Director’s note on the Oakland heron incident



We appreciate all the support of the community over the past several days regarding the incident at a heron rookery in Oakland, CA, and we understand the outrage that many are feeling.

International Bird Rescue (IBR) wants everyone to know that the proprietor of the tree-trimming business has committed to funding the care of the five chicks that were rescued from that location — one of which required surgery by our veterinarian to repair a fractured mandible. The investigation in this case will be handled by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which has jurisdiction over migratory bird issues.

Since this story broke, we’ve seen reports in the media that the tree-trimming business proprietor and his family have been the targets of severe harassment. I want to make it clear that we at IBR strongly condemn any harassment or threats against this individual and his family. We ask that all concerned citizens allow this case to be handled by the authorities and refrain from any retaliatory behavior.

In the meantime, we are directing all our energy into the care and treatment of these wonderful animals. IBR will continue to post updates on the birds and this case as it progresses. You can watch some of these birds on our live BirdCam.

How can you help? These five birds are just a fraction of the total baby birds in care at our wildlife centers. You can support this lifesaving care here.

Thank you,

Jay Holcomb-Signature

Jay Holcomb

3 thoughts on “Director’s note on the Oakland heron incident”

  1. It’s sort of distressing to learn that people are mis-directing their venom at the contractor hired to remove those trees. Although one would “think” that an arborist would have a fairly good grasp of laws regarding removal and disturbance of nests and nesting birds under the Migratory Bird Act, the true blame for this debaucle lies with the USPS in my opinion. Ultimately, THEY made this decision.

  2. If I were a tree trimming agency wanting to end harrassment, I’d make a public committment ad in the Tribune never to agree to trim trees in april again. But that’s just me.

  3. What many people don’t realize is that many of the tree companies out there do not have certified arborists, or if they do, it’s only low-paid workers who actually do the tree work. They often don’t speak English and have not been told how to properly take care of trees. The responsibility for your trees lies with you. Make sure you hire only certified arborists and check their references. Ask if they practice ANSI standards, which is the mark of a true tree professional. Make your requirements known in writing. Don’t let them touch your trees until June to ensure all the birds have fledged.

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