Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Volunteer spotlight

November 5, 2018

Inside View: From Volunteer to Staff Member

I have always been interested in science, health, animals, wildlife, and conservation, but a trip to a wildlife reserve in South Africa last year left me with a desire to do more to help wildlife. At the time, I was also in the middle of changing career paths, pursuing a new career in animal health as a veterinary technician.

I learned about International Bird Rescue about 10 years ago and knew I supported the work Bird Rescue did to help injured, orphaned, and oiled birds, so earlier this year I decided to become a volunteer. I knew that volunteering would give me the opportunity to help wild birds and help me gain skills that could only help me grow as a vet tech student. Now, I have been given the opportunity to become part of the team as a rehabilitation technician.

I am looking forward to giving the birds the care they need to heal and return them to their natural homes. My favorite part of being at Bird Rescue is seeing an injured animal come in, see it regain its strength and health, and have it end with a successful release. I enjoy learning about and working with all the various birds that come into the center, like the Western Grebe, my favorite so far, with its long, slender neck and soft, silky feathers. Or the Northern Fulmar, a bird I didn’t even know about before becoming a volunteer, but now really enjoy catching a glimpse of it bathing in the pools. I am eager to apply and develop the skills that I have learned thus far to grow as a rehabilitator.

It’s very gratifying to know that the birds we help are going back out into the wild to live out their lives as they were meant to before we had to intervene and hopefully contributing to the success of the species. I look forward to forming part of an organization that inspires and educates others to live in harmony with aquatic birds, and other wildlife, so that we may all enjoy the world we share.

-Lisbeth Montenegro
Part-time Rehabilitation Technician
International Bird Rescue

January 30, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Johnston

Mark Johnston volunteering at our 2017 Open House

Editor’s Note: The work we do at Bird Rescue wouldn’t be possible without our amazing team of staff, volunteers, and board members! Read below to meet one of our stellar team members!

Meet Mark Johnston, Bird Rescue volunteer at our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center since 2016. On Mark’s first day of retirement, he was passing by the Bird Rescue center on his way to breakfast with his wife. He saw a sign out front for our open house and decided to pop in and have a look. As he describes it, he was immediately greeted by a kind and welcoming group of people, eager to show him the birds, talk about our work, and give him a tour of the facilities. It didn’t take long before Mark realized that this was the type of place where he would want to spend his time in retirement. He filled out the paperwork, and has been with us ever since!

As an outdoorsman and a fly fisherman, Mark has always been intimately connected to nature. He describes himself as having a profound respect for the animal world and feels fortunate to get to work alongside the birds at the center. He loves working with the other volunteers and has enjoyed learning as much as he has about the patients at the center. Mark volunteers on a weekly basis and is also a part of our Bird Boosters club. He helps out with just about everything and anything we need and is one of few volunteers that work in both the administrative and clinical parts of the organization.

For Mark, the most important things in life are his family and friends. He enjoys being part of a community and is eager to help out in any way that he can for those that he cares about. He enjoys spending time with his wife of 37 years, his two sons, his extended family of close relatives, and his old workmates; he frequently travels between southern and northern California to be close to those that he loves.

When Mark is not at Bird Rescue, he can be found fishing with his nephew, tying his flies, traveling to northern California to see family, and sampling local culinary delights (his favorite is BBQ)!

We are so grateful to have a kind-hearted and dedicated volunteer like Mark, and enjoy his company just as much as he enjoys being at the center. Thank you, Mark, for all that you do!

September 27, 2017

Volunteer Spotlight: Susan “Mac” McCarthy

Editor’s note: 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.

Susan McCarthy – Volunteer Since 1971

A writer and a volunteer, Susan (or Mac as we’ll call her) has been on the front lines with Bird Rescue since 1971, getting her start at the Standard Oil spill incident that prompted the very formation of our organization! From oil spills to her work as a writer, Mac’s commitment to animal welfare has been an inspiration to us over the years.

A long-time Bay Area resident, Mac has always had a soft spot for avian wildlife. Growing up in a home that valued the welfare of all animals (including a mother who used to drive her to our center so she could volunteer!) it’s no wonder that Mac has dedicated her life to studying and writing about animal behavior.

As a professional writer, Mac’s work can be seen in her non-fiction books When Elephants Weep (which she co-authored with Jeff Masson) and Becoming a Tiger. In addition to her work in animal behavior, Mac also runs a blog with her colleague Marjorie Ingall, Sorry Watch, which analyzes apologies, both public and private.

We are so grateful that Mac has chosen to spend her time helping our efforts over the years, and are delighted to get to spend time with such an interesting and dedicated woman!

Read Mac’s account of bird rescue at the 1971 San Francisco Bay oil spill: http://www.outsidelands.org/1971_oil_spill.php