Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘2008’

January 24, 2009

How slow is mail? 8 week delivery for newsletter

We all know the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) can be slow at times but this is ridiculous: It took 2 months for our Fall 2008 newsletter to finally hit members’ mailboxes.

Back just before Thanksgiving on November 26, 2008, our printer dropped off the 2,300 properly addressed copies at the main post office in Oakland. Even allowing for the busy holiday mail season we believed the items would be delivered before Christmas. Boy were we ever wrong!

After numerous attempts by our printer to figure out where the newsletter was in the bulk mail system, the post office finally admitted the items were sitting in the wrong department. After discovery it went out and was delivered withing a couple of days. Our printer, Greenerprinter in Berkeley, was clearly frustrated with the USPS service, too.

So we had to laugh a bit when we saw the story in the San Francisco Chronicle this week bemoaning the changes afoot for the USPS because of the slumping mail volume:

Mail volume fell by 9.5 billion pieces, 4.5 percent, during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, contributing to a staggering $2.8 billion loss for the Postal Service. This year isn’t looking any better, postal officials said. There’s another stamp-price hike in the works in May.

Read the complete story: Postal Service changes routes in hard times

Hello? Pay better attention to your service and maybe you’d have happier customers and less frustration like we experienced.

Like many non-profits and businesses, we depend on the postal service to move occasional communication to members and supporters. However with increased costs and bad service, we’re delivering more news via the web and through e-mail.

Call us old fashioned, but for some of us, printed matter still works. Not all folks like e-mail newsletters and printed material tends to have a longer shelf life and usually gets read multiple times.

In the meantime, thanks for your patience. You can download a PDF version of the On the Wing newsletter. No postage is required.

December 23, 2008

Holiday greetings and 2008 update from IBRRC

From: Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of IBRRC:

Hi everyone. I wanted to wrap up the year by telling you what we are up to and just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. To most people this time of year is a time for celebrating and being with family and friends. It is the same for us also but at IBRRC we spend a lot of time NOT talking about oil spills during the holidays hoping that if we don’t acknowledge them then they won’t happen. Instead we just keep our fingers crossed, hoping that an oil spill will not happen and we wont be called into action. It comes from years of sacrificing holidays to oil spills. Make no mistake, its an honor for us to care for the birds in an oil spill but it is rarely convenient and always difficult. That is why we call this time of the year our, “oil spill season”. It is the season that we see the most oil spills.

We have had some close calls so far this year and one spill that we responded to in Santa Barbara. A few weeks ago there was a spill in Santa Barbara and we responded as a participant organization of California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). Only 3 oiled birds, two grebes and one red throated loon, were captured and rehabilitated in the San Pedro center. Unfortunately the loon died but the two grebes survived and were released on December 18 in San Pedro.

On Friday, December 19, we were put on alert for a possible spill in San Pablo Bay. A tanker carrying about 272,500 barrels of diesel fuel grazed the bottom of Pinole Shoal Channel in the San Pablo Bay off the coast of Rodeo. Luckily there was no oil spilled but it did nothing for our already frayed nerves. It was a close one and frankly, I was really angry when I heard of this close call. Not because of the possible loss of our holidays but because it was just a year after the Cosco Busan spill and, once again, we were shown how vulnerable the San Francisco Bay is and how in one moment everything can change. There are literally hundreds of thousands of migrating birds, ducks, shorebirds, grebes and loons, using that section of the bay right now and a spill would have been disastrous to them. Fresh spilled diesel fuel is usually deadly to these animals and often burns the lungs of the birds as they breath the fumes. It also burns their sensitive skin. We experience our highest mortality rates with highly refined fuels such as diesel and jet fuels.

Its not always oil spills that we see this time of year. On Saturday we took in a beautiful male wild turkey who was the victim of a an intentional attack. This male turkey has regularly visited the yard of some Castro Valley residents for many years but for the last 6 weeks it showed up in the yard with an arrow through its body. The turkey is one member of a flock of turkeys that live in this neighborhood and are fed and supported by kind and compassionate individuals. Our colleagues and response team members, Duane and Rebecca Titus of WildRescue, worked diligently to design a special trap to capture the bird and bring it to our center for care. After weeks of working out the kinks they captured the bird on Saturday and brought it to our clinic in Cordelia. Shannon Riggs, our on site veterinarian who is provide to us through the OWCN, managed by the University of California at Davis, removed the arrow and cleaned its wounds. The arrow was shot with such force that it broke the femur in one leg and went through the other side of the birds body. X-rays and an exam indicated that the leg had healed. Although not perfect or straight, it was still healed. The bird remained at the center until today, December 22, when it was taken back to Castro Valley and released back into its flock. This Christmas turkey was one of the lucky ones.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to IBRRC over the last year. We are grateful and the animals have benefited from your generosity. Thank you!

With fingers crossed that we don’t experience an oily or busy holiday season, we at IBRRC wish you all a joyful Christmas, happy Hanukkah and abundant New Year.

January 15, 2008

2008 comes in with a bang

The new year is turning out to be a busy one for IBRRC. In the first half of January, the bird center has personnel dedicated to the following events:

•Patagonia oil spill in Argentina
IBRRC is again teaming up with international wildlife professionals on Patagonia’s coast to help save 400 birds oiled affected by a mystery spill. Read more

•Battered by storms, birds flood center
Over a 100 birds, including a long-lost tropical Frigate bird, arrived for care at IBRRC’s Northern California center. All the birds in care were affected by severe weather that hit the Bay Area during early January. Winds in some areas were clocked at over 100 miles an hour. See full story

•Oily Bald Eagles arrive at IBRRC’s Alaska center
At least 35 bald eagles, who got caught in a feeding frenzy at a Kodiak fish processing plant, are on the mend at IBRRC’s Anchorage bird center. The oiled birds were rescued and flown to the center after becoming unable to fly following the melee inside a fish waste truck. More info

If you can, please help us out with our year-round bird rehabilitation program. Learn how to donate.