Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for December 2019

December 31, 2019

So Many Birds To Celebrate This Year!

Dear Bird Rescue Supporter,

As this year comes to an end, we want to remind you that we have a lot to celebrate in 2019!

With your support, our accomplishments became yours:

• In July our team mobilized as a mission of mercy to rescue nearly 100 baby Herons and Egrets from a fallen tree in Oakland.

• Because of a band return, we learned that an oiled King Eider from a spill in 1996 we helped rescue, treat and release, lived another 23 years in the wild. From all reports, this beautifully colored male sea duck may be the oldest lived King Eider. This band return underscored our long held belief that properly treated oiled birds can and will live long lives beyond capture and cleaning.

• With loving, restorative care, a majestic Brown Pelican with severe pouch laceration is again back in the wild.

Before time runs out, won’t you make one more tax-deductible gift this year?

With your encouragement and generous donations, our life saving work will continue to grow in 2020!

With best wishes for a Happy New Year,

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

December 28, 2019

2019 Patient of the Year: Brown Pelican Y41 With Severe Pouch Laceration

The results are in. It was a tight race, but a victor has emerged!

The 2019 Patient of the Year is the Brown Pelican with the severe pouch laceration. It clearly made the biggest impact on our Bird Rescue family this year, winning 30% of the overall public vote.

“…The bird’s pouch was laid open on both sides up and back onto her neck, completely cut loose from the rest of her mouth. Although she survived the initial injury, she was starving to death because she was unable to eat…”

Blog post Oct 2019

This pelican is not only a prime example of the impacts humans can have on wildlife, but also the remarkable resiliency of these majestic creatures. It also shows that the best efforts by concerned individuals can give a gravely injured bird a second chance at life.

Thank you to all of you who voted, to the skilled staff and volunteers whose attentive care got this pelican (blue-banded Y41) through to release, and to the generous donors without whom this work would not be possible.

This patient was just one of more than 3,500 birds we helped this year! If this story inspires you to take action, and help other birds get a second chance, please join us: Make a donation to International Bird Rescue today to help us continue to rescue waterbirds in crisis and create more success stories like this one!

For our 2019 Patient of the Year contest, we asked you WHY you voted for the bird you did – many of you provided us with inspiring answers. This is Wordie graphic using your own words describing why these birds & our work matters to you. Thank you!

 

 

December 24, 2019

Warmest Holiday Greetings From Bird Rescue

Dear Bird Rescue supporters,

As we close out 2019, we would like to wish you the happiest of holidays!

May the New Year be filled with warmth, peace, happiness, and harmony with each other and our natural home.

Thanks again for all your generous support of our mission,

Sincerely,

Team International Bird Rescue

 

December 20, 2019

Oldest Known Banded King Eider Found 23 Years After Oil Spill Care

Male King Eiders are super colorful sea ducks commonly found in Arctic waters. CC photo by Ron Knight

A new bird banding report shows something truly remarkable: the oldest known King Eider – a species of sea duck – was a 24-year-old oil spill survivor cared for by International Bird Rescue. This finding proves once again that rehabilitated, formerly-oiled birds can survive many years after treatment and release back to the wild.

The latest discovery involves a male King Eider (Somateria spectabilis) that was oiled as an adult during an oil spill in Alaska in 1996. The recovered bird survived 23 years after oiling and release, and according to federal banding information, is one of the oldest known banded King Eiders.

According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Lab, which administers the scientific banding or ringing of wild birds in the U.S., the previously oldest recorded King Eider was an unoiled female that was at least 22 years 1 month old when she was recaptured and re-released during banding operations in Nunavut, Canada.

In 1996 rescued King Eiders were cleaned of oil after being flown to Anchorage from the Pribilof Islands. Photo © International Bird Rescue

This important news underscores what Bird Rescue has been advocating from its beginnings: oiled birds can and DO survive to live normal lives when rehabilitated after oiling, with appropriate resources and skilled staff. This is especially true when wildlife experts follow the protocols that have been refined over our nearly 50-year history.

Watch the video: Every Release Matters

“Bird Rescue has developed and remains at the forefront of the State of the Science for oiled wildlife treatment and rehabilitation,’ said Catherine Berg, NOAA Scientific Support Coordinator for Alaska. Berg was one of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Alaska Oil Spill Response Coordinators. (Ron Britton was also worked as the National USFWS Oil Spill Coordinator and managed the Citrus spill along with Pamela Bergmann at the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance, and Claudia Slater of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.)

“Seeing this kind of evidence of rehabilitated bird survival is truly a tribute to their dedication to the advancement of the science and to improving the care of injured birds.” Berg added.

The long-lived eider is also a testament to both Bird Rescue’s and the State of Alaska’s commitment to the successful concept of having a centralized response center to care for affected wildlife, rather than attempting the care and cleaning of animals in a remote, inaccessible location. All the birds from this spill were transported from a remote island for care in a centralized facility run by Bird Rescue in Anchorage.

