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December 22, 2017

Bird of the Year: 2017

Join us in celebrating the year past at Bird Rescue by reading about some our favorite and most poignant patients from 2017. While we know why all of the birds listed below have special meaning for us, now it’s time to hear from you! Help us select the 2017 Bird of the Year by casting your vote by December 31st, 2017. Make sure to stay check back in early January when we announce the winner! To cast your votes, click the link below:

 

Cast your vote for the 2017 Bird of the Year at Bird Rescue!

 

#1: American White Pelican

American White Pelican – Photo by Sandrine Biziaux

Second to oil spills, fishing hook injuries present prominently in our patients, reminding us of the negative human impact on the birds for which we care. Fishing hooks are commonly discarded or left behind in coastal regions, resulting in a devastating amount of injuries to wildlife. Not only do the remnants of the hooks puncture muscles, joints, bones, and tear flesh, but the lines attached to these hooks get wrapped around the necks, legs, and bodies of birds.

Often a bird will not only suffer injuries from the gear itself but will acquire additional injuries from thrashing around to free itself. Struggling while entangled in line can result in broken bones, lacerations, and dislocations. The American White Pelican pictured above had a hook embedded in its foot, as well as a fractured lower left bill, several lacerations on its neck and foot, and a fish hook wound at the tip of the mandible.

This particular pelican found its way to Bird Rescue through the help of numerous wonderful organizations and caring individuals including our friends at the Sea and Sage Audubon Society at the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach, and the Newport Beach Police and Animal Controls Departments. As is the case with many of the birds that we treat at Bird Rescue, we are grateful to be an integral part of such a large and caring group of individuals striving to mitigate the impacts of humans on wildlife.

 

 

#2: Common Murre

Common Murre – Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

From April to August each year Bird Rescue booms with new life, as our wildlife centers fill to the brim with thousands of baby birds. When nesting season is at its height, we see an extreme influx of orphaned, injured, and starving baby aquatic birds. Affectionately referred to as, “baby bird season,” this hectic time of year is both challenging and rewarding. Last year, between our Greater Los Angeles and our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife centers, Bird Rescue treated more than 2,100 baby birds in need.

Baby birds are particularly vulnerable to disturbances, and if they get rustled from their nests too early, their chances of survival are meager. With an increase in human disturbances to nesting sites and an increase in non-native predators, young birds are often at an unfair advantage when it comes to getting a good start.

It is for this reason that Bird of the Year candidate number 2 is one of our most well-loved orphaned baby birds. Affectionately named “Tugboat” after a Facebook fan commented that he “looked like a little Tugboat”, the adorable Common Murre who came to us with a fractured wing last July, was a memorable patient for us as well as for many others who followed and rooted for his recovery. Tugboat was brought to us from our friends at Wild Care after being found inside a bag at the Stinson Beach Community Center. The young murre was with us for a little over two months and was eventually released alongside another Common Murre in-care, at Fort Baker in Sausalito, California.

Bird Rescue along with other wildlife rehabilitation centers play an essential role in this very busy season. While our centers remain full of hungry chicks who need constant feeding and tending to, we are happy to do our part in rearing these young birds so that they may one day return to the wild. Watching orphans like Tugboat grow up in our care and get released is just one of the many reasons that we do the work that we do!

 

 

#3: Pacific Loon

Pacific Loon – Photo by Katrina Plummer

In April and May of 2017, the Bird Rescue Greater Los Angeles Center received a sudden influx of loon patients. In that two-month period, 145 loons were admitted, more than 20 at a time on some days. Of the three different species of loons affected, the vast majority of these patients were the beautiful Pacific Loon.

These birds were found beached all along the Southern California coast. Countless more birds washed up on shore, already deceased. The sudden die-off is suspected to have been caused by Domoic Acid (DA) poisoning from a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB), and a number of our cases were confirmed by blood test. DA affects the brains of animals, often causing seizures, disorientation, and death.

While these algal blooms are naturally occurring events, this year it had a particularly heavy impact on the loons. These birds are especially difficult to care for, so Bird Rescue had to kick things into high gear to handle so many high-risk patients. Extra volunteers came in to help care for the birds and, along with staff, worked long hours to make sure that each bird received the care it needed. In the end, IBR was able to successfully release 36% of the loons that came into care during the height of the event.

