Time to cast your vote for your favorite bird patient of 2020. Between our two California wildlife centers, so far this year we’ve cared for over 2,700 patients. We’ve narrowed our favorites down to the top six, but we need your help to determine which one will be named the official 2020 Patient of the Year.
Read more about each of the candidates below, and then to cast your vote here. We’re giving away a free 2021 Bird Rescue calendar to three lucky voters, so be sure to include your mailing address at the end of the ballot to be entered to win.
Hooked Brandt’s Cormorant
This Brandt’s Cormorant was one lucky bird to survive swallowing a fish hook and getting two others caught in its mouth. Luckily, the ingested hook didn’t get caught in the bird’s stomach lining so our team was able to successfully remove the hook through a technique we call “cottonballing” and avoid the need for invasive surgery. This corm is just one of the hundreds of birds we have treated for fishing gear-related injuries this year. Read more about this case here.
Orphaned Black-crowned Night-Heron
Each spring, hundreds of orphaned herons and egrets are brought to our wildlife hospitals to be raised in our care. This particular young Black-crowned Night-Heron fell from its nest in Wilmington, CA and was brought to our Los Angeles wildlife center. It takes a lot of work to raise these birds, including hand feeding, regular check-ups, and plenty of cleaning, but seeing these young birds return to the wild makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Wayward Laysan Albatross
Laysan Albatross are known for their long-distance flights over the open ocean, so when an albatross was found sitting in the middle of a meadow in Soquel, CA, it was clear the bird needed help. The SPCA of Monterey County rescued the wayward albatross and brought it to our wildlife hospital for further care. After two weeks of recovery time, the albatross was well enough to return to its ocean travels. We teamed up with our friends at Fast Raft to take this special patient out on a boat for an ocean release. Read more here.
Green-winged Teal Rescued by 9-year-old
This Green-winged Teal is alive and back in the wild thanks to the heroic efforts of a young girl and her father. While walking on the beach, the two spotted the small teal getting tossed in the surf and immediately jumped into action. They collected the bird and kept her warm and dry until they could get her into the hands of a local wildlife expert. Eventually, the migratory duck was brought to Bird Rescue where she could get the treatment she needed to return to her natural home in the wild.
“Ralph” the Northern Fulmar
Early this year, we received an influx of several dozen Northern Fulmars. One of these tube-nosed seabirds was dubbed “Ralph,” a name inspired by the fulmar’s unique defense mechanism of spewing sticky orange stomach contents at perceived predators (including our clinic staff). You can read more about Ralph here.
Backpacked Great Egret
This Great Egret is one of several former patients that are helping gather important research data with their return to the wild. Bird Rescue has teamed up with Audubon Canyon Ranch to outfit Great Egrets with backpack GPS trackers to study the movements and migrations of these majestic waterbirds. The information gathered will help researchers learn more about how these birds interact with their ecosystems and better inform conservation efforts. We are proud to contribute to this project by raising and releasing these healthy egrets back into the wild. You can learn more about the Great Egret project here.