Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Archive for April 2020

April 22, 2020

Webinar April 30: Blue Banded Pelican Project

Join us for an informative webinar on the Blue Banded Pelican Project by Dr. Rebecca Duerr, International Bird Rescue’s staff veterinarian. The online event will be held on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:30 PM (PST). Please register here

In an effort to increase the number of reports of live sightings, Bird Rescue initiated the Blue-Banded Pelican Project in 2009. In addition to the metal federal band, each Brown Pelican receives a large, blue plastic leg band bearing easily readable white numbers. Since starting this program, thansks to citizen scientists, the rate of live Brown Pelican sighting reports has greatly increased.  The blue band IDs that we use feature a single letter followed by two numbers.

Read more

April 19, 2020

$49 for 49 more years!

It’s time to Raise the Rookery and help celebrate International Bird Rescue’s 49th year.

Baby bird season is already in full swing and you can help! For every $49 donation, we will honor you with an egret perched in our symbolic rookery tree. Your first name and last initial will be noted on your bird(s), or you may pick a different tribute name.

We could not do this work without YOU. You rescue birds right along with us and we thank you so very deeply. Your gift directly funds food, medication, and expert daily care for a bird in our wildlife centers.

Please Give 49. Your $49 donation includes a Bird Rescue membership for 2020.

Read more: History of International Bird Rescue

 

 

April 17, 2020

Virtual Open House April 20 – May 1

Dear Bird Rescue Supporters,

In light of the current situation with COVID-19, we have postponed our annual open houses and opted instead to make the Bird Rescue Open House experience available to you all in the comfort of your own homes!

We invite you to join us virtually from Monday, April 20th to Friday, May 1st for a variety of online events that will take you inside the doors of our two wildlife centers, give you the chance hear from and chat with members of our executive team, and participate in bird activities that are fun for all ages!

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Procter & Gamble: DAWN, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Port of Long Beach, and Preparative Consulting!

Below is our schedule of events:

Monday, April 20th 5:00 PM (PST): Webinar – Bird Rescue 49th Anniversary with Executive Director, JD Bergeron. Watch this recorded webinar

Tuesday, April 21st 12:30 PM (PST): Tune in on our Facebook or YouTube channel for the release of our 49th Anniversary Bird Video: Meet the Western Grebe.

Wednesday, April 22nd 12:30 PM (PST): Kids’ Corner: Watch the video on making a bird-themed craft!

Friday, April 24th 12:30 PM (PST): Learn about baby bird care in a virtual visit to our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center: Watch the video

Monday, April 27th 12:30 PM (PST): Learn about oiled bird care in a virtual visit to our Los Angeles wildlife center: Watch the video

Tuesday, April 28th 12:30 PM (PST):  Kids’ Corner: Watch a special presentation for the young and young at heart about bird nests: Watch the video

Thursday, April 30th 5:30 PM (PST):  Webinar: Blue Banded Pelican Project, presented by Staff Veternarian Dr Rebecca Duerr. Watch the recorded webinar.

Friday, May 1st 12:30 PM(PST): Closing remarks via Facebook Live and a video celebration of releases on our YouTube channel

Dr. Rebecca Duerr, Bird Rescue veterinarian, will present a webinar on Bird Rescue’s Blue Banded Pelican Project: Register now

April 15, 2020

Webinar April 20: Introduction to Bird Rescue

Please join us on Monday, April 20, 2020 at 5:00 PM for a special webinar celebrating the 49th anniversary of International Bird Rescue. JD Bergeron, Executive Director at Bird Rescue will host an engaging online presentation through Zoom video conferencing. Register now

The event is part of Bird Rescue’s move to Virtual Open Houses as the COVID-19 pandemic requires families to #StayHome. We have postponed our traditional open houses at both California wildlife centers and opted instead to make the experience available online to all.

From Monday, April 20th to Friday, May 1st Bird Rescue will host a variety of online events that will take you inside the doors of our wildlife centers. You’ll have a chance to hear from and chat with members of our leadership team, and participate in bird activities that are fun for all ages!

See the complete calendar of events

 

April 13, 2020

Release Files: Laysan Albatross Returns To The Wild

Laysan Albatross gets the first taste of freedom as a Black-footed Albatross waits. Photos by Don Baccus

The wayward Laysan Albatross that was found grounded in a meadow in Soquel, CA, is back in the wild after being released back to Monterey Bay. Thanks to the SPCA for Monterey County for doing the original rescue back in late March after local birders alerted the animal rescue group. After being transferred to International Bird Rescue, the albatross made an excellent recovery after two weeks in care.

Executive Director JD Bergeron transported the bird from our wildlife center in Fairfield to the Moss Landing Harbor. Big thanks to Fast Raft who donated their services to help transport the bird 10 miles off the coast. Bird lover and friend of Bird Rescue Jan Loomis was also helpful in arranging the trip. This trip out into the open ocean was a rare moment during the current pandemic and the small group involved were blessed with views of many seabirds, a few humpback whales, and a pod of orcas.

