Every Bird Matters
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News

January 1, 2019

2018 By the Numbers

Species Treated: 97

2018 was a great year for expanding our knowledge surrounding some of our less common patients. Between our two California wildlife centers, Bird Rescue cared for 97 different species of aquatic birds! Some of our unique species this year include: Belted Kingfisher, Long-tailed Duck, Pelagic Cormorant, Black-vented Shearwater, Rhinoceros Auklet and both Brown and Red-footed Booby.

Washing Birds: 100

Even in the absence of a major oil spill, our staff and volunteers still wash birds throughout the year. Some of these birds arrive oiled from the natural seep off of the coast of Ventura, others come in contaminated by other substances such as vegetable or motor oil. In 2018 we washed over 100 birds ranging from Great Horned Owls to Brown Pelicans. Working with these cases of individual oiled birds allows us to improve our skills and training so that our team remains ready to respond in the event that a spill does occur.

Total Birds: 3,000+

Between our SF Bay-Delta wildlife center in Fairfield and our L.A. wildlife center in San Pedro, we cared for over 3,000 patients in 2018. While we do care for a broad range of species, there are some types of birds that come into our care most frequently as a result of various forms of urban/wildlife conflict. Orphaned ducks, geese, herons, and egrets flood our centers during the baby bird season when their nests have been disturbed, or when they have been separated from their parents. Gulls, pelicans, and cormorants are some of the birds we see most frequently injured due to fishing line entanglement or hook ingestion. Grebes come into care almost daily during the winter months that have become oiled due to natural seep on their journey south for the winter.

Volunteer Hours: 20,000+

Our team of dedicated volunteers are what make this work possible. Together they put in over 20,000 hours of work over the course of 2018. From bird care, feeding and cleaning to education, outreach and administrative assistance, our volunteers do it all with smiles on their faces. Thank you so much to each and every person who volunteers their time and efforts to help rescue waterbirds in crisis! If you would like to volunteer at either of our California wildlife centers, you can learn more and apply HERE.

Birds Released: 1267

Our favorite number from this year: 1267. That is the number of birds successfully released or transferred in 2018. This is the reason we do the work that we do. There is nothing quite like watching a wild bird return to its natural home in good health and full strength. We hope that these moments and images inspire you to take action every day to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

 

December 31, 2018

Littlest Brown Pelican Is 2018 Bird of the Year!

We are proud to announce our 2018 Bird of the Year: The Littlest Brown Pelican! With many strong candidates, the race remained close right up to the end, but our little Brown Pelican captured the hearts of many and garnered the most votes.

Her story began when she was rescued out of a backyard pond where she had been found, starving, and trying to feed on koi fish. This little Brown was one of more than 50 hungry Brown Pelicans to come into care at our L.A. wildlife center during the month of May. What set this patient apart from the others was her small size.

Initially weighing in at just under 2500 grams, this tiny pelican quickly became a staff and volunteer favorite, and much care and attention was given to get her feeding on her own. Once she started gaining weight and thermoregulating, we moved her to our large pelican aviary to give her space to stretch her wings and exercise. While there, she spent most of her time at the side of a very large American White Pelican. The two were an odd, but very cute pair.

On June 13th, 2018 this little Brown Pelican returned to her natural home in the wild – an event that was shared with viewers across California on local news stations. She was given a blue band with the numbers N00 at release, so keep an eye out for this little pelican and report any sightings of her or our other blue banded pelicans on our website.

This Little Brown Pelican is a beautiful representative of the difference Bird Rescue can make by being ready to respond to any crisis. Whether it’s a surge of starving birds, a botulism outbreak, or an oil spill, Bird Rescue is here to take action to rescue waterbirds in need. We look forward to continuing to take action for birds in 2019.

If you would like to help us stand at the ready to rescue waterbirds in crisis, consider donating today!

Photos by Angie Trumbo

December 14, 2018

Bird of the Year 2018 – Voting Now Open!

