Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Features

August 22, 2015

Patient of the Week: Black Oystercatcher (Hatchling)

BLOY-112g-CR-2015

Young Black Oystercather in care at our San Francisco Bay Center. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

We have a very special patient this week that may be the first hatchling Black Oystercatcher we’ve cared for in our 44+ years.

This orphaned Oystercatcher was captured at Natural Bridges in Santa Cruz, CA on August 7th by our friends at Native Animal Rescue (NAR). It arrived on August 9 weighing 23 grams. It has grown quickly and now weighs in at an impressive 112 grams.

The chick is in a shorebird box at our San Francisco Bay Center along with a surrogate parent (feather duster). It loves to munch on mussels and other mollusks.

Earlier this week eating mussels.

Last week Oystercatcher eating mussels.

At adulthood the Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) can grow to weigh 700 grams (24 oz) with a length of 47 cm (18.5 in). These noisy seabirds are found along the rocky coastal zones from Alaska to Baja California.

There only about 12,000 Black Oystercatchers along the west coast. They are associated with healthy, productive marine habitat and thus, a great indicator species of intertidal marine health.

July 16, 2015

The Weekly Bittern

Dear supporters of International Bird Rescue,

Pelican Release in San Pedro, CA.

Pelican Release in San Pedro, CA.

Tuesday marked the end of my first week as Executive Director, and what a week it has been!

For my first few days, I had the privilege of being among the incredibly capable team at our southern facility, the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care Center. Led by Operations Manager Julie Skoglund and Center Manager Kelly Berry, the team worked tirelessly to welcome Ian Somerhalder and our partners from Dawn dish detergent as we joined forces to celebrate our many superb volunteers, without whom none of this work with injured and orphaned birds would be possible. Thank you, IBR Volunteers and Interns, for your dedication! Please stop by and say hi when you get a chance. I’d like to meet each of you.

Two orphaned Pied-Billed Grebes are fed every half-hour and cuddle with a feather duster

Two orphaned Pied-Billed Grebes are fed every half-hour and cuddle with a feather duster.

The culmination of the event was the release of three Brown Pelicans and a Western Gull that had finished their rehabilitation and were ready for their return to the wild. I can say firsthand that this is a deeply moving experience, especially as I was given the honor of opening one of the cages. I released the Brown Pelican at the far right of the photo, who I have nicknamed N-20 for the blue band which will be used to track her progress in the future. We invite you to participate by using our citizen scientist reporting tool to document sightings of any blue banded pelican. This information is vital to our ongoing research. I’ll personally be watching closely for news of N-20, N-18, and X-01!

Over the weekend, I was able to meet the equally amazing team of our northern facility, International Bird Rescue – San Francisco Bay. Led by Center Manager Michelle Bellizzi, the northern center is currently working on a massive number of orphaned baby birds, including Green Heron, Snowy Egrets, Black-crowned Night Heron, Pied-Billed Grebes, Western Gulls, Pelagic Cormorants, Brandt’s Cormorants, Common Mergansers, and Mallards.

At both facilities, I have also had the privilege of watching our very talented Veterinarian and Research Director, Rebecca Duerr DVM MPVM PhD, as she administered pelicans, gulls, egrets, and more.

On Wednesday morning at Fort Baker, we also released a Double-Crested Cormorant and another Brown Pelican, the latter of which had been in our care for a full year after devastating damage to her wing and feathers. I’ll share more info on this bird, blue band X-01, next week.

Barbara Callahan, Director of Response Services and Interim Director for the last year, and JD Bergeron, incoming Executive Director.

Barbara Callahan, Director of Response Services and Interim Director for the last year, and JD Bergeron, incoming Executive Director.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not send out special thanks to IBR’s Response Services Director, Barbara Callahan, who has served as Interim Director for the past year. Barbara has led the team through a challenging year and has been gracious and generous with her time and knowledge. She is now taking  much-needed rest. Thank you, Barbara!

There are many ways to support IBR:

adopt a bird

become a recurring donor

join as a Pelican Partner

volunteer

Please also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flicker, and YouTube

I love to hear from you so please get in touch!

Be well,

JD-Bergeron_signature-web

 

 

 

JD Bergeron
Executive Director

 

July 7, 2015

Patient of the Week: Mallard With Scalp Laceration And Other Injuries

Mallard right after waking up from scalp surgery.

Female Mallard when she arrived at WildCare with a scalp laceration exposing her skull. Photo by Nat Smith

1-Mallard-Surgery-2015

Mallard right after waking up from scalp surgery.

