Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue


September 24, 2014

A sneak peek of Pelican Dreams in Sonoma

Mark your calendars!

On Wednesday, October 8, our friends at Sonoma Birding are hosting a sneak-peek of Pelican Dreams, Judy Irving’s documentary on one of California’s most beloved birds. The film is a project six years in the making, with plenty of footage from our San Francisco Bay center. Our team will be in attendance to give you a wonderful picture of the work we do to help injured pelicans.

When: Wed, Oct 8 from 7pm -8:30pm
Where: Veteran’s Memorial Building, 126 First Street West, Sonoma CA
Tickets: $8 at the door

Via Sonoma Birding:

Pelican Dreams: Ready to Fly!!

Judy Irving, a Sundance- and Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker known for The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, is coming to Sonoma. Now it’s pelicans and their ancient magic, near-extinction and recovery paralleling our human relationship to the environment. One August afternoon, a confused, tired and very hungry young pelican landed on the roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge, causing a spectacular traffic jam and providing the beginning of a perfect narrative arc for this film.

Come see clips and hear from International Bird Rescue experts, who provided rehab care for “Gigi” (the pelican named for Golden Gate).

CA brown pelicans flying

September 16, 2014

2015 – Effects of Oil on Wildlife Conference

EOW Save the Date
Save the date, fellow bird rescuers! Along with our partners at Aiuká, we’re hosting the next Effects of Oil on Wildlife Conference in Anchorage, Alaska on May 18-22, 2015.

Information on panelists, paper submissions and more will be found in the coming weeks at eowconference.org.

September 12, 2014

Dispatches from the International Sea Duck Conference in Iceland

Harlequin Duck, photo by Andrew A Reding/Flickr Creative Commons

Over the past week, Reykjavik, Iceland has be the site of the 5th International Sea Duck Conference. More than 140 people from nearly 30 image_largecountries have listened, questioned and discussed a wide variety of issues important to understanding sea ducks, their biology, habitat, threats and survival. Unlike most conferences, we have also gotten daily volcano updates and had the opportunity to see eider ducks feeding at the shore. Iceland and Reykjavik are much as what you might expect, very modern surrounded by beautiful isolation.

The program has been both interesting and valuable for me and the work we do at International Bird Rescue. The papers have addressed effects of climate change, body condition measurement techniques, emerging diseases, developments in radio telemetry techniques, and sea duck monitoring and modeling. The primary species studied and discussed are the Long-tailed Duck, Common Scoter, Harlequin Ducks, and Common, King and Spectacled Eiders — all species that we have worked with in many responses going back to our founding in the 1970s. Nearly every presentation contains nuggets of information that can be applied to preparedness and response including rehabilitation. Being here provides an opportunity to find these nuggets as well as to network with the scientists who can be key in getting accurate information about local species at risk if a spill occurs.

While I have been surprised by how many of the participants I have met over the years, most of them are not regular participants in the Sea Duck Conference1-1rehabilitation or oil industry conferences we regularly attend. Their perspective is one that we less regularly hear, and that makes it even more valuable to hear their ideas. Responding to oil spills all over the world presents a number of different challenges, but one of the biggest problems is that we almost always lack local knowledge. We rely heavily on local people and local biologists working with the species affected by an oil spill to mount the best possible emergency response and to achieve the best possible care. Having a familiar face makes it that much easier to develop trust and understanding and get down to the emergency at hand.

One of the most interesting presentations for me was Dr. James Lovvorn’s talk on Designating Critical Habitat in a Climatically Changing Arctic: Eiders, Sea Ice and Food Webs, as one of my current projects is working on planning and preparedness on the remote Northwest Alaska coast of the Chukchi Sea. Although not as immediately of obvious value but very thought provoking were a number of papers on personalities, stress and brain size — all of which I hope to learn more about to further our rehabilitation success.

team_curt_cAll in all, it has been great experience, leaving me eager to apply what I have learned and also eager to learn more from some newly discovered colleagues.

Curt Clumpner

Preparedness Director

Map: Seabirds of Iceland via European Environment Agency

September 10, 2014

See you Sunday at the Wine Country Optics & Nature Festival!

A must-see for birders, wildlife photographers and conservation-minded folks! Stop by our table and say hi while you’re there!


July 28, 2014

Farewell to Jay Holcomb, 1951-2014

On July 26, 2014, friends, family, colleagues and avian advocates from around the world gathered at Fort Mason in San Francisco to say goodbye to International Bird Rescue executive director Jay Holcomb, who passed away on June 10 at age 63. It was an afternoon of laughter, tears, friendship and fond remembrances.

Our guests came from five continents and seven countries: the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the UK. Here are just some of the photos taken by our own Cheryl Reynolds (roll over image for photo caption).


