Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Features

August 8, 2020

Great Egrets Released with GPS Trackers To Aid in Waterbird Research

 Great Egret released with a special GPS tracker and colored leg band

Before release on July 31, 2020, this orphaned Great Egret arrived in care dehydrated and emaciated. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

The recent release of Great Egrets raised by International Bird Rescue and outfitted with special Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers will aid in the research of this majestic waterbird species.

The GPS backpack was provided and fitted by our friends from Audubon Canyon Ranch (ACR) as part of a study of the movements and migrations by Great Egrets. ACR is tracking these birds’ movements to learn more about their interactions with wetland ecosystems to better inform their conservation efforts.

Capturing healthy egrets in the wild is extremely difficult, so ACR Director of Conservation Science, Nils Warnock, reached out to invite Bird Rescue to collaborate. Great Egrets getting released would be outfitted with trackers to help ACR expand its study population. A backpack is fitted onto a strong and healthy Great Egret and monitored for a couple of days prior to release to make sure that it won’t cause any issues for the bird.

Not only does this partnership allow us to aid in important habitat conservation research, it also gives us the opportunity to learn where our patients go and how they behave post-release. So far, two Great Egrets have been released from Bird Rescue with GPS transmitters as part of this study.

You can learn more about the project and see a map of the birds’ movements at https://www.egret.org/heron-egret-telemetry-project

Great Egret flies off with attached GPS that will aid in research. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

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 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.

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 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.

 

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

January 28, 2020

Send A Special Valentine’s Day Card To Your Loved Ones

Do you love birds as much as we do? We suspect you do! And what better way to share that love than with a special Valentine’s Day card for your loved one?!

For a minimum $25 donation, we will send a beautiful handwritten card to someone you love letting them know a gift was made in their honor.

Complete the donation by February 10th to ensure that the card reaches your special someone by the holiday. Better yet, do it today!

In the meantime, watch our new video For the Love of Birds

 

December 24, 2019

Warmest Holiday Greetings From Bird Rescue

Dear Bird Rescue supporters,

As we close out 2019, we would like to wish you the happiest of holidays!

May the New Year be filled with warmth, peace, happiness, and harmony with each other and our natural home.

Thanks again for all your generous support of our mission,

Sincerely,

Team International Bird Rescue

 

November 12, 2019

People Who Care

In this new video meet some of International Bird Rescue’s dedicated wildlife rehabilitation staff and volunteers who act every day on behalf of sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.

Our mission is to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis.

We dream of a world in which every person, every day, takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

It all began in 1971 after 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the bay, concerned individuals led by a registered nurse named Alice Berkner jumped into action, bringing International Bird Rescue (“Bird Rescue”) to life. We have always had to pave a road where there is none. Staff and volunteers work with tenacity alongside clients, partners, and the public to find solutions.

Today, we research best practices at our crisis response hospitals in California and Alaska and share them worldwide.

 

August 19, 2019

Release of the Week: Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night-Herons

A bevy of Snowy Egrets, many from the Oakland Heronry Rescue in July, were released this month at Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

With supporters looking on, another group of Snowy Egrets and Black-crowned Night Herons, were released back to the wild last week at Arrowhead Marsh in Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline.

A pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons saunter out of cages back to the wild spaces in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

Most of the released birds were part of the Oakland Heronry Rescue that began on July 10th after a large ficus tree containing a rookery of 50+ nests, split at the trunk and toppled in front of the downtown Oakland U.S. Post Office at Jackson and 13th Streets. The rookery included many nesting birds with baby egrets and herons, some of them which spilled onto sidewalks below.

Over a three day stretch, a total of 90 birds were rescued – including 51 Snowy Egrets, 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 17 eggs.

You can still donate via the GivingGrid!

Thankfully a concerned citizen noticed these birds in crisis and immediately called our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center to come to the rescue. A Bird Rescue team, including JD Bergeron, Executive Director and Michelle Bellizzi, Response Manager, was on the scene right away at Jackson at 13th Streets and began gently scooping up the surviving birds and preparing them for transport to our clinic in Fairfield.

Read: It always starts with a phone call

After the remaining tree was deemed unsafe for the public as well as the nesting birds, the team worked alongside a tree service that helped trim branches and collect all the remaining eggs and birds in nests.

“This rescue has been an epic journey for us all–on-scene rescuers, partners, staff, volunteers, donors, and supporters!” said JD Bergeron.

“The plight of these fallen birds caught the attention of many who dare to hope that people can still come together to make good things happen. TV, radio, blogs, and newspapers helped to carry this good news story in the midst of so much bad news,” Bergeron added.

Thanks to our generous donors, Bird Rescue was able to raise enough in donations to cover the food, medicine, and daily care for these young herons and egrets. But our work doesn’t end with these 90 birds — we provide wildlife rescue and rehabilitation programs 365 days a year, and our 3,500+ patients each year don’t come with insurance.

