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Brandt’s Cormorant: BART riders help rescue bird at El Cerrito del Norte station

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at 6:33 am in International Bird rescue research Center.

The El Cerrito del Norte BART Station cormorant is the bird on the right. Photo by IBRRC

On April 23, the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in Fairfield got a call about a Brandt’s cormorant hanging out at the BART Station at El Cerrito del Norte.

One of our long-time volunteers, Carol Lombard, went to the station to try to capture the bird. It was thin and weak.

With the help of 5 or 6 people waiting for their train, Carol was able to capture this bird and bring it to the center.

As she put it, “these people put their lives on hold to help me rescue this bird”. They used their sweaters and jackets and briefcases to help “contain” the animal so Carol could do her thing.

Today, Marie told me the bird has gained 300 grams, is feisty as all heck, I heard it referred to as a “monster” now, and is going to be released.

The El Cerrito del Norte BART Station cormorant is the bird on the far right. Photo by IBRRC

We have no idea who the people are that helped Carol that day, and we thought maybe if something was published they might at least know that their collective efforts paid off in getting this bird to rehab, and that it survived and is going back to the wild.

Plus, the cormorant issue with the die-off and lack of brooding and nesting in the usual places has us all a bit concerned … and it’s the Brandt’s that are affected, not the double crested cormorants.
Laurie Pyne, IBRRC

Congratulations on doing a great job (as always!) of patching up injured and orphaned and oiled birds and getting them ready for release back into the wild where they belong. And MANY thanks to the BART riders who stepped forward to help Carol capture the distressed bird!

Here is a link to a great video of the del Norte BART Station cormorant being released with a few other birds you have also been caring for:

And they all lived happily ever after!

You can learn more about IBRRC at If you’d also like to donate a little something to help them keep up the good work, I’m sure that would be VERY MUCH appreciated. Thanks for caring! /Gary

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