As another eventful year at International Bird Rescue comes to a close, the time has come to reflect on our experiences and accomplishments and select our 2018 Bird of the Year. Each bird that comes through our doors gives us the opportunity to take action, help a creature in need, and oft times learn something new about nature and about ourselves. The six candidates below are patients that were representative of significant events and key aspects of our mission from the past year. Please enjoy reading a bit about each one and if you have a moment, vote for the bird that most inspires you to take action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

Vote Here: https://goo.gl/forms/5Ba367n6DUoY176K2

#1 – Camp Fire Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan. Photo by Isabel Luevano

When wildfires tore through California causing devastation to people and wildlife alike, Bird Rescue was able to lend a helping hand when a Tundra Swan was found in crisis near ground zero of the Camp Fire. A local resident delivered the bird to a nearby rescue facility who later transferred the swan to our SF-Bay Delta wildlife center where it could recover in our large pools and waterfowl enclosures. Upon arrival the swan was covered with ash, smelled of smoke, and was suffering from red, irritated eyes due to the smoke and fire. Swans are large and unruly patients, so our staff and volunteers had to put in extra time and work to care for this bird. After two weeks at our facility, the Tundra Swan was healthy and ready for release. Our team picked out a location where a flock of migrating swans had recently been sighted and released the swan to continue on its southward journey for the winter.

#2 – Mara the Murre

Common Murre

Throughout this summer, Bird Rescue received a large influx of young, hungry Common Murres that had been found stranded along Northern California beaches. Among them was a young murre we named “Mara” after the volunteer who rescued her from the shore. Bird Rescue staff and volunteers were all-hands-on-deck for weeks as we strove to keep up with these hungry and growing birds. We were truly inspired by our community of supporters that came together to help fund the care of all these birds in need. After over a month in our care, Mara and dozens of her fellow murres were released back to the wild.

 

#3 – The Littlest Pelican

Brown Pelican. Photo by Angie Trumbo

California Brown Pelicans caught the attention of national media when two young pelicans crash landed at a Pepperdine graduation ceremony. This was the beginning of a sudden influx of injured and emaciated Brown Pelicans to our two California wildlife centers. One particular young female pelican quickly stole the hearts of our staff and volunteers alike. She was found in a backyard pond attempting to feed on koi fish. Weighing in at just 2480g (~5.5lbs) on arrival, she was by far the smallest pelican that came into care. When she was finally strong enough to move to an outdoor enclosure, she spent all day standing right next to the American White Pelican in care, further accentuating her small size. On June 13th, after gaining over 1000g (2.2lbs), this beautiful little pelican was released back to the wild, to the delight of media and public spectators.

#4 – Baby Belted Kingfisher

Belted Kingfisher. Photo by CherylReynolds

In a Bird Rescue first, this baby Belted Kingfisher was raised from a hatchling to release! Having never cared for such a young kingfisher before, our staff had to constantly learn and innovate in order to provide for this unique patient’s needs. A special “burrow” was created using towels to mimic this little one’s natural nest, and volunteers and staff had to disguise themselves as adult Belted Kingfishers at feeding time to prevent the young kingfisher from becoming attached to humans. All of that work paid off as the baby kingfisher grew up healthy and strong and was released after a month in our care.

 

#5 – Traveling Brown Booby

Brown Booby. Photo by Katrina Plummer

Found looking bedraggled on a beach in Oregon, this adorable Brown Booby made quite the journey to get to our L.A. wildlife center. Our friends at the Oregon Coast Aquarium flew him down to us via Alaska Airlines where he was picked up at LAX by our Center Manager. Our team was delighted to care for this unique patient as he built up weight and strength. After just a couple of weeks, the booby was in great condition and ready to be released. We are so happy to have partners like the Oregon Coast Aquarium who work with us to get birds like this Brown Booby the care they need in the place where they need it.

#6 – Rescued Green Heron

Green Heron. Photo by Katrina Plummer

This young Green Heron exemplifies the good that can happen when just one person takes action. A concerned member of the public found this little heron after it had fallen into a pond. Too young to get out on its own, the bird would have drowned had this gentleman not intervened. He gathered it up and kept the heron safe and warm in proper housing until he was able to bring it to our wildlife center. The little Green Heron was able to grow up alongside several other orphaned herons and egrets and was successfully release back to the wild at the end of September. Every bird that comes into care has a rescuer behind them, and we are so grateful to the individuals who jump into action on behalf of wildlife to get them the help that they need.

Vote Here: https://goo.gl/forms/5Ba367n6DUoY176K2

December 4, 2018

Safe and Sound: Earthquake Spares Alaska Wildlife Response Center

Our Alaska Wildlife Response Center (AWRC) in Anchorage was mainly unharmed by 7.0 earthquake that struck November 30, 2018. (Photos by Michelle Bellizzi/International Bird Rescue)

Last week’s 7.0 earthquake in Alaska is a reminder for all of us to be as prepared as we can be for any emergency.

