Day 10: 2 birds released, readiness continues

On day 10 of IBRRC’s continuing Gulf Oil Spill response, 2 cleaned birds were released in Florida. They are only 3 oiled birds now in care, but as the spill continues to move onshore, the potential for more oiled wildlife is still a strong possibility.

Here’s International Bird Rescue’s Jay Holcomb, with his daily update on our efforts:

Yesterday, May 10, we sent the northern gannet (bird number 1) and the first pelican with a US Fish & Wildlife Service representative to be released in Florida. The release was successful. We are down to 2 live oiled birds in LA (one brown pelican and one green heron). One live gannet remains in care in Florida. 

We are still receiving visits from many facets of the media. We are expecting a visit from the governor of Louisiana today and tomorrow we are hosting Peachy Melancon, wife of Senator Melancon.

Our field teams are still working the outer islands in Louisiana with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and have yet to capture or see any severely oiled wildlife. They have only seen spotty oiled birds that are flighted and appear healthy.

We are still getting many requests for volunteering. As you can see my these blog postings, we are very quiet and are spending our time searching for oiled birds and continuing to set up rehabilitation centers in 4 states in expectation of the worse case scenario which would be if strong winds or storms pushed the oil onto bird breeding islands or in the coastal marshes. The volunteer hotline remains open for people to leave their information on and they will be activated if and when those resources are needed. Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Call the volunteer hotline: 1-866-448-5816. More info

This is a very unusual spill as the potential is great but the impact to date has been minimal at least on bird species. So, its a bit of a waiting game but that has given us the time to prepare for a large scale event. I will keep everyone updates as things happen.

In the mean time, we worked on a spill in this area a few months before hurricane Katrina. Read our article about how we cared for over 200 oiled baby pelicans in 2005. That will give you an idea of how we work in this region.

– Jay Holcomb, IBRRC

International Bird Rescue is working with the main responder, Tri-State Bird Rescue of Delaware. IBRRC has 16 response team members on the ground including veterinarians, wildlife rehabilitation managers and facilities and capture specialists.

The oil spill involves a ruptured drilling platform approximately 50 miles off the Louisiana coast. The drilling rig, the 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 perished in the disaster.

The ocean floor crude rupture is now gushing at least 5,000 barrels — or 210,000 gallons — of oil a day. While engineers continue to work feverishly to cap the well, the oil slick is now approaching 4,000 square miles. Booms protecting nearby islands and beaches and chemical dispersants have kept much of the oil from reaching gulf shores. Shifting winds are expected to move more oil toward shore this week.

To report:
• Oiled wildlife: 1-866-557-1401 (Leave a message; checked hourly.)
• Oil spill related damage: 1-800-440-0858
• Oiled shoreline: call 1-866-448-5816.

More on the Oil Spill:

The Times-Picayune


New York Times

6 thoughts on “Day 10: 2 birds released, readiness continues”

  1. Thank you for your efforts to help the animals affected by the oil spill. You're doing a great job!

  2. Do you know – did anyone rescue the oiled bird shown struggling against the side of a ship in numerous recent pictures? The pictures typically had the caption, "An oil soaked bird struggles against the side of the HOS an Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."

  3. Jay Holcomb responds:

    Unfortunately by the time we were notified about that particular bird it was dark and too late to get to that spot where it was seen.We assume the bird died.

    We were very disturbed about this incident also and have asked that the barges and work boats carry nets and basic supplies to pull any oiled birds out of the water.

    Thanks for your note, Jay

  4. Can anyone tell me where I can read the research about Dawn being the best product for washing oiled birds? I hear this repeatedly in the media but it is never elaborated upon how this determination was made. Thank you.

  5. We have an inventory of donated supplies which can be found on our Facebook page. This inventory is about one third the total which is stored in two locations. The inventoried supply is stored in Albany, GA. The rest is stored in Adel, GA and is yet to be inventoried. Who can I contact to find out if any of these supplies are needed in the response effort?

    Wayne Schaffner
    Georgia Wildlife Rescue Association!/group.php?gid=123733437641630

  6. any chance oiled bird pictured by side of iron horse sunday still alive? if so, could another attempt be made to rescue it?

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