Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘bird rescue’

November 2, 2011

Exotic Stowaway Bird Flying Home, from LAX

An exotic seabird that arrived in Los Angeles as a stowaway aboard a ship from Korea is taking an unusual flight home to Hawaii this week having been rehabilitated at International Bird Rescue’s Wildlife Center in Los Angeles. The Red-Tailed Tropicbird, a solitary plunge-feeding seabird which rarely fishes within sight of land and nests on offshore islands in the pacific ocean, cannot be released from the Continental US and is instead heading home by plane with a one-way ticket on a commercial flight to Hawaii. The bird will depart from LAX on Thursday for Honolulu where it will be picked up by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agent and then immediately flown to Midway Atoll to be released back into the wild.

International Bird Rescue, which specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of seabirds and other aquatic birds, has provided care to many other seabird stowaways in its 40-year history – primarily Laysan Albatrosses and the occasional Frigatebird. The stowaway phenomenon is generally considered to be a simple case of mistaken identity. Laysan Albatrosses looking for new nesting islands during breeding season can see the flat surface of a cargo ship as the perfect new home. They sit quietly among the cargo containers and are not discovered until the ship is unloaded. These birds are often brought to one of International Bird Rescue’s Wildlife Centers in California, where they are evaluated, and within a few days are released off of the Coast to fly back to Hawaii, Mexico, or wherever they choose. However, the Tropicbird, which does not soar long distances like an Albatross, needs a helping hand in order to return to its remote feeding and nesting grounds.

Red-tailed Tropicbirds nest throughout the southern Pacific Ocean, from the Hawaiian Islands to Western Australia as well as in the Indian Ocean. They disperse widely after breeding, and birds with numbered leg bands from Hawaii have been discovered as far away as Japan and the Philippines.

To catch their prey in the wild, mostly flying fish and squid, the Tropicbird flies high into the air and dives with wings half-folded into the water. However, in aviaries they cannot fly high enough to plunge for food, and consequently remain sitting on the water and must be force-fed. The bird has been in quarantine in its own private pool at International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Wildlife Center in San Pedro since September 27, and has now passed all of its required health tests and has been approved for release.

“We are very fortunate to have a specialized rescue facility and trained staff here in Los Angeles with the skills and experience to give this Tropicbird a second chance,” says Jay Holcomb, International Bird Rescue’s Director Emeritus. “We have also had great support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the USDA, who have helped ensure swift and safe passage back home for this beautiful seabird.”

While this bird’s story is special, International Bird Rescue believes that every bird matters, and does everything it can to give each of the seabirds and aquatic birds that pass through its doors all that they need to survive and thrive. International Bird Rescue welcomes donations to help offset its expenses for not just the Tropicbird, but each of the 5,000 birds that arrive at its centers every year.
Donate button for Bird Rescue

October 24, 2011

Oiled Wildlife Response is a Team Sport

Little Blue Penguin on haulout in recovery pool at Rena New Zealand oil spill

Our latest update on the Rena Spill is brought to you by International Bird Rescue’s Preparedness Director, Curt Clumpner, who is on site in New Zealand working with Massey University in the role of Wildlife Center Deputy.

For those of you who don’t pay much attention to rugby “we” won the Rugby World Cup Sunday night. Much of the wildlife team watched it on one of the big screens in the hotel lobby. The wildlife team’s Kiwis and Americans all stood and sang the New Zealand national anthem (the Americans really only hummed) and cheered and groaned through a very close game, 8-7 New Zealand over France. The All-Blacks perform a ‘Haka’ at midfield facing the opposing team just before the start of each game. The ‘Haka’ is a traditional Maori war dance/challenge meant to intimidate the opponent. It is hard to describe but involves fierce faces, stomping and tongue wagging and in most cases it would cause tears in small children. It was a very exciting game even if we (the Americans) did not understand the rules very well. International Bird Rescue’s Barbara Callahan was waving her All-Blacks flag. Kerri Morgan from Massey University was pacing nervously and every so often someone in the room would yell a somewhat plaintive “come on boys”. In the end though “we” prevailed and there was much joy and relief. In my section of the hotel the neighbors were celebrating long into the night. At the wildlife center next morning there were more than a few people who seem to have developed a World Cup “flu” and it was Labor Day holiday, but we still had a good crew who got on with it.