Broken glass on a framed poster.

While the city of Anchorage was waking up on the dark, frosty morning of Friday, November 30th, the area experienced a major quake that hit at around 8:30 AM. The epicenter was just 10 miles outside the city center and it was immediately apparent that this was a major event causing significant infrastructure damage to the area and impacting the population of the largest city in the state. (CNN report)

After checking in with our families, friends, responders and clients in the area to make sure they were safe, we were able to dispatch a team member to assess the Alaska Wildlife Response Center (AWRC) building. Our staff member Michelle Bellizzi arrived on-site on Monday and discovered very minor damage. Some photos had fallen off walls and there were some cracks in the walls. Overall the center is in good shape.

We are thankful and relieved that our friends and clients in Alaska are all safe at this point, and we’ve let them know we’re standing by in case of need. The Alaska Pipeline was briefly shut down as well to assess for any damage. It was declared safe and is now back in operation. We have received word that the marine terminals in Valdez are without any major damage as well.

Significant road damage: The Minnesota Dr. airport off-ramp buckled by the quake in Anchorage. (Photo: Nat Herz/AED)

While this was a major earthquake event, we are proud to be a small part of Alaska’s emergency response plan. Our hats are off to the incredible resiliency and can-do attitude that is the essence of our Alaskan neighbors.

This natural disaster is a good reminder for all of us to be prepared in an emergency:

• Have an emergency kit with enough water for 3 days, sturdy shoes, and warm clothes for each member of your household.

• Know where shut-off valves are for gas, water, and electricity in your home and office, and know how to shut off utilities if you are able.

• Keep cell phones charged, and have an emergency contact outside of your area that can make calls/coordinate support for you and yours from off-site.

• Have a pre-identified muster spot for far-flung family members to regroup.

Keep safe out there, because the birds need you!

Inside the Alaska Wildlife Response Center (AWRC) post-earthquake.

 

December 1, 2018

New Board Member: Dr. Maria K. Hartley

Maria K. Hartley, PhD

International Bird Rescue is pleased to welcome Dr. Maria K. Hartley to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Hartley brings a wealth of experience to the Bird Rescue’s board as the global technical lead in Chevron’s Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response. She is also the assistant lead of Chevron’s Environmental Functional Team responsible for providing technical specialists to address environmental issues during potential oil spills and other emergencies. She has been with Chevron since 2009.

Maria has supported oil spill response in Chevron for 8 years, responding both domestically and internationally. Prior to this role, she developed and implemented Chevron’s industry leading environmental standards and processes worldwide, such as ESHIA (environmental, social, health impact assessment) and the Natural Resources Environmental Performance Standard and led permitting initiatives for Chevron’s major international capital projects. In addition, she advises on biodiversity and endangered species issues and advocacy.

Maria also volunteered her expertise to the Red Cross assisting and supporting disaster assessment. Receiving both her Doctorate and Masters of ecology from Rice University, she is now an Adjunct Assistant Professor, teaching Ecosystem Management at Rice, and elected member on the Board of Affiliates for the Professional Master’s Program and on the Advisory Board of the School of Natural Sciences. Maria is a British citizen, currently residing in Houston, Texas.

Bird Rescue’s ten-member board is integral in supporting the mission “to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis”, providing fiduciary oversight, and overall support to all aspects of the organization’s growth and impact.

 

November 29, 2018

Thank You For Helping Us Reach Our #GivingTuesday Goal!


We reached our Giving Tuesday goal!!!

Thank you so much to all of our donors and to Chevron El Segundo and Phillips 66 for their matching gifts. We hit our goal of $30,000 for #GivingTuesday.

Your contributions will go a long way toward rescuing waterbirds in crisis over the coming year.

November 27, 2018

Every gift MATCHED! Help a bird today!

Giving Tuesday is here!!

Our #GivingTuesday campaign launched at midnight and we have only 24 hours to reach our $30,000 goal! We are thrilled that our corporate partners at Phillips 66 and Chevron El Segundo have pledged to MATCH the first $10,000 of gifts today, doubling YOUR impact!

Since our founding in 1971, we’ve given over 100,000 birds a second chance, and we could not do this without the strong support of generous individuals like you. Donate today by visiting our website or call us at 707-207-0380 x100.

Help us spread the word! Head over to our Facebook page and share the reason why you support International Bird Rescue! #GivingTuesday #YearoftheBird

Thank you!

