Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Northern California’

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

March 18, 2009

Orcas sighted off Northern California coast

The extraordinary sighting of Orcas or “Killer Whales” in Northern California offshore waters is making the news this week.

About 40 Orcas were spotted late last week in the Gulf of the Farallones around 20 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge. Another group was also seen in the Half Moon Bay area feeding on a harbor seal.

The mammals usually are found in the Puget Sound area of Washington state, but it’s not unusual for some pods to venture south to feed on the abundant waters in Northern California. The Orcas are striking with their black and white colorings and can grow to at least 30 feet in length as adults. There was also a group spotted in January 2007. See SF Chronicle story

Like other pack animals, killer whales hunt in groups or pods for food. They work together and encircle and move prey into smaller areas before attacking. The animals feed on fish, squid seals, sea lions, walruses, sea turtles, otters and even birds.

Other news reports:

Killer whales spotted in Farallones waters

CBS-TV video report: Orcas Spotted Off Golden Gate Near Farallones

March 30, 2008

New 100-ft pelican aviary at SF Bay Center

Recuperating pelicans in Northern California now have a better place to stretch their wings after the construction of a new 100-foot flight aviary at International Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay Center located in Fairfield.

In 2007, thanks to a generous grant from the Green Foundation and funding from the California Department of Fish and Game, IBRRC designed and built the aviary at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care & Education Center. The center is managed by IBRRC as part of Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) treating oiled, injured and sick aquatic birds year-round in the Northern California area and beyond.

The critical need for an extra large aviary to care for pelicans and other large birds has always been known. It became even more evident in 2002 when IBRRC treated over 200 sick brown pelicans.

This is IBRRC’s second aviary on the west coast. In 2001, the first large pelican aviary was built and operates at the Los Angeles Oiled Wildlife Care & Education Center in San Pedro, CA. In seven years it has housed over a 1,000 Brown and White Pelicans and many other sea bird species including Cormorants, Terns, Gulls, Frigatebirds, Albatross and Boobies.

See more info on IBRRC in San Pedro