 

Domoic Acid infected Loons treated at Los Angeles Center

Common Loon Pacific Loon Red-throated Loon
Admitted April 2017 – May 2017 19 98 28
Died 4 21% 48 49% 19 68%
Euthanized 9 47% 11 11% 1 4%
Released 6 32% 39 40% 8 29%

 

 

#4: Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican – Photo by Bart Selby

This iconic California bird was once federally listed as an endangered species. After 36 years of conservation efforts, the Brown Pelican was officially delisted in 2009. Since this time, International Bird Rescue has been placing uniquely numbered blue bands on each Brown Pelican that gets released from either of our California centers. The Blue-banded Pelican Program was created as a concerted effort to increase the number of pelican sightings of our rehabilitated birds, which provides us with valuable information we can apply towards our research.

The Blue-banded Pelican program is part of our Research and Education program at Bird Rescue, which is one of our core programs within the organization. Since implementing this program, Bird Rescue has banded over 1,200 Brown Pelicans. In 2017 alone there have been 111 blue-banded Brown Pelican sightings reported directly to the organization, and this is just the preliminary count pending a final tally (which is expected to add another couple of hundred). The Brown Pelican featured as contender number 3 in our “Bird of the Year” contest is a stellar example of the possibilities that this program offers.

The above picture of Brown Pelican “E17”, named after the unique number located on his blue band, was taken last summer nesting with two babies off the coast of Baja California. The pelican, who was released seven years ago from our Greater Los Angeles wildlife center, is a sign of hope for us that our rehabilitation efforts are paying off. While banded pelicans have previously been sighted foraging and migrating, this is the first ever sighting of one of our banded pelicans breeding in the wild. “The sighting of E17 is a confirmation of our work,” said JD Bergeron, Executive Director. “To see a former patient rejoining the breeding population is an encouraging sign of the success of our efforts and a reminder of the importance of wildlife rehabilitation.”

Note: The sighting occurred off the coast of Baja California, Mexico, on San Jeronimo Island by Emmanuel Miramontes, a biologist working with a Mexican nonprofit organization GECI A.C. (Group of Ecology and Conservation of Islands). San Jeronimo is more than 300 miles from E17’s release point in San Pedro, CA.

 

 

#5: Virginia Rail

Virginia Rail – Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Over the past few years, we’ve seen an influx of these secretive freshwater marsh rails at both of our centers. The Virginia Rail used to be a relatively rare bird for us at Bird Rescue, and while we don’t exactly see a flood of these sweet little birds, we are seeing more of them than we have in years past. In 2017, we saw 20 Virginia Rails at Bird Rescue, compared to a total of 7 rails in 2012. Whenever we see numbers like this rise in our clinics, it inevitably leads to the question – why?

Although we can’t say for sure why we are seeing more of these quirky little birds, we can’t help but wonder if it has something to do with the habitat that they live in, and the challenges that freshwater marshes face. Though freshwater wetlands offer a myriad of ecosystem services as well as provide habitat for numerous species of wildlife, these precious ecosystems are under constant threat in our developing world. The University of California at Santa Barbara estimates that over 90% of the freshwater marshes in California have been destroyed due to draining, filling, or the crowding out by non-native species.

As an organization that specializes in aquatic birds, the plight of freshwater habitat degradation deeply concerns us. As Bird Rescue moves into the year 2018, we look forward continuing to honor our original mission while also addressing the ever-increasing threats to seabirds such as marine debris, habitat disturbance, political threats and the impacts of climate change.

 

 

#6: Western Grebe

Western Grebe – Photo by Katrina Plummer

This little Western Grebe is contender #6 in our Bird of the Year contest. She came to us after becoming contaminated with oil from a natural oil seep while she was migrating south along the coast of California. This is a very common occurrence during the winter months especially off the Ventura and Santa Barbara coastlines, and Bird Rescue takes in dozens of similar affected grebes each year.

What makes this bird special is that the records of her care and progress will be used as part of a scientific study being conducted by the Bird Rescue team. The study aims to learn more about toe, hock, and keel lesions that can affect species such as this one when they are in rehabilitative care. In the wild, Western Grebes spend all of their time in the water, so their anatomy is specifically suited to those conditions. When in care, their delicate feet and legs can easily develop lesions which are greatly exacerbated if the bird is contaminated with oil. The severity of these lesions can make the difference between life and death for a patient.

