Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘help’

December 27, 2010

Your gift will go twice as far to help birds

During these last days of 2010 your gift to IBRRC will go twice as far to help birds. Between now and December 31, 2010 a generous donor has agreed to match all gifts, dollar for dollar, up $15,000.

Oiled, injured and sick aquatic birds arrive at one of our two California rescue centers nearly every day. This year, we have treated more than 5,500 birds – and that doesn’t count our Gulf Coast oil spill response. Costs for treatment, care, feeding and rehabilitation of most of those birds come from private donations.

Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end contribution to the International Bird Rescue Research Center.

Prefer to mail a check? Please send it here:


4369 Cordelia Road

Fairfield, CA 94534

Phone: (707) 207-0380 Ext. 109

And thanks for your support!

November 19, 2010

Public’s help still needed to locate injured gulls

The public is being urged by rescuers to keep an eye out for the remaining beer-can-collared gulls in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Recent sightings of the adult and juvenile Western gulls have come in from Bolinas Lagoon to San Francisco’s Fishermen’s Wharf to SF State University out near Lake Merced. The bird (top, right) is a second year juvenile Western Gull photographed on November 17th at San Francisco State University in the southwestern area of the city.

Like most wild birds, they are understandably wary of approach. If you see one of these birds please send or call in details – Time, Date, location, and a pic if possible – phoning (831) 429-2323 and/or emailing rescue@wildrescue.org. Two organizations are collaborating on this effort, International Bird Rescue (Fairfield) and WildRescue (Monterey).

The reward has been raised to $6,100 for the arrest and conviction of the person(s) who collared the gulls.

Earlier this week a team from WildRescue successfully captured one gull at Lake Merced and removed the beer can from it’s neck. Video of the gull rescue is on YouTube

See more information here: http://wildrescues.blogspot.com/

November 2, 2009

How you can help the birds and IBRRC

Lot’s have people are asking how they can help IBRRC during this busy time. Besides a direct monetary donation, you can still help us by buying a bottle of DAWN Dishwashing liquid or purchasing items from the IBRRC online store.

We’ve got IBRRC t-shirts, hats, lapel pins and photo cards. All the proceeds go to help us take better care of distressed, oiled and sick birds. All orders are processed through PayPal. See our store

The Dawn Saves Wildlife program is still going strong and has raised nearly $140,000 to be split between IBRRC and the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. After your purchase a bottle of DAWN, you go to their website and “register” the bottle’s unique number. It just takes a minute.

By the way, every year Procter & Gamble also donates cases and case of its products to help care for birds. We’ve been using DAWN for almost 30 years to clean bird’s feathers.

May 19, 2009

Something to quack about: Orphaned ducklings

It’s orphaned duckling season here at IBRRC. You can help us care for the thousands of these aquatic birds we raise each year.

It’s only 25 bucks and you get a adoption certificate. The good vibe after your adoption lasts soooo much longer.

Go >> Adopt-a-Duckling.

March 28, 2009

Help needed: Adopt a duckling!

Spring is finally upon us and that means one thing at IBRRC: Ducklings!

This year we’re again asking the public to help us pay for the cost of raising these orpahaned ducklings. Each year we receive thousands of these adorable little water birds. They have huge appetites and if you can help us out, we’d be more than thankful.

For as little as $25 you can adopt here or use the new PayPal widget to make a contribution. >> See on the upper right >>

Thanks from all of us at IBRRC…where the birds come first.

January 4, 2009

They don’t come with credit cards: Birds in need

Aquatic bird specialists, International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) is noticing a trend in California Brown Pelicans along the coastline from Monterey to San Diego and they need your help.

An unusual number of birds are coming in thin and disoriented – being found on roads and in fields. What is remarkable is that many are adult pelicans. Often this behavior is associated with domoic acid from a marine algae but so far the birds exhibit no other typical neurological disorders. The center now has 40 in care; ten pelicans came in in the last few days.

IBRRC is asking for your help in reporting ailing pelicans to your local rescue organization or by calling the toll-free California Wildlife Hotline 866-WILD-911. You are encouraged to leave information on dead pelicans there as well by pressing option 2.