One of the great things about going on international responses is the chance to work with different species. In this case we are working mostly with Little Blue Penguins, which I worked with 16 years ago during the Iron Baron spill in Australia, but also diving petrels, pied shags, and occasionally white-fronted terns, fluttering petrels and New Zealand Dotterels. In oiled wildlife care the principles pretty much hold true across species but the details may be different and learning the details and applying them correctly is always an interesting puzzle to work out.

It makes it much easier when the team contains members with a depth of local knowledge and experience with the species and that is one of the things that is great about the team that Maritime New Zealand and Massey University has put together. Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) (pronounced em-en-zed in this part of the world) contracts with the vet school at Massey University in Palmerston North much the same way California’s wildlife system is built around the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis. OWCN’s Director Dr Mike Ziccardi is also here as part of the team, stepping in wherever needed from seals to dirty birds to the Incident Control Center. They have a National Response Team here that trains yearly.

Oiled Wildlife Center in New Zealand.

For New Zealand the good news/bad news is that there has not been a spill that has impacted large numbers of animals – the Rena has been called the worst environmental disaster in New Zealand history – so their one weakness is that there is not a lot of real world spill experience on the team. This is why they asked International Bird Rescue to help. We have had a strong relationship with the New Zealand program for a number of years, networking, exchanging information, collaborating on workshops at conferences and, during the Prestige spill response in Spain, bringing in Massey’s then team leader Richard Norman as part of our wildlife team to gain some real world international response experience. Two years ago I was also invited to participate as one of the instructors for yearly oiled wildlife core team training at Massey University and so already knew many of the wonderful team we are working with now.

Curt Clumpner
Preparedness Director
International Bird Rescue

Stay tuned for more updates from our team in New Zealand in the coming days

M/V Rena Live Wildlife Data as of October 24, 2011
Oiled Live Little Blue Penguins 107
Un-oiled Live Little Blue Penguins 186
NZ Dotterel 60
Pied Shag 3
White-Fronted Tern 1
Grand Total Live At Facility 357
August 15, 2011

Your Support Is Helping Hungry Pelicans

Dear Friends,

With the support of friends like you, this summer International Bird Rescue is rehabilitating and releasing hundreds of young Brown Pelicans back into the wild. It’s a beautiful sight to see, and we are deeply grateful to those of you who reached into your pockets and helped us give these birds the care – and incredible amount of food – they need to survive and thrive!

As quickly as we set these birds free, more injured, ill, and starving Pelicans arrive. We will do everything we can to help them, but in the case of natural events like this, there is no responsible party to help defray the expense.

Together, International Bird Rescue’s two Wildlife Centers have been caring for 70-100 Brown Pelicans at a time. Every bird has its own set of needs, things like surgeries and medicines, but they all need to eat. Each one consumes half its bodyweight in food every day – about 6 pounds of fish – at up to $2.05 a pound. See video

If you haven’t made a donation to International Bird Rescue yet, we hope that you will. If you have, our heartfelt thanks. We hope you’ll tell your friends why our work is important to you, and encourage them to join you. It would mean the world to us – and a whole lot more to every bird that arrives on our doorstep. Donate Now

With deepest gratitude,

Paul Kelway
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

July 27, 2011

Hungry Pelicans Need a Helping Hand

Dear Friends,

Brown Pelican at in care at International Bird RescueInternational Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Wildlife Centers are working long hours this summer to care for an influx of young aquatic birds. Most striking are the large numbers of juvenile Brown Pelicans in urgent need of care. As quickly as we can get them back on their feet and released into the wild, more arrive. See Pelican Video

Some have injuries caused by fishing hooks or fishing line, others suffer from various forms of infection, and about half are simply starving, unable to find enough food to survive on their own.

A young Brown Pelican eats an average of 6 pounds of fish a day – half its bodyweight – and each of our two centers is caring for 40-50 Pelicans at a time. International Bird Rescue is purchasing more than 500 lbs. of fish per day at up to $2.05 a pound just to keep these birds fed – and that’s just the Pelicans!

It is only through generous donations from friends like you that we are able to provide all of the birds that pass through our doors with everything they need to survive and thrive. We ask you to please donate what you can to help us save not just these birds, but every bird that needs us. Donate Now

From the largest Brown Pelican to the tiniest Killdeer chick, every bird matters.

