Author Topic: International Bird Rescue Research Center (California)  (Read 113223 times)

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Offline beans

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International Bird Rescue Research Center (California)
« on: November 12, 2009, 03:16:32 PM »


The International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) has been helping birds around the world since 1971. Its mission is to mitigate human impact on aquatic birds and other wildlife. This is achieved through rehabilitation, emergency response, education, research, planning and training.

IBRRC Website
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 10:12:21 AM by NancyM »
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2009, 03:18:55 PM »
In 1971 two Standard Oil tankers collided beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, spilling 900,000 gallons of crude oil. Little was known about oiled bird care at that time and despite the courageous, attempts of hundreds of volunteers, only 300 birds survived from the 7,000 birds collected.


oiled surf scoter

After the February 1971 spill a small group of volunteers formed the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC).  It's primary goals were developing oiled wildlife cleaning and rehabilitation techniques, promoting ongoing research in this field and providing oiled wildlife response capabilities. In 1975, IBRRC moved to permanent quarters at Aquatic Park in Berkeley, California.

As IBRRC began to grow, it responded to an increasing number of oil spills including spills outside of California, rapidly expanding its body of knowledge. IBRRC has cared for over 140 species of wild birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

In 1994, IBRRC joined California's Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN). This network has 24 participating organizations, permanent facilities and trained volunteers within the state. IBRRC acts as OWCN's primary bird response organization in California.
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2009, 03:20:10 PM »
Beginning in 2001, IBRRC helped open two new state-funded centers in California. In February, IBRRC moved from Berkeley to a new 10,000 square foot facility in the Cordelia/Fairfield area, about 45 miles from San Francisco. In March we opened a second facility in San Pedro near the busy Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor. Both are new additions to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, for which we manage oil spill response within California.

With staff and the help of volunteers, we operate wildlife hospitals at both locations 365 days a year, where we continue to develop new and better treatments and protocols for aquatic birds and waterfowl. Both facilities have education programs for both students and volunteers wanting to be trained in oil spill response. IBRRC maintains a library in Fairfield that contains a plethora of literature on all subjects related to the field of oiled wildlife response and rehabilitation and the field of aquatic bird rehabilitation.
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2009, 03:21:30 PM »
With an oil spill response team of more than 25 wildlife experts , IBRRC has managed the oiled bird rehabilitation efforts in over 200 oil spills in 11 states, including the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Our international work has taken us to seven different countries and two U.S. territories.


Oiled grebe

List of IBRRC Oil Spill Responses

IBRRC provides training and consultation to the petroleum industry, local, state, and federal Fish and Wildlife agencies, wildlife rehabilitators and researchers. Federal and state permits grant IBRRC permission to work with wild birds in captivity. IBRRC is a non-profit 501-c-3 organization that relies on the petroleum industry, fees for services, state generated response contracts, research grants, foundation grants, and individual contributions for financial support.
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2009, 03:23:56 PM »
I'm still not sure how I ended up volunteering at IBRRC. 

I took an early retirement in September, 2007.  I was going to stay home for six months, reading, gardening, learning to play bridge, and then volunteer at a local raptor center.  My neighbor, Carol, had been urging me for the last year or so to volunteer at IBRRC.  "That's too far away," I told her.  "Besides, I would rather work with raptors."

On November 7, 2007, the Cosco Busan container ship collided with the Golden Gate Bridge, spilling almost 54,000 gallons of toxic bunker fuel into San Francisco Bay.


Cosco Busan with huge hole where it hit the bridge

I went to Cordelia and talked the volunteer coordinator into taking me, even though I had no experience. 

More than 2,500 birds died in the spill. Wildlife biologists fear that more than 20,000 birds may ultimately perish from the disaster. They believe thousands of birds landed in the oily bay and then left the area to die elsewhere. Some also may have been eaten by predators.

Link to story in San Francisco Chronicle

Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2009, 03:25:00 PM »

miserable oiled bird awaits intake at IBRRC

1,084 birds arrived at our hospital. 
1,858 were found dead in the field.
653 died or were humanely euthanized in our hospital.
421 were washed, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild


a tiny grebe gets washed and rinsed

I was invited to my very first release in December.  Instead of releasing this group of grebes, I decided to film them.  My $99 Flip Video camera was hardly out of the box when I made the video.  It was shown at the San Francisco Bay Film Festival the following Janaury.  Here is the YouTube version:

video: Oiled Birds Washed and Released!

Even the park ranger took part --  :ecsmile



 

Jean, California

Offline Donnae

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2009, 10:17:59 PM »
Thanks Beans for showing us the important work you help to do. It was fascinating to watch the release, but sad that so many birds where lost. My thanks to IBRRC, the volunteers, and you for making a difference.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2009, 11:27:51 PM by Donnae »

Offline Tigerlady105

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 10:57:57 PM »
Beans, thank your for all of this interesting information and the links.  And thank you for the work you and the other people are doing to help the birds and other wildlife.  :heart
Commit random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world". ~John Muir

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2009, 07:49:26 PM »
When we wash the birds we remove all the petroleum from their feathers and they are 100% clean. They go from the wash tub to the rinse station and there the soap, in our case Dawn dishwashing liquid, is rinsed thoroughly out of their feathers. The most amazing thing happens. As we rinse the soap out of their feathers with high pressure nozzles, their feathers actually become dry. So in essence we are drying their feathers with clean hot water. Its pretty cool and we are always amazed at their feathers' natural ability to repel water.