How to help

Both of IBRRC’s facilities are in need of assistance in transporting pelicans from other centers and with the care of the high number of birds in treatment. There’s dire need for funds to offset the cost of caring for these huge birds – their adopt a pelican program is a unique way to help while being personally involved in a pelican’s care and release. Adopt-a-pelican

To help, please send inquiries to info@ibrrc.org or call the Fairfield facility at (707) 207-0380 Ext 110 or the San Pedro center at (310) 514-2573.

Kudos to the Daily Breeze newspaper in Southern California for the pelican story Swooping in for birds in need: Pelicans overload rescue center in San Pedro. The article captures perfectly the increase in sick and hungry brown pelicans coming into the San Pedro bird center.

Jay Holcomb, IBRRC’s Executive Director was quoted in the article:

“We don’t usually get that many that come in at this time of year. We’ve been getting them regularly, and we’ve been concerned about it,” Holcomb said. “They’re expensive animals – they eat tons of fish and require a lot of medicine. We’ll never shut the door to them, but they don’t come in with credit cards.”

More Adopt a bird info and Donate online info.

October 10, 2008

Busch Conservation grant helps pelicans in distress

Thanks to a generous grant from SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, brown pelicans in distress will get more help in California. The Fund recently issued a grant to IBRRC totaling $5,000 in emergency funding to help the organization purchase food and medical supplies.

Since June 2008, hundreds of injured brown pelicans with hook, tackle and line injuries have come into the International Bird Rescue Rehabilitation Center’s (IBRRC) two California facilities.

The birds, migrating north from Mexico through Southern California, are becoming entangled in fishing gear as they feed on sardines and anchovies near the same piers and wharfs as local anglers in Santa Cruz, CA. When anglers reel in a catch, the birds try to eat the fish off the long lines. The lines are either cut or broken, leaving the birds injured and in need of care.

A non-profit foundation, the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and education in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to annual grants that have exceeded $5 million over the past five years, the Fund also issues animal crisis grants to provide rapid, much-needed funding to aid animals and habitats in peril due to either natural or human-caused events.

October 8, 2008

Good news: Disney grant helps with pelican crisis

A big thanks to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund (DWCF) for its $5,000 emergency grant to IBRRC to help pay for rehabilitating the injured pelicans found along the coast of California.

IBRRC was overwhelmed with hundreds of injured Brown Pelicans this summer at both California bird centers. Most were brought in for hook and fishing line entanglement injuries as they competed with local fishermen in the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay areas.

The cost of feeding the pelicans will cost more than $35,000. The public also stepped up to help. If you have a couple of extra bucks, please help as you can: Donate or Adopt-a-Pelican

The Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund (DWCF) was established in 1995 as a global awards program for the study and protection of the world’s wildlife and ecosystems. It provides annual awards to US nonprofit conservation organizations working alongside their peers in other countries. Many of the recipient organizations concentrate their activities on “biological hotspots” — areas rich in plant and animal life at risk of imminent destruction. Read more

August 7, 2008

Crisis continues for Brown Pelicans along coast

In the last few days our Northern California rehabilitation center, located in Fairfield, received another 25 brown pelicans from the Santa Cruz area. That makes a total of 137 pelicans this year in Northern California alone and 115 of those pelicans have come in since June 15th! Until recently they have been mostly young birds that are learning to fish and are feeding on large schools of anchovies and sardines that are moving along the California coastline. As of today, more than 30 of the birds that have come to our center are suffering from injuries due to fishing hooks and monofilament line entanglement.

Overview of the Current Crisis Situation

For those of you that don’t remember, in 2002 IBRRC received 200 injured pelicans from Santa Cruz within a month because large numbers of brown pelicans were feeding on anchovies under the Santa Cruz piers. Fisherman fishing from the piers can catch up to five small fish at a time by basically creating a long line system where each line has up to five leads with hooks on the ends of them. The lines are dropped from very high piers and are often pulled up with up to 5 wiggling fish on them. Pelicans see this as a free meal and grab them, becoming entangled. The fishermen get annoyed, cut the lines and then the pelicans are found on the wharf and local beaches with injuries and entanglements. This is happening right now!