This female Mallard was transferred to us from our colleagues at WildCare in San Rafael, CA. When she arrived, she had several serious problems: a scalping injury at the base of the upper bill (consistent with being struck by a vehicle), a swollen leg with an infected tendon from a small puncture wound, and a broken wing (ulna).

Her scalp healed flawlessly and you can already see tiny feathers starting to regrow! Her foot infection was successfully treated and we are just waiting for final recovery from the wing fracture before being able to release this resilient bird.

As reported by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California’s Mallard population has declined 27% since 2014, following other declines in recent years.

Read more: How waterfowl species in California are faring during the drought.

– Rebecca Duerr, Staff Veterinarian, International Bird Rescue

Photo: Mallard Duck with her skin totally healed and feathers coming in.

Now with her skin totally healed and feathers coming back in. Photos by Rebecca Duerr – International Bird Rescue

June 29, 2015

The Release Files: Black Rail

Black-Rail-released
video-release-black-rail-overlay

A Black Rail is back again where it belongs – hiding in nature.

Staff from our San Francisco Bay Center released the hatchling year Black Rail after came to us via WildCare after being rescued in Novato. It arrived on May 25, 2015 weighing 11 grams. It found with a small wound on its left elbow.

It more than doubled its weight to 24 grams before being released on June 26th at Black Point in Novato, CA.

Black Rails are super secretive as it walks or runs through shallow salt and freshwater marshes. It is rarely seen in flight. It’s the smallest of all Rails.

Watch the short release video  > >

April 28, 2015

Influx of Black-crowned Night Herons

Black Crowned Night Heron in care at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

Black Crowned Night Herons in care at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

Black Crowned Night Herons in care at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

This is baby bird season and at each of our two California centers we’re beginning to see an influx of young aquatic birds – especially Black-crowned Night Herons.

A handful of these sharp-beaked birds are in care at our Los Angeles Center after being found at two separate rookeries in Marina del Rey and in Long Beach.

All are doing great, self feeding and being given supplemental vitamins. They will likely move outside this week.

We currently have 38 Black-crowned Night Herons in care between both California centers, as well as a host of other sick, injured and orphaned birds that need your support! You can donate to help with their ongoing care here.

BCNH-Wing-Spread

April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day: “We All Love Wildlife” by Dawn

Our friends and partners at Dawn have come up with another terrific web video. This one captures the heart and soul of one of our long-time volunteers, Deborah Heritage, working with wildlife at our San Francisco Bay Center.

Volunteer Deborah Heritage releases a Grebe.

Volunteer Deborah Heritage releases a Horned Grebe.

Deborah speaks about becoming an empty nest parent. She began as a volunteer in 2008 at International Bird Rescue.

“Maybe I’m just the kind of person who just wants to keep taking care of something – and the birds came into my life,” says Deborah. “My nest is full of birds right now!”

IBR, the earth and the birds are so lucky to have dedicated volunteers like Deborah.

Happy Earth Day from all of us!

#HowDoYouLoveWildlife

April 9, 2015

Your Donation Goes Twice As Far…

Ducklings-group-1200px

Dear fellow bird lover,

After helping raise 1,400 baby birds last year, THIS spring is clearly going to be another busy season!

Last week we received a “Duckling Dozen” rescued by a California Highway Patrol officer and our friends at Solano County Animal Services. These 12 ducklings were rescued from the freeway after the mother duck lost her life. After closing the freeway, rescuers scooped the frightened birds up and quickly brought them to our San Francisco Bay Center.

Three goslings are some of the other baby birds in care this month at IBR. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Three goslings in care this month at our San Francisco Bay Center. (Top) Lots of orphaned Mallard ducklings, including these rescued from a local freeway.  Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

This is where we ask you to help support these precious lives.

Become a member now during our Spring Membership Drive and a generous donor will match your contribution up to $10,000! Just think, we can double your donation to support the birds!

Sacred-Dove-AA-logo

We want to encourage monthly donors too, so we have special offer provided by ALEX AND ANI and their philanthropic division, CHARITY BY DESIGN. Supporters who become monthly donors will receive the ALEX AND ANI ‘Sacred Dove’ charm bangle, a beautiful piece from the ALEX AND ANI collection. It’s a wonderful way to show your support for the birds that inspire all of us every day. And you’ll be an official member of our Seabird Circle. Your pledge of $15 a month or more as a sustaining member makes it all possible.

With encroaching development squeezing out the available habitat for wildlife and changes in our climate, our patient-load continues to grow. Your support is needed more than ever to help us get through what we know will be a season full of animals in need – they need our lifesaving support to help them through being orphaned, entangled in fishing line, sick or injured.

