Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for March 2019

March 31, 2019

Albatross Adventures: Special Evening Hosted in a Very Special Community!

JD Bergeron, Executive Director of International Bird Rescue, shares his experiences volunteering on Midway Atoll with audience in Berkeley. Photo by Russ Curtis-International Bird Rescue

Bird Rescue was thrilled to host a special public evening event on March 28, 2019, in Berkeley, CA –the birthplace of our first wildlife center back the 1970s. Our Executive Director, JD Bergeron, shared a lively and inspiring presentation “Albatross Adventures: Finding Wisdom on Midway Atoll” about his experience as one of 18 individuals conducting the 2019 Nesting Albatross Census on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which hosts the largest colony of Laysan Albatross on the planet.

Nesting Laysan Albatrosses on Midway Atoll. Photo by JD Bergeron-International Bird Rescue

This special evening was held at the David Brower Center and brought a unique opportunity for staff and volunteers to connect face-to-face with over 120 Bird Rescue friends and supporters. We visited with many familiar faces and heard memorable and heartwarming stories from former volunteers, oil-spill responders, neighbors and even friends of our founder Alice Berkner, who resided in Berkeley herself.

The beautiful Brower Center’s unique history as an advocate for the environmental movement made it a perfect location to share the story of this important wildlife refuge and essential nesting habitat.

JD Bergeron presented about Midway Atoll not only as a geopolitical and strategic hot spot, but also as a critically important habitat for several species of wildlife including the Laysan Albatross. Midway Atoll is home to the largest nesting colony on the planet and JD’s specific mission was to participate in the nesting count. He described the steps and tools necessary to achieve the massive undertaking and shared the final result of all their work – approximately 600,000 nests counted!

A very warm thank you to everyone who joined us for Albatross Adventures! We had a great time gathering with friends and supporters to celebrate our work and hearing your stories about why seabirds matter to you.

Also see: Midway Atoll: Seabird Sanctuary

March 25, 2019

New Upgrades, Predator Proofing Completed At Los Angeles Wildlife Center

Jo Joseph, Bird Rescue staff member, installs hardware cloth on a waterfowl enclosure at the L.A. wildlife center.

Major upgrades have been completed at our Los Angeles wildlife center thanks to the generous support of Marathon Petroleum Foundation!

Predator proofing had recently become a key issue at our L.A. wildlife center in San Pedro. As development has continued in the surrounding community, the presence of predatory species such as raccoons and rats in and around the center has increased significantly. In the spirit of being good stewards of our local ecosystem, our staff researched the best methods for preventing the mounting predator concerns. To protect both our patients and local wildlife, we opted to use exclusion methods that would prevent the need for trapping or extermination. Upgrades to the outdoor animal enclosures were designed to create a hard, protective barrier against predators on the outside while maintaining a soft, safe interior for our patients on the inside.

With the help of a generous grant from the Marathon Petroleum Foundation, these designs were finally able to come to fruition! Hardware cloth was applied to the exterior of our outdoor aviaries and enclosures to keep out any would-be intruders. In addition, aluminum flashing was attached to the top of the structures to prevent any animals from climbing on top of the aviaries. To keep our recovering patients protected from the heavy-duty surfaces of the aviaries, we applied new netting to provide a soft cushion for the birds inside.

The grant also included funding for the installation of a new washer and two dryers to help us keep up with constant flow of laundry through our facility. We are so grateful to the Marathon Petroleum Foundation for their support which has made these critical upgrades possible!

A Western Gull in the newly predator-proofed aviary.

Highlighted aviary improvements include inner netting and aluminum flashing on the outside caging to keep predators out of bird area.

 

March 25, 2019

Staff Spotlight: Sylvia Bauer

Sylvia Bauer

The Bird Rescue family welcomes our newest San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center clinic staff, Sylvia Bauer. For as long as she can remember, Sylvia has been keenly interested in animals and has taken measures to make the world a better place through studying and caring for them. Her passion became activated during her high school years in Elk Grove, CA, when she joined Future Farmers of America (FFA), specializing in hands-on work with poultry. She eventually earned an American Degree, the highest distinction for FFA members.