With heartfelt thanks,

Paul Kelway
Executive Director
International Bird Rescue

March 7, 2011

Natural Seep Oiled Birds Continue to Flood IBRRC

At the end of January, International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) reported that nearly 50 oiled birds had been brought in for care after being coated with oil in a natural seep event along the Southern California coast. Since then, more than 64 new birds severely impacted by this heavy, sticky oil have arrived in our Los Angeles area rehabilitation clinic – 41 of them since February 22.

Species include many Western and Clark’s Grebes, Common Murres, Pacific Loons, California Gulls, Western Gulls, Red-throated Loons, a Northern Fulmar and a Common Loon.

Oil seeps occur naturally all along the coast of California, notably in the Santa Barbara Channel near Coal Oil Point. This area emits about 5,280 to 6,600 gallons of oil per day. Oil can be lethally harmful to seabirds—particularly to diving birds that spend a great deal of time on the surface of the water where the oil sits. It interferes with the birds’ ability to maintain their body temperature by impairing the natural insulation and waterproofing properties of their feathers, which can result in hypothermia, as their metabolisms try to combat the cold. Oiled birds often beach themselves in this weakened state, and become easy prey for other animals.

Preparing for Natural Seep Oiled Birds

IBRRC knows, from 40 years of experience, to anticipate these birds every year, with the largest number coming in during the winter months. This year, however, has been a particularly challenging one, as severe storms move seep oil around at a time when large numbers of migratory birds are utilizing offshore areas as their feeding grounds.

Who pays for their care?

In the case of a natural event, there is no responsible party to cover the costs of caring for oiled wildlife, and IBRRC and other rehabilitation organizations rely heavily on the public’s help. California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) has generously provided some funding, yet the remaining costs to treat and care for these birds continues to grow as more oil disperses along the coast.

Please consider making a donation today. Every bird matters, and so does every gift.

January 25, 2011

Natural Oil Seep Prompts Bird Rescue in Calif.

Nearly 50 oiled birds have been in care this month at International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) after being coated with oil in a natural seep event along the Southern California coast.

Since January 6, 2011, IBRRC has received 28 Western Grebes, 18 Common Murres, a Common Loon, a Pacific Loon and a Clark’s Grebe.

IBRRC receives many birds that are contaminated with natural seep oil in our rehabilitation clinics year round. Birds are often severely impacted by this heavy, sticky oil, and it presents numerous challenges to our rehabilitation staff.

Oil seeps occur naturally all along the coast of California, notably in the Santa Barbara Channel near Coal Oil Point. This area emits about 5,280 to 6,600 gallons of oil per day. Natural seeps have been active for hundreds to thousands of years and have been documented by early explorers and by coast-dwelling Chumash Indians who used the oil in many ways including waterproofing baskets and constructing wooden canoes.

Impact to Birds

Oil can be lethally harmful to seabirds—particularly to diving birds that spend a great deal of time on the surface of the water where the oil sits. It interferes with the birds’ ability to maintain their body temperature by impairing the natural insulation and waterproofing properties of their feathers, which can result in loss of body weight, as their metabolisms try to combat the cold, and death from hypothermia. Oiled birds often beach themselves in this weakened state, and consequently become easy prey for other animals.

Preparing for Natural Seep Oiled Birds

Each bird that is impacted by natural seep oil is part of a larger population, but we know that every one is important in its own right and deserves the best possible care. We also know, from 40 years of experience, to anticipate these birds every year, with the largest number of birds coming in during the winter months. At this time of year, storms tend to move seep oil around while large numbers of migratory birds are utilizing offshore areas as their feeding grounds. Since their arrival at our rehabilitation clinics is predictable, we have endeavored to schedule our international interns around the birds’ arrival so that our trainees can be immersed in the complexities of oiled bird rehabilitation. The interns get invaluable, one-of-a-kind experience and the birds get the highest quality care.

Who pays for their care?

IBRRC has received natural seep oiled birds since our inception in 1971. As this is considered a “natural” event, with no responsible party, IBRRC and other wildlife rehabilitation organizations rely on the public to help cover the costs of caring for these birds. In recent years California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) has generously provided some funding, however, the remaining cost is substantial in stormy years like this one when more natural seep oil is dispersed along the coast.

January 14, 2011

Thank you for helping rescue birds!

Dear Friend of IBRRC,

Happy 2011 and thank you so much for your support in 2010!

