Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Features

September 2, 2016

Adopt-a-Loon in Honor of Loon Month!

Loon

This September we celebrate Loons as our bird of the month, and the unique care that is required for this particular species. Have you ever heard the sounds of a Loon? We’ve got a great video posted on our Facebook page, where you can watch and listen to the beautiful vocalizations. When a Loon comes through our doors, we must work quickly to stabilize, as loons tend to be one of the more fragile species we get into care.

Did you know it costs $10 a day to provide a Loon with fish to eat, the necessary medical treatment and supplements, and clean water to swim in?

This means for Loons alone, the average cost is $300 a month!

Will you help us by adopting a Loon today for just $10? For every Loon adopted we will share on our social media sites, to encourage participation and help meet our fundraising goal of $3,500. This will cover our estimated cost for caring for this species in the year ahead.

You can even adopt a bird as a gift to someone that you know works really hard as a thank you to him or her, while also helping a bird today. Your adoption includes a fun downloadable PDF that you can print and display proudly.

Will you help us reach our fundraising goal of $3,500 this month by adopting a Loon today?

Adopt-Loon

July 15, 2016

Meet Talia: A Bird Rescue Intern Making A Difference

Talia-Science-FairWe are pleased to honor Talia Baddour, above, a recent intern at International Bird Rescue (Bird Rescue) in San Pedro, CA, who was the recipient of the first place award in the Zoology category at Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District Science and Engineering Fair. She was also awarded the United States Air Force Award at a science fair held at the South Bay Botanical Gardens.

HCBF_Logo with webTalia came to Bird Rescue through the Harbor Community Academic Internship program. This program is funded by the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation which gives local students the chance to gain experience in wildlife conservation and biology. The program also gives Bird Rescue the opportunity to connect with local students in the community. Due to the nature of the work performed at Bird Rescue, community interaction is limited. The program allows Bird Rescue to expand this interaction by granting students with an interest in animals, wildlife conservation, or biology access to see how the field operates outside the academic world.

Talia was accepted into the Harbor Community Academic Internship program in the summer of 2015. During her time at Bird Rescue, she witnessed the human impact on the local sea bird population, watched people who have dedicated their careers to mitigating this impact, and observed the importance of a positive and welcoming work environment. In her words she said “actually seeing first-hand what birds go through and how they are affected by people has helped me understand the importance of protecting them.” The internship allowed her to experience the amount of work that goes into helping injured birds and eventually returning them to the wild. She further stated the people she interacted with at Bird Rescue were “the most social coworkers I have ever had,” and they played a major role in helping her complete the research project.

The program requires the intern to work on a research project focused on a subject related to the work done at Bird Rescue. With the help of the Bird Rescue staff the intern chooses a project in an area that is of most interest to them. Talia studied a phenomenon known as Broken Feather Patch (BFP), which affects aquatic bird species such as loons and Common Murres. A bird that is found to have a BFP typically cannot maintain its plumage in a waterproof state. The BFP structurally compromises the bird’s feather layers leaving their skin to be exposed to cold ocean water, leading to hypothermia. In her research, Talia found that Common Murres are more likely to have a BFP than any other species. She also found that most birds (59%) coming in with BFPs were from Malibu beaches. This led her to theorize that because Malibu has so many miles of beach property and a high number of people visiting these beaches that the stranded or beached bird was more likely to be recovered in these areas. Finally, she noted that although BFPs were more common in non-oiled birds, they were the primary reason for euthanasia in oiled ones.

talia-bird-rescue-intern

Talia with other interns who helped at Dawn dish soap event featuring Ian Somerhalder, right, as the guest celebrity.

Interns have the opportunity to participate in events held by Bird Rescue. Talia helped with an event sponsored by Dawn dish soap featuring Ian Somerhalder as the guest celebrity. This event was held to raise awareness of human impact on the environment and highlighted the partnership Dawn has with Bird Rescue. The event was held at the Bird Rescue San Pedro facility and allowed the staff and volunteers to take part in educating the public. Events such as these occur frequently at Bird Rescue in an effort to educate the public about the work that takes place in this unique environment. The interns are welcomed to help and participate in many aspects.

