Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

The Release Files

March 10, 2014

Release! Rhinoceros Auklets, Glaucous-winged Gull and a Common Murre

Rhinocerous Auklet at SF Bay Center banded for release
Rhinoceros Auklet in breeding plumage, photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Residents of the North Pacific, Rhinoceros Auklets are also known as “Unicorn Puffins” for the small horn extension on their beaks, present in both males and females during breeding season. We’ve had two of these birds in care at our San Francisco Bay center for several weeks.

One of these birds was suffering from a wing injury, while the other was emaciated upon intake. Both had been part of our “seabird menagerie” on BirdCam, and were released over the weekend near Half Moon Bay where they were originally found. Below, volunteer Colin Pierce does the release honors.

Rhinocerous Auklet at SF Bay Center banded for release
Rhinoceros Auklet in non-breeding plumage, photo by Cheryl Reynolds

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Also on the release docket: this first-winter plumage Glaucous-winged Gull, healed after a fractured radius, and a beautiful Common Murre!

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Common Murre at SF Bay Center ready for release

Common Murre at SF Bay Center banded for release  Murre Release

March 6, 2014

Release! Brown Booby

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Photos and video by Bill SteinkampBRBO

It’s been a long, strange trip for this wayward Brown Booby. But we’re pleased to report there’s a happy ending.

To bring you up to speed: In December, we received this female Brown Booby at our San Francisco Bay center from our friends at WildCare, which in turn had received it from local sculptor Patricia Vader, who came across the injured bird at Point Reyes on the Pacific Coast. Upon intake, we found her to be extremely thin and suffering from foot injuries that later required surgery.

After several weeks in the aviary, we transferred the booby south to our Los Angeles center, much closer to a Brown Booby’s typical range. With the help of L.A. City Lifeguards, our center manager, Erica Lander, released the booby off the coast. Resident photographer Bill Steinkamp took this great video of the day’s events.

Professional care of birds like this booby is made possible by you. Thanks for your support.

February 5, 2014

Release! Common Loon

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Release photos by Cheryl Patterson; inset photo by Kelly Berry

One of our most recent patients of the week is this Common Loon, which we’re pleased to report is the Los Angeles center’s first loon release of 2014.

The backstory: This loon was found in late December, having crash-landed on Ventura Blvd in Studio City, CA. The animal was brought to California Wildlife Center, where it was hydrated and stabilized before transfer to our aquatic bird specialists.

After several weeks in care, this beautiful loon was released back to the ocean — much more suitable habitat than Ventura Boulevard!

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January 13, 2014

Release! American Wigeon

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Last month, this American Wigeon was found on bustling Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles — hardly a suitable habitat for a dabbling duck.

After several weeks in care, we released this wigeon at El Dorado Regional Park in nearby Long Beach. Volunteer photographer Bill Steinkamp was on hand to film the big day.

Related: Patient of the week: American Wigeon

American Wigeon profile on AllAboutBirds.org

Photos and video by Bill Steinkamp

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January 6, 2014

Release! Western Grebe and Canada Goose

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Western Grebe photos by Bill Steinkamp

Volunteer photographer Bill Steinkamp recently took these release photos of birds rehabilitated at our Los Angeles center in San Pedro: a Western Grebe and a Canada Goose. A great way to start 2014!

Here, an IBR volunteer releases the Western Grebe at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro.

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This Canada Goose (below) had previously suffered from an impacted esophagus and was captured by Linda Slauson. During the course of its care, the goose gained a full 2,000 grams (About 4 ½ lbs.).

You can see the goose ready for release below (alongside Sheila Callaghan, left, and Jill Brennan), and later jumping back into the water alongside some American Coots and Mallard Ducks, also below, at El Dorado Nature Center in nearby Long Beach, CA.

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Canada Goose photos by Bill Steinkamp

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January 4, 2014

Release! Ruddy Ducks and a Brandt’s Cormorant

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Photos by Paul Berry

Among the recent releases by our Los Angeles team: this Ruddy Duck duo as well as a Brandt’s Cormorant, released past the breakwater at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, CA.

Both of these ducks were found “crash-landed” in Los Angeles — one in the Los Feliz neighborhood, the other in Hollywood. Both animals were also placed on antibiotics for toe lesions suffered from being out of the water, and were released when their wounds had healed and they were deemed healthy.

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The Brant’s Cormorant shown below came to us from Santa Barbara, where it had been found about 40% oiled and with a thin body condition, rehabilitation technician Kelly Berry reports. The bird was washed a day following intake, and after several weeks of fattening up and healing required for a small wound, we released the cormorant off Cabrillo Beach.

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December 26, 2013

Release! Eared Grebes and a juvenile Western Gull

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Two recent successful releases from our Los Angeles center: Two Eared Grebes (above) as well as a juvenile Western Gull (below). Both were released in San Pedro, CA. Read more on Eared Grebes in our care this winter here.

Photos by Kelly Berry.

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December 26, 2013

Release! Cackling Geese

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Many thanks to wildlife photographer and naturalist Jim Hanlon, who took these recent photos of International Bird Rescue volunteer Dave Weeshoff (pictured above in the blue ballcap) and two fellow bird lovers releasing two Cackling Geese cared for at IBR’s Los Angeles center. The release took place at Sepulveda Basin Nature Reserve on December 23.

Click here for the latest count of birds in care.

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Cackling Goose Release 12-23-13

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Here are a few shots from Weeshoff’s lens:

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Related:

Jim Hanlon’s photos of an American White Pelican release, December 2012

Cackling Goose profile on All About Birds

December 3, 2013

Thank you for your support during #GivingTuesday

Eared Grebe Release

Thanks to all the International Bird Rescue supporters who gave during the annual #GivingTuesday event today! Your gifts help to care for wonderful birds, such is this quartet of Eared Grebes recently rehabilitated and released by our Los Angeles center team.

If you haven’t yet made a #GivingTuesday donation, there’s still time. Click here to make a year-end gift.

Photo by Dave Weeshoff

November 22, 2013

Patient of the week: Eared Grebe

This Eared Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) was found beached in Monterey, CA and was transferred to us from a partner wildlife organization. We had this bird on our live webcam, The BirdCam Project, for several days, where it recently showed off its flight prowess and eagerness to escape! Here, the bird is released in the San Pablo Bay by one of our intrepid volunteers.

Meanwhile, our Los Angeles center is also caring for Eared Grebes. Here’s a recent photo from the L.A. center by Bill Steinkamp.

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