Day 109 update: Gulf oiled bird rescue continues

As we enter into the fourth month of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, we wanted to bring you up to date on our continuing oiled bird rehabilitation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

The BP well has been capped but we are still receiving hundreds of oiled birds each week. These are primarily the orphans of the spill: Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelicans, Terns, Herons and Skimmers who are attempting to fledge from their protective islands. In doing so they are becoming oiled as residual pools of oil and oiled grasses still exist on some of the islands.

On July 23rd we successfully moved 400+ bird patients from the Fort Jackson rescue center in Buras, Louisiana to Hammond, which is 80 miles further north. Primarily, this move was to ensure the safety of people and animals in the event of a tropical storm or hurricane. We currently have over 500 birds at the Hammond center.

To-date, 657 birds — mainly Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls and small shorebirds — have been successfully rehabilitated and released back to the wild in Texas, SW Louisiana, Florida and Georgia.

IBRRC has had 75 responders help in the gulf spill and we still have 40 response team members in four Gulf states working alongside our colleagues from Tri-State Bird Rescue to give the best possible care to these oiled birds. Many of us have been here since early May and we will be here to assist for many more months to come.

An amazing amount of people, including many children from around the country, have been moved to respond to the ongoing aquatic bird rescue efforts in the Gulf.

Please know that we appreciate all your words of encouragement and your continuing support.


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

More information

When oil stops, the hard work can begin: The Cornell Blog of Ornithology

Audubon Magazine Blog: The Gulf Oil Spill

7 thoughts on “Day 109 update: Gulf oiled bird rescue continues”

  1. The average person has no idea how difficult it is to care for the volume of oiled birds that you and the volunteers have been dealing with. Keep up the outstanding work. Your efforts do make a difference and the example for those young folks to follow.

  2. Kudos to you all for everything you have done and are doing to help these birds. The world is a better place because of people like all of you!

  3. Kudos to all of you for everything you have done and are continuing to do to help these birds. The world is literally a better place because of people like all of you!
    Thank you!

  4. Such incredible and compassionate work. This tragedy has stressed and depressed so many people all over the country . And I know there are many who care deeply about the wildlife effected by the oil. Seeing the birds so ill and oiled breaks the collective heart. Your tireless and selfless efforts have saved so many lives and helped us all start to recover from this horrible disaster. Thank you. Thank you so very much.

  5. I can't even begin to imagine the work load placed upon all those dealing w/ this…you are to be commended to the highest honor. You know what must be done and are doing it, THANK YOU~~~

  6. Its beautiful to see those birds flying again….the world blesses all who rescued these creatures from mans distructive ways and mistakes…god love each and every one of you!!!!

  7. I, with all the other people, want to thank all the people involved in this rescue effort! All involved deserve a tremendous amount of praise! I too am an animal lover and especially a bird lover! I hate to see all the wildlife being exposed to this mess! Again kudos to all who are helping and are still doing the dirty job!

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