Thanks to donors like you, International Bird Rescue Research Center raised enough funds in the last week of December to meet our $15,000 matching goal. We are thrilled with this news, as that translates into $30,000 to help treat the sick and injured birds arriving daily in our rescue centers.

We never know when the next wildlife emergency will strike, sending stricken birds to our doors, but thanks to the generosity of IBRRC donors like you, we can be prepared to care for them whenever they arrive.

In 2010, we treated nearly 5,000 birds in our two centers – everything from pelicans to tiny sandpipers to lesser-known fulmars. Last month we also cared for a tundra swan that was found cold and weak in a farmer’s field.

Thank you so much for helping make our work possible and best wishes for a peaceful and happy new year.


Paul Kelway, Executive Director
Jay Holcomb, Director Emeritus
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

Photo by Kurtis Diffenbaugh

December 29, 2010

A Recipe For Bird Rescue

Dear Friends,

What does it take to rescue a sick or injured bird?

Every year, IBRRC cares for more than 5,000 stricken aquatic birds at our two California rescue centers.

We are currently caring for dozens of birds oiled by natural seep of oil along our coast, birds impacted by the massive storms that are moving through California and birds with gun shot injuries and fishing line entanglements. We also receive many species of waterfowl like a tundra swan (right photo) that was found cold and weak in a farmer’s field.

These birds’ lives depend on the kindness of strangers — people like you.

Will you make a contribution to help them? Through December 31, friends of IBRRC will match all donations, dollar for dollar, up to $15,000. That means your support will go twice as far to help birds.

Our centers are the last line of defense for sick and injured birds. If we didn’t exist, there would be nowhere else for them to go.

As a result, at any given time we often have hundreds of birds in our care. And we depend heavily on our wonderful volunteers to help a small paid staff keep our clinics open 365 days a year.

IBRRC’s recipe for rescue:
1. Capture or admit the stricken bird
2. Perform triage
3. Provide treatment and medication
4. Feed and house in a safe environment
5. Observe, monitor and evaluate for release
6. Release back into the wild

Ingredients: Medicine, Water, sheets, towels, Medical supplies, pools, food and trained staff and volunteers

Costs to feed and care for a recovering bird vary by species, but ranges from $10 to $50 a bird per day.

Please help us continue to rescue these birds. Your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, through December 31, doubling your impact on helping birds.

Thank you in advance. Your support means so much to us.


Jay Holcomb, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)


P.S. If you prefer to mail a check, please send it to:

c/o 2010 Gift
4369 Cordelia Road
Fairfield, CA 94534
Phone: (707) 207-0380 Ext. 109

December 22, 2010

Volunteer: Why I help birds for free at IBRRC

Dear IBRRC Friend,

My name is Karen Sheldon, and I’m a volunteer at IBRRC’s Northern California bird rescue center. From one bird lover to another, I’d like to tell you a little about my experience caring for injured aquatic birds over the past four years.

If you’ve never visited IBRRC’s rescue centers, they’re like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They are not zoos by any means; they’re hospitals. The birds are there for a variety of reasons. But regardless of whether they are sick, injured or oiled, our ultimate goal is the same: to return these birds to the wild.

That’s why I hope you’ll consider making a year-end gift to IBRRC. No matter how large or small, I can guarantee you that your support makes a difference to these birds.

When a bird is ready to return to the wild, one of the volunteers usually drives it out to a release point. We call it “getting a ride out to the beach.” Watching these little guys who have been in our care for days when we open their cages – there’s nothing quite like that moment. Some of them are very cautious – they don’t want to get out of the enclosed space, and they very carefully get into the water. Others immediately rush up to join a group and fly away.

It’s these experiences that make all the long hours cleaning cages and dodging bird bites worth it.

And I can tell you firsthand that IBRRC wouldn’t exist and these releases would not be possible without the donor support. The Northern California center operates on only five paid staff and about 60 volunteers. And in 2010, we admitted more than 2,650 birds for care and treatment. I can’t stress enough how critical donor contributions are to keeping the centers running – and making these “rides out to the beach” possible.

I hope you will help us make more releases possible with your support.

Thank you so much for all you do to help us rescue birds.


Karen Sheldon
Volunteer, IBRRC Northern California Bird Rescue Center

November 17, 2010

Reward raised to $6,100 for info on collared gulls

As the search continues for other beer can collared birds in the San Francisco Bay Area, the reward has been raised to $6,100 for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who collared the gulls.