Another benefit of the internship program is the opportunity to participate during environmental crises, such as oil spills. Interns gain first-hand knowledge and hands-on experience by aiding the staff in these events. They work in a fast-paced work environment alongside the staff and learn how bird care is performed when high volumes of effected birds are rehabilitated simultaneously.

In March 2016, Talia entered her research study in the Palos Verdes Peninsula United School District (PVPUSD) Science and Engineering fair. This event is held by The Palos Verdes Peninsula Education Foundation (www.pvpef.org). This foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing key programs and staff to the local schools. Talia was awarded first place against 18 student entries in the category of Zoology. She also won the United States Air Force Award, in a field of 115 entrants at a science fair held at the South Bay Botanical Gardens. After winning these two awards, Talia decided to continue working with Bird Rescue by volunteering in the hospital and working with the birds directly.

This internship program has proven to be highly beneficial. Interns receive the unique opportunity to interact, research, and observe the amazing work performed at International Bird Rescue. Those that have graduated the program have walked away with invaluable skills that they can apply in their future career choices.

May 2, 2016

Meet Bart Selby, Ace Pelican Spotter!

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Brown Pelican with its blue band A56 was reported at the Monterey Wharf. Photo by Bart Selby

Our Blue-banded Pelican Program has become important to a lot of pelican enthusiasts who like the idea of connecting with California Brown Pelicans as individuals with personal histories. But to Bart Selby, connecting in this way seems like a calling of the highest order. This self-described Brown Pelican fan has become one of the super-reporters of banded pelicans in our (so far) seven-year old program.

On May 7th, you too can become a pelican spotter as part of the California Audubon Society’s Brown Pelican Count, and we hope you will keep an eye out for blue-banded pelicans as well! Learn how to get involved here:
http://ca.audubon.org/brownpelicansurvey

Our ace spotter Bart hails from San Carlos, CA, and is passionate about pelicans. Using his kayak and a keen eye, he has reported more than 175 sightings of 95 different individual blue-banded pelicans–and that’s not counting his sightings of green-banded birds released after the Refugio oil spill or white-banded birds rehabilitated at Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria, OR. Most of his sightings have been photodocumented with beautiful images of our former patients resting, preening, and generally behaving like normal wild pelicans.

We talked to Bart about his passion and some of the spotting strategies he uses in the field.

Q. How did you hear about and begin spotting blue-banded pelicans?

A. I’m a huge Brown Pelican fan. I’ve been photographing them for years. I’m a volunteer Team Ocean kayak-based naturalist on Monterey’s Elkhorn Slough summer weekends, and I’m on the Citizen’s Advisory Board of NOAA’s Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. I spotted my first blue-banded pelican (“A56”) in Monterey in 2011, and my second (“P62”) at Pillar Point in 2014.

During the summer of 2015, I began training for a solo kayak crossing to the Farallons, paddling three times a week before work, often in harbors. At Half Moon Bay’s Pillar Point, I happened to photograph Brown Pelican C84, and was hooked on banded birds when I read his amazing history (see below). Over the summer, I refined my spotting technique and racked up a few identifications.

C84’s story:

Oft spotted C84: Blue-banded Pelican. Photo by Bart Selby

The winter of 2010 saw a mass stranding event of adult pelicans. At the time, Southern California’s breakwaters and jetties (as well as highways and backyards!) were covered with dead and dying, starving, cold, and contaminated mature adult pelicans. This mass mortality event was occurring only a few months after the species was removed from the Endangered Species List in November 2009.

This bird was admitted on January 9, 2010, after landing in the yard at our LA wildlife center, and was listed in our database with the very rare distinction of being “self-admitted.” This very smart bird was thin and weak, and had contaminated plumage. We treated and released him, clean and well fed, on January 29, 2010.