In 2002 IBRRC worked with local government and California Fish & Game to temporarily close the Santa Cruz wharf to fishing until the bait fish moved out of the area. This tactic was successful and ended the fishing tackle entanglements. We are again asking the regulatory agencies to temporarily close these areas to fishing. This year the problem is much worse as three different piers are being used for fishing and literally thousands of brown pelicans are feeding on the fish. Two of the piers are now closed but one remains open to fishing. One fisherman complained to reporters that he is catching a pelican every 20 minutes and cutting the line.

Media report: ABC-TV: Pelicans getting fatally snared in Capitola

IBRRC as the Hub for west coast pelican rehabilitation

IBRRC has the largest facilities and most advanced program for pelican and sea bird rehabilitation along the west coast of the US. Each of our rehabilitation centers is equipped with a one hundred foot long pelican flight aviary. These aviaries are specifically built for pelicans and provide them flight rehabilitation. Each aviary can hold up to 75 birds at a time and both are in full use right now.

Your support is desperately needed

As I write this appeal there are 70 brown pelicans at our Northern California center, in Fairfield, receiving treatment for fishing tackle injuries and other problems and an equal amount at our Southern California facility in San Pedro. Each pelican eats up to 5 pounds of fish a day. The low estimate of a single pelican’s cost to rehabilitate is $20.00 per day. In truth, the cost is much more for those that require antibiotics and further care. I am asking for your financial support again to help us in this crisis situation.

We have set up many ways for our supporters to contribute. Donations in any amount you wish are always welcome. You may Adopt a Pelican or become a Pelican Partner. Becoming a Pelican Partner provides you with the opportunity to receive a private tour of one of our facilities and join our staff or volunteers at the release of the pelican that you have adopted and helped. I urge you to help us rehabilitate these pelicans. Share this information with friends and encourage their involvement. Help us: Adopt-a-Pelican or Donate

Thank you from all the staff and volunteers at IBRRC for your help.

Jay Holcomb

Executive Director
International Bird Rescue Research Center, IBRRC

August 2, 2008

Starving young pelican numbers grow: Help!

The number of young pelicans sick and starving arriving at IBRRC’s two bird centers continues to grow.

Jay Holcomb, IBRRC’s executive director, has issued a plea to the public for help in treating these birds. The fish bill alone is at least $750 a day between the two centers. You can help by adopting a pelican or becoming a pelican partner to assist us in our long-term support for these endangered animals. Read his urgent appeal

More than 150 pelicans have been delivered to the Cordelia/Fairfield and San Pedro Centers in the past six weeks. Dedicated staff and the wonderful volunteers at both centers continue to assist these wonderful birds.

Most of the birds are weak due to lack of food and some have more serious injuries, according to Holcomb. He says it’s not uncommon for the centers to treat ailing pelicans during the summer months. This year the numbers are definitely up and partly this can be attributed a successful nesting season for pelicans in the Channel Islands.

Some good news

The good news today is that some of the earlier arrivals have been stabilized with fish and TLC and are being released. Six California Brown Pelicans were turned back to the wild Saturday afternoon at Fort Baker’s Horseshoe Cove in Sausalito.

Media reports:

Influx of rescued pelicans in California: ABC News

Pelicans nursed back to health: Vacaville Reporter

Pelicans released back to the wild: The Daily Breeze photos

July 25, 2008

Sick and hungry pelicans flooding bird centers

It’s another busy summer season for the staff and volunteers at Bird Rescue as sick and starving young pelicans arrive for treatment at both California centers. Since June nearly 100 pelicans have been transferred to the bird rescue centers – one in San Pedro and the other in Fairfield, CA – to be given the best possible care.

Starting in May 2008 an overwhelming number of pelicans competed with fishermen for large quantities of schooling fish in Northern California – especially in the Santa Cruz/Monterey Bay areas. We began receiving an extraordinary influx of pelicans with entanglement, fish hook and tackle injuries. We were receiving 10-12 birds a day until California Fish and Game stepped in to close the local piers to fishing.