The data gathered from this study will be used to develop improved practices to better care for these unique birds. With this bird’s help, and the help from many other birds like her, Bird Rescue will be able to improve the care of grebes, scoters, and murres at both their rehabilitation centers.

 

December 4, 2017

Devin Hanson: Bird Rescue Staff Since 2015

Staff Spotlight:
The work we do at Bird Rescue wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team of staff and volunteers! Read below to meet one of our stellar team members.

Devin Hanson – bird washing at our LA wildlife center

Devin started with Bird Rescue as an intern and was so wonderful that we had to hire her as one of our two full-time Rehabilitation Technicians at our Los Angeles wildlife center. Her background is in Marine Biology, which she studied as an undergrad at the University of Oregon.

Devin originally hails from the state of Washington’s Puget Sound area, where her love of marine biology was first born. She grew up in a small town where one of the major pastimes was tracking the lives of the area’s three well-known pods of orcas. Devin recounts these experiences fondly and says they are what inspired her to go into marine science. Devin tells us she is happy to be at Bird Rescue and feels lucky to be part of an organization that provides great care for birds and great training for its staff.

When Devin is not hard at work saving birds’ lives, she enjoys gardening, dancing, and teaching. She is a lifelong competitive dancer (hip-hop, contemporary, and lyrical) who believes that dancing is fun and brings balance to her life. She recently began teaching a hip-hop class that some of her fellow staff members have attended (the word is that it’s quite the workout!).

We love having interesting, knowledgeable, and creative teammates like Devin—she’s a hard worker and a valuable co-worker, and she’s brought her dancing skills to us for some after-work fun. Thanks, Devin, for bringing all of your assets to the Bird Rescue family!

October 15, 2017

Atlas Fire Hits Close to Home for Bird Rescue’s SF Bay-Delta Wildlife Center

The Atlas fire in California is has been hitting close to home for the past week at Bird Rescue. Our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center, which is also our headquarters, is located in Fairfield, California, not far from the path of the fires.

We kept our birds-in-care at the facility as long as we could before the poor air quality and the looming possibility of evacuation rose beyond our acceptable threshold. For the well-being of our birds, we made the decision on Wednesday evening to release those that were healthy enough to go, and to transfer the remaining patients to partner centers outside the fire zone.

Preparing aquatic birds to be transferred to any outside facility (especially those not specialized in aquatic care) takes a tremendous amount of energy, and we are grateful that our team of employees and volunteers stepped up to the challenge. From exit examinations to preparing the bird’s medications and food, paperwork, and arranging transport, the process is extremely time-consuming and tedious.

Huge thanks to partner centers WildCare (San Rafael), Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA (San Mateo), The SPCA for Monterey County (Monterey), and Pacific Wildlife Care (San Luis Obispo) for receiving these patients. We hope that they are all adjusting nicely to their new respective centers.

So long as it is still safe to do so, our center will remain open as a service to the public for wildlife emergencies. However, we will not be receiving new patients until the situation improves. Our hearts go out to our employees, volunteers, and supporters who have already been impacted. We join in unity with the communities affected, our fellow emergency response professionals, and all the many of you who have stepped up to help out, with shelter, with donations, and with your support.

In our 46-year history, we have never needed to evacuate all of the birds from our facility. We have been through floods, handled numerous oil spill emergencies, felt earthquakes, endured other extreme weather, and yet this evacuation is unique for our SF Bay-Delta wildlife center. Our flight aviary may be motionless at the moment, but we are thankful we can see the uncharred hill behind us through the smoke.

While we are not currently accepting new patients at our SF center, we are happy to report that business, as usual, will go on at our Los Angeles wildlife center. We are glad to be able to continue to serve the Los Angeles area and are eagerly awaiting the ability to do so again at our SF Bay-Delta wildlife center.

To keep updated on the most current situation at Bird Rescue, please follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you again for all of your support, which is needed now more than ever!

Sincerely and with gratitude,
The International Bird Rescue Team

 

August 26, 2016

American White Pelican Out of Trouble

American White Pelican

American White Pelican released at McNabney Marsh, Martinez. This bird came to us with two broken legs, but has since recovered from surgery, ready for the wild! Photo: Cheryl Reynolds

Great news! The American White Pelican reported in our July 26 blog post successfully recovered from his two leg fractures and was released Aug 22 in McNabney Marsh in Martinez, CA.