The support of the community means the world to us and reinforces to us the belief that each of us, every day, must take action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves. You can still help us with a donation

A Snowy Egret gets ready to fly off in Arrowhead Marsh in Oakland. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds/International Bird Rescue

August 13, 2019

It Always Starts With A Phone Call

Baby Snowy Egrets, many that had tumbled out of nests onto a downtown Oakland sidewalk, were gently scopped up and put into boxes for transport to Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

Note: First person post about the Oakland Heronry Rescue in July 2019 by Michelle Bellizzi, Bird Rescue’s Response Manager

After the ficus tree collapsed, Oakland city crews cleaned up the fallen branches. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

On Wednesday July 10, 2019, I’d just arrived home from work and was getting dinner together, when The Call came in. International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center Manager Isabel Luevano had picked up a message on the hospital phone describing a sad scene: a large ficus tree next to the downtown Oakland U.S. Post Office and used for nesting by the city’s iconic Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets had collapsed, and numerous baby birds had fallen with their nests across a city sidewalk.

Luckily, I live just a short distance away from the site and was able to grab my partner and convince him that saving baby birds was *the* thing to do in the evening, and together we headed down to the site. On our way, I received a text from Response Services Director Barbara Callahan, who had picked up a call on our 24-hour Oil Spill Emergency Hotline about the situation. We were met at the site by JD Bergeron, Bird Rescue’s Executive Director, and his partner Travis (Bird Rescue has a wonderful tradition of wrangling our significant others to step in when needed, and all of our husbands, wives, and partners are angels!), as well as concerned locals and city workers prepared to clean up the mess.

We quickly discovered that the tree in question had split in half, and the City needed to clean the fallen branches from the sidewalk. The remaining half of the tree was in imminent danger of falling as well and would need to be removed.

One of the people on-site was Shirl Simpson, the Branch Manager of the Post Office, and it only took a few moments for Shirl to become one of my favorite people in the world. Upon seeing the downed tree, the nestlings, and the remaining bird nests in the tree, Shirl said unequivocally: “We are going to save these birds – these are OUR birds, and we’re not going to let anything happen to them.” Shirl was the person who had contacted our Emergency Line – she had remembered a Channel 7 story on Bird Rescue and went to “Seven on Your Side” to find our number.

The sight of the tree was intimidating and heartbreaking: half of the tree was down with baby birds in the branches on the ground, and the half that remained standing had approximately 40 nests visible in the canopy…which was 30 feet up and inaccessible without a cherry picker.

“We are going to save these birds – these are OUR birds, and we’re not going to let anything happen to them.” said Shirl Simpson (seated), the Branch Manager of the Post Office, along with JD Bergeron holding a rescued Black-crown Night-Heron. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds–International Bird Rescue

On Wednesday evening, our job was clear: rescue the babies that had fallen and clear the sidewalk, and work on a plan for the remaining tree on Thursday. We sprang into action working alongside the Oakland City workers, carefully searching through the downed branches to extract any babies and handing the cleared branches to the city workers for chipping. We rescued 18 baby herons and egrets, and cleared the downed half of the tree just before dark. The birds were taken back to our Fairfield facility by 9:30 pm.

Later on Thursday and Friday, JD and I returned to the site to collect additional birds and to oversee the complete removal of the tree. Because the tree itself was on Postal Service property, Shirl hired Davey Tree service to remove the birds from their nests and capture unflighted birds in the tree canopy *and* cut the tree in sections as they removed the birds.

JD and I stayed on the ground playing outfielder, collecting the birds from the workers in the picker, and identifying areas in the canopy with birds so the worker was aware of birds moving through the foliage and nest areas. Because of the slow nature of the work, birds were transported to the facility midday and in the evening.

Interestingly, as the workers moved through the tree south to north, the birds got older! Apparently most of the nests on the south side of the tree were nestlings, and the north side of the tree housed the birds that were **just about ready to fledge**. As less and less tree was available to hide in, the birds congregated at the north edge and several proved to be good fliers and able to fly from tree to tree, and the decision was made to not capture them. By noon on Friday, the last branch had been cut, and the last birds were driven to our center so the real work could begin!

News Media Stories

Black-crowned Night-Herons, Snowy Egrets released into wild after surviving Oakland tree collapse, ABC-7-News

Using a cherry picker, Davey Tree Service, helped safely remove other birds and nests before trimming the tree back in front of the Post Office at 13th and Jackson Streets in downtown Oakland. Photo by Michelle Bellizzi–International Bird Rescue

June 21, 2019

Port of Los Angeles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project: June 24th Presentation

What: Port of Los Angeles Wildlife Impact Mitigation Project, a special presentation: Hosted by International Bird Rescue and the Los Angeles Wildlife Center. Download Final Report PDF 3.6 MB

When: Monday, June 24, 2019 at 7 PM – 9 PM

Where: The Plaza At Cabrillo Marina, 2965 Via Cabrillo Marina, San Pedro, California 90731 Map

Thanks to a generous grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation (HCBF), International Bird Rescue has conducted a study on the impacts to wildlife in the Port of Los Angeles. The study will be presented to the public on Monday evening, June 24, 2019 at 7 PM. There will also be a panel discussion with local experts. Refreshments will be served.