Won’t you please join our Spring Campaign and help us meet our goal of raising $20,000 and help us help the thousands of wild birds that will need our help this year?

Thank you again for your unwavering and generous support,

Barbara Signature

 

 

 

Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

April 1, 2015

Two Rare Albatross Ready For Release After Unusual SoCal Landings

two-Laysan-Albatross-LA-Center

Two Laysan Albatross, rare seabirds for Southern California that were rescued separately in the Los Angeles area, will be released together this week. They were each rehabilitated at International Bird Rescue’s San Pedro center.

Laysan Albatross was found sitting on a construction site in Palm Desert. Photo courtesy Melissa Usrey

One Laysan Albatross was found sitting on a construction site in Palm Desert, CA. Photo courtesy Melissa Usrey

One Albatross was rescued on March 21st after being found trapped between two containers aboard a cargo ship headed to the Port of Long Beach. The seabird was also oiled by grease and was cleaned by IBR staff last week. Read earlier blog post: Laysan Albatross Long, Greasy Ride to Freedom

The other Laysan Albatross was found on March 20th in the desert city of Rancho Mirage, about 100 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It was stabilized by The Living Desert Zoo Gardens and transferred to IBR on March 30th.

Port_of_LB_LogoWe also want to say thanks to the Port of Long Beach for generously supporting the care of these majestic seabirds.

Laysan Albatross are frequent stowaways on container ships that travel the ocean highways. They have often been spotted resting or even building nests aboard these vessels.

The stowaway phenomenon is generally considered to be a simple case of mistaken identity. Laysan Albatrosses may see the flat surface of a cargo ship as the perfect new nesting island during breeding season.

With their tremendous 6 ½ foot wingspan, Laysan Albatross can glide long distances – sometimes 300-400 miles in one day. They breed on tiny islands in the North Pacific Ocean about 3,000 miles from California.

Top photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

March 30, 2015

Join us in our “Every Bird Matters” Spring Membership Drive!

First Duckling of the Spring baby bird season. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

First duckling of the Spring baby bird season. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Dear fellow bird lover,

Our first baby ducking showed up this week, signaling the start of beautiful and busy spring.

It’s already been a busy winter and we cared for hundreds of seabirds affected by the “mystery goo” event in San Francisco Bay. More than 160 of those birds have been cleaned and returned the wild.

Without a responsible party, we funded this extraordinary response with contributions from the public – bird lovers like you, who believe wildlife needs more support than ever, and they’re right!

To help us continue our “Every Bird Matters” programs we are asking all our supporters to join through our Spring Membership Drive. This will insure that we have funds to meet the need of thousands of baby birds that will flood our two California centers. Our goal is $20,000 for this drive.

Sacred-Dove

A wonderful donor has offered to match, dollar for dollar, any donations up to $10,000! What a great way to make your donation go twice as far and help us continue to save thousands of sick, injured and orphaned birds this year!

We want to encourage monthly donors too, so we have special offer provided by ALEX AND ANI and their philanthropic division, CHARITY BY DESIGN. Supporters who become monthly donors will also receive the ALEX AND ANI ‘Sacred Dove’ charm bangle, a beautiful piece from the ALEX AND ANI collection. It’s a wonderful way to show your support for the birds that inspire all of us every day. And you’ll be an official member of our Seabird Circle. Your pledge of $15 a month or more as a sustaining member makes it all possible.

Mallard Duckling at SF Bay CenterOr, you can make a single gift by clicking here. Whatever the level, all our supporters are bird rescue heroes.

We see evidence everyday that the environment is changing and we receive thousands of birds each year that are harmed by human impact, whether it is fishing line entanglement, urban encroachment or pollution. To quote our past director, Jay Holcomb, “When you stop caring for the individuals, you’ve stopped caring about the population”.

Your gift is crucial to ensuring we continue to give world-class care to birds in need, including this Brown Pelican, injured by a gunshot to its wing and in care right now at our Los Angeles Center.

Thank you for your generosity and for helping us continue to help the birds.

With deepest gratitude,

Barbara Signature

 

 

Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

March 3, 2015

The Release Files: Bonaparte’s Gull

Bonaparte's Gull takes flight. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Bonaparte’s Gull takes flight in Suisun Marsh. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

We recently returned a Bonaparte’s Gull to the wild after this patient was treated in the midst of the “Mystery Goo Response”.

