Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘sea foam’

November 6, 2009

When it rains, it pours

Dear friends,

As you know, International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) is in the midst of a large-scale rescue effort to save seabirds threatened by a massive algal bloom off the coast of Oregon and Washington State. After more than a week of 17-hour days, our dedicated staff and volunteers have washed over 400 birds. 150 have already been returned to the wild.

In the midst of our efforts we were deeply saddened to hear that a U.S. Coast Guard crew, colleagues to those that so generously gave their time and resources to airlift these birds to safety, were involved in a fatal air crash near San Diego while flying the same C-130 plane. On the same day, International Bird Rescue was activated by the Oiled Wildlife Care Network to respond to an oil spill in San Francisco Bay and we still have rescue teams in the field as I write. It has been quite a week.

This unusual algae event has had all the wildlife casualties but none of the financial resources available to save seabirds from oil spills so it is your incredible generosity that is giving these beautiful birds a second chance.

To date, we have raised two-thirds of the money we need to complete our mission and save these birds. I want to personally thank you for helping us get so far.

If you have not yet donated to save these birds and are inspired to do so we still need your help to find the remaining $15,000 to buy food for the birds, essential medical supplies and equipment. If you have already given but know someone who may wish to make a lifesaving contribution, please help us spread the word by forwarding on this message. Please donate now

We are all deeply touched by your kindness and generosity. Thank you for answering the call of these majestic marine birds.

Sincerely,

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





Above photo: A Red-throated Loon caught in deadly sea-slime gets washed and rinsed. (Photo: Paul Kelway/IBRRC)

November 5, 2009

Deadly sea foam subsides, 10,000 seabirds die

The Oregonian newspaper out of Portland, has a terrific and sad piece about the Sea Slime ’09 event that hit seabirds in the Pacific Northwest late last month.

The story is titled:
“Deadly ocean foam subsides, but more than 10,000 seabirds die”
:

The deadly foam that clobbered seabirds in the Pacific Northwest has subsided and several hundred birds rescued from the slime are being released. But the death toll worries conservationists.

More than 10,000 scoters, or seaducks, were killed by the first onslaught of algal foam that hit the Olympic Peninsula in mid-September, said Julia Parrish, marine biologist and seabird specialist at the University of Washington.

That toll — mostly surf scoters and white-winged scoters — amounts to 5 percent to 7 percent of their overall numbers on the West Coast, she said.

“That is a pretty significant bite into those species,” Parrish said. “I don’t think it will knock the population back for years. But at least with surf scoters — a species that’s in decline — conservation scientists are rather concerned about it.”

Parrish estimated that thousands more seabirds, including many red-throated loons, were killed in the second wave of foam off the Long Beach Peninsula about two weeks ago.

Read the entire Oregonian story

IBRRC helped rescue 450 birds last week and 150 have been washed and released. Another bunch of cleaned birds will be released back into the wild tomorrow near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Photo of release by Tom Russert, in Marin County near the Golden Gate Bridge.