Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘release’

May 9, 2010

Two oiled birds, now cleaned, to be released

The first two oiled birds found in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have been cleaned and are now recovered and ready for release>

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will release the birds at 4 p.m. Monday, May 10, at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Atlantic coast northeast of Vero Beach, Florida. Directions

Please note: Accredited media wishing to cover the release of the birds should be at Centennial Tower in the refuge by 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 10.

The birds are a Northern Gannet and a Brown Pelican. The Gannet, a young male nicknamed “Lucky” by the workers who rescued him, was found April 27 in the Gulf near the source of the link. Clean-up workers on a boat reached out to him with a pole and he jumped on it. He was brought to the Bird Rehabilitation Facility at Ft. Jackson, Louisiana, on April 30.

The Tri-State Bird Rescue team, which includes the International Bird Rescue Research Center, evaluated Lucky and found he was about 80 percent oiled, giving him an orange appearance. He was thin and dehydrated, so wildlife veterinarian Dr. Erica Miller gave him intravenous fluids several times, as well as oral fluids and Pepto-Bismol for oil he may have ingested. He was washed with a Dawn detergent solution on May 1, and has been in an outdoor pool for a few days now, gaining weight.

The pelican, also a young male, was found May 3 on Stone Island in Breton Sound on the Louisiana coast by a team that included personnel from the Service, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the U.S. Minerals Management Service. He was taken to the Ft. Jackson facility by helicopter the day he was rescued. He was thin and moderately oiled over his whole body. The Tri-State Bird Rescue Team, and wildlife veterinarian Dr. Miller treated him with IV and oral fluids, and started hand-feeding fish to him the first day. He was washed on 4 May and has been in an outside pool for several days, gaining weight.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge was the nation’s first wildlife refuge, established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. It was selected as the release site because it is located within the Indian River Lagoon, the most biologically diverse estuary in the United States. It has a large population of Gannets and Pelicans for the two rescued birds to join, and is out of the current oil spill trajectory.

The birds will be released by Dr. Sharon K. Taylor, a veterinarian and Environmental Contaminants Division Chief for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Directions to the refuge are available at:

September 4, 2009

Lucy the Pelican to be released at Blue Film Festival

A pelican release event is planned for September 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM as part of the Blue Planet Film Festival`s “Animal Day” festivities. The rehabilitated adult female Brown Pelican will be returned to the wild at the beach next to the Santa Monica Pier.

In August, Lucy became trapped in a pile of discarded fishing line with a large hook embedded in her left wing in some bushes near Ballona Creek, California. Fortunately a quick thinking, compassionate hiker rescued Lucy and immediately brought her to IBRRC`s center in San Pedro, California where she immediately received treatment for severe bruises and a serious infection.

Lucy has fully recovered and is now flying from perch to perch in the Center`s recovery aviary. Lucy and several of her Pelican friends with similar stories have been successfully nursed back to health by the IBRRC staff and are ready to return to their homes in the waters off the California coast.

“Lucy is one of the lucky ones,” said Jay Holcomb, IBRRC`s Executive Director. “Thanks to the dedicated hiker who rescued her, she arrived at our facility in time to save her. Although she was quite stressed and needed immediate medical attention, our staff was ready to treat Lucy and ultimately restore her to full health.”

About the International Bird Rescue Research Center

International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) was founded in 1971 after the Oregon Standard collided with another ship under the Golden Gate Bridge, which resulted in a massive spill of crude oil that covered over 7,000 birds. Since then, IBRRC has responded to over 200 national and international spills including the Exxon Valdez, Cosco Busan and Treasure Oil Spill in South Africa. The IBRRC is the world leader in aquatic bird rehabilitation, oiled bird rescue and rehabilitation and the management of oiled wildlife efforts during an oil spill. IBRRC’s mission is to mitigate the human impact on aquatic birds and other wildlife, worldwide. This is achieved through emergency response, rehabilitation, education, research and planning.

For additional information on how to volunteer or donate to the IBRRC, please visit www.ibrrc.org.