The International Bird Rescue Team

November 20, 2018

Show Your Love Of Wildlife On #GivingTuesday November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday is just around the corner, so let us come together to save the birds! Watch the video above to see why we do what we do!

Merganser chick. Photo by Suzi Eszterhas

We’ve set a big goal for #GivingTuesday at International Bird Rescue. This year we aim to raise $30,000 to support waterbird rescue and rehabilitation at our two California wildlife hospitals. We are thrilled to share that two of our corporate partners have pledged to MATCH your Giving Tuesday donations!

DONATE NOW

The annual Giving Tuesday is an opportunity for non-profits to gather support and join together with community members for a day of maximum impact. Reaching our goal will help us feed birds in care, provide life-saving medical care, keep our pools clean and filled, and help us share our work with as many people as possible. We hope you’ll join us and help inspire others to take action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.

NEXT Tuesday, November 27, 2018 please help us reach our Giving Tuesday goal for the birds!

Busy next week? You can donate now and we will process your gift and count it towards our #GivingTuesday goal!

From all of us at International Bird Rescue, thank you for your support!

November 19, 2018

New Annual Report Available For Download

We are pleased to announce International Bird Rescue’s latest Annual Report is available for download.

Read compelling, inspiring stories and acknowledge the magic of the courageous actions that started Bird Rescue and keep it going today.

We are also very proud to share with supporters our new mission and vision:

Misson
To inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis.

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

“The shift to a broader mission statement allows us room to grow and clarifies what we do now. Our new vision motivates people to action and has been a pivot point for an immediate internal shift,” says JD Bergeron, Executive Director at Bird Rescue.

November 16, 2018

New Board Member: Dr. Ian Robinson

Dr. Ian Robinson

International Bird Rescue is pleased to welcome Dr. Ian Robinson, a wildlife veterinarian and experienced response professional, to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Robinson received his veterinary degree from the University of Bristol, UK, in 1975 and the diploma of Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (UK) in 2006. After a spell in general practice he joined the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in 1990, to establish the Norfolk Wildlife Hospital, which treated over 6,000 wildlife patients annually.

In 2003 he joined the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), moving to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. In 2006 Dr. Robinson rose to the position of Vice President for Animal Welfare and Conservation before retiring in 2016. As part of his involvement in wildlife rehabilitation and conservation, Dr. Robinson has attended many oil spills, wildlife emergencies and disaster responses globally.

Bird Rescue’s ten-member board is integral in supporting the mission “to inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis”, providing fiduciary oversight, and overall support to all aspects of the organization’s growth and impact.

October 26, 2018

Success Story: Rehabilitated Pelican E17’s Eight Year Journey!

This story spans eight years and crosses international borders – all wrapped up in the journey of International Bird Rescue’s most famous former patient and parent, a California Brown Pelican banded E17 after his rehabilitation in 2010 at our Los Angeles center.

E17 created quite a buzz when he was spotted for the third time last month in Northern California during the semi-annual Brown Pelican count off of the Alameda Reserve Breakwater Island, a collaboration between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Audubon California.

For those of you who may not be familiar with this bird’s story, it began when he was in care with us for 259 days after his flight feathers had been clipped short, bringing likely suspicions of foul play by humans. To get more on his back story see this blog post.

Since his release, E17’s story has become even more compelling! As you can see in the timeline below, it is apparent that he is an international traveler, flying between San Jeronimo Island in Mexico, Northern California and likely many points in between. Most notably, he surprised and delighted the rehabilitation community in 2017 when he was photographed fathering two chicks on San Jeronimo Island!

Though E17’s rehabilitation story illustrates great success, many pelicans and other seabirds face agonizing injuries and death from cruelty at the hands of humans. Please donate today to help us continue to care for the many patients International Bird Rescue receives every year suffering from pointless cruelty, like E17.

October 25, 2018

October Open House – Fun for All!

A warm thank you to the 225+ folks who attended our Open House at the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center on October 20th! We had a great time opening our doors to get to know you, and giving you an exclusive behind the scenes look at how we rehabilitate injured, orphaned, and sick waterbirds.

We heard you when you said that choosing which of the family-friendly fun and educational activities to do first was a challenge! Our once-hourly education talks focusing on wildlife rehabilitation, oiled wildlife response and research advancements were all very well attended and you had many inquisitive and challenging questions for us! You may have learned at our interactive information tables about how oil can be washed from feathers, and about how ocean debris is affecting the health of many seabirds.