Sylvia then attended California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo where she graduated in 2015 with a major in Animal Science and a minor in Poultry Management. As with many college-bound students interested in animals, at first, she thought she was aiming for a vet degree. Through other opportunities at Cal Poly, she discovered that she could interface with wildlife (and not just domestic or farm species). As Sylvia explains now, “My journey led me other places and now I am completely content not being a vet!”.

After college Sylvia took on several internships, including the San Diego Zoo Safari Park where she recalls falling in love with three animals in particular: an old Meerkat going grey around the muzzle, and a tiny African deer called a Dik-dik who gave her a little snort when she saw her coming. The most exciting opportunity for Sylvia though was working with the zoo’s new baby rhino named Chutti, whom she fed oversized bottles of food that the baby guzzled at an astounding rate. She also interned for a time at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, building research enclosures. She even had the opportunity to give reindeer vaccinations and study herd health.

Sylvia had never even heard of International Bird Rescue until 2018 when her aunt, a long-time donor to Bird Rescue, offered to bring Sylvia along to one of our public events. She was impressed by what she saw, but it wasn’t until she browsed the internet one day looking for a new full-time position that Bird Rescue came up again, this time with a job opening. She interviewed, and the rest is history and Sylvia has now been on-board with us for two months!

So far, her favorite part about coming to work is “when you show up for work and learn that a bird patient is NOT there – and you know it got released back to its wild home!” She also found that the most surprising thing about working with seabirds is, “the size of the birds when you’re actually handling them as opposed to when you’re out birding. For example, a Bufflehead is more compact than you think it might be. It’s a humbling moment when you’re getting to know birds on an intimate level, and it’s awesome to experience wildlife up close.”

Sylvia looks forward to becoming more deeply connected to the community of like-minded people who care about helping the environment and who are as passionate as she is about helping wildlife. Welcome Sylvia, we are thrilled and honored to have you in our Bird Rescue family!

March 21, 2019

Conquer the Bridge with team Yes We Peli-CAN!

The Bird Rescue 2018 runners team Yes We Peli-CAN!

Early bird registration is now open for Conquer the Bridge 2019. Join Bird Rescue team Yes We Peli-CAN! as we run/walk over the iconic Vincent Thomas Bridge to raise awareness about aquatic birds in the Los Angeles Port area and fundraise to support our work.

The Vincent Thomas Bridge

Last Year, our inaugural team drew in more than 40 participants from Bird Rescue staff, volunteers, friends, family and supporters. Together we raised more than $12,000 leading up to race day, far surpassing our $10,000 goal. Participants had a wonderful time joining in with the local community to take on this 8.5 K course while sharing their love of birds and nature.

This year, we look forward to once again Conquering the Bridge as Team Yes We Peli-CAN! and we would love to have you join us! The details for the 11th Annual Conquer the Bridge Race are as follows:

Date: Sept, 2, 2019
Location: 5th and Harbor Blvd in San Pedro, CA 90731
Start Time: 7:00 AM
Distance: 5.3 Miles (8.5 kilometers)

Here’s how you can join the team: Register through Active.com

Create an account and fill out your information
Select team Yes We Peli-CAN! And enter the password: pelican

• Process payment for the registration fee. Your team discount will be applied at checkout.

**Note: After your registration is complete, there is an option to join the Active Advantage program. You can simply click “No Thanks” if you do not wish to join.

Donate a minimum $20 team fee to International Bird Rescue

(This fee covers basic costs related to participation on the team, including your race day shirt)

• Look for an email from RaceTeamLA@bird-rescue.org with the International Bird Rescue Team participant form

For more detailed information, you can download a copy of our team packet HERE. If you have any questions, please email the team captain at RaceTeamLA@bird-rescue.org.

March 15, 2019

Update Two Crises: 2nd Team Deployed to South Africa, Rising Number of California Oiled Birds

An orphaned Lesser Flamingo chick is fed during South Africa waterbird response.

As two avian crises, on two continents, continues to unfold, International Bird Rescue is sending a new team to South Africa to support a large scale waterbird rescue. And at home in California, additional staff has been added to respond to rising numbers of oiled birds.