The influx of pelicans was taxing our centers, as the San Pedro facility was also receiving unusually large
numbers of pelicans in their clinic. Our fish bill alone climbed to nearly $40,000. To help defray the cost of caring for the pelicans, Bird Rescue is asking for the public’s help. Donate

You can also become a Pelican Partner. With a donation of $1,000, you will have the chance to tour one of our California wildlife centers and help to release one of our patients back into the wild. This experience offers supporters a special opportunity to see a seabird getting its final medical exam and numbered leg band, and the once-in-a-lifetime honor of opening the cage at the release site as your partner pelican takes its first steps into the open and soars away.

Luckily this year Bird Rescue completed construction of a new 100-foot pelican aviary at its Fairfield, CA bird center. The aviary allows pelicans to recuperate in large comfortable setting. It has two large pools and perches for the birds to fly back and forth to stretch their wings. The aviary was completed with funds from the Green Foundation and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). The San Pedro center has had a pelican aviary since it opened in 2001.

How to help: Adopt-a-Pelican

More information on Pelicans in Peril

Found a bird? How to handle a sick or injured pelican or other aquatic birds.

June 11, 2008

Silver lining in Cosco Busan spill: Great volunteers

For every dark cloud there’s always a silver lining and the horrible Cosco Busan oil spill was no different. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers showed up from all over California and from the far reaches of the United States to care for oiled birds. They helped transport birds, washed laundry and cleaned cages. Without their incredible efforts the success we had returning washed birds back into the wild would not have been possible.

Two of our “new” local volunteers, a husband and wife team, Yvonne McHugh and Tony Brake of Berkeley (pictured above on the far right and left), share their stories:

For me, volunteering at IBRRC in Cordelia following the Cosco Busan disaster relieved a sense of helplessness and despair by focusing my physical and mental energy on the care and treatment of aquatic birds oiled in the spill. Due to that experience, I’ve often imagined that it would be appropriate to have painted over the entrance to the IBRRC in Cordelia, “Embrace hope, all ye who enter here”.

I had recent bird handling experience from working with raptors in the banding program of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory (GGRO), but at the time of the Cosco Busan spill, I hadn’t participated in rehabilitating oiled birds since the late 1970s or 1980s (at the Aquatic Center in Berkeley). When I started helping in the IBRRC Wash Room, it was tremendously heartening for me to discover the technical progress that had been made in washing oiled birds, both increasing the release rate and sparing the washer as well. There was another up-side to this task: During the hours spent holding birds for their washing and rinsing I began to notice differences in hard-wired behavior between bird species, as well as individual personalities. My previous experience with seabirds, waterfowl and waders had been simply to identify them and observe their behavior through binoculars and to compare the field marks to those in the color plates of birding field guides – I never anticipated the extraordinary beauty of these birds when viewed from only inches away; the feel and luster of their feathers; the intelligence in the evaluating gaze of a Brown Pelican; the expressive and varied vocalizations as the birds protested being washed and rinsed; or, the species-specific bill-pinch or poke that the birds used to try to re-establish their comfort zone.

By the end of the first day of working in the Stabilization Room (a.k.a., the Hot Zone or Holding 2), catching and holding birds for their tube-feeding and re-hydration, and helping with examinations and collecting lab samples, I committed to learning as much as I could about species-specific oiled aquatic bird treatment so that I would be more useful at IBRRC in the future. It should be noted that in spite of those working in The Hot Zone being in crisis-response mode, I experienced amazing kindness from the IBRRC staff and the experienced volunteers. Day after day, sweating for hours in oil-smeared Tyvek coveralls in a hot room reeking of bunker oil, they still managed to be patient and to maintain a sense of humor while training us new volunteers: when I was given the task of retrieving an American Coot from a lower wall cage, and it ended up sitting on top of the head of my experienced colleague like a fancy Coot hat, she joined me in a good laugh. This, she told me, was not unexpected behavior for the very elusive and always dashing-for-freedom Coot. And it was not an uncommon event for the Tyvek coveralls of the experienced volunteers to get “decorated” with explosive streams of mash or fish slurry because we newcomers had once again forgotten their advice to hold the feeding tube on tightly to the syringe tip while pushing hard on the plunger.

