Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Bird Counts

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


January 28, 2016

Record Year of Bird Patients in 2015

Surf-Scoters-Pool-C-mystery-2015 copy

Clean Surf Scoters, contaminated by Mystery Goo, were among the record number of birds cared for in 2015 . Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

2015 was an unusually big year for International Bird Rescue. We received a record number of injured and sick aquatic birds during all seasons and there was no “slow season” as we have had in previous years.

More than 6,000 birds – including those from a mystery goo event, a Santa Barbara oil spill, and a mass stranding of Common Murres – are included in the extraordinary increase in patient numbers at our two California wildlife centers, run in conjunction with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) at UC Davis on behalf of the Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

“These increased numbers of birds, especially in Northern California, are concerning,” said JD Bergeron, Bird Rescue’s Executive Director, “and suggest that we may need to develop even more robust funding solutions to be able to keep up with the food and medication needs of these patients. We are concerned that aquatic birds may be facing graver challenges due to the longstanding drought, warming sea waters, violent El Niño storms, reduced habitat, and increased competition for food.

Oiled Brown Pelican treated during May 2015 Refugio Pipeline Spill.

Oiled Brown Pelican treated during May 2015 Refugio Pipeline Spill.

“On the bright side, our team of deeply dedicated staff and volunteers have been tireless in sustaining this ‘alert’ level of effort, coming in extra days and staying later in the evening to ensure that all our patients get the needed care. Further, we are immensely grateful to the thousands of individual, corporate, and foundation supporters who keep showing up to help fund our work. Every dollar helps us to help more birds. Together, we will continue to pursue our mission to mitigate the human impact on seabirds and other aquatic bird species.”

Of the total 6,083 patients, the San Francisco Bay Center had the highest number of birds: 4,372. Some of this can be attributed to the 300+ mystery goo birds (mainly Surf Scoters and assorted grebes) that were treated in January of last year and the more than 500 hungry and stranded Common Murres that flooded the center in Fairfield. Also 40 oiled seabirds were treated and washed in 2015.

At the Los Angeles Center the numbers totaled 1,554 for the year. Of those, 57 birds came in oiled from the Refugio oil pipeline break in May near Santa Barbara and ongoing natural oil seep along the Southern California coast.

May 2, 2014

Patients of the week: Baby Hooded Mergansers

HOMEPhotos © Suzi Eszterhas

All of our patients this week are deserving of the patient of the week honor, but we thought we would feature some of our youthful additions.

See them now on our Bird Cam

We have two baby Hooded Mergansers that arrived this week at our San Francisco Bay center. Photographer Suzi Eszterhas took a few images of an exam and feeding. Similar to our Mallard ducklings, these birds currently are kept in a “duckling box” with plenty of access to food.

Other baby patients in care include herons that have been rescued from the 9th Street Rookery in Santa Rosa, CA after they fell from their nests. More on these great birds next week!


April 10, 2013

First of the season: killdeer

This juvenile killdeer is currently in care at our San Francisco Bay center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds.

See our latest count of birds in care here.

Baby Kildeer at SFB Center

February 19, 2013

Update: Current number of birds in care at our Los Angeles center

IMG_9412-LCommon Murres recovering in a pelagic pool, post-wash. Photos by Bill Steinkamp.

Rehabilitation technician and volunteer coordinator Neil Uelman shares the latest count of birds in care at our Los Angeles center:

50 Common Murres
9 Brown Pelicans
4 Western Gulls
4 California Gulls
3 Western Grebes
3 Black-crowned Night Herons
1 Bufflehead
1 Black-necked Stilt
1 Long-billed Dowitcher

Bufflehead, Male 01-LBufflehead

Long-Billed Dowitcher 02-L
Long-billed Dowitcher

February 8, 2013

Birds in care: Common Goldeneye


Among the birds currently or recently in care is this Common Goldeneye at our San Francisco Bay wildlife care center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds.

And the bird photo-bombing the shot in the background? It’s a male Bufflehead.

Check out our most recent bird count at our centers here. We’ve had a few oiled birds come in since and will update our numbers soon.