This Bonaparte’s Gull was introduced as a Patient of the Week December 6, 2014. The bird was found at Silver Oak Winery in Sonoma County, and arrived with a very large laceration exposing its thigh muscles from hip to mid leg (3 inches long on a 120 gram bird!). It also had severe damage to its right foot.

BOGUThe thigh wound was surgically closed. The middle toe was not salvageable and was amputated, while the outer toe had a laceration that was sutured closed, and an injury to the inner toe’s first toe joint was stabilized with a splint for two weeks.

This bird’s injuries were consistent with what we have seen before in birds that have run into razor wire. After two months of treatment, the thigh laceration and foot injuries have healed very nicely and the bird grew new feathers on the new skin at the former thigh wound.

This resilient little gull spent the last few weeks flying and eating very well while growing in new feathers. It was released last month at the Suisun Marina.

– Rebecca Duerr, Staff Veterinarian, International Bird Rescue

Bonapartes-release-over-water-web

February 26, 2015

Honoring school kids fundraising efforts with a bird release

Pelicans-Released-Alameda-PDS“I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way…” 
~Greatest Love Of All song written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed

On a beautifully clear Thursday morning we honored a special group of caring third graders from Park Day School in Oakland. We inviting them to a bird release to celebrate their fundraising prowess after they collected $603.30 for the Mystery Goo seabird response.

Thank you PDS kids and their teachers Renee Miller, Mona Halaby, and Jeanine Harmon!

All photos by Cheryl Reynolds – International Bird Rescue

Pelicans-Alameda-Release-SF-skyline

Among the birds released: Four Brown Pelicans at Encinal Beach in Alameda.

"Park Day School bird release 2/16/15 at Encinal Beach Alameda"

Park Day School students present ceremonial $603.30 check from fundraising efforts for mystery goo birds.

"Park Day School bird release 2/16/15 at Encinal Beach Alameda"

February 20, 2015

Honoring Volunteers: Release of 18 More Clean, Healthy Mystery Goo Birds

2-SUSC-Release-Feb-20-2015-CR-webToday we gave thanks to some of our wonderful volunteers who were so instrumental in returning clean, healthy mystery goo birds back to the wild. As part of the celebration, 18 more seabirds were released at Fort Baker in Sausalito Friday morning.

Volunteer-Release-Feb-20-2015-CR-web

Volunteers celebrate the release the seabirds, including the Surf Scoter (above). Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

With this release, the total of clean birds returned to the wild is now 128. Another 56 birds are still in care at our San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield.

More than 300 volunteers from all over California came together to help in the care of hundreds of birds that began arriving for the East Bay on January 16, 2015 coated in a mystery substance. Read more

We’d like to again thank all the groups that sent staff and volunteers, including: Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), East Bay Regional Parks, Wildlife Emergency Services, Peninsula Humane Society, Baykeeper, Audubon California, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Lindsey Wildlife Museum, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OSPR, Bird Ally X, Wildlife Care Association, Native Songbird Care and Education Center, Pacific Wildlife Care, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, Mount Diablo Audubon, Golden Gate Audubon, Native Animal Rescue, SPCA for Monterey County, Napa Wildlife, Marine Mammal Center, California Waterfowl Association, Beach Watch and SeaWorld.

Vols-Release-Feb-20-2015-RC-web

February 4, 2015

Nothing like a bird release to lift the spirits

Surf-Scoter-flies-Mystery-Goo-released-1-4-15-Oakland-webA Surf Scoter flies free at the Oakland Port Wednesday. Photos by Cheryl Reynolds

Twenty more birds cleaned of the East Bay mystery goo were released Wednesday morning at the Oakland Port.

Dunlins, a shorebird prevalent in San Francisco Bay, is released in Oakland.

Dunlins, a shorebird prevalent in San Francisco Bay, is released in Oakland.

“There’s nothing like a bird release to lift the spirits,” said Russ Curtis, spokesperson for International Bird Rescue. “Our reward is seeing these beautiful, clean birds returned to their natural habitat in good health.”

This is the first release in the East Bay where nearly 3 weeks ago hundreds of birds were rescued coated with a sticky, unknown contaminant. The birds were released along the sand dunes at Middle Harbor Shoreline Park at the Oakland Port.

With this release, the total of birds returned to the wild is now 101. More than 110 birds still remain in care at our San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield, CA.

Among those released: 11 Surf Scoters, 4 Dunlins, 4 Western Sandpipers, and 1 Eared Grebe.

The mystery goo event began on January 16, 2015, when staff members at the East Bay Regional Park District began rescuing seabirds beached on local shores and covered in a thick substance. The affected birds lost their critical ability to stay waterproof in the cool San Francisco Bay waters.

