Mystery Goo Response: Over 320 Birds Admitted; Donations Still Needed

Photo of Surf Scoters at International Bird Rescue
Clean birds: Surf Scoters after washing. Photos by Russ Curtis – International Bird Rescue

Dear Supporters,

It has been more than a week now since the first seabirds began arriving at our Northern California center coated in a sticky, unknown substance. We’ve been inundated with a total of 322 birds that were rescued on San Francisco Bay.

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 6.03.24 PMWe still need your support to care for these seabirds! Since there is no responsible party for this event, our organization is shouldering the entire cost of this mystery goo event. We estimate the cost of caring for these coated birds is running $9,500 per day.

As of today, the state has still not determined what this substance is. They have ruled out petroleum oil products as the culprit.

Read: No state or federal aid for handling bird-killing goo emergency, San Francisco Chronicle

Pools are full of birds at the center in Fairfield, CA.

In the meantime, a dedicated group of volunteers is assisting our staff as we continue to treat and clean these beautiful birds. Updated 8:00 PM: A total of 244 have already been washed and most are recuperating in the dozens of pools at our San Francisco Bay Center in Fairfield, CA.

Most of the birds affected are Surf Scoters, Horned Grebes, Scaups and Common Goldeneyes.

Check out our live BirdCam with some of our seabird patients on the mend.

We want to thank all the volunteers that have given so generously by contributing their time and efforts to help us. They come from organizations all over California and include: Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), East Bay Regional Parks, Wildlife Emergency Services, Peninsula Humane Society, Baykeeper, Audubon California, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue, Lindsey Wildlife Museum, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OSPR, Bird Ally X, Wildlife Care Association, Native Songbird Care and Education Center, Pacific Wildlife Care, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, Mount Diablo Audubon, Golden Gate Audubon, Native Animal Rescue, SPCA for Monterey County, Napa Wildlife, Marine Mammal Center, California Waterfowl Association, Beach Watch and SeaWorld.

Other organizations have donated money and items to help us, including: The Hofmann Family Foundation, Procter & Gamble, Ian Somerhalder Foundation, Cargill, Clif Bar, Simple Green, and Whole Foods, Napa.

Photo of a Common Goldeneye
Common Goldeneye shares a pool with Surf Scoters.

We would also like to thank all our supporters who have responded with gratitude and monetary support. The San Francisco Bay’s wildlife holds a special place in their hearts and we are doing our best to honor their trust.


Barbara Callahan
Interim Executive Director

PS – Donations can be made online or by mail to:
International Bird Rescue
Attn: Mystery Goo Response
4369 Cordelia Rd
Fairfield CA 94534

If you prefer to make your gift via phone, please call (510) 289-1472.

Panoramic photo of pool area at International Bird Rescue
Panoramic photo of pools used to house hundreds of seabirds at our SF Bay Center.

1 thought on “Mystery Goo Response: Over 320 Birds Admitted; Donations Still Needed”

  1. is/was there any one that helped with the birds cover in goo that are out of the U.S post it on the website

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