bufflehead.
Thanks to the excellent wildlife photographer Katrina Plummer for capturing this outing.
Female Surf Scoter is recuperating in the pelagic pool at our San Francisco Bay Center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds
Every week we get injured or sick birds delivered to us by the concerned public. This week we want to highlight one such rescue – someone who went above and beyond to deliver a sick Scoter to our San Francisco Bay Center.
A little attitude during first day of care is a good sign that this scoter is on road to recovery. Photo by Jennifer Linander
Emily Foden drove more than four hours this week from the town of Westport located on the storm battered coast of Mendocino County. Her cargo? A female Surf Scoter.
Emily’s friend found the bird January 20th on Rockport Beach in need of care. Knowing that Emily worked with birds (owls) she asked for help. Emily noticed the Scoter was very cold, so she warmed her up and offered her some fluids. Turning to the internet Emily then did some research to find the best place for care. The good folks at Sonoma Wildlife in Petaluma referred her to us. It took her over 4 hours to bring the Scoter to Fairfield.
When the Scoter arrived senior rehab tech, Jennifer Linander, opened the box she was huffing, but only little thin and dehydrated. As Jennifer noted the bird was BAR for “Bright, Alert and Responsive.”
Emily said she just “wanted her to have the best chance” for survival. For going the extra mile we want to say thanks to Emily and the hundreds of other folks that go long distances in effort to help save our treasured wildlife.
Earlier this month, a Brown Pelican with the blue band “N39” came back into care, after two previous stays with us.
This individual, who was last in care in last July for an abdominal puncture and a toe injury, was released last summer after those wounds healed. He first arrived in care nearly seven years ago at our San Francisco wildlife center after being stranded on January 29, 2010 in Monterey, California. The bird was emaciated, anemic, and had contaminated feathers. He was treated and released with the blue band “A91” in mid-February of that same year. His blue band was damaged and therefore was replaced during his second stay, and he became “N39”.
He has been spotted many times over the years through our blue-banded pelican reporting tool:
• Santa Barbara, 4/1/2010
• San Pedro, 2/9/2012
• Westport, WA 7/27, 7/31, and 8/13/2013
• Marina del Rey, 4/5/2014
• Ballona Creek 5/5/2014
• Moss Landing, 1/24/2015
After three months of care, X34 was released back to the wild. Photo by Jennifer Linander – International Bird Rescue
Thanks to two of our volunteers, a fishing line entangled Brown Pelican is alive, well, and back in the wild.
Last September, two of our long-time transport volunteers, Joan Teitler and Larry Bidinian, who live down in Santa Cruz, were visiting Scott Creek Beach when they saw an animal in need. Of course, once an animal rescuer, it’s hard not to find animals in need of rescuing!
Joan and Larry sighted an entangled Brown Pelican, and with much patience, were able to catch the bird. After spending a day at Native Animal Rescue (NAR) in Santa Cruz, the bird was brought to our San Francisco Bay Area Wildlife Rehabilitation Center for care. He had wounds on both of his wings and on his right leg from being entangled in the fishing line.
The wing wounds healed quickly, but the wound on his right leg became severely infected, as such injuries often do. He had a large abscess running from mid-leg down to and around the bottom of his foot and down his outermost toe. Our vet had to surgically open it up and flush it out to manage the infection. She even put in a drain (drains are usually not needed when treating birds). It took three surgeries and more than a month of wound care before the injuries and infection were resolved.
Our vet had to amputate part of the Pelican’s toe that had been too damaged by an abscess. Photo by Rebecca Duerr – International Bird Rescue
After an entire month of being “dry-docked” for wound management and wraps, he was able to start living out in our Pelican Aviary. He needed to have a final surgery to amputate part of the toe that had been too damaged by the abscess, but it healed great. We have had many re-sightings of pelicans with similar toe amputations in the past, so we were confident this would not affect his successful to return to the wild.
We are very happy to report that this bird was finally released at Fort Baker December 11, 2016 – after more than 3 months in care! He is sporting blue band X34.
He was released with his aviary buddy X33 – a female pelican who was rescued thin and freezing cold on September 12, at Stinson Beach. X33 was brought to WildCare in San Rafael where they stabilized her and transferred her to us a few days later. She was living in our pelican aviary for a while, and had put on a good amount of weight, but wasn’t flying very well initially. However, once X34 started living in the aviary alongside her, he would fly around and she started flying after him! They would always hang out together and whenever he flew somewhere, she would follow. Fortunately, they were both ready to release at the same time so they were released as a pair.
Don’t be surprised if these two are sighted together later—we have previously had aviary buddies who were released together sighted hanging out at the same location years later!
In addition to responding to oil spills around the world, International Bird Rescue staff work to care for birds impacted by lesser known threats like natural oil seeps under the ocean, algal blooms, marine debris, and extreme weather. We use this blog to share stories from the field and from the two California-based bird rescue centers we manage. We hope you enjoy this window into our world—we are truly passionate about caring for birds, and know that our community shares this passion. We could not do this important work without your ongoing support!