The study was conducted to weigh the human-generated impacts on marine wildlife at the Port of Los Angeles operations. Bird Rescue focused on the waterbirds that wade, dive, feed, and reproduce there. There had been port environmental impact reports before, but no review of wildlife incidents stretching back so far historically, or cast a net so wide.

Part of the study’s findings include education and outreach efforts that involve simple, straight-forward, and practical ways to minimize human-animal impacts (aka “Urban Wildlife Conflicts”), correctly identify common and uncommon wildlife behaviors, recognize signs of distress, and provide easy, direct, convenient resources to contact when intervention might be required.

This San Pedro event is free and open to the public.

Background

Bird Rescue and Harbor Community Benefit Foundation have built a strong partnership over the past five years, with HCBF supporting an impactful summer research internship program for several years. This year, HCBF offered Bird Rescue an opportunity to study current and historic issues affecting wildlife in and around the Port of Los Angeles, and to suggest mitigation measures. The Project is also helping to identify opportunities for further improvements to the health and safety of both marine wildlife and people.

About International Bird Rescue: In 1971 after 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the bay, concerned individuals led by a registered nurse named Alice Berkner jumped into action, bringing International Bird Rescue to life. We have always had to pave a road where there is none. Staff and volunteers work with tenacity alongside clients, partners, and the public to find solutions. Today, we research best practices at our crisis response hospitals in California and Alaska and share them worldwide. Our mission is to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis. We dream of a world in which every person, every day, takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

 

May 10, 2019

This Spring We’re Rescuing Hundreds of Orphaned Ducklings!

Duckling in care with feathers contaminated with super glue. Photo by Jeanette Bates-International Bird Rescue

Each spring, hundreds of baby birds come into care at Bird Rescue. Human-wildlife conflicts are the primary causes of these admissions. As urban development continues, suitable nesting habitat decreases, bringing people and baby birds into contact.

Between our two California wildlife centers, this May we have over 200 ducklings already in care, including the little one pictured here that came in contaminated with super glue! Our team was able to remove enough of the glue to give the duckling full range of movement. To avoid putting the duckling through the stress of a rigorous wash process, we will wait for this patient to molt the contaminated down fluff naturally as its new feathers grow in over the coming weeks.

You can help protect baby birds in a variety of ways this season! Here are a few of our top suggestions:

  • Wait to trim your trees until nesting season is over (October – November)
  • If you see baby birds, give them space! Sometimes parents are nearby but are frightened of humans
  • Keep natural areas free from litter
  • Know when to rescue a baby bird, and when not to – Read some great tips from Audubon here.
  • Support your local wildlife rehabilitation organizations

If you would like to support Bird Rescue during baby bird season this year, consider symbolically adopting a duckling! Your donation will go a long way towards helping our orphaned patients grow up strong and healthy, and eventually return to the wild. Duckling adoptions can make a great birthday present or Mother’s Day gift too!

Your Duckling adoption comes with a downloadable certificate to honor that special loved one.

 

May 9, 2019

Innovative Wound Treatment Leads to Clark’s Grebe Release after 105 Days!

Clark Grebe’s had a tricky hock lesion to treat.

A Clark’s Grebe that was found oiled in Goleta and transferred down to our Los Angeles Wildlife Center for care presented an interesting challenge for treatment. Although he was only lightly oiled, due to being stranded, cold, starving, and burned by the oil, he had dead skin on both of his hocks that had adhered to the bones, which was a big cause for concern. After a full day of intensive care, this grebe was able to be washed and begin the drying and waterproofing process. Over the course of his trips out to the pools and back in for waterproofing checks, it became clear that the hock lesions on this grebe were infected and would need further treatment.

For the next several months, our staff invested a lot of time into treating this bird’s injuries. This investment was not only to try hard to save this individual, but also because these injuries and infections are commonly seen in diving birds and present a significant treatment challenge in many species. The clinical care of patients like this helps us to figure out what works and what doesn’t. One important new tool in our success in treating severe infections like this bird had is an antibiotic-impregnated polymer gel designed for use in dental abscesses in dogs (see: ClindOral). Our vet got the idea after seeing a talk on sea turtle wound care at a conference–sea turtle patients also often need to be housed in the water while their wounds are treated, so have a lot in common with Western Grebes!

After 105 days in our care, all of the hard work and specialized veterinary treatment paid off! This beautiful Clark’s Grebe was finally ready for release on May 8th, he was taken out to Cabrillo Beach and returned to his natural home in the wild!

We want to give our staff a huge thank you for working so hard and applying so many innovative techniques and treatments to this patient’s care, making it possible for him to have a second chance!

After more than three months in care, the Clark’s Grebe was released back to the wild.