Resightings:
11/12/2012 in Moss Landing, CA
7/30/2015, 8/1/2015, 8/16/2015, 8/24/2015, 9/13/2015, 9/15/2015, and 9/17/2015 at Pillar Point Harbor, CA

Q. What things have you learned in your quest? Tips, suggestions?

A. The first rule of respectful interaction with animals is to not disturb any wildlife. Disturbance is defined as any change in behavior. In an ID shot, it is ideal if the bird is grooming, stretching, sleeping, or even looking at the camera. If it is taking off or hopping away, it was most likely disturbed. That’s bad karma.

I tell visitors to only go out with or get instruction from someone who knows how to approach wildlife without disturbing it. For one thing, it’s a numbers game. You have to see a lot of birds to find tagged ones, and you will not see a lot if you disturb any, as they all talk to each other. And roosting birds need recovery time to groom and rest.

The best way to get close to water or shore birds is to go on a boat tour with responsible guides in an area where the wildlife is acclimated. I tell people who ask that the best place to photograph sea otters is walking around the pier at Monterey’s marina. If you paddle in Drake’s Estero in Point Reyes, harbor seals spook at 500 yards. At Cannery Row in June, the adolescents often jump on boats. Pelicans in harbors are generally not afraid of humans, if the humans are behaving as the birds expect.

Notice the defect in the middle right side of T80's upper bill--IBR staff were not sure if this would be a problem for a plunge-diving bird. Thanks to this photo we were relieved to see the bill looking great several years later!

Notice the defect in the middle right side of T80′s upper bill–IBR staff were not sure if this would be a problem for a plunge-diving bird. Thanks to this photo we were relieved to see the bill looking great several years later!

Pelicans typically roost at night, so if prey is in the area, dawn will find them at their local safe spots.

Q. What surprises you about the pelicans you see?

A. Pelicans are complex, tolerant, and interesting birds. The more I see of them, the more impressed I am. The Blue-banded Pelican Program opens amazing windows to learning ever more about the birds by allowing us to see them as individuals, and by demonstrating that Bird Rescue’s great intervention works. I’m seeing the same birds over months. I see individual birds’ plumage change with the seasons and figure out who hangs with whom, where and when.

When I get a bird’s history, it’s often possible to spot the recovery from an injury in the image, like the foot injury of C74 or the healing beak of T80. It’s very cool to find out I’m the first to see a bird that was released five years earlier. And it’s amazing to see the green-banded (“Z”) birds recovering from the Refugio oil spill getting new plumage. I’ve seen 12 of them in total and one of them, Z15, I’ve seen six times.

Reviewing the images with their history has made me a better observer. On my last paddle at Elkhorn, I saw five banded birds, three blue (E08, P09, V89) and two green (Z23, Z36), as well as two injured birds–one badly cut, most likely by a sea lion bite, one with heavily contaminated plumage. And I saw one pelican paddle into the harbor from the bay, for some reason he/she could not fly.

Q. Any gear that you use that helps you better spot banded pelicans?

A. I see most banded birds from a kayak. I have pretty good vision, and I’ve learned to find the tag by looking for color or the brightness of an aluminum band with unaided eyes; then I quickly shoot images with a camera. I try to never stop or point the boat toward the bird. Often I will not see the number until I check the image later. Binoculars are useful in larger boats but not in kayaks, which generally move too much to do efficient scanning. I use (waterproof) Nikon Monarch binoculars and a full-frame Nikon with a fast 400mm zoom. My most useful tools are knowing where to look and how to approach wildlife without disturbance.

Q. Where do you normally look for blue-banded pelicans?

A. Brown Pelicans have huge wingspans and need a lot of time, space, and ground speed to get airborne. They must take off and land facing into the wind. I think they have difficulty getting to flight speed on land unless the winds are within a narrow range, so they stick to a cliff top or someplace on the water; this greatly limits where you will find them roosting, resting, or preening. For pelicans to be present, there must be prey in the area. When pelicans are around, you will find them in the same spots, always on the water and hard for land-based predators to get to. Breakwaters are their ideal roosting spots, jetties a close second. The last two years have been outstanding for sea life in Northern California, with huge numbers of pelicans around, from Monterey to the Gate. I saw more than 20,000 in the Pillar Point harbor on a few days in August and photographed 14 tagged birds.