Over the last several weeks each of the birds was medically stabilized and then washed using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed by washing with Dawn dishwashing soap.

To date, 323 birds were delivered to our center. 110 where DOA or died in care. Another 170 birds were collected dead by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

State and private labs are still testing the goo feather samples. Earlier testing ruled out petroleum products as the culprit. See: Scientists Struggle to Identify Gooey Substance, Planet Experts

Since there is no responsible party to pay for this response, International Bird Rescue is shouldering the complete cost of caring for these seabirds. Donations are always appreciated.

Marge-Elliott-Julia-Winiarski-carrying-birds-2-15-2015-release-web
Some of our volunteers, Marge Elliott, left, and Julia Winiarski, carry birds to release site.

February 1, 2015

132 seabirds, once covered in goo, still need your help

Photo of Surf Scoter release mystery goo 2015 response

Clean release: First 24 birds, including Surf Scoters, were released at Fort Baker on January 28th. Photo by Russ Curtis

Dear friends,

On behalf of my entire team, I’d like to thank all of you for supporting our work rescuing hundreds of seabirds affected by the San Francisco mystery goo. From our volunteers and supporters to the general public and the media, we’ve been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support for the care of these birds.

Though we’ve been thrilled to release 81 healthy seabirds thus far back into the wild, we still have 132 birds in care that will need many more days of support at our San Francisco Bay center. The testing of goo-covered feathers continues at government and private laboratories. But the substance remains a mystery.

SOS-Greater-Scaup-mystery-event-2015-CRAnd our bills for these animals, as well as non-“gooed” wild birds in our care for other injuries, continue to mount. The more time passes, the less likely that a culprit behind the dumping of this substance (if it is indeed manmade) will be found and held financially accountable. It’s people like you who have sustained us. If you haven’t yet donated and are wondering if we still need your support, the answer is Yes.

This all started on January 16, 2015, when our colleagues at East Bay Regional Park District began seeing several species of seabirds beached on local shores and covered in a thick substance. The birds had lost their critical ability to stay waterproof in the cold San Francisco Bay waters.

Photo of incoming Bufflehead

Bufflehead coated in the mystery goo. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Each of the birds was medically stabilized and then washed using a combination of baking soda and vinegar, followed by washing with Dawn detergent.

To date, 323 birds were delivered to our center. Another 151 birds were collected dead by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

Our staff and more than 300 volunteers worked overtime to give these birds the best chance possible to survive. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our work. Because this was not a spill caused by an identifiable company or party, we are have been shouldering all the costs regarding this mystery event.

Flotilla-Surf-Scoters-BirdCam-650px

Flotilla of Surf Scoters are among the 132 birds still in care.

Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. The care of these birds, including Surf Scoters, Horned Grebes, Common Goldeneyes and Scaups, is lengthy and expensive. View our BirdCam

With your support we are committed as ever, to ensuring “Every Bird Matters”.

Sincerely,

Barbara Signature

 

 

Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

Shorebirds-avairy-mystery-2015-CR-640px

Shorebirds, cleaned of goo, were some of our smallest patients. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

January 18, 2015

ABC 7 reports on the substance killing Bay Area seabirds


Lisa Amin Gulezian of ABC7 News/San Francisco reported from our San Francisco Bay center in Fairfield last night on the mystery substance incident in the East Bay affecting many seabird species. Senior IBR staffers Michelle Bellizzi and Julie Skoglund are interviewed about this unprecedented situation.

Updated 1/18/15 @ 8:39 pm: More than 150 of seabirds contaminated with a mystery substance are in care at our San Francisco Bay Center. Teams will resume at dawn the search for more fouled birds along the eastern shore of SF Bay – including Alameda, Bay Farm Island and south toward Hayward.

Found a bird? Report online: http://goo.gl/forms/cRxIyc1bTx

We also are now having success in washing birds healthy enough to endure the wash process. The birds are being cleaned in various baths that includes Methyl soyate, vinegar, baking soda and copious amounts of Dawn dishwashing liquid.

We need your support. With no indication of the substance’s origin, International Bird Rescue is paying for all emergency care costs at this time and is seeking public support. Donations to help can be made online or by mail to International Bird Rescue, 4369 Cordelia Rd, Fairfield CA 94534. Please consider a donation of $25, $50 or more to care for these wonderful seabirds.

Donate-Button"East Bay Regional Park Event 1/16/15 incoming Surf Scoter"
A Surf Scoter is brought to International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay center covered in the mystery substance.