Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for March 2020

March 31, 2020

Ordering Through Amazon? Use Our Smile Link

We always encourage folks to shop local when they can, but for many of you during the COVID-19 pandemic, online ordering has been one of the safest ways to shop. So if you’re ordering through Amazon can we ask you a favor? Use the AmazonSmile program link and the retailer will donate a portion of your purchases to us.

Through the Smile program Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to International Bird Rescue, These are the same products and services as offered by Amazon.com.

You can also you check out our Amazon.com Wish Lists, which feature a wide variety of products we depend upon every day. You can choose from our Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay center Wish Lists.

Thank you again for helping us make sure Every Bird Matters!

March 19, 2020

In Time of Crisis: #LookUp

Updated: April 7, 2020

“I go to nature to be soothed, healed and have my senses put in order.”
– John Burroughs

While it can be easy to feel overwhelmed in these challenging times, we encourage you to find solace in nature. A common thread unites our community: a deep love of birds and an appreciation for the natural world.  A simple walk outside, a deep breath, and the unexpected sound of a bird’s song can calm strained nerves in times of stress. Every bird we rescue and release renews our hope – its resilience is a second chance. At times like this, birds can give us a reason to keep looking up.

As we navigate uncertain times together, Bird Rescue will share bird images and stories that give us hope and resolve to face an uncertain future. We invite you to share your stories, photos and reasons to keep looking up in the comments and post photos on social media of your view looking up and tag us @IntBirdRescue with the hashtag #LookUp. Together we can inspire others to act towards balance with the natural world even in times of uncertainty.

Remember to #LookUp.

Brown Pelican stretch, photo by Alan Murphy, Photographers in Focus

 

Baby American Coot, photo by Bill Steinkamp, Photographers in Focus

 

Snowy Plovers on beach

Sanderlings (Calidris alba), photo by Rory Merry, Photographers in Focus

 

Cattle Egret, photo by Sara Silver, Photographers in Focus

 

Baby Mallard checking our a dragonfly, photo by Kim Taylor, Photographers in Focus

 

Black-necked Stilts, photo by Ingrid Taylar, Photographers in Focus

 

African Penguins released after cleaned of oil Treasure Oil Spill, 200. Photo by Jon Hrusa, Photographers in Focus

 

Clark’s Grebe swims carrying chick, photo by Patricia Ware, Photographers in Focus

 

American Bittern chicks, photo by Marie Travers, Photographers in Focus

 

Greater Flamingo on Lake Naivasha, Kenya. Photo by Yeray Seminario, Photographers in Focus

 

Snowy Egret, photo by Kim Taylor, Photographers in Focus

Baby Western Grebe, photo by Marie Travers, Photographers in Focus

 

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California by International Bird Rescue

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California. Photo by Angie Trumbo – International Bird Rescue

March 17, 2020

Keep Looking Up

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California by International Bird Rescue

Brown Pelican in flight after release in Southern California. Photo by Angie Trumbo – International Bird Rescue

Dear Bird Rescue Supporters,

First of all, please accept my wishes for continued good health and wellness for you and your families. We’re all in this together, and together we will endure and eventually thrive.

The health and well-being of our staff, volunteers, and the community are always our top priority. As in an oil spill response, human safety must be secured first, then we can focus on our patients. We are treating the current situation with all the care of our usual emergency response work.

Western Grebe chick snuggles in a feather duster in our wildlife hospital. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

We’ve taken steps to protect our staff inside our two California wildlife centers. Over the weekend, we began changes to our operations to minimize human interactions while maintaining high-quality care for the birds in our centers. At that time, we temporarily suspended our in-house volunteer programs and encouraged all administrative staff to work from home for all but critical banking and similar tasks. All business travel has been cancelled.