Thanks to a generous $5,000 pledge from the California Beer and Beverage Distributors (CBBD), the reward will help to focus more attention in stopping the prankster (s) from collaring anymore birds. The CBBD is a nonprofit representing 100 beer distributors and brewer/vendor members in California.

Earlier this week one of the gulls was captured by a team from WildRescue and the beer can removed from its neck. It was caught at Lake Merced in San Francisco. See video below

November 15, 2010

Fifth grader organizes DAWN donations for spill

We received five big mystery boxes this week at our offices in California that helps bolster your faith in humanity.

Inside the well packed cartons were 168 bottles of DAWN dishwashing liquid. They were donated by school kids organized by fifth grader Evan Meadows at St. Genevieve School in Flourtown, Pennsylvania.

In a letter from his mom, Kathie Meadows, she says:

“My son, Evan Meadows, a fifth grade student was so moved by the Dawn commercials he saw over the summer he decided he wanted to something to help and to raise awareness of the plight faced by the animals affected by the BP Gulf Coast spill. 

He spearheaded a campaign asking kindergarten through grade 4 to donate one bottle of Dawn dish detergent to send to you at the International Bird Rescue Research Center to assist you in the massive effort of cleaning the animals…”

The 500 pounds of dishwashing liquid were shipped free from a local UPS store.

By the way, IBRRC has been using DAWN for more than 30 years to help remove oil from birds feathers. Dawn’s parent company, Procter & Gamble has been a long-time supporter of wildlife rescue efforts including year-round donations of DAWN to the bird rescue group’s two California bird centers. See: Dawn Saves Wildlife

Thanks to Evan and his fellow students at St. Genevieve School!

Read more:
Fifth-grader organizes campaign for the Gulf crisis

August 29, 2010

Hopeful signs: More oil spill birds released

As we approach the 5th month of bird rescue at the BP Oil Spill, Jay Holcomb, IBRRC’s Executive Director, is back with a new update on the continuing response in four Gulf states:

Dear Friends and Supporters,

This past week we released more than 150 clean birds after successful rehabilitation at the ongoing Gulf Oil Spill bird rescue. They were returned to the wild on Rabbit Island, another clean bird nesting island in western Louisiana.

We’ve had a fair amount of storm activity in the last few weeks and have had to schedule bird releases around heavy wind and rain. That’s unfortunate for us but will not impact the birds who can wait a few extra days before they return to the wild. We have made the best use of that time by providing live fish for them to eat so the young pelicans can continue to play and develop hunting skills as they plunge feed and chase live minnows in their pools.

Why are we still getting oiled birds?

While the number of oiled birds has slowed down tremendously, and especially in the last month, we are still receiving fledgling pelicans, gulls and terns. These fledgling birds became oiled while they were playing and bathing in the puddles in the inland areas or on the shorelines of small islands. In July a strong storm surge pushed oil onto some of the nesting islands in the Grande Isle area. These islands are primarily made up of sand, gravel and shell and the highest elevations are typically no more than 4 feet high.

Some islands have low growing mangrove forests and many of the islands are covered with tall grasses. The storm surges pushed oil through the grasses and mangroves and much of it settled in shallow inlets and pools that are located throughout the inner areas of the islands. Some of these young birds have been oiled for a while and the only reason they survived was because the warm weather and hot sand allowed them to stay warm.

As they begin to fledge and hang out on the edges of their islands they are easier to capture without frightening the other birds. Since early July we have received around 500 oiled fledglings. We not only have to wash and rehabilitate them, we must take over the role of their parents and help them to learn to eat on their own and become decent hunters and foragers. That is where the live fish and other stimulating foods come in. So, in essence we are now operating a nursery and classroom for the feathered orphans of the spill. The birds now ready to be released have graduated to a state where we think they have a good chance for survival. They may be delayed for a few days but when they are ready they will be released into colonies of their species so that they can pick up where they left off in the education.

Watch: Video of young Brown Pelicans feeding on minnows

As of August 29, 2010 the Tri-State Bird Rescue and IBRRC Response Team have successfully cleaned and released 1,129 healthy birds back to the wild in Texas, SW Louisiana, Florida and Georgia. See: Updated bird numbers

Also you can follow IBRRC’s ongoing rescue efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

We continue to remain hopeful and part of that comes from your encouragement and continuing support.


