Meet An Unusual Visitor: Oiled Common Raven

Common Raven got himself mixed up in some motor oil. Photos: International Bird Rescue

At International Bird Rescue, we are known for our work caring for injured, orphaned, and oiled waterbirds, but on occasion we do care for species that prefer drier habitats when they have been affected by oil. One such case arrived at our Los Angeles wildlife center last week when a Common Raven check got himself mixed up in some motor oil.

When a non-aquatic species is contaminated with oil, we work closely with partner organizations to make sure the bird gets the best possible pre and post wash care as well as the most efficient and effective wash. In this case, our friends at California Wildlife Center (CWC), who routinely care for ravens and crows, helped stabilize the young bird and get him in strong enough condition to withstand the stress of the wash process. Once the bird was ready, they transferred him to our center where he could be washed in our state-of-the-art wash facility.

Luckily, the Common Raven was not too heavily oiled and just needed to have his chest and abdomen cleaned. After the patient was washed and dry, and had a chance to eat a good meal, we returned him to CWC where he will be cared for until release.

Partnerships like ours with CWC are not only important for the health of the birds along our coast, but also allow us to build skills working with species that Bird Rescue does not normally work with. We are grateful for the opportunity to share knowledge and collaborate with other skilled rehabilitation organizations across California and around the world.