When the cage was opened, he calmly walked out and took his time walking over to the water. We watched an interesting display of pelican thought processes as he decided what to do next. He first looked at a large group of his species resting on the shore far away, and then a smaller group closer to us that were in the water feeding. He took one last look back at us then entered the water and swam a small distance, next thing we knew he was taking flight towards the small feeding group. After landing in the water he calmly swam up to them and immediately started enjoying his first self-caught meal in more than a month. We could not have asked for a more perfect release of this bird back into the wild!

American White Pelican

American White Pelican “Double Trouble” taking flight to join a small group of his species. Photo: Cheryl Reynolds

Note from Dr Rebecca Duerr:

The highlight of August for me was this release! The care of this single bird really exemplified the nature of everything we do for thousands of birds every year, requiring a tremendous and coordinated effort among all the bird’s caregivers in order for him to make it to release. Every aspect of his care from housing and feeding decisions and delivery, to anesthesia, surgery, and medication administration, to assuring nothing bad happened during his time in private pools or the pelican aviary, to the funding that paid for it all, was absolutely essential for getting this guy out the door.

Having worked in wildlife rehabilitation for nearly 30 years, I have a really solid appreciation that pretty much everything I am able to do surgically for our birds is dependent on the efforts of everyone else; the fanciest surgery is totally pointless without the rest. Consequently, I’d like to personally say thank you to everyone who had a hand in this guy’s and every other bird’s care! Great teamwork all around! Thank you for being willing to go the extra mile for our patients.

You can read more about his care here: http://blog.bird-rescue.org/index.php/2016/07/patient-of-the-week-double-trouble-american-white-pelican/

How did you help a bird today?

American White Pelican standing on exam table during a check-up. Both external fixators are visible; they are made of steel pins that pass through the bone and a combination of metal and epoxy that holds the external portions of the pins in the correct position. The odd shapes are due to the shapes of pelican legs, each fracture's different need for support, and the need for the bird to be able to both stand and crouch comfortably.

In July the American White Pelican had external fixators attached made of steel pins that pass through the bone and a combination of metal and epoxy that holds the external portions of the pins in the correct position.

February 8, 2016

Patient of the Week: California Gull

This California Gull came to our Los Angeles center this week after being hit by a car in Carson, CA. The impact resulted in compound fractures (see x-ray) of both the radius and ulna in the left wing.

Our veternarian, Dr. Rebecca Duerr DVM, pinned the bones back together and the patient is now in a recovery cage.

First on the gull’s to-do list after surgery? Fluff and preen those feathers to cover the wrap as neatly as possible. Second? Maybe think about the fish in the dish (once sure no fingers are available).

Go little gull!

Photos by Rebecca Duerr

X-ray-CA-Gull-2-2016

August 12, 2015

The Weekly Bittern #3: Counting Birds

Dear Friends of Bird Rescue–

As I become more familiar with the work and challenges of Bird Rescue, I am aiming to give you more insider’s views of how things work at this amazing organization. The graphic above shows a snapshot of all the birds in our care in both the LA and SF Bay Wildlife Centers–that’s 292 feathery heartbeats that we need to feed, medicate, waterproof, watch over, and ultimately hope to release back into the wild.

At this time of year–breeding season–the vast majority of these numbers are orphaned and/or injured babies. The remainder consist of adult and juvenile birds that have come into care sick, broken, dehydrated, or otherwise compromised by fishing line, contaminants, animal attack, or the like.

 

The team has been working furiously all summer to stay on top of the high numbers of gull, heron and egret chicks–higher numbers than we have ever seen in a season!

Photo Credit: Cheryl Reynolds

Photo Credit: Cheryl Reynolds

Today, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing a few interesting treatments here in the SF Bay center. The first was the arrival of a hatchling Black Oystercatcher (see photo), a species which we have never raised in-house and have only seen rarely as a patient in our history. The chick was put in a heated intensive care unit along with a surrogate parent (feather duster) and we began the effort to find a suitable food. Fortunately, the chick has a taste for mussels and we have been able to get her to feed directly on tiny bits of mollusk. We have reached out to some of our peers who may have more experience with this species for guidance on the best possible care.

Yesterday, I was able to watch a delicate surgery on a new patient, a White-faced Ibis (see slideshow) with a double fracture in one wing. This bird will be featured on our BirdCam soon. Our Staff Veterinarian Rebecca Duerr and SF Center Manager Michelle Bellizzi worked tirelessly on this gentle bird’s wing, setting the affected bones and stabilizing the wing for the healing period.