When the boat finally reached its destination, a nutrient-rich part of Monterey Bay, the boat was greeted by a Black-footed Albatross during the release of the former patient and was soon joined by a dozen more Black-footed Albatrosses, which also nest on Midway Atoll. It was a magic moment in nature after many weeks cooped up during the restrictions.

The bird’s release was dedicated to the late Shirley Doell who was one of the count leaders during the annual nesting albatross count on Midway Atoll. Bergeron met Doell several years ago when he volunteered to help count 600,000 nests on these northern Pacific Ocean islands.

With their tremendous 6½ foot wingspan, Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) can take advantage of prevailing winds to glide long distances – sometimes 300-400+ miles in one day. They breed on tiny islands in the North Pacific Ocean – especially Midway Atoll – about 3,000 miles from California.

The oldest known banded wild bird in the world is a Laysan Albatross named Wisdom. At 69 years old, Wisdom returns most years to Midway to renew her nest and hatch a chick – as she did again in December of 2018 but took a year off in 2019. To date she is believed to have hatched more than 40 chicks over the course of her life.

In the past, Laysan Albatrosses notably have been found as stowaways on container ships that travel the ocean highways. They have often been spotted resting or even building nests aboard these vessels. In recent years, we’ve also seen them picked up after crash landing in the Southern California desert. Read more

Bird Rescue relies on the generous support of the public to care for wildlife, including wayward birds blown off course, those injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries. Please donate

Near the release site, agroup of Black-footed-Albatrosses. Photo by Janette Loomis

April 2, 2020

Patient in Focus: Brown Pelican 0A2

Brown Pelican spreads its wings in care at International Bird Rescue

After 95 days in treatment for a wing fracture, Brown Pelican 0A2 was released back to the wild. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

The Long Road to Recovery

Late last month we released a young Brown Pelican who came to us in 2019! This bird was found in Half Moon Bay, CA, in December standing around looking dazed on a beach, ignoring dogs running up to him. After his rescue, he was brought to our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center for care. Radiographs showed this bird had suffered a wing fracture – the ulna.

The pelican’s radiograph (x-ray) shows the (ulna) wing fracture.

Sometimes fractures of the ulna in birds can be successfully treated with splints and wraps, but due to previous experience with pelicans recovering from ulna fractures, Bird Rescue’s veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Duerr opted to place orthopedic pins and two external fixators, securing the fracture site from two different angles.

Pinning can reduce the probability that a bird will develop range of motion problems in their wing joints as a result of a prolonged time in a wrap. Pinned wings are generally kept wrapped only for the first few days, then the bird can have the wing unrestrained for the duration of healing, which lets them wiggle and move and keep their joints in good shape. This pelican patient then had a long road to recovery ahead under the expert care of our rehabilitation technicians, needing to fully regain the strength in its wing to be able to survive again in the wild.

For this pelican’s ulna fracture, our veterinarian placed orthopedic pins and two external fixators to its wing. Photo: Dr Rebecca Duerr – International Bird Rescue

Bird bones generally heal much faster than mammals – after just 3 weeks, the ulna had healed and the pins were removed. Although he did not have any range of motion problems in his joints, the wing was very weak. Once he was ready, we moved him to our pelican aviary where he could bathe and preen, and start exercising by swimming. When birds bathe, they vigorously move all the muscles and joints of the chest, shoulders, and wings, and this provides amazing exercise for a bird recovering from a wing injury.

Once he began flying, we could see he was flapping asymmetrically with the formerly broken wing not extending fully with each flap, but thankfully this improved with practice. Due to the large size of our pelican aviary, we are able to see when a pelican is not flying normally or is compensating for a mobility deficit. We could see that as his flight strength and coordination improved, he persisted in leaning his head to one side when flying. As plunge-divers, Brown Pelicans have a very athletically intense way of catching dinner in the wild; consequently, we kept him for more exercise until his flight normalized. We want every bird we release to be as able-bodied as wild birds that never had a health crisis, so that they have the best possible chance of leading a long wild life.

After 94 days in care, he was finally ready for us to put bands on his legs and say Good Bye and Happy Fishing to Blue Band 0A2!

Before heading out for release, Brown Pelican 0A2 has final photos taken with James Manzolillo, Bird Rescue rehabilitation tech. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

April 1, 2020

Here Come The Baby Birds!

Orphaned ducklings are some of the baby birds we will enter into care this spring.

Dear Bird Rescue Supporter,

Our doors are still open for wildlife and that’s a good thing. Baby bird season is quickly upon us and we will need your help to keep them fed and cared for!

We need to raise $5,000 and if you donate today your donation will be DOUBLED by an anonymous donor!

Thank you for ALL your support during these uncertain times. It’s what keeps us moving forward. As always, your generous support is much appreciated!

Be well and please take care of your brood, too,

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

P.S. – We also have another eight oiled Western Grebes coming into care this week – rescued from the natural oil seep that is prevalent along the coast in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.