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Oiled birds are getting state-of-the-art care

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007 at 7:20 am in Oil Spills.

The International Bird Rescue Research Center, located at the Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center in Cordelia, has been helping birds caught up in oiled spills all around the world for over 30 years. They know what they are doing.

Too bad just about everything else associated with this spill has been so messed up.

** That ship should NEVER have hit the Bay Bridge in the first place.

** The Coast Guard did a terrible job in keeping Bay Area residents and municipalities informed as to the scope of this disastrous spill. Seems like the clean-up response could also have been faster.

** The other agencies responsible for responding to local oil spills in California should have been MUCH BETTER PREPARED to deal with the thousands of caring and concerned Bay Area residents who rushed out to try and help. It’s not like this hasn’t happened before.

But regardless of all of the above … the volunteers and staff at the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Cordelia were ready and waiting to give those poor oiled seabirds the most advanced care available in the world when they arrived.

Check out this video that Times’ photographer Jose Fajardo shot at Bird Rescue on Nov. 11:

You can also read about the care of oiled birds in more detail in my Wednesday (Nov. 14) Times’ column at:

Unfortunately, getting the birds to IBRRC for care was sometimes a lot more complicated than it should have been. Here are some interesting words about the spill by Jay Holcomb, director of IBRRC, entitled “Birds Always Come First.” After seeing what Jay has to say, read the comment from Tina Perricone at the bottom of Jay’s remarks:

International Bird Rescue is a non-profit organization and can always use a little help from its friends in the form of cash donations and certain materials to help them care for the oiled birds. If you’d like to help them do their work, you can find out what you can do at

Their Web site will also show you how you can get trained to become one of their volunteers. That is truly satisfying work.

It’s good to know that at least the oiled birds are well taken care of. /Gary

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