Our work never ends at Bird Rescue — in a few days’ time we will likely receive another intake of birds. Until then, we’ll be busy caring for those in our centers and providing the needed support to get them closer to release.

Thank you as always for your support of Bird Rescue. We are only as strong as our base of supporters. Please keep spreading the word!

There are many ways to support International Bird Rescue:

adopt a bird

become a recurring donor

volunteer

• follow us and share our posts on Facebook and Twitter

Best regards,

JD-Bergeron_signature-web

 

 

 

JD Bergeron

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

 

April 14, 2015

We Give Thanks During Volunteer Appreciation Week

Janille_LA-Pelicans-Vol-web
This is Volunteer Appreciation Week and it reminds us that we appreciate our wonderfully helpful volunteers EVERY day!

Volunteers are a critical component of our 365 day a year bird care: They help feed our bird patients, keep clinics clean, run errands and perform some administrative duties.

Volunteers help cleanup a pond at our San Francisco Bay Center in April.

Top photo, Janille, a volunteer at our Los Angeles Center captures a Brown Pelican. Above, Volunteers help cleanup a pond at our San Francisco Bay Center in April. Photos by Bill Steinkamp and Cheryl Reynolds

Many of our volunteers have supported our “Every Bird Matters” efforts for more than 20 years!

During the Mystery Goo response this winter, we had more 300 volunteers that worked 5,000+ hours helping us rescue and rehabilitate the hundreds of seabirds that arrived at our San Francisco Bay Center.

We’re thankful to have volunteer help each day and without them the monumental task of caring for 5,000 injured, sick and orphaned aquatic birds at our two centers would be nearly impossible.

If you’d like to help, too, check out the upcoming volunteer orientations at both of our California centers: http://bird-rescue.org/get-involved/volunteer.aspx

April 10, 2015

Updated: Brown Pelican gunshot victim has perished

Resting after two surgeries to repair a broken wing bone, this male Brown Pelican is in critical condition. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

This male Brown Pelican is still in critical condition after being shot in early March. Photo by Kelly Berry – International Bird Rescue

Updated April 14, 2015:  Sadly, the Brown Pelican gunshot victim died this week.

Nearly a month following the horrific shooting of a Brown Pelican found in Redondo Beach, International Bird Rescue is still caring for this critically injured seabird. After two major surgeries the bird is receiving supportive care due to an infected gunshot wound that fractured the bird’s ulna (wing).

This majestic male Brown Pelican is receiving nutritional support plus pain medications and antibiotics to treat his infection. The large amount of damaged tissue at the gunshot wound is continuing to be an obstacle to healing.

“This Pelican is in very guarded condition and we’re treating him with utmost care to help him heal,” says Dr. Rebecca Duerr, International Bird Rescue’s staff veterinarian. “We hope that the public will assist us in finding the people responsible for this needlessly cruel and illegal act.”

Through an anonymous donor, there is a $5,000 reward offered to anyone with information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for this shooting. To report, please call the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) at 310-328-1516.

Background

On March 12th, a pelican that could not fly, was captured by Redondo Beach Animal Control. After being brought to our Los Angeles wildlife center, International Bird Rescue staff discovered he had a broken wing (ulna) and a fish hook embedded in his right shoulder.

This case seemed like a straightforward fishing gear injury until clinic staff took x-rays and discovered the ulna fracture was due to a gunshot wound. Tiny speckles of metal visible were noted in the radiograph image.

Pelican-Adopt-ButtonBrown Pelicans are federally protected birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As a species only recently removed from the Endangered Species List in 2009, Brown Pelicans have enough challenges in their lives without being shot.

IBR depends on the support of the public to care for animals injured in cruelty incidents, as well as those harmed by fishing gear and other human-caused injuries. Please donate now or Adopt-a-Pelican

March 14, 2015

Update: Mystery Goo Bird Numbers

Horned Grebe recuperating in one of our pools. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Horned Grebe, cleaned of mystery goo, recuperating in pool at San Francisco Bay Center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Nearly two months after 323 mystery goo seabirds arrived, International Bird Rescue is still treating the last of the bird patients affected by this unusual contaminant.

