Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"For 40 Years, Every Bird Has Mattered" - International Bird Rescue

Oiled Pelicans from Gulf Oil Spill Photo International Bird Rescue
Today is the first anniversary of the Gulf Oil Spill and while many worthy groups assisted in the clean up and continue to advocate for the region, one phenomenal organization stands out to me for their tireless work in saving the birds. International Bird Rescue has been saving birds for 40 years. A new award winning documentary of their efforts follows the rescue of the 895th pelican that they saved last year. Titled "Saving Pelican 895" the documentary first airs on HBO tonight at 9 p.m. See trailer below:

A summary of International Bird Rescue's work in the Gulf from their website:

When the BP Deepwater Horizon well blew out, International Bird Rescue’s team of bird rescue specialists immediately responded with an all-hands-on-deck effort to rescue oiled seabirds and stop the loss of life. International Bird Rescue teamed up with Tri-State Bird Rescue, the lead oiled wildlife organization on the ground, to initiate bird rescue efforts on the water and help staff rehabilitation centers in Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

This massive oil spill tested the nerves and stamina of our team, as we saw more than 200 million gallons of oil leaked into gulf waters, and over 8,000 birds captured and collected. The oil-stained beaches, marshland and inlets ran from Louisana to Florida. At its busiest moment, Bird Rescue had approximately 88 trained wildlife responders working on this spill. The leaking rig was finally capped on July 15—about 11 weeks after the blowout.

International Bird Rescue and Tri-State Bird Rescue had to navigate politics, the media, and the weather, in finding, collecting, treating and releasing birds suffering from the effects of the oil spill. Thanks to hard work, cooperation and expertise, International Bird Rescue was able to help release 1,246 cleaned birds back to the wild, including Brown Pelicans, Laughing Gulls, Green Herons, Snowy Egrets, Black Oystercatchers, Roseate Spoonbills and many others.

THE SPILL IN NUMBERS

1,246 – Total cleaned birds released back to wild.
8,183 – Total birds captued and collected.
4 – Gulf states where oiled birds were treated.
88 – International Bird Rescue team members on the ground.
6 – Months International Bird Rescue was active in the Gulf.
Pelican waiting to be cleaned Photo Brian Epstein
Spoonbill being cleaned Photo Int'l Bird Rescue
Pelicans Photo Int'l Bird Rescue
Photo Int'l Bird Rescue

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