Jay Holcomb
, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

August 5, 2010

Day 109 update: Gulf oiled bird rescue continues

As we enter into the fourth month of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, we wanted to bring you up to date on our continuing oiled bird rehabilitation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

The BP well has been capped but we are still receiving hundreds of oiled birds each week. These are primarily the orphans of the spill: Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelicans, Terns, Herons and Skimmers who are attempting to fledge from their protective islands. In doing so they are becoming oiled as residual pools of oil and oiled grasses still exist on some of the islands.

On July 23rd we successfully moved 400+ bird patients from the Fort Jackson rescue center in Buras, Louisiana to Hammond, which is 80 miles further north. Primarily, this move was to ensure the safety of people and animals in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. We currently have over 500 birds at the Hammond center.

To-date, 657 birds — mainly Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls and small shorebirds — have been successfully rehabilitated and released back to the wild in Texas, SW Louisiana, Florida and Georgia.

IBRRC has had 75 responders help in the gulf spill and we still have 40 response team members in four Gulf states working alongside our colleagues from Tri-State Bird Rescue to give the best possible care to these oiled birds. Many of us have been here since early May and we will be here to assist for many more months to come.

An amazing amount of people, including many children from around the country, have been moved to respond to the ongoing aquatic bird rescue efforts in the Gulf.

Please know that we appreciate all your words of encouragement and your continuing support.


– Jay Holcomb, Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC)

More information

When oil stops, the hard work can begin:
The Cornell Blog of Ornithology

Audubon Magazine Blog: The Gulf Oil Spill

July 28, 2010

Photos of Hammond OIled Wildlife Center

The Hammond Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation facility is functioning beautifully and all birds in care are doing very well. Over the weekend, as Bonnie moved over the area we experienced some good downpours but nothing major. All’s good!

Here’s what the inside of one of the warehouses looks like where all the indoor rehabilitation takes place.

Initially, the Hammond Bird Rehabilitation Facility will be capable of handling approximately 1,000 birds, and capacity could be increased to house as many as 2,000 to 3,000 birds.

It’s situated on the grounds of what was once a very large lumber yard with multiple empty warehouses and plenty of room for large outdoor enclosures. BP paid a local contractor to convert the vacant buildings to a oiled wildlife hospital.

The new wildlife center is 60 miles north of New Orleans above Lake Pontchartrain. The previous Louisiana center was located at Fort Jackson in Buras for the first three months of the Gulf oil spill. The new site is out of the hurricane ‘evacuation zone’.

See a Map

July 25, 2010

Move to new Hammond bird center a success

We’re happy to report the move to the new Hammond, Louisiana bird rescue center went smoothly Friday morning. Here’s an update:

The move was a great success! 

At 2:30 AM yesterday morning, staff from Tri-State Bird Rescue, IBRRC and Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) arrived to the facility and began preparing the birds for their journey to Hammond. They were given rehydrating fluids and placed into carriers. The carriers were then lined up according to size and species. When the large Transport trucks arrived at 4:00 AM, the birds were systematically loaded – the most frail were loaded last so they would be offloaded first. They were on the road before 5:00 AM. It went incredibly smoothly and according to plan.

By 7:00 AM, the first of nearly 400 birds arrived and were in their new enclosures. Outside, clean birds were placed into large enclosures with foliage and water features. Almost immediately the birds began bathing and exploring their new enclosures. Inside, the critical birds were placed into their new cages that had been warmed in preparation for their arrival. No birds were harmed or lost in this move.

This new facility, located near Hammond’s Northshore Regional Airport sits on over 7 acres. It offers 4 large sheltered areas being used for outdoor housing and three large warehouses that have been retrofitted for our operations.

–Rebecca Dmytryk, IBRRC Media Relations Assistant

Hammond is about 60 miles north of New Orleans above Lake Pontchartrain. The new site is out of the hurricane ‘evacuation zone’.

Initially, the Hammond Bird Rehabilitation Facility will be capable of handling approximately 1,000 birds, and capacity could be increased to house as many as 2,000 to 3,000 birds.

Oiled animals that continue to come in through Venice and Port Sulphur, Louisiana will receive first aid at a stabilization site nearby before being transferred to the wildlife center in Hammond. Since we do not wash oiled birds right away this will not delay their treatment.