January 11, 2013

Birds in care this week

A Black-vented Shearwater currently in care at our Los Angeles wildlife care center. Photo by Bill Steinkamp.

This week’s full list of birds in care by latest count:

San Francisco Bay Area center:
51 Birds in Care
(updated January 9, 2013)

16 Brown Pelicans
8 Western Grebes
7 Northern Fulmars
4 Common Murres
3 Horned Grebes
3 Western Gulls
2 Buffleheads
2 Eared Grebes
1 Black-crowned Night Heron
1 Brandt’s Cormorant
1 California Gull
1 Eared Grebe
1 Herring Gull
1 Mallard Duck

Los Angeles center:
46 Birds in Care
(updated January 10, 2013)

12 Brown Pelicans
8 Western Grebes
6 Common Murres
4 Western Gulls
3 American White Pelicans
2 Great Blue Herons
2 Eared Grebes
1 Common Loon
1 Brant Goose
1 Heermann’s Gull
1 Northern Fulmar
1 Bufflehead
1 Black-vented Shearwater (see photo above)
1 Pacific Loon
1 Black-necked Stilt
1 Long-billed Dowitcher
1 Common Loon

December 13, 2012

Birds in Care this Week

Here are the four most common species in care, by latest count:

This week’s full list of birds in care by latest count:

International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay Center
82 Birds in Care

32 Brown Pelicans
18 Western Grebes
9 Northern Fulmars
3 Western Gulls
3 Eared Grebes
3 Common Murres
2 Horned Grebes
1 Pacific Loon
1 Black-crowned Night Heron
1 California Gull
1 Canada Goose
1 Ring-billed Gull
1 Glaucous-winged Gull
1 Clark’s Grebe
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Herring Gull
1 Hybrid Duck
1 Pied-billed Grebe
1 Red-throated Loon

International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center
61 Birds in Care

27 Brown Pelicans
14 Western Grebes
5 Eared Grebes
3 Western Gulls
2 Common Murres
2 California Gulls
2 Brandt’s Cormorants
2 American White Pelicans
1 Sora Rail
1 Pacific Loon
1 Northern Fulmar
1 Clark’s Grebe

Total birds in care: 143

December 7, 2012

Current Birds in Care

Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

This week, we’re caring for a dizzying variety of species  — including five Northern Fulmars at our San Francisco Bay Area center. Other birds in care include a Bufflehead, a Red-necked Grebe, a Sora, an American White Pelican and two Red-throated Loons in beautiful plumage.

A significant number of these birds currently require frequent treatment, including wound care, water therapy and medications. We could use your help this week. Will you step up at birdrescue.org/donate for these animals?

Want to see these birds up close? Learn more about our volunteer program here.

Here’s the complete list of birds in care this week:

55 Brown Pelicans
38 Western Grebes
5 Eared Grebes
5 Northern Fulmars
4 Common Murres
4 Pacific Loons
4 Western Gulls
3 Horned Grebes
2 Red-throated Loons
2 California Gulls
1 Sora
1 Red-necked Phalarope
1 American White Pelican
1 Bufflehead
1 Glaucous-winged Gull
1 Clark’s Grebe
1 Ring-billed Gull
1 Canada Goose
1 Black-crowned Night Heron
1 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Common Loon
1 Red-necked Grebe

Total birds in care: 134

November 29, 2012

Birds in Care

Here are the most common bird species we’re caring for right now at our Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area centers:

Other birds in care:

2 Common Murres
2 Common Loons
2 American White Pelicans
2 Canada Geese
1 Red-throated Loon
1 Sooty Shearwater
1 Ring-billed Gull
1 Hybrid Duck
1 California Gull
1 Black-crowned Night Heron
1 Royal Tern
1 Cackling Goose
1 Sora Rail

Total birds in care: 157

November 20, 2012

Tuesday Stats: Birds at Our San Francisco Bay Area Center

At last count, there were 66 birds in care at our Bay Area wildlife care center, including:

Bird count at International Bird Rescue’s Bay Area center as of Monday:

29 Brown Pelicans
17 Western Grebes
4 Western Gulls
3 Canada Geese
2 Northern Fulmars
2 California Gulls
2 Hybrid Ducks
1 Belted Kingfisher
1 Mallard Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Common Murre
1 Sooty Shearwater
1 Mute Swan
1 Brandt’s Cormorant

It costs about $110 a day to provide the fish needed to feed these birds.