Thank you to all who made in-kind donations for this event, including Fort Mason Center, Dawn Saves Wildlife, Publicis Kaplan Thaler, Whole Foods Market-Napa, Hint Water and Viansa Winery. Special thanks to contributors to the Jay Holcomb Legacy Fund.

And thank you to our friends at P&G and PKT in New York for putting together this wonderful tribute video of Jay:

Produced and edited by Hadleigh Arnst, PKT

You can support the Jay Holcomb Legacy fund by making a tax-deductible gift here.

Read Jay Holcomb’s obituary here.

June 5, 2014

Bay Area bird lovers: You’re invited to a heron release!

Release site at MLK Jr. Regional Shoreline Park in Oakland

At least two of the young Black-crowned Night Herons injured during an Oakland tree-trimming incident that made national headlines have healed from their wounds and are ready for release in East Bay marsh habitat on Saturday, June 7. And you’re invited!


WHEN: Saturday, June 7 at 1 P.M.

WHERE: Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Park, Southwest entrance across from 80 Swan Way (see map above).

WHO: This event is hosted by International Bird Rescue and Golden Gate Audubon Society, longtime partners in the conservation of local aquatic birds.

The remaining birds from this incident continue to receive care from International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay center until they are old enough to be released. All of them are on track and doing well!

bcnh-isabel luevano

September 18, 2013

Save the date: The Wine Country Optics and Nature Festival is on October 20

Optics Flyer #2

International Bird Rescue is thrilled to be at the incredibly popular Wine Country Optics and Nature Festival on October 20. See you there!

Event info via SonomaBirding.com:

Meet the company experts from Swarovski, Leica, Zeiss, Nikon, Pentax, Kowa, Opticron, Celestron and more. Experience the newest spotting scope, cameras and binoculars on the market! Nearly one thousand people attended the event at Cornerstone Sonoma last year. Stroll through award winning gardens, shops and visit with over 25 major nature nonprofits from around San Francisco Bay. Biggest optics show in Northern CA. Don’t miss it! Download the Optics Flier to lear more. Cornerstone Sonoma is located at 23570 Arnold Dr. Sonoma, CA 95476 – Driving Directions


September 12, 2013

A window into wildlife rehab for vet students

Dr. Rebecca Duerr (second from left) coaching veterinary students in physical examination and fluid administration skills in a hands-on lab at the NWRA Wildlife Medicine Course

Our veterinarian, Dr. Rebecca Duerr, spent this past weekend enjoying the hospitality of Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind. while co-teaching the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association’s Wildlife Medicine Course with Dr. Erica Miller. Forty-four 1st– to 3rd-year veterinary students learned about the legalities of working with wildlife, what rehabilitation is all about and how it differs from domestic animal practice. Other topics covered in lectures and hands-on labs included physical examination, triage and critical care, bandaging, orphan care, wildlife nutrition, common medical problems of reptiles, and common diseases of wild mammals and birds. All-in-all, it was a busy but productive weekend!

September 9, 2013

Thanks for celebrating the Pelican Aviary Project with us!

Aviary occupants, photo by Cheryl Reynolds


The commemorative sign for The Pelican Aviary Project

It was a scorcher in Fairfield, but thank you to everyone who stopped by our Saturday community event celebrating completed renovations to the pelican aviary!

Special thanks to Assemblyman Jim Frazier, State Senator Lois Wolk/District Director Lisa Chavez, Kyra Parker with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, the Solano County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund, The Green Foundation, Kimberlee Baker, Dave Weeshoff, Hugh and Pat Denton; Lisa and Paul Matheson; and Joan Teitler and Larry Bidinian for their support of this aviary, home to hundreds of ill and injured pelicans and other birds every year.

Additional thanks to the good folks at Whole Foods Market –  Napa Valley, Hint Water and Winterhawk Winery for providing the amazing refreshments.

And last but certainly not least: Thank you to our amazing staff and volunteers for making this event such a success! Event photos by Russ Curtis.

Find out more about the Pelican Aviary Project from our Indiegogo campaign page here.


Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Assemblyman Jim Frazier helps us dedicate the aviary

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Assemblyman Frazier (right) with IBR board members Andrew Harmon and Laurie Pyne

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Lisa Chavez, district director for State Senator Lois Wolk

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Center manager Michelle Bellizzi explains the renovation project on the aviary

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
IBR board member/Bay Nature ambassador Beth Slatkin

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Kyra Parker with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN)

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Guests braving the heat … all for the pelicans!

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
A live look at BirdCam!

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Kimberlee Baker speaks about the life and legacy of Donna Baker, who was instrumental in the original construction of the aviary. The Pelican Aviary Project is dedicated in her memory.

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Our wonderful volunteer crew makes sure the animals are cared for!