The long-lived King Eider carried the Federal Band #1347-54951.

The reported King Eider was originally oiled during the M/V Citrus Oil Spill that began in mid-February 1996 in Alaska’s Pribilof Islands around St. Paul Island in the Bering Sea, approximately 300 miles from the nearest mainland, and 750 miles from Anchorage. One hundred eighty-six birds, mainly eiders, were rescued near St. Paul and transported by U.S. Coast Guard C-130 aircraft to Bird Rescue’s Anchorage emergency response center. After medical stabilization, washing, and rehabilitation, the cleaned seabirds were again transported (a four hour flight) back to St. Paul Island, where their release was celebrated by the community and with the participation of schoolchildren.

Bird Rescue is proud of its work and the body of knowledge regarding the care of oiled wildlife that it has cultivated and shared since its inception in 1971. Data such as band returns on these species provide critical feedback to our rehabilitation processes, and clearly we are on the right track.

The deceased eider (Federal Band #1347-54951) was taken near English Bay on St. Paul Island earlier this year. The metal band number was reported to the USGS Bird Banding Lab and they shared the information with Bird Rescue.

Male King Eiders are known for their very ornate and distinctive plumage. The male’s black and white feathers are accented by a reddish orange bill, bluish crown and greenish cheek. They are found in Arctic waters.

This is the fourth King Eider from the 1996 spill that has been reported through the Bird Banding Lab.

December 15, 2019

Vote for the Bird Patient of the Year 2019

This year at International Bird Rescue, we have cared for over 3,400 birds and counting! We have selected five of our favorite patients from 2019, but we need your help to decide which will be Patient of the Year! Take a look at their stories below, and then click the vote button to let us know which one you like best!


 

Baby Lesser Flamingo

International Bird Rescue sent two teams to South Africa to help care for baby Lesser Flamingos abandoned due to severe drought conditions in the area. The little flamingos had to be carefully hand fed and receive regular checkups to monitor their development.

This little flamingo was the smallest one in the flock at the rescue station where Center Manager, Kylie Clatterbuck, was stationed. She gave him special attention and made sure he was getting plenty to eat and growing up as well as all of the others.

Bird Rescue was happy to be able to help our partners on the opposite side of the globe as they took action to rescue these birds in crisis!

 


 

Oakland Heronry Rescue: Black-crowned Night-Heron

This Black-crowned Night-Heron was rescued when Bird Rescue team members rushed to the scene of a fallen heronry tree in downtown Oakland in July of this year. He was brought to our SF Bay-Delta wildlife center along with 89 other young herons and egrets and raised in our care.

A voracious eater from day one, this little one quickly began gaining weight. As he grew, our staff carefully monitored his progress and provided him with daily nutritional supplements to make sure he was developing properly.

After more than a month in care, this young Black-crowned Night-Heron was successfully returned to his natural home in the wild!

 


 

Baby Western Grebe

This fuzzy Western Grebe hatchling stole everyone’s hearts when it arrived at our wildlife center. While we care for hundreds of adult Western Grebes each year, their babies are very rare patients for us.

This unusual patient required our team of staff and volunteers to be innovative with care techniques and housing setups because they had to balance the baby’s need for food and interaction with her need to stay wild and maintain perfectly waterproof feathers.

All of the hard work and creativity paid off as the baby grebe was soon full grown and ready to return to the wild. Our team drove this special patient up to Santa Barbara where she had originally been found to release her near a large flock of fellow grebes.

 


 

Laysan Albatross

Albatross were on our minds this year as 2019 began with our Executive Director, JD Bergeron, assisting in the 2019 Nesting Albatross Census on Midway Atoll.

Much to our surprise, a Laysan Albatross was brought to our wildlife center in Southern California in April after it had been found stowing away on a boat. After a brief stay and a few good meals, the albatross looked to be in excellent shape and was ready for release.

Laysan Albatross need to be released out at sea, so we teamed up with the U.S. Coast Guard to take this special patient out on a boat and return it to its natural home in the wild. See a video of the release HERE!

 


 

Brown Pelican

In September, an adult female Brown Pelican was brought to us with a gruesome bilateral pouch laceration. With her pouch hanging in tatters and the back of her mouth laid open, she was unable to feed and would have soon starved to death had help not come along.

Our veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Duerr, has repaired scores of pouch lacerations over the years, from simple straight cuts to complicated shredded messes. Her experience treating these types of injuries helped this pelican’s repair and healing go exactly as planned, and this gorgeous bird healed her devastating wound like a champ.

After two surgical procedures and a few weeks of recuperation, this Brown Pelican was successfully released, now sporting a bright blue band reading “Y41”.

 


Three (3) lucky voters will be selected to receive a FREE Bird Rescue 2020 calendar! Vote and enter your mailing address.