Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

Posts Tagged ‘Tri-State’

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:

May 3, 2010

Day 3 Update: Storm hampers oiled bird capture

On the third day of our response, International Bird Rescue continues to work with Tri-State Bird Rescue, the lead oiled wildlife organization, to set up and staff rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, where the growing Gulf of Mexico oil slick is expected to impact birds.

IBRRC’s Executive Director, Jay Holcomb, is writing daily updates from the epicenter of the wildlife rescue. Here’s his day three oil spill update:

Today the high winds and thunderstorms prevented attempts for clean-up or oiled bird capture. In the meantime, the IBRRC team is continuing to work with Tri-State Bird Rescue, the lead wildlife organization on the ground, to prepare the centers in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.

We continue to care for the one bird recovered so far: a Northern Gannet. It was washed yesterday and is in stable condition.

We have also now activated more of our response team to augment the centers and support search and collection efforts. They will be arriving on Monday, May 3rd.

We know that there has been an outpouring of concern from people all over the country wishing to help. IBRRC is not in the position to coordinate volunteers or other trained people. We can only reiterate that the best thing you can to do for now is to call the volunteer hotline that has been set-up by BP: 1-866-448-5816.

The latest NOAA oil slick map shows the Deepwater Horizon spill enveloping the Gulf of Mexico – including shoreline areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. It’s moving eastward and is expected to hit Florida shores by midweek.

In Alabama Gov. Robert Riley is calling in the National Guard to help with barriers against the sea of oil. Riley is quoted as saying that 80% of the thousands of feet of boom laid down off the gulf coast had broken down because of rough seas and bad weather.

Read more:

Los Angeles Times

Miami Herald

(Photo top: Lumber is unloaded for building bird boxes at Fort Jackson, LA rescue center)

May 2, 2010

Day 2 update: Gulf oil spill bird rescue

As the massive Gulf oil spill continues to evolve, IBRRC’s Executive Director Jay Holcomb is providing daily updates from center of the wildlife rescue operation.

(Photo above: Washing the first oiled bird, a Northern Gannet, at Fort Jackson, LA rescue center Photo: Courtesy of Les Stone)

Holcomb is heading the organization’s Gulf spill response team. He has responded to over 200 oil spills around the world, including Exxon Valdez and the 1979 Gulf spill. With him are a veterinarian, rehabilitation manager and capture specialist.

Here’s his Day 2 update:

In Fort Jackson today we washed the juvenile northern gannet found by one of the clean-up boats. It actually swam up to the boat so was really very lucky to survive. Its condition is stable and it will be going outside in a small pen with a pool tomorrow.

The first big press visit took place today with over 50 members of the media showing up. The International Bird Rescue and Tri-State Bird Rescue staff had decoys and demonstrated how bird-washing techniques. The media also got to see the Gannet being tube-fed.

We are in the process of getting more supplies and getting geared up. The shipment of Dawn arrived this morning from P & G. The center in Theodore, Alabama is also being set-up by Julie Skoglund and Duane Titus from IBRRC and Sarah Tagmire from Tri-State. We are also beginning to set-up centers in Mississippi and Florida in preparation for the potential of oil moving in that direction. (Photo above: Getting Fort Jackson rescue center setup)

The weather has been really windy and the water is choppy so crews haven’t been able to get out on boats to search for animals. Tomorrow there is an 80 percent chance of thundershowers so this might not be able to happen for a day or say.

Right now, preparation is still the name of the game. We will keep you posted.

– Jay Holcomb, IBRRC

A Team of California bird rescue specialists from International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) are on site in Louisiana and Alabama preparing bird rescue centers to clean up seabirds caught in the Gulf coast oil spill. Working in partnership with Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research the rehabilitation facilities are in Fort Jackson, Louisiana (just north of Venice) and Theodore, Alabama.

Media are welcome to visit the Fort Jackson rescue center any day from 1pm to 2pm: MSRC, 100 Herbert Harvey Drive, Buras, LA.

The oil spill involves a ruptured drilling platform approximately 45 miles southeast of Venice, Louisiana. The drilling rig, 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.

Nine days later, the U.S. Coast Guard says a torrent of oil is five times larger than previous estimates. The leak is now gushing 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of crude oil a day, not a 1,000 barrels that was originally reported. While engineers work feverishly to cap the well, some officials worry the leak could go on for months – potentially becoming a devastating spill of epic proportions.

Bird species at risk along the fragile gulf coast include Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican. Their breeding season has just started.

October 10, 2009

Update: Effects of Oil on Wildlife (EOW) conference

At this week’s 10th International Effects of Oil on Wildlife (EOW) conference in Tallin, Estonia, Tri-state Bird Rescue Research Inc. and the International Bird Rescue Research Center were both honored for their leadership and vision in maintaining this important conference.

Pictured: Heidi Stout, Tri-state (right) and Jay Holcomb, IBRRC each accepted a beautiful statue acknowledging their leadership in the field. The statue has a bronze statue of Vana Toomas, the symbol of Tallin, Estonia.

The Effects of Oil on Wildlife Conference (EOW) is jointly managed by Tri-State and IBRRC. Since the first conference in 1982 the conference has since gained international recognition as the premier and only oiled wildlife response conference who’s purpose is to encourage collaborative efforts focused on the care and conservation of oiled wildlife and their habitats.

There is now a worldwide understanding and recognition of the problems connected to the oiling of wildlife and increasingly governments and responsible industries have included oiled wildlife response as a fully integrated activity in their oil spill contingency plans. In addition, a truly global community of oiled wildlife responders has come forth from this series of conferences and have developed a shared understanding of standards of good practice which are increasingly recognized and applied all over the world.

Many of the participants attending the conference were also international interns who have spent time at IBRRC’s California centers learning first hand techniques and building support that can help them work with oiled animals anywhere on the globe.

The talks given are summarized on this EOW Abstracts page