When the rinsing process is complete and all of the soap out of the feathers, the bird goes immediately into a drying pen. There the bird is dried with warm air from pet dryers. The same dryers used in grooming dogs. After the bird is 100% dry it goes into a pool and begins to swim, eat, bathe and preen its feathers. Each feather has microscopic barbs and barbule hookelets that are woven together during the preening process creating a water tight barrier and since the feathers are naturally repelling water, they all work together to provide an overall insulative barrier on the birds body like shingles on a roof.

Here is the biggest misconception: People think that we or the birds have to restore their natural oils. That is incorrect. Birds feathers are naturally waterproof as proven in the rinse. So, all the bird has to do is preen and get its feathers back in alignment and our job is to make sure the bird is clean and monitored while it is going through this process. The natural oils are really a conditioning agent that come from a gland at the base of the tail. Its called the uropygial gland and it aids in long term feather conditioning.


Dirty wings kill birds
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2009, 07:56:25 PM »
These pictures, from a previous oil spill, illustrate the dramatic difference between an oiled bird and a washed bird:


oiled brown pelican 


same pelican after cleaning
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2009, 08:06:35 PM »
Thousands of birds have perished in oil spills.  We'll never know how many.  We have managed to rescue only a tiny fraction of the oiled birds and release them back into the wild.


clickable

This video is simply portraits of these oiled birds.  It is dedicated to those who rescue and rehabilitate them. Let's work hard to find solutions to prevent future tragedies.

video:  The Sad Story of Oiled Birds
Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2009, 08:15:56 PM »
Here is a description of an oiled loon being washed:

First her oiled feathers are treated with Methyl oleate, which helps break down the oil.  Next she is washed in tubs of warm water (about 106 F) with Dawn detergent.  The oil inside her beak is removed with a Q-tip.  She is washed in succeeding tubs of warm water until the water is clear of oil.  We used 10 - 12 tubs of water for her.

Next she is given a thorough shower, to remove every trace of oil and detergent. 

Finally she is wrapped in a soft towel and placed into a net bottom pen with a warm air fan.  The towel is removed, and the pen is draped with a sheet to keep the warm air in and give her privacy. 

When her feathers and skin are thoroughly dry, her waterproofing will be evaluated in one of our warm water pools.  Finally she will be placed in a cool water pool outside, where she will continue to exercise, eat, and grow strong.  When she is ready, she will be released back into the wild.  (Yes, she was released after being banded with a USFWS silver leg band.)



video: An Oiled Loon Gets a Bath


Jean, California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2009, 08:32:41 PM »
Here is the kitchen at IBRRC:


These side of the kitchen is used for washing implements


This side is used to defrost fish and prepare food for the birds

All net-bottomed pens, cages and small pools are draped with sheets or cage covers to give the birds privacy and help calm them while they heal.  The large indoor pelican boxes are lined with several layers of sheets.  The wall cages have special cage door covers.  Before I made those, the cage doors were draped with towels, which made the cages dark. 

Every morning, all linen is replaced.  And linen is changed (and the cage or pen washed) when a new bird is introduced.  The linens are shaken over a large garbage can (lined with a plastic contractor’s bag) in the laundry room.  This gets rid of little fish, greens, and dried feces before the linens are washed. 

Here is the laundry room:


Laundry room with commercial washers and dryers
Jean, California

Offline emc

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2009, 09:33:15 PM »
Thank you for sharing this information with us beans. It's fascinating, encouraging that these poor birds receive such help. And it feels extra good that we know you, who are one of the helpers. Wish I lived closer and could lend a hand there too. 
beth
from California

Offline beans

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Re: International Bird Rescue Research Center
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2009, 01:43:19 PM »
Algae Bloom Crisis!



On October 22, there was a huge algae bloom in southern Washington and northern Oregon.  Thousands of birds were impacted by this disaster.  IBRRC supported The Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria, Oregon,  by taking around some birds from them.  Within 4 days that Wildlife Center had received over 450 birds and more were arriving!  Like oil spills, these algae events interfere with the waterproofing of the birds’ feathers. The birds become cold and beach themselves, where they are at the mercy of hypothermia and predators.

One of our experienced volunteers flew to Oregon, rented a huge van, and drove approximately 150 birds to our hospital.  They arrive Saturday night, October 24, and volunteers and staff worked till 3 AM the next morning.  The birds needed to be unloaded, hydrated with syringe and tube, donuts applied to their keels (to mitigate keel sores), and booties applied to their feet (to mitigate hock and foot sores).  These are aquatic birds which do not belong on land.  Here is a list of birds which arrived:

38 Grebes
51 Common Murres
40 Red-throated Loons
1 Pacific Loon
5 Common Loons
12 Scoters (approximate #)
Jean, California