Brown Pelican C74 was spotted last summer at Pillar Point Harbor. Photo by Bart Selby

Great view of an old injury years later–notice C74 is missing half of his right foot’s outer toe. It was amputated due to a fishing hook injury. Photo by Bart Selby

If pelicans are not feeding, they are travelling to the fish. In California, if they are headed north, you can also see them along Highway 1 or on trails that have high bluffs right along the water. To fly north into our prevailing winds, pelicans “bluff surf.” As the winds strike the coastal cliffs, they are deflected up; birds–mostly gulls and pelicans–will surf that uplift. In it they can fly directly into the wind travelling at 30mph without beating their wings. They position themselves at the top of the cliff, often less than 20 feet away from the edge, then soar up and slide down and forward, repeating the process over and over. If you pull off Highway 1 along those bluffs–anywhere from LA to Oregon–Brown Pelicans will fly right by you. Anyone riding in a car may see pelicans up close, often from the car window.

The Blue-banded Pelican Program began in 2009 as a brainchild of Jay Holcomb, the Director of International Bird Rescue until his passing in 2014. Jay envisioned a program that asked the public, or “citizen scientists,” to track and report these majestic seabirds. Jay’s vision shaped the program, and we are continuing his legacy. The program is now being shepherded by our Veterinarian and Research Director Dr. Rebecca Duerr and our Operations Manager and Master Bander Julie Skoglund. Since September 2009, Bird Rescue has treated and released more than 1,222 blue-banded California Brown Pelicans. Read more about our banding programs

pelicans-2-fly-thumbBecome a Pelican Partner: It’s an unforgettable experience and a unique way to support wild birds in need. In our Pelican Partner program, you and your family will have the chance to tour either our Los Angeles or San Francisco Bay centers, where you’ll meet your seabird as it gets ready for its release.

April 21, 2016

Double your impact on the birds!

Dear Fellow Bird and Nature Lovers,

Surf-Scoter-drake-happy-donate-crop

As we celebrate our 45th year of saving birds at International Bird Rescue, we are asking you to help us take advantage of a wonderful offer we’ve received from a generous donor.

This person, who wishes to remain anonymous, has pledged to double the first $10,000 worth of donations made to International Bird Rescue to celebrate our 45th anniversary! What this means is that donations made now will go even further in helping us save sick, injured, and orphaned aquatic birds just like the over 6,000 birds we helped last year.

As you probably already know, the funds we receive from you and other bird and nature lovers support our day-to-day bird rescue operations, which involve caring for many different patients such as a male Surf Scoter that was found on a beach in Monterey and brought to our San Francisco Bay facility. When this patient was closely examined by our dedicated clinic staff, they discovered and removed a 3-inch piece of metal from his left shoulder. See Facebook post

The State of California provides partial support to our two state-of-the-art California wildlife clinics to enable them to respond quickly to oil spills. But this funding represents only a small portion of what it costs to operate our facilities 365 days a year, rescuing, caring for, and rehabilitating thousands and thousands of birds annually.

If you believe in the work we do and share our belief that we humans must make efforts to mitigate our impacts on birds and the natural world, please make a donation today.

Remember, your contribution will be doubled. And no amount is too small it truly does take a village of compassionate, caring individuals to make a difference. Prefer to donate via PayPal? Click here

With appreciation,

 

JD-signature

 

 

 

JD Bergeron – Executive Director
jd@bird-rescue.org
T: 707.207.0380 x102

photo119959

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 5, 2016

Our 45th Anniversary Ambassador Bird…the Surf Scoter!

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In honor of our 45th anniversary, we have chosen the Surf Scoter as our ambassador bird. International Bird Rescue has a long history working with these iconic ducks. Surf Scoters were a seabird species deeply affected by the 1971 oil spill at the Golden Gate Bridge which led directly to the formation of Bird Rescue in April of that same year.

In 2007, Surf Scoters were also a key species during the Cosco Busan spill. We saw them again in great numbers during the 2015 Mystery Goo event in San Francisco Bay.

These striking birds are easily seen from shores and boats even without binoculars, making them a great learning target for new birders and children. In addition, they are very good patients during rehabilitation and heal relatively quickly.