19 seabirds, including, Surf Scoters, Buffleheads and Horned Grebes are still among those in care. A total of 154 cleaned, healthy birds have now been returned to the wild.

The birds had their feathers coated by a sticky, non-petroleum substance that grounded them along the East Bay shore of San Francisco Bay.

Mystery Goo Numbers (as of March 14, 2015)

323 = Brought to center

154 = Released to date

110 = Humanely euthanized

40 = Dead on Arrival

19 = Birds still in care (mainly Surf Scoters)

Note: About 170 birds were collected dead by California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) personnel.

Bufflehead awaits vet clearance for release. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Bufflehead awaits vet clearance for release. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

The 19 birds that still remain in care are those that entered our San Francisco Bay center with serious but treatable medical problems. These included severe emaciation, anemia, or injuries.

Many of these rescued birds also came to the center with pressure sores to their hocks or toes from being stranded on hard land. These injures can take months of care and healing. Other patients had surgeries for keel injuries but most of these healed quickly.

Background

In mid-January hundreds of birds were rescued from Alameda south to Hayward in San Francisco Bay. Each was coated with an unknown tacky substance dubbed “mystery goo”.

Female Surf Scoter. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

Female Surf Scoter. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

On Thursday, February 12, state and federal labs concluded that the substance that coated birds includes a mixture of non-petroleum-based fats or oils. Read the full press release from California Department Fish and Wildlife: http://ow.ly/J4bZp

With still no responsible party identified to help cover the cost of bird care, International Bird Rescue’s funded most of response costs with the help of the public and foundation donations. Bird Rescue has spent $150,000 on the response and continues to rely on public support to help with costs associated with this unusual contaminant response. Donate Now

Media reports

As scientists work to identify mystery goo, rescued birds return home, Los Angeles Times, March 1 ,2015

 

March 11, 2015

Saying thanks to some very helpful foundations

somerhalderlogoInternational Bird Rescue would like to thank the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund and the Summerlee Foundation, Annie Lee Roberts Emergency Rescue Fund for their generous funding that helped to rescue and treat the hundreds of birds that were coated in “mystery goo” in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The caring and concerned teams at these foundations rapidly responded to our emergency request for life-saving support. We are deeply grateful to each of them and to all of you that helped these birds get back to the wild. We couldn’t have done it without you.ConFundLogo

 

 

 

 

summerlee-foundation

 

February 10, 2015

Patient of the Week: American White Pelican

American White Pelican in care at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by  Kylie Clatterbuck

American White Pelican in care at our Los Angeles Center. Photo by Kylie Clatterbuck

Not all our birds in care were part of the San Francisco Bay mystery goo response. Last month our Southern California center received an American White Pelican from the Los Angeles County Animal Control. It was found in a weakened state at La Mirada Park.

This beautiful bird was very lethargic, not thermoregulating, and extremely thin. The Pelican also had a small laceration to its right wing that is currently undergoing wound management.

As of this week, the White Pelican is now living in our large outdoor aviary and gained quite a bit of weight over the 3 weeks in care. It weighs in at over 7,000g (15.4 lbs.)

Its wing wound has healed up well and was discontinued off of medication this week. Our Los Angeles Center staff is hopeful that it release this bird within the next week.

 

January 13, 2015

Patients of the week: Buffleheads

Buffleheads-2014-web

Male Bufflehead in care at San Francisco Bay Center. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

We’re seeing an increase of sea ducks – especially Buffleheads – in care this month.

Nearly 25 of this species have come through our doors in the past few weeks. They are emaciated, suffering from stress and have foot abrasions. Many have crash-landed in areas around San Francisco Bay.

BuffleheadThe beautiful drakes have a striking iridescent green & purple head coloring along with large white patch behind their eyes. Females are less striking with grey-tones and a smaller white patch behind the eyes.

These migrating Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) breed in Alaska and Canada among the wooded lakes and ponds. They winter along the east and west coasts of the United States.

December 30, 2014

DOUBLE your year-end donation!

Plovers

Dear friends,

Just a reminder that you can double the impact of your charity donations by giving to International Bird Rescue until 11:59 p.m. on New Year’s Eve (Wednesday)! An anonymous donor is currently matching online donations to International Bird Rescue. Please make your tax-deductible gift today!

Thank you!

Team International Bird Rescue

Red-capped Plover chicks by Leo/Flickr Creative Commons

December 22, 2014

Holiday-Greetings