A Local Boy Scout’s Ambitious Project for the Pelicans

Christopher Borrayo-Cruz of Orange County Council’s Troop #1149. Photo by Jenny Nguyen.

A few months ago, Christopher Borrayo-Cruz, a local Boy Scout in Troop #1149 of Anaheim, approached us with a simple goal: He wanted to help out animals in need.

And we were immediately thrilled with his enthusiasm. So International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center staff worked with Borrayo-Cruz to channel his energy into an ambitious Eagle Scout Project: building a series of innovative pelican drying pens for oiled birds.

With the help of family, friends, and fellow scouts in Troops #1149 and #270, Borrayo-Cruz constructed many of these drying pens, and as you can see from the photos, the project’s standards were extremely high. These are first-rate pens of professional quality. What’s more, Borrayo-Cruz solicited an extensive network of area businesses and organizations to donate all materials needed for their construction.

Here’s the backstory on the project:

The idea

Borrayo-Cruz: For my Eagle project, I wanted to build habitats for rescued animals. So I went on the computer and started researching places on Google that could support that idea. I came across International Bird Rescue’s website and called them up.

The project took a long time, one to two-and-a-half months. … We had to find supplies that would actually hold up. I didn’t want to just build the center pens and not be able to use them for a very long time.

Delivery day for the pens at International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center in San Pedro. Photo by Jenny Nguyen.

The support

The companies I asked to help out with donations are: Home Depot, West Marine, Loews, Hillco Fastener Warehouse, Christensen Net Works, Ganahl Lumber, Orange Coast Hardware & Lumber, Caster Technology Corporation, A-1 Foam & Fabrics, Mr. & Mrs. T.C. Chen, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

Borrayo-Cruz with International Bird Rescue rehabilitation technician Marianne Dominguez. Photo by Jenny Nguyen.

The final product

I’m proud of the whole project — the pens turned out fantastic, and it was awesome just to see the whole center really stoked when I delivered them. They were like little kids on Christmas morning. I learned a bunch about the birds, and how the world would be affected if the center weren’t there. A lot of the birds would be gone. I wish more people knew about the center so they would be aware and could help out as well.

Members of Orange County Council’s Troop #1149 tour International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles center. Photo by Jenny Nguyen.

Interested in volunteering your time and talent for International Bird Rescue? Find out more on volunteer opportunities here.

For information on youth outreach opportunities, please e-mail us.