September 13, 2008

Golden Gate Bridge pelican returns to freedom

The brown pelican named “Gigi” that landed and halted traffic in August on the Golden Gate Bridge was released released back to the wild on Friday, September 12. The young bird was rescued and transferred to International Bird Rescue where it has been recuperating for the past several weeks.

Watch: Brown Pelican captured on Golden Gate Bridge

This female brown pelican also had the unique fortune of capturing the attention of filmmaker Judy Irving of Pelican Media, who successfully documented “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill.” Irving has decided to include this special bird in her latest project on the life of pelicans. She also filmed the release of Gigi (as in “Golden Gate”) along with a handful of other pelicans nursed back to health at IBR’s San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center.

Laurie Pyne, Bird Rescue’s Development Director, reports:

The Golden Gate pelican (aka P193) and company was released Friday and all went beautifully! Nancy and Jerry Mix and myself were happily surprised when we pulled up and saw a crowd of people from the Discovery Museum, the two folks that have the little red firetruck and do SF tours, the SF police, the staff from the Golden Gate bridge, and others at the release site at Fort Baker. Everybody was really jazzed to see these truly incredible birds leave their carriers (“GG” was last, of her own accord!), swim en masse in front of everyone before flying in a large circle in front of us and then off into the sunset.

The kids cheered and the folks that rescued her actively participated and they couldn’t stop smiling. Two of them drove in SPECIAL to be there. It was a really wonderful experience for all of us.

Judy Irving filmed every aspect of the release, as she has been filming all of “GG’s” journey for her new short film on pelicans. Some of you have likely seen her hanging around the center with her camera and gear. She is the filmmaker who made “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”. This was a great opportunity to do some community outreach and the feedback has been really positive and wonderful.

Media story: Golden Gate wayward pelican healed and at home

November 20, 2007

35 more birds released today

Another 35 birds were released back into the wild Monday at Heart’s Desire Beach at Tomales Bay. All the birds were washed of oil at the IBRRC/OWCN bird rescue center.

The birds released included 16 Surf Scoters, 17 Western Grebes, one Black Turnstone and one Common Loon.

The bird release was moved north because tar balls have been discovered in the water around Half Moon Bay – near the first release site. Last Friday, 38 washed birds were released at Pillar Point Harbor about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

Tar balls are fragments or lumps of oil weathered to a semi-solid or solid consistency. These are most likely remnants from the SF Bay oil that occurred on November 7, 2007.

November 17, 2007

First birds released back into the wild

The first batch of washed birds oiled in San Francisco Bay spill 10 days ago successfully returned to the wild Friday afternoon.
Great SF Chronicle video (QuickTime required)

38 birds were released into the Pillar Point Harbor just north of Half Moon Bay. The harbor is 25 miles south of San Francisco.

About of dozen volunteers brought the colorful boxes down to the shoreline. One by one the birds were gently carried into the the calm harbor waters. As on most of these releases, the media nearly outnumbered the birds, staff and volunteers.

Released birds included 25 Eared and Horned Grebes, seven Western and Clark’s Grebes, five Scaups and one Common Murre. The majority of the birds oiled in this spill appear to be Grebes, Scoters and Scaups.

See: San Francisco Chronicle story on first release

As of Friday evening, November 16, nearly 500 birds have been cleaned of oil at the IBRRC/OWCN facility located in the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center at 4369 Cordelia Road in Cordelia, CA.

A total of 970 birds are in care; 1,113 have been found dead in the field by wildlife rescue teams. Search teams ares still working to recover live and dead animals oiled in the spill.

The spill was caused by the Cosco Busan container ship striking the SF Bay Bridge on Nov 7, 2007. A gash on the side of the ship caused 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel oil to leak out of the 810-foot-long vessel. The U.S. Coast Guard admitted it was slow to report the severity of the spill.

Also see:

CBS 5 TV Report

Washing oiled birds: Almost there

Birds always come first

Ron Sullivan’s Flickr photos of the release