Between Wash Room and Hot Zone stints, I managed a banding and “paperwork resolution” station in the Drying Room (Holding 1) along with other volunteers whose assignment was to re-organize and file the paperwork. As slightly steaming, rather soaked volunteers in fogged-up safety glasses, apron, boots and gloves emerged from the Wash Room, I would by any means (other than raising my voice) capture their attention and direct them over to my station. Each held a washed and rinsed bird completely bundled up in a towel, and on top of the towel would be the bird’s previous leg band, removed before washing (often oily). My job was to note the time, the species and the old band number into the Log; and then to re-band the bird with a Tyvek band, having written the number on the band so that it was legible and indisputable (68 versus 89, careful with 4s and 7s!). It was while re-banding the washed birds that I first became aware of the beauty and variety of aquatic birds’ feet, for instance, the delicate shading of the grebes’ and loons’ leaf-like feet, which are never illustrated in conventional birding field guides! After banding, I would guide the volunteer to the person managing the rows of pelagic boxes in which birds were being dried. The final task was to update each bird’s paperwork (this sometimes involved tracking it down in the Hot Zone or the Clinic), and then turn it over to the other volunteer working with me to file it. It was a miracle how well it all worked.

One evening after the Wash Room closed for the day and my banding and paperwork station shut down, it was discovered that an additional 60 pair of little socks were needed for birds coming in from the cold water pools to spend the night in pelagic boxes. Three volunteers (a young student studying barnacles at a local college, my hsuband and I) set up a rapid little sock assembly line to make sizes appropriate for a variety of species (short, medium, long and very long lengths – again, you don’t learn about foot size and hock length from a birding field guide!). Each of us experimented to find the best way to make them (goal: efficiency, the least tape needed, and sturdy). Our varied cutting and taping strategies made me wonder what solution an equal number of MIT students would have come up with under similar circumstances.

It makes perfect sense that releasing healthy rehabilitated birds is the highlight of the IBRRC volunteering experience. As soon as the birds’ body condition and blood values indicate they are releasable, the IBRRC staff moves into high gear to find a trained volunteer to release the birds as soon as possible at an appropriate pre-designated location – this offers the best chance for survival. One day I transported and released an assortment of bird species into Horseshoe Cove (Fort Baker) by the Golden Gate Bridge, then drove back to the IBRRC and picked up a Ross’ Goose for release at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) north of Williams.

When I arrived at Fort Baker the cove was filled with a hundreds of Western and Clark’s Grebes. First, I opened the transport carrier doors for the Brown Pelicans – without hesitation they walked slowly into the water with a dignified air, swam about 50 feet into the cove and got to work giving their large wings a thorough cleansing. They flapped their wings so hard that it sounded like bed sheets flapping on a clothesline during a Santa Ana wind or a large jib luffing in the middle of a tack in a strong breeze. They paddled out of the cove toward the bay. I saw them catch the ebb current and off they floated toward the bridge. Next, two transport boxes of Bufflehead – as I opened each box the birds burst into flight. They flew about 300 feet to the east side the cove and landed closely together. A released Greater Scaup swam briskly away, but then hauled out on the other side of the cove to preen. Eventually it re-entered the water and seemed fine. A Western Gull flew to a piling and preened. The other birds simply flew or swam away without a backward glance. Freedom!