Our silent auction, with all proceeds benefiting the birds, might have had you taking home a favorite piece of art or a gift certificate….or maybe you took home a bag full of sweets and treats from our baked goods table! Any way you slice it, YOU are a part of the Bird Rescue community joining our mission: acting toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis. We had so much fun and hope to see you again next year!

October 3, 2018

Take a Peek At The Proposed Pacific Flyway Center

A new education center with a focus on waterbirds is poised for approval in Northern California. The Pacific Flyway Center will be built in Fairfield, CA just a short trip from International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center.

Ducks fly over Suisun Marsh, the site of the proposed Pacific Flyway Center.

The Pacific Flyway Fund will take 560 acres of wetlands and “develop, restore and enhance the site as an open space land preserve and wildlife habitat conservation area, with an interpretive nature and educational facility.” The site is near Highways 680 and 80 in Solano County.

Bird Rescue supports this very important educational facility that will introduce the public to the wonders of the Flyway and the Suisun Marsh. Construction may begin as early as spring 2019.

Developers are currently working with the city of Fairfield to finish the project’s environmental review, use permit, and design review, which will lead to the first phase of construction, the outdoor marsh walk. Once complete, the outdoor park will be the facility’s main attraction, where visitors come face-to-face with waterfowl and other wetland birds.

The Pacific Flyway Center is the vision of Ken Hofmann. Before Hoffman died in April of 2018, he made a significant commitment of funds and energy to acquire the property, and allow for the planning, design, and permitting of the center over the next three years through the Pacific Flyway Fund.

Additional funding will be provided by public, private, and matching dollars. The project also has strong partnerships with Ducks Unlimited, California Waterfowl Association, the National Audubon Society, the University of California, Davis, and the Suisun Resource Conservation Board.

September 25, 2018

Making the beach a safer place for waterbirds and us, one cleanup at a time

Coastal Cleanup Day 2018 Team. Photo by Shannon Ross

Here at International Bird Rescue, we dream of a world in which people take action every day to protect the home of wildlife and ourselves. We were thrilled to participate in two trash cleanups this past quarter, one in the San Francisco Bay Area and one in Los Angeles. Bird Rescue looks forward to helping make the beach a safer place for the public, wildlife and especially seabirds. Each year Bird Rescue’s wildlife centers treat hundreds of injured patients that have ingested or become entangled in fishing tackle and trash.

In September, we joined the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council for Coastal Cleanup Day organized by Heal the Bay in Los Angeles. More than 150 volunteers joined us at White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro for a morning of trash pick up. Together we collected almost 300 pounds of trash!

Our 2019 is now available. Order online

Earlier in the summer, we joined by friends and partners from Golden Gate Audubon, East Bay Regional Park District, City of Oakland, and Lake Merritt Institute for a “Day of Action” honoring the anniversary of our 40-year partnership with Dawn® dishwashing liquid as a way to encourage taking action every day to protect and save wildlife. In July, a team of a dozen volunteers spent the afternoon cleaning up around Lake Merritt. We were able to clean up a significant number of cigarettes, plastic wrappers, and pieces of glass, all of which are quite harmful if ingested by wildlife.

If you’re looking for more tips on how you can take action every day, check out our 2019 calendar! We’ve included eco-friendly suggestions for each month to inspire us all.

We are incredibly thankful for the many volunteers who joined us at these cleanups and all of you who take action in your own life to help protect our shared home.

Lake Merritt Trash Cleanup in Oakland, CA. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

September 11, 2018

Public Invited to the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day

September 15th Beach Trash Cleanup Focuses on Debris That Harm and Kill Seabirds

What: Coastal Cleanup Day in San Pedro

Where: White Point/Royal Palms Beach, 1799 West Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro 90731. (Map)

When: Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9 AM to Noon

International Bird Rescue is joining local community groups, including the Coastal San Pedro Neighborhood Council, to help remove beach trash at the 2018 Coastal Cleanup Day on September 15.

Volunteers will pick up refuse along the White Point/Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro. This is one of 50 beach cleanup sites throughout Los Angeles County, and more information about this state-wide event is located here: https://www.coastal.ca.gov/publiced/ccd/ccd.html

The public is invited and encouraged to participate in the cleanup and can register online under White Point Beach.

Bird Rescue looks forward to helping make the beach a safer place for the public, wildlife and especially seabirds. Each year the Bird Rescue’s wildlife center treats hundreds of injured patients that have ingested or become entangled in fishing tackle and trash.