Learn more about Surf Scoters at AllAboutBirds.org.

Photo: Cheryl Reynolds

 

February 26, 2016

Patient of the Week: Canada Gosling

Our first baby bird of the season — a Canada gosling — is also our patient of the week!

Found earlier this month on the grounds of the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, CA, the gosling was then delivered to our friends at Lindsay Wildlife and, 10 days later, transferred to our San Francisco Bay center.

The gosling is growing quickly: it weighed 98g at rescue, and its weight is now 354g and climbing!

This week we received two more orphaned goslings and all the birds are sharing quarters in a duckling box at our center.

A Canada Goose typically lays a clutch of five to seven white eggs, although clutches can range from as few as two to as many as 12. Newly hatched goslings look a lot like ducklings with their yellowish gray feathers and dark bill. By nine to ten weeks, however, they have turned gray and grown their flight feathers.

We treat hundreds of goslings and ducklings each year at both our California centers. This year is starting off with a beauty!

 

December 31, 2015

Help Birds Soar Farther in 2016!

Pelican-Brown-dragging-wing-BS

Dear Friends and Bird Allies,

Just a quick reminder that it’s the final day of 2015 and you can still give the gift of flight with a tax-deductible donation.

As a bird lover we depend on your generous gifts to keep our clinic doors open 365 days of the year to make sure the 5,000+ avian patients get the best possible care.

If you’ve already donated, thank you again for your support! If you haven’t yet, please join us and make a contribution to Bird Rescue.

With warm wishes for a wonderful New Year!

Sincerely,

JD-B-signature-300px

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

How will you help a bird today?

Photo by Bill Steinkamp

 

December 23, 2015

Thank You For Giving Birds A Second Chance

Photo of Snowy Egrets raised at International Bird Rescue's San Francisco Bay Center.

Dear Friends and Bird Allies,

Maybe it’s snowing where you are, but we never get a snowy day around our centers. We do get our share of Snowy Egrets: 308 this year!

This year, we are counting our blessings. With thousands of birds in need of care – your generous support in 2015 has made all the difference in our ability to give these wild birds a second chance at life.

From the rescue of baby Snowy Egrets (shown) at the 9th Street Rookery in Santa Rosa… to the response to our work with pelicans, gulls, and cormorants on the Santa Barbara oil spill in May… to the volunteers who worked tirelessly helping Surf Scoters slimed by Mystery Goo in San Francisco Bay – your help has carried us through a very busy year and is so appreciated.

As the holiday season enters this week of the festival of lights and you spend more time with family and friends, we want to remind you that as a bird ally you are in our thoughts.

Happy holidays,

JDB-Sig

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

How will you help a bird today?

Photo above: Baby Snowy Egrets. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

 

December 15, 2015

A Year To Remember

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Baxter the Bufflehead: Before and after being cleaned of the mystery goo at the SF Bay Center. Photos: Cheryl Reynolds

Dear Friends and Bird Allies,

For 44 years, International Bird Rescue has been responding to oiled wildlife emergencies all over the world, and yet 2015 has been a year to remember!

On January 16th, we received reports of a large number of water birds on San Francisco Bay contaminated with an unknown sticky substance – including Baxter the Bufflehead duck, shown in these photos before and after his cleaning. Like many of the birds, Baxter was covered in slime, dirt, and rocks, destroying his waterproofing and his ability to maintain his body temperature. All the affected birds required intensive care and we had to develop a whole new cleaning process for this substance.

This “Mystery Goo” was not a petroleum product, which meant there was no protocol for who would take responsibility for the birds and how they would be cared for. Putting our own resources on the line, we at International Bird Rescue stepped into that void and accepted more than 300 birds. We then asked you – our dedicated supporters–for help, and you responded with much-appreciated donations!

It’s your support that enables us to put in the hard work needed to give these birds a second chance.

Thank you again for your generosity,

JDB-Sig

 

 

 

 

JD Bergeron
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

 

December 8, 2015

How Did You Help A Bird Today?