I had been instructed that the Ross’ Goose needed to be released at a location where it could join up with Snow Geese; and with enough daylight hours left for it to find its way to a flock for its first night back in the wild. I had gotten behind schedule due to monitoring the released Greater Scaup at Fort Baker, so when I arrived at the Sacramento NWR there was only about an hour of daylight remaining. I located a Snow Goose flock in a field about 2 miles along the auto tour route, about a half mile away from the road. But when I set the transport carrier down at the edge of the field and opened its door, the bird stayed quietly inside. I finally tipped the carrier forward a bit so that the goose walked out, but it didn’t seem to sense the Snow Goose flock even though their contact calls were audible. I tried to encourage it to go toward the flock by slowly walking behind it, still wearing my green rubber boots necessary for the earlier releases. The bird walked in an “S” pattern, and so necessarily did I, to keep it moving in the right direction. I looked at the bird, a lone, bright white bird on a big brown landscape, and knew that I either had to ensure it found the flock or I had to take it back to IBRRC for the night. At that moment, a goose several hundred feet ahead flew up into the air, calling, and the Ross’ Goose immediately took to the air, also calling, and joined it. The previously injured wing treated at IBRRC looked fine in flight. Through my binoculars I tracked both geese until they landed in the middle of the Snow Goose flock. Then I raced back to Berkeley and got to my polling place in time to vote.

We cannot imagine a better place to volunteer than the IBRRC at Cordelia. There is a convergence of shared goals and interests; all Staff members are uniquely well-qualified to manage volunteers; and science and compassion find a perfect marriage in the IBRRC volunteer program.

– Yvonne McHugh

Another impression:

How did we come to be regular volunteers at the IBRRC? Like many of the newer volunteers, we got our start during the response to the Cosco Busan oil spill last November (2007). Our path to the IBRRC was a bit circuitous. We first heard about the Bay Bridge collision of the Cosco Busan on Wednesday, November 7, but had only heard of the initial report of a small spill of bunker oil (140 gallons). Somehow, we missed seeing any updated news indicating that the spill was of major proportions. On Friday morning, however, we saw the front page spread of the SF Chronicle detailing the extent of the damage to the SF Bay, in particular seabirds. (We spend a lot of time observing the birds on San Francisco Bay and had just recently noticed the arrival of large numbers of wintering birds such as Surf Scoters and Common Loons off-shore from the Berkeley Pier.) We were anxious to somehow help, but didn’t know where to volunteer. The SF Chronicle story mentioned an OSPR meeting at Richmond Marina the next day to inform potential volunteers about the activities of OCWN and IBRRC. We attended the meeting, but unfortunately it turned a bit chaotic in part due to the large number of people who showed up. We did manage to find out there that there was an operational center set up at the Berkeley Marina through the Shorebird Park Nature Center, which was searching for and collecting oiled birds for transport to the IBRRC. I stopped there on the way home from the meeting and signed us up as volunteers and spent a couple of hours late in the day patrolling the shore for oiled birds.

In the meantime, we had received an email from Michael Martin of the Golden Gate Audubon Society (GGAS) who was organizing volunteers to monitor sites on San Francisco Bay that might otherwise not be surveyed, i.e., places where no oil was reported, but birds oiled at other locations might seek refuge there. We were assigned to a group led by Glen Tepke to survey the south shore of Alameda. We indeed found numerous oiled birds some of which had beached themselves and others that were still in the water, but trying to preen their oiled feathers. At the Oakland-Alameda boundary we spotted the Cosco Busan. The ship had been unloaded of its cargo so the huge hole in its port side was now well above waterline. This was a starting conclusion to our first day of monitoring the effects of the oil spill.

We sent the data from our survey (species and location) to Michael Martin at GGAS, who forwarded it to the OSPR Search and Collection teams. We continued monitoring this area throughout the next week with Harv Wilson who recorded the exact locations of oiled birds with GIS. He later aided the OSPR crews in locating and capturing some of the oiled Alameda birds once the OSPR was able to expand its efforts from the heavily oiled areas of the Bay. Later, while we were working in IBRRC Oiled Intake, I noticed two birds from the Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary in our Alameda survey area brought in for care.

