Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘BP’

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.

July 22, 2010

Louisiana Bird Rescue moving up to Hammond

The new Louisiana bird rescue center is coming along nicely. It’s located in the town of Hammond which is about 60 miles north of New Orleans above Lake Pontchartrain. The new site is out of the hurricane ‘evacuation zone’.

Since the beginning of the BP Gulf oil spill in April, the main animal rehabilitation center has been located in Buras, LA. It is only several feet above sea level.

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. We will be posting pictures soon.

View Larger Map

We are all looking forward to the move, which may be as soon as this weekend. While we are busily organizing and planning for the big move we are still receiving small numbers of oiled birds daily.

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

Over the weekend a small water spout developed nearby. It reminded us of how the weather here, especially this time of year, can change so rapidly. While we will miss living where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, in the end, the move will make it safer for the birds and the people that care for them.

More information

Louisiana Bird Rehabilitation Facility’s Move to Hammond

July 20, 2010

New report slams BP’s Gulf bird habitat efforts

A new report released by the prestigious American Bird Conservancy this week is asking serious questions about BP’s oil spill cleanup efforts and how they may be causing more harm than good to birds and to their habitats.

The 12 page report released July 19, 2010, is entitled Gulf Oil Spill: Field Survey Report and Recommendations, provides a series of five key recommendations for birds – ranging from the use of boom to habitat restoration – related to cleanup efforts surrounding the three-month-old Deepwater Horizon oil spill response.

According to the press release, observations are based on a just-completed week-long field assessment by ABC staff, who observed oil impacts and cleaning operations from Louisiana through Mississippi to Dauphin Island, Alabama. As part of the overview, ABC staff toured affected areas by boat with local and federal officials and charter boat captains. With Coast Guard officials, they also undertook an aerial over-flight of the spill area and points northwest of that location.

Five main recommendations contained in the report:

• The use of more effective boom to protect bird colonies. Numerous instances were observed where boom was in complete disarray, including being washed up on shore.

• The employment of better fencing and other measures to protect sensitive beach nesting areas and to reduce disturbance to birds. Clean-up crews were clearly unaware in several instances of the negative impacts they were causing to birds and their habitat.

• The deployment of adequately sized and equipped oil skimmers close to the coast with improved real-time oil reports to eliminate oil before it reaches the beaches and marshlands. ABC observed an instance of a substantial heavy oil slick about half a mile offshore while cleanup vessels were operating in very mildly oiled waters about one mile away – apparently unaware.

• The creation of a staging and recovery area for heavily oiled birds close to the coast. With the moving of the existing facility to a location about 70 miles away, some sort of near-shore facility is needed.

• The restoration of eroded island habitat for nesting birds. Breton Island, for example, is a fraction of its original size, is an important bird habitat and is in desperate need of rebuilding.

ABC’s Vice President and the report author Mike Parr, gave kudos to one area in particular: The joint IBRRC/Tri-State Bird rescue efforts at Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

“Without question, I think the unqualified bright spot of the cleanup effort was the bird cleaning center in Fort Jackson. It was gratifying to see that part of the cleanup is being carried out very effectively. The staff of the International Bird Rescue Research Center seemed totally committed, but most importantly, birds are being saved,” said Parr.

“During one of our boat surveys with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials, our vessel captured a clearly sick and oiled juvenile Roseate Spoonbill, and had it sent to the Center for treatment. Two days later, they brought out the bird for us to see and it looked clean and alert – much improved from the feeble state that allowed it to be simply picked up by hand off an oil boom 48 hours earlier,” Parr added.

To view the full report: www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/ABC_Gulf_Oil_Spill_Report.pdf

June 17, 2010

CNN report: Cleaning oiled birds in Louisiana

Duane Titus talks to CNN’s Anderson Cooper on his visit today to see the ongoing oiled bird care at the Fort Jackson Wildlife Center in Buras, Louisiana.

As of noon today, 634 oiled birds have been captured, 783 dead birds collected and 42 have been released – mainly in Florida. Official wildlife numbers available each day around Noon CDT.

June 4, 2010

Distressed oiled birds emerge in worst U.S. spill

The images are haunting this week in the unabated BP Gulf oil leak as video and photos of heavily oil coated birds flash across the screen for all the world to see. (Above: CBS-TV News Video)

By Thursday afternoon still photographs taken by Charlie Riedel of the Associated Press showed images of multiple distressed seabirds caught in an oil slick on Louisiana’s East Grand Terre Island. See more: Boston.Com’s The Big Picture

For many these are the first horrific images they’ve seen; it surely will not be the last as the 6 week oil leak continues to spew crude in the Gulf Of Mexico.

May 21, 2010

Video: Explaining how oiled birds get washed

Jay Holcomb of IBRRC explains why it’s so important to remove oil from a birds feathers. He also describes how an oiled pelican captured at the Gulf Oil leak is cleaned of crude this week at the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Center in Louisiana.

When a bird encounters oil on the surface of the water, the oil sticks to its feathers, causing them to mat and separate, impairing the waterproofing and exposing the animals sensitive skin to extremes in temperature. This can result in hypothermia, meaning the bird becomes cold, or hyperthermia, which results in overheating. Instinctively, the bird tries to get the oil off its feathers by preening, which results in the animal ingesting the oil.

May 12, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill Situation Map Update for May 12

The Deepwater Horizon oil blow out continues to frustrate responders as as rough seas today hampered the dispatch of crews to new shorelines impacted by oil, the The Times Picayune said this afternoon.

Louisiana state officials say the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has reached Whiskey Island shoreline – one of the barrier islands off the coast of Terrebonne Parish.

Other areas affected by the slick include South Pass and the Chandeleur Islands.

The oil spill involves a ruptured drilling platform approximately 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded on April 20, 2010 and sank in 5,000 feet of water. More than 100 workers scrambled off the burning rig in lifeboats. 11 workers are missing and presumed dead.

The ocean floor crude rupture is now gushing at least 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of oil a day. While engineers work feverishly to cap the well, many officials worry the leak could go on for months. The latest idea is to use a newer, smaller containment box called a “top hat.” It arrived in the Gulf well blowout early today. More news

(Click on the Deepwater Horizon Spill Situation map above or go to the DW Website)

May 4, 2010

Latest Gulf Oil Spill map predicts slick movement

The newest Gulf oil spill map from NOAA has been posted. The oil slick continues move toward Florida from the uncapped seafloor gusher at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig 45 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Response efforts have been stymied by choppy gulf seas over the past couple of days, but spill officials are optimistic Tuesday as the weather forecast shows sun and an ease in the winds.

Satellite images show the oil covering about 2,000 square miles of Gulf of Mexico waters.

BP has been unable to shut off the well, but crews have reported some progress using a remotely controlled underwater vehicle to dump chemicals called dispersants onto the oil as it gushes from the blown well.

Also see:

U.S. Coast Guard Flickr Photostream with more maps and photos