Photo of Brown Pelican in care at International Bird Rescue

With Bird Rescue’s help, Brown Pelicans
get a second chance. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds

Dear Friends and Bird Allies,

To answer the question of how I helped a bird today, I must first back up to a recent Saturday when I was volunteering in the San Francisco Bay clinic.

Two adult Brown Pelicans had come into care with Domoic Acid poisoning, which can involve seizures. In order to control the seizures, the patients are heavily sedated to keep them still and quiet, almost in a comatose state. I was asked to assist the staff with the next round of IV fluids by acting as handler. I thought nothing of that when asked, as I’ve done this many times over the years.

One patient was being housed in one of the soft-sided pelagic boxes, which I thought very odd because pelicans are very tall birds and are usually housed in enclosures that accommodate their size. OK, so that was a new one on me.

When I pulled back the sheet covering the top of the box and got my first look at the patient, I had to stop for a few seconds and gather my composure. This magnificent, beautiful adult pelican was lying down in the box with its head propped up on towels, like a pillow. As I looked at the patient lying there, completely helpless and vulnerable, its state really touched my heart and paralyzed me for a few seconds. I picked up the bird, and it offered no resistance. The patient’s condition actually brought tears to my eyes.

Photo Pelicans affected Domoic Acid in treatment at International Bird Rescue


Pelicans suffering from Domoic Acid receive
a rigorous treatment and can survive.
Photo: International Bird Rescue

How did I help a bird today? By reaching inside to find the courage and strength to keep my emotions at bay as was able to lend assistance to this poor animal in need.

When I reported for my shift the following Saturday, my first question was ‘how are the pelicans doing?’ I was so happy to learn that they had recovered and were now outside in the large flight aviary getting their health and strength back.

Over the years, I have come to love and respect the animals that have come through our door for help. I’ve seen birds that have come in with broken wings, fishing line and fishing hooks tangled around legs, wings, and mouth, infected wounds, birds that have been the subject of human cruelty; and somehow, they manage to live and survive in the wild with these incredible injuries that cause more pain than I can imagine. I am constantly amazed by their resolve and determination to survive.

–Donna Callison, Volunteer, International Bird Rescue

Majestic Brown Pelicans

Bird Rescue treats on average 200+ Brown Pelicans a year. Many of these majestic birds come into our two California centers with injuries caused by humans, ranging from the unintentional fishing line entanglements to outright cruelty. All of our pelicans are released with blue bands to help track them in the wild. Since 2009, we have banded 1,200 pelicans and have received more than 800 sightings reported by citizen scientists.

Your donation helps get these beautiful birds back on their feet

 

November 26, 2015

Giving Thanks

Giving-Thanks

Dear Friends and Bird Allies,

This morning, our dedicated team in both wildlife centers are busily working to feed and care for our resident wild birds. In wildlife rehabilitation, there are no holidays! The work of cleaning pools and enclosures, medicating birds, changing bandages, and feeding these hungry patients continues 365 days a year. Our team of staff and volunteers will be headed home in the afternoon to celebrate with their families.

As 2015 approaches its end, please consider making a year-end gift to support International Bird Rescue. We depend on the generosity of wildlife lovers like you. And your contribution is tax-deductible. With your support, we have had a record year and we are now raising funds for a big year of new developments, including exciting new research into the care of seabirds and the completion of a state-of-the-art aviary for herons and egrets in our San Francisco Bay facility.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sincerely,

JD-Bergeron_signature-web

 
 
 
 
 
 

JD Bergeron
Executive Director

Photo by Sara Silver

 

October 3, 2015

We Love Boobies!

Photos of Masked Booby and Red-Footed Booby at Bird Rescue's Los Angeles Center.

Masked Booby (left) and Red-Footed Booby at Los Angeles Center. Photos by Bill Steinkamp

What’s better than one booby?! How about two?

We have a pair of very rare boobies in care at our Los Angeles Center: a Red-footed Booby and a Masked Booby. Both of these seabird species are uncommon West Coast visitors. Red-footed Boobies can usually be found in tropical and sub-tropical waters across the globe. Masked Boobies have an enormous range that stretches from the Caribbean Islands to Australia. These unusual birds make a striking pair and we hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do.