It was frustrating to be unable to help the affected birds that we found and we were anxious to find a way to take a more active role in the response, if possible. Early the next week, we got a call from Patty Donald of the City of Berkeley Shorebird Park Nature Center recommending that we call the IBRRC in Cordelia if we were interested in volunteering at the rehabilitation center. Unlike Yvonne, I had no bird handling experience other than once rescuing a fatally injured Western Screech Owl from the road in Berkeley’s Tilden Park, but I hoped to be able to contribute to the rehabilitation effort in some manner. Thus, we leaped at the chance to be able be involved in a hands-on way. We reported in at IBRRC about five days after the initial oil spill for the initial orientation and stepped right into the fray. What a mind-blowing scene! We got our start in the washroom. It was an amazing experience to see these tragically oiled birds being washed to reveal their beautiful feathers so important to their survival. Over the next few days we worked in other stages of the operation including Oiled Intake, Stabilization and the Drying Room. Although there were many heartbreaking moments (e.g., triage in Oiled Intake), it was particularly delightful to see the birds that had made it outside to the cold-water pools preening and diving and looking like the birds we see in the wild. A highlight was when we were invited to come along for the “wash room crew” release of some rehabilitated birds at Heart’s Desire Beach on Tomales Bay on November 21st. The celebrity of this release was a pelagic species, a Rhinoceros Auklet who, when placed on the water, immediately dove and then put on an exhibition of underwater “flying” through the shallow crystal clear water before heading off into deeper waters of the bay.

We were impressed with the skill and dedication to the staff and experienced volunteers, not to mention their patience with novices such as us. We knew right away that this was an opportunity to gain training and experience to be of more substantial help in the case of any future spills. After working at the IBRRC numerous days in the weeks following the spill, we signed on as regular weekly volunteers at the end of December 2007 and feel very fortunate to be part of what might be called “Team Aquatic Bird”.

–Tony Brake

More info:

Sign-up to volunteer in San Francisco Bay Area or Southern California

IBRRC response to Cosco Busan oil spill

March 13, 2008

Want to help more birds? Donate your old car

Do you have an old car that you’d like put to good use? Then please donate it to IBRRC.

We just linked up again with a car donation program that will take your car, sell it auction and donate the proceeds to our general operating fund. And you get a tax write-off for your good deed.

To learn more, please visit our Car Donation page on the IBRRC website.

November 10, 2007

Sea of good will

From all over California the offers to help keep rolling in:

“If this is as big as they say, every person in the Bay Area that wants to help, should be used to help. Please give the Bay Area community the opportunity & instructions to help resolve this disaster in our own backyard. I have 2 good hands, 2 good feet & 2 days off work. Please don’t let that go to waste…” – J.C.

“If there is anything I can do to help with this horrendous tragedy, please contact me, thank you.” – L.B.

“I live in Santa Barbara and I am willing to travel to the Bay Area to volunteer, or to bring supplies from San Pedro to San Francisco.” – E.C.

“I’m available this week and maybe longer to help with the current oil spill. I understand that you might not be ready to accept volunteers. If so, just ignore this message. I’ll keep on checking the website. Thanks for your work.” – C.C.

“…Please find a use for me!” – T.O.

“I have no training, but am willing to learn, I am 55 years old with free time, thank you.” – G.H.

“Hello, I read through your web site and realized they are not many opportunities to help without training. However if there are any ways I can help with my time, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I take directions well and am a true nature and animal lover. I’d rather do something than feel powerless…” – C.P.

Note: I gathered some of these comments from hundreds of volunteer application submissions off IBRRC’s website. We’ve forwarded all these offers of help to the state’s volunteer coordinator. The OWCN site gives more updated info.

Please know, your good words and deeds will somehow be utilized. Thank you!

November 9, 2007

Dark day on San Francisco Bay

The staff here at International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) has been working non-stop for the three days rescuing as many oiled birds as possible. So far, the center in Cordelia has more than 70 birds in care.

Check out the disturbing photos on SF Chronicle’s website

The culprit of this spill is the Cosco Busan. It’s a container ship that struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 causing 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil to dump into the bay. It was heading out to sea when the accident happened.

IBRRC was quickly alerted by mid day on Wednesday to the potential of oiled animals. As a major partner in the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), we had staff members on the water and shoreline surveying the damage to wildlife.

As spill is coating birds and other wildlife. Unless these birds are rescued soon, the oil spill potentially will endanger the lives of thousands of birds that live in and migrate through these coastal waters.

Check our website is http://www.ibrrc.org