Yesterday, six San Francisco Bay Area counties (and the City of Berkeley) issued shelter in place ordinances. Importantly, veterinary hospitals are considered essential and are therefore exempted from mandatory closures. Because of this and the 70+ waterbirds currently in our care, we remain open daily to treat sick, injured, and orphaned waterbirds. As of now, the following changes are in place:

• Injured wildlife may be transported to us for treatment, but drop-off procedures have changed. Rescuers are discouraged from entering the facility; instead, a staff member will greet rescuers to receive the bird. If you’ve found a bird, please review this page.

• We are postponing or cancelling all upcoming public events through April 15th, and will continually reassess the situation for events planned after that date.

• We are exploring the option of providing educational webinars and live-video feeds to engage you and your families in the next few weeks. Please watch our social media (linked below) for updates and schedules.

While it may be easy to feel overwhelmed in these challenging times, we continue to work with injured and orphaned birds, one day at a time and one bird at a time, and we continue to release birds back into the wild as they become well enough. Every release matters.

No matter what our flock is facing, a common thread unites us: a deep love of birds and an appreciation for the natural world. At times like this, birds can give us a reason to keep looking up.

As we navigate this crisis together, we will continue to share updates and stories that heal, #lookup.

• Follow us via our website & blog, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email, so stay tuned. (Sign up for email updates here)

• You can watch our two live BirdCams to see what’s up at our two wildlife centers.

Thanks to support from people like you, Bird Rescue treats thousands of water birds in crisis each year. Like everyone, we are being hit hard financially by this pandemic, which means your support is essential, now more than ever. Where possible, we encourage you to maintain your annual giving, become a monthly recurring donor, or make a pledge that can be fulfilled by year-end. Together, we can inspire others to act towards balance with the natural world.

Stay safe and keep looking up,

 

 

 

 

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

 

March 6, 2020

Meet Ralph: A Bird with Peculiarities

“Ralph” earned his name for this Northern Fulmar’s propensity to vomit as self defense. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

We’re seeing a lot of fulmars in care lately (more about this below). These pelagic birds (often confused with gulls) have some, well, peculiarities—chief among them being their “special” reaction to anything they perceive as a threat, which, unfortunately, includes humans who attempt to help them. How exactly do they protect themselves? By projectile-vomiting a stinky orange liquid straight at the perceived enemy. Watch this semi-gross video!

That brings us to one particular fulmar we’ve recently taken into care. He started off being identified by his temporary leg band, Yellow-119. But he’s become popular with our followers, who have suggested different names for him based on his spewing abilities. He’s now been dubbed “Ralph”—a name we get a chuckle out of, and one that’s a lot better than some of the other terms for vomiting that have been offered!

Hungry Fulmars need to eat. Won’t you help? Donate here

Ralph is a “light morph” Northern Fulmar that came into care in late February after he beached himself in Monterey. Staff and volunteers have watched as he’s gained some weight (despite barfing and thereby losing some grams along the way!), stabilized, and begun eating well. And staff and volunteers have also learned not to take it personally when Ralph spews orange-colored stinky stuff (disgusting orange Kool-Aid?) their way.

Another “peculiarity” of fulmars is their beak, which is a bit different – some followers have asked whether Ralph’s beak is broken. Rest assured, it is not broken. Fulmars are members of the tubenose family, which have evolved a special gland to remove the excess salt that builds up from all their ocean-going feeding frenzies. That odd-looking part of the beak is where salt is secreted.

Ralph is one of more than 30 Northern Fulmars that have come into care at our two California wildlife hospitals since the start of this year. All of them have arrived hungry, anemic, and underweight, and most have had trouble thermoregulating. The critical hospital care we provide involves thermal support to warm them, fluid therapy, and tube feedings until they are well enough to eat on their own. According to our friends at beach-watch organizations, they’re finding increasingly more dead fulmars on area beaches, the reason for which is not yet known. Read more

Your donations enable us to continue saving birds’ lives. We are ever grateful to those of you who help us feed and provide needed care for seabirds so that they can be returned to their natural lives.

Northern Fulmar “Ralph” enjoys some outdoor pool time at the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. He’s gaining weight and hopefully limiting his barfing.