Redondo Beach Animal Control found the Red-footed Booby last month at the Redondo Beach fishing pier. The officer observed that the bird was not moving. After transport to Bird Rescue, the booby was examined and found to be emaciated and molting with poor feather quality. It had some mild eye trauma that has since healed. (See: Patient of the Week, Sept.25, 2015)

Masked Booby was flown from Portland after being found along the coast at Newport, Oregon.

This Masked Booby was flown via Alaska Airlines from Portland, Oregon to Los Angeles after being found on the Oregon coast.

The Red-footed Booby (Sula sula) is the smallest of the booby family, standing just over two feet tall and with a wingspan over three feet.

On September 11th, a passerby captured the Masked Booby in Newport, Oregon. The bird was brought to the local Newport Field office of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Later, it was transferred to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, where Curator of Birds CJ McCarty and her team cared for it. The bird came in quite thin – weighing only 1,405g.

The USFWS contacted International Bird Rescue and requested the Masked Booby be moved to Bird Rescue in California for continued rehabilitation and release closer to its natural range. Alaska Airlines agreed to transport the booby free of charge from Portland, OR, to Los Angeles, CA this week. All of us at Bird Rescue would like to say a big thank you to USFWS, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Coast Aquarium, and Alaska Airlines for working together to get this bird the help it needed!

On Oct 1, the bird received a full examination by our veterinarian, Rebecca Duerr DVM, and was found to be bright and alert and in general good health, having gained a substantial amount of weight while at the aquarium.

The Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra) is the largest of the booby family, standing about three feet tall and with a wingspan over five feet. According USFWS, this bird is only the second Masked Booby that has been reported north of Mendocino County, California.

Both birds are resting comfortably in the outdoor aviary at our center located in San Pedro, and are working on gaining more weight before release. When introduced to the other booby in the aviary, the Masked Booby sidled over to the Red-footed Booby along the edge of the pool and gave a big squawk of greeting to the other bird. They have been a fine pair of aviary booby buddies ever since.

You can help cover the cost of care of these birds by donating now: http://bird-rescue.org/donate

Photo of Masked and Red-footed Boobies at Bird Rescue Los Angeles

Both boobies are resting comfortably in the outdoor aviary at our center located in San Pedro, and are working on gaining more weight before release.

September 25, 2015

Patient of the Week: Red-Footed Booby

Photo by Bill Steinkamp

Rare visitor: Red-Footed Booby in care at Los Angeles Center. Photo by Bill Steinkamp

Photo of Red-Footed Booby was found at the Redondo Beach fishing pier. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

Red-Footed Booby was found at the Redondo Beach fishing pier. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

We are treating a Red-Footed Booby – a very rare visitor to Southern California – at our Los Angeles Center.

The seabird was found September 13th by Redondo Beach Animal Control on the Redondo Beach fishing pier. The officer observed that the bird was not moving.

Upon initial exam, the Booby was found to be molting with very poor feather quality. It had some mild eye trauma that has since been resolved.

The bird is doing well and it recently got moved into the aviary. The clinic staff is working on getting the bird to self feed, so, for now, it is getting supplemental nutrition​ and hydration. We will keep you updated on it’s progress.

The Red-Footed Booby (Sula sula) is among the smallest of Boobies. It’s a strong flier and will fly long distances in search of food.

This species is an uncommon west coast visitor and has been seen only rarely along the California coast. The Red-Footed Booby usually can be found in tropical and sub-tropical waters across the globe.

September 10, 2015

The Release Files: Snowy Egrets

SNEG-release-LA1-9-2015

SNEG

Two Snowy Egrets were released back to the wild this week by IBR staff and volunteers at Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey, CA. One of the birds had a toe amputation and required extra care the other was a short term patient. Thanks to Doug Carter for the wonder photos.

Love Snowy Egrets? You can symbolically adopt one through our bird adoption program: http://bird-rescue.org/adopt-snowy-egret.aspx

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August 22, 2015

Patient of the Week: Black Oystercatcher (Hatchling)

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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.