Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for February 2020

February 21, 2020

Patients of the Week: Northern Fulmars

A white morph Northern Fulmar. In the outdoor pools, these seabirds need to be monitored carefully as they are quite cantankerous and prone to squabbling. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

Every few years we receive quite a few of one of our favorite species all at once, namely Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis). These oceanic birds are small relatives of albatrosses, and are adored by many wildlife rehabilitators for their beautiful faces and intense musky smell that no two of us will describe the same.

Some of the 23 Northern Fulmars that have come into Bird Rescue’s two California wildlife centers.

Since January 2020, we have received 23 fulmars – 19 in Northern California and 4 in Southern California. All have been anemic, underweight, and most have had trouble thermoregulating. Critical care for them involves thermal support to help them stay warm, fluid therapy, and tube feedings until they feel like eating again. Help feed a fulmar

Currently, three birds are showing signs of a disease we have seen before, where the birds have often-severe anemia, hemorrhages and inflamed blood vessels in their feet, and are at risk of dying from secondary infections. In 2012, during our last large influx of fulmars, we were able to contribute to the discovery of a novel fulmar virus that may be responsible, as the closest relative virus causes similar symptoms in chickens. Much remains to be discovered about the disease challenges of wild seabirds! Read the paper here

Once they are able to stay outside in our pools, they can be quite cantankerous and prone to squabbling; hence, we often have to monitor them carefully to make sure individual birds are getting along. Despite fulmars stranding in horrible nutritional shape, once they start eating, they often gain an enormous amount of weight. Three birds have already recovered and been released as plump, vigorous birds back into the ocean.

Dark morph Northern Fulmar. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

February 7, 2020

Success Stories: White Pelican Back In The Wild After Months in Care

This American White Pelican is a survivor. He was released at McNabney Marsh in Martinez, CA. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

After 143 days in care this resilient American White Pelican is back in the wild.

This huge bird came into care in September 2019 and it was finally released last week. He was originally found in Santa Rosa, CA with a smelly, infected, open fracture of the wingtip. It was treated at our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center

On examination, we found a deep tunnel full of infected material open to the fracture zone. On radiographs, we could see that the bones were shattered right next to the proximal metacarpophalangeal joint. Two wingtip bones that are normally fused were not only broken free of each other, but had infected debris in the space between them.

White Pelican wing tip x-ray

Initially, clinic staff and veterinarian focused on getting the infection under control while simultaneously stabilizing the fracture with a splint/bandage combination. Infected tissue was removed under anesthesia, and the wound healed very well. Unfortunately, the bones did not fuse to each other like they need to do in order for the bird to fly. The bird had what is called a non-union, where fragments of bone persist in staying separate, and this non-union is one our vet had not encountered before. Consequently, she decided to try pinning it, inserting threaded cross pins in an ‘X’ pattern to force the two bones to be immobilized in relation to each other. Thankfully it worked.

After the pins were removed, our staff had to help this patient regain strength in its wings to prepare for release. White pelicans can be a bit difficult to get to fly in an aviary even when there is nothing wrong with their wings, and this bird was no exception. He just didn’t want to cooperate. So for this bird, Wildlife Center Manager Isabel Luevano made his physical therapy progress a personal priority and several times a week made him flap strongly while being safely supported in hand, and then would boost him over the pool, thus encouraging him to fly and land on the water; no small feat with a huge bird. All of the hard work by staff and volunteers paid off!

During recovery, the White Pelican received generous pool therapy at the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

 

February 1, 2020

Would you like to help design the next great Bird Rescue shirt?

Some of the current Bird Rescue t-shirt designs. See the store

Calling all graphic designers. We want to invite YOU to help us create a new Western Grebe T-Shirt!

Inspiration #1: Western Grebe

Bird Rescue is holding a design contest for our new shirts to be released in April 2020. This contest is open to all members of the public and the details are as follows:

• Contest opens on Feb 1, 2020, and artwork must be submitted by March 20, 2020, for consideration. Semi-finalists will be selected and notified by March 27, 2020.

• Artwork must feature the Western Grebe. The style should be in line with International Bird Rescue’s signature look and style.

• Artwork can utilize no more than 4 colors.

• No copyright infringement. All designs must be your original artwork.

• Shirts will be full-front screen printed with the Bird Rescue logo on the back.

• By entering this contest, you are granting International Bird Rescue the exclusive right to print and reproduce your artwork on our merchandise, marketing and social media channels.

• This contest is open to all ages. Minors will need the authorization of a parent or guardian to sign over use of the design if theirs is chosen as the winner.

• We will accept a maximum of 3 submissions per person.

HOW TO ENTER:

Please send your artwork via email to contest@bird-rescue.org. The initial submission should include your design in .pdf/.jpg/.png format. Please include the following information:
Full Name
Email Address
Phone Number
Mailing Address

*If your artwork is selected as a finalist, a ready-for-print vector file (.ai/.eps) will need to be submitted to us by April 1st. Minor edits/revisions to the artwork may be requested.

GRAND PRIZE:

The winner’s artwork will be prominently featured on the new Western Grebe shirts set for release in April 2020. The winner will receive two free shirts, be featured on our Bird Rescue Blog, and have the opportunity to tour one of our wildlife centers with up to 3 guests. Sorry, but we are not able to cover your travel costs. The winner will be selected and notified by April 10, 2020.

Inspiration #2: Western Grebe chick