Bird Rescue is asking the public to help support these responses: DONATE NOW

This week Bird Rescue will add another response team, including our veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Duerr, in South Africa as they care for an extraordinary number of orphaned Lesser Flamingo chicks. They will be assisting Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB)–one of our longtime partners– along with other wildlife organizations–is involved in this large-scale waterbird rescue. Read earlier blog post

Many of the Lesser Flamingos are beginning to show their signature pink color in their down feathers. Our team is already on the ground (watch this earlier video) and has helped hand feed the hungry birds. As of now the flamingos are learning to feed on there own in large outdoor pens.

Oiled Seabirds

In California, oiled bird intakes now stand at 183 since the beginning of 2019. At least 30 clean birds have been successfully released so far! Our team continues to work hard to stabilize these seabirds, oiled by naturally occurring petroleum, so they can move through the wash process.

You can see recently washed birds in outdoor pools on the live birdcam in Los Angeles! You’ll notice they spend a significant amount of time preening, which helps them regain their waterproofing.

Your support during this time of need is greatly appreciated! Join us to help birds in crisis in California and South Africa today!

If you would like to speak to someone directly about making a major gift through your trust or corporation, please call us at (510) 289-1472.

Cleaned of oil, Grebes and a Loon in the outdoor recovery pool at the Los Angeles Wildlife Center. Photo by Angie Trumbo/International Bird Rescue

March 6, 2019

Two Crises – Two Continents

A tiny Lesser Flamingo chick is among the thousands of birds dramatically rescued in South Africa. Photo ©SANCCOB

International Bird Rescue is responding to two simultaneous avian emergencies on opposite sides of the globe, and we need your support! Donate now

Over 150 oiled birds affected by natural seep off the coast have flooded our wildlife centers in Northern and Southern California since the beginning of this year, triggering an increase of staffing to crisis levels. Meanwhile, a team from Bird Rescue has just landed in South Africa to aid in the rescue of thousands of baby Lesser Flamingos. These birds were abandoned in their drought-stricken breeding grounds at the Kamfers Dam near Kimberley – about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Cape Town.

Oiled by natural seep, a Western Grebe seabird gets a washing at our Los Angeles Wildlife Center in San Pedro, CA. Photo by Angie Trumbo/International Bird Rescue

Many of the rescued baby flamingos are in care at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), one of our longtime partners. We first worked with SANCCOB in Cape Town almost twenty five years ago, and their team has once again invited us to assist with the rehabilitation of waterbirds in crisis. We are more than happy to help, and want give a big thank you to the Dallas Zoo for being in the first wave of international responders for this incident and sponsoring our international flights.

In California, more oil contaminated birds continue to flow into care each week. We thank our partner organizations, especially the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network and SPCA of Monterey County for stabilizing and transferring many of these oiled birds to us. We also thank the Oiled Wildlife Care Network for partnering with us on many levels and generously supporting a portion of the cost for caring for these animals. You can read news coverage of our current oiled wildlife response on CBS NewsNBC Los Angeles, and the Orange County Register.

Please join us when so many seabirds need our help throughout the world. To support our response costs and the ongoing care of these birds, please consider making a donation today.

If you would like to speak to someone directly about making a major gift through your trust or corporation, please call us at (510) 289-1472.

March 2, 2019

Event: Albatross Adventures: Finding Wisdom on Midway Atoll – March 28 in Berkeley, CA

Learn more about seabirds in the Bay Area and throughout the world! Sign up now

This engaging evening on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in Berkeley, CA will feature Bird Rescue Executive Director JD Bergeron’s inspiring presentation about his recent journey to Midway Atoll, which hosts the largest albatross colony on the planet.

JD was one of only 18 individuals tasked with conducting the 2019 nesting albatross census, and he will tell you more about the experience and what it means for Bird Rescue and seabirds going forward.

6:45: guest check-in

7:00 – 8:30: multimedia presentation

Event location:

The David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

While your tickets are complimentary, donations are always appreciated.

Reservations are required to attend. Adults only please.

Questions? Please call our office at (707) 207-0380 ext. 100