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Touring the outdoor grounds and the aviary

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013
Touring the center

Pelican Aviary Celebration at San Francisco Bay Center on September 7, 2013

Our wonderful volunteer team!

Volunteers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Juvenile Brown Pelican in care 

September 4, 2013

See you Saturday at the Pelican Aviary Project event in Fairfield!


Just a reminder that we’ll be holding a casual community event this Saturday to celebrate the renovations made to the pelican aviary at our San Francisco Bay center in Fairfield — renovations made possible by you. If you’re in the neighborhood, please do stop by!

When: Saturday, September 7, 2pm-5pm; we’ll have brief remarks at about 2:30pm followed by tours, refreshments and more!

Where: San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center, 4369 Cordelia Rd. in Fairfield, Calif. See an interactive map below.

View Larger Map

Thanks to Whole Foods Market Napa, HINT Water and Winterhawk Winery for sponsoring this event! 

And thank you for your support of The Pelican Aviary Project!

August 19, 2013

Tips on the Banded Pelican Sighting Contest

A67 - Alps
Photo of Pelican A67 by Bernardo Alps

If you’re participating in this year’s Banded Pelican Sighting Contest along the west coast, here are some sighting clues that could bring you one step closer to winning a spotting scope from our friends at Eagle Optics

It looks like a good year for Brown Pelicans along the coastline of the western U.S. Thousands are being seen feeding on schooling fish such as sardines and anchovies. Many of these are first-year birds just learning how to feed. Our Blue-Banded Pelicans that were rehabilitated at our centers in California also are among these flocks of birds.

Clues on where to find Blue-Banded Pelicans:

• Look on breakwaters or anywhere pelicans roost in harbors. Also, check out fish-processing areas.

Pelican C13, photo by Bill Steinkamp

Pelican C13, photo by Bill Steinkamp

• Many Blue-Banded Pelicans are being seen in Washington state and Oregon at several locations, including the town of Westport, where they hang out on the breakwaters, or in Astoria on the breakwater.

• On the central California coast, we have received many reports from Dinosaur Rocks at Pismo Beach where pelicans hang out.

• Another California tip: Monterey harbor and Pillar Point Marina in Half Moon Bay are ideal locations for pelicans to roost and feed. These make for excellent Blue-Banded Pelican spotting sights.

Good luck!

July 25, 2013

See you at the Beaver Festival in Martinez!

Live in the Bay Area? Then save the date! On Saturday, August 3, we’ll be joining more than 40 wildlife groups at the 6th-annual Beaver Festival in Martinez. Stop on by! Click here for more on the event.


July 20, 2013

Update on the Pelican Aviary Project

First Brown Pelican in the newly renovated Pelican AviaryWe’re pleased to announce that finishing touches are underway for the renovated pelican aviary at the San Francisco Oiled Bird Care and Education Center in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Thanks to your generous support, we’ve even begun to move a small number of birds into this 100-foot-long aviary — a crucial large space where pelicans and other birds have room to fly before they are considered for release back into the wild.

This spring, 180 donors helped us to raise $16,225 through Indiegogo. Together, with local grants from the Solano County Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, we were able to afford much-needed repairs to this enclosure.

We are currently planning a community event — an aviary re-dedication, if you will — and will be in touch with the details. We’d love to have you stop by!


July 20, 2013

Thanks for joining us at KNX’s “On Your Corner”!

From left: KNX 1070’s Dick Helton, IBR center manager Julie Skoglund, IBR executive director Jay Holcomb and KNX 1070’s Vicky Moore

We had a huge turn-out in San Pedro yesterday for KNX 1070 Newsradio’s “On Your Corner” series, broadcasted live from our Los Angeles center. Thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Thanks as well to Whole Foods Market Torrance for the wonderful food and to volunteer photographer Bill Steinkamp for snapping photos of the broadcast and tours throughout the day (we’ll upload video of the tours soon as well).

Find out more about the “On Your Corner” series and its sponsors at KNX 1070.








Jay Tour




July 18, 2013

See you Friday at the KNX-International Bird Rescue open house!

Click on postcard to enlarge.

Attention Angelenos! Just a reminder that International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center, located in San Pedro, will host KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO’s popular “KNX On Your Corner” spotlight tomorrow (Friday, July 19), with two live broadcasts from the center, from 5am-9am and 1pm-7pm.

During the day, we’ll be featuring an open house, with two free, scheduled exclusive tours of the center at 9 am and 2 pm. You can also stop by for a sneak peek at the live broadcast from our center, with free refreshments to boot, courtesy our friends at Whole Foods Market Torrance.

We’re located in Angel’s Gate Cultural Center at 3601 S. Gaffey Blvd. Check out the invite and a map to the center above.

See you on Friday!

Ducklings IMG_6356-LPhoto by Bill Steinkamp