Will you help us FILL THE BILL? Donate and support these animals in need today!

Pelican watercolor by David Scheirer, Studio Tuesday.

Western Grebe photo (center) by Bill Steinkamp.

November 9, 2012

Birds in Our Care

Here are the latest numbers reported earlier this week from our Northern and Southern California wildlife care center outreach coordinators, Cheryl Reynolds and Neil Uelman:

Brown Pelicans: 41
Western Grebes: 23
Western Gulls: 11
Eared Grebes: 8
Brandt’s Cormorants: 3
Ruddy Ducks: 2
Pied-billed Grebes: 2
California Gulls: 2
Common Murres: 1
Black-crowned Night Herons: 1
Heerman’s Gulls: 1
Royal Terns: 1
American Coots: 1
American White Pelicans: 1
Canada Geese: 1
Mallard Ducks: 1
Muscovy Ducks: 1

November 3, 2012

Birds, Bands, and Binoculars

Dear Friends,

What bird looks a bit like a flying dinosaur, yet has the precision and power to soar majestically and dive for its food? The iconic California Brown Pelican has long been an indicator species for changes in our environment. Once decimated by DDT use, their populations have bounced back, and we want to know more about where they go and the problems they encounter once they are cared for and released from one of our wildlife hospitals.

Starting today, International Bird Rescue is unveiling a special Blue-Banded Pelican Contest. We are asking folks both young and old to go out and look for pelicans with blue bands on their legs, and then report the information (the highly visible number on the band and where they were seen) via our online reporting system (read more about this program here).

Your efforts will be rewarded! The top adult and youth band reporter will win a pair of Eagle Optics binoculars and become an honorary Pelican Partner, which includes a VIP tour of one of our wildlife hospitals and the opportunity for you to release a pelican back into nature. As you aid the important scientific research on the travels of the Pelecanus occidentalis, you will be helping in their conservation.

Photo by Marie Travers

For the past 20 years, International Bird Rescue has banded more than 5,000 rehabilitated brown pelicans. In 2009, we began placing large blue plastic leg bands on our released pelicans so that the public can more easily spot their identification numbers. This is part of our ongoing post-release evaluation of these birds so that we can get an idea of their survival and travels. In September, we banded and released our 1,000th blue-banded brown pelican, so there are many banded pelicans out there. These birds have been seen from Mexico to Washington state, as well as a few in the Gulf states.

What’s next?

Grab your binoculars and keep an eye out for these wonderful birds. The contest runs from November 3 through January 2, 2013. Winners will be announced on January 5, 2013. We will be posting your sighting stories and hints on where to find pelicans in upcoming blog posts and on our Facebook page. More info on rules and contest details can be found here.

Help us make Every Bird Matter — and Count, too!

Good luck,

International Bird Rescue


October 27, 2012

Birds in Our Care, San Francisco Bay Area

Who are we taking care of in the Bay Area these days?

SF Bay Area volunteer coordinator Cheryl Reynolds provides us with the latest patient numbers at our NorCal center:

Pied-billed Grebe: 2
Common Murre: 1
Brandt’s Cormorant: 1
Western Gull: 2
Brown Pelican: 16
Black-Crowned Night Heron: 1
California Gull: 1
Herring Gull: 1
Mallard Duck: 1
Canada Goose: 1
Mute Swan: 1
Western Grebe: 8
Clark’s Grebe:

Over the past week, the center has also released:

4 Brandt’s Cormorants
1 Cassin’s Auklet
2 Brown Pelicans
1 Mallard Duck

October 14, 2012

Current Birds in Care

*At our wildlife care center in the San Francisco Bay Area, we currently have one non-avian patient as well: a Western Fence Lizard found stuck in a glue trap.