Western Grebes Need Your Help

Young birds, tossed by big seas, struggle on area beaches. Over 50 Grebes rescued so far! Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center needs your help providing these birds a second chance.

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Western Grebes, elegant and graceful, recover in our seabird pool

During the second week of October a period of rough ocean conditions began on the North coast with breakers higher than 16 feet. Immediately Humboldt Wildlife Care Center/BAX began admitting immature Western Grebes who had been tossed on the beach by the big waves.

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A young Grebe in a transport carrier. Eye protection is a good idea when handling these birds!

To date, we have admitted 50 of these elegant black and white birds for care. All of them are young birds. Western grebes raise their families all over the west on freshwater lakes. Once their young can fly and hunt for fish on their own, they depart the lakes to spend the winter along the coast on bays, inlets, river mouths and on the open ocean, often seen just beyond the break in large groups called rafts.

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Checking body condition: many of our patients are emaciated.

Young birds who are unfamiliar with the ocean can struggle with storms and high seas, leaving them vulnerable. A few days of not being able to eat and they may find themselves too weak to recover on their own. Add to this mix the modern challenges of unpredictable ocean health due to a disrupted climate, overfishing and the pollution stream that comes from all sides, and the near-shore environment can now be seen as a much less hospitable place for young seabirds.

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Blood is drawn for simple tests that can help us determine the overall health of each bird.

Once in care, all oceanic birds require resource-intensive treatment. Each bird eats a pound of fish a day! Rehydrating fluids, anti-parasite medicine and nutritional supplements also are needed.

After millions of years of evolution, Grebes are unable to tolerate being on land, or any hard surface, and must quickly be housed in pools. Clean water is absolutely necessary for their recovery. We conserve our resources as much as we can, but we still need your help providing these fundamental necessities for our patients.

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A slightly warmed pool helps weakened Grebes get back on water – a must if they are to survive.

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Each bird eats about a pound of fish a day.

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Some tossed fish encourage our patients’ appetite while in the stressful captive environment.

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Fortunately Western grebes are highly social and prefer to be with others.

Once healthy, the young birds are released into Humboldt Bay, where many species of prey-fish are abundant.

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Thanks to community support we have released 18 of these birds back into the wild. We still have 14 Western Grebes in care who need you to help cover the costs of their ongoing treatment. A few more are admitted each day. Please give what you can.

Our mission to help individual animals survive against the challenges modern society has placed on the natural world is only possible with your support. As you scroll through the photographs of our patients, you can enjoy knowing that your contribution provides the best care available for struggling wild animals here on the beautiful Redwood Coast. Any amount helps. Besides financial support you can also help spread our work by sharing this page. Invite us to present at your club or organization. We love to talk to our community about wildlife and how we can all help. Contact us at info@birdallyx.net!

all photographs Laura Corsiglia/BAX


Young Western Grebes in Trouble

UPDATED: 15 Western Grebes admitted for care today. More possibly coming tomorrow.

Please help!

Over last weekend Humboldt Wildlife Care Center/BAX began admitting several Western grebes into care. Battered by unusually high surf, these young birds, freshly arrived from lakes across our region, have been beaching from the Samoa peninsula to Crescent City. Right now we have eight in care, with at least that many awaiting rescue. These elegant birds, black and white with long necks, pointed bills, and red eyes, are rarely seen on land. Evolved for pursuing fish beneath the waves, on beaches they are in serious trouble.

Once rescued, they will receive expert care at our facility in Bayside. Please help us provide food, medicine and clean water. Your contribution will go a long way toward giving these birds another chance. Thank you for being an ally in this life saving work.



Can You Help?

Each year BAX/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center raises a certain amount of money. Without this money we could accomplish nothing. Our supporters make a big difference everyday in the lives of injured and orphaned wild animals.

Food for our pateints.
Medical supplies.
Patient housing.
Gas for rescues across our huge geographical area
Small stipends for our most critical staff.

These are the direct costs of helping individual wild animals and wild families. We also advocate for wild animals in an effort to shift public policy toward peaceful co-existence with our wild kin. Producing workshops and educational materials for wildlife rehabilitators is another way that we work to improve the conditions and ameliorate some of the negative impacts our society has on wild animals.

Your support is critical to these efforts. And we need your support now.

This year we’ve had more wild patients brought to us than ever. Now we need your help more than ever. After a very taxing Spring and Summer we need help now recovering from our costs. We need help making the needed repairs to our facility. We need help paying our water bill. This is the very ordinary, very work-a-day, real word of direct animal care. Loving wild animals means providing clean water for pools. It means laundry soap. It means late nights writing letters to our policy makers. We express our love for baby wild mammals with food that will help them grow and learn what it means to be a a wild and free adult.

Help us grow so that we can provide for all of Northern California’s wildlife. Help us build our Aviary in Manila specifically for pelicans and other large seabirds. Help us provide the kind of professional staff our region’s wildlife needs and deserves.

Please donate. Please.

Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work.
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Unified, to better serve Wildlife

Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center are one wildlife service organization!

This is such an important occasion for us! After 3 years of partnership, BAX/HWCC have merged our distinct organizations in to one to better use our resources and be more effective at meeting our mission. We are excited and optimistic for this opportunity to expand our capacity to meet the needs of injured and orphaned wildlife on California’s North Coast and beyond and to practice and teach proven best practices and foster advances in wildlife rehabilitation.

As the region’s only permitted all-species wildlife rehabilitation clinic, we serve an enormous geographical area, covering nearly 20,000 square miles. Extending from northern Mendocino County to Curry County, Oregon, and east as far as Weaverville in Trinity County, our responsibility to provide care for injured and orphaned wildlife is weighty.

This region is more than simply large, however. Radiating out from our clinic in the heart of the Jacoby Creek Watershed through the ancient Redwoods, the dune forests, the near shore ocean, and the mountains to the east, our home-place is a potentially critical refuge. As the reality of climate change takes hold, it is becoming apparent that temperate North American rain forest – stretching from here to Alaska – may be key for many species’ survival. As a committed ally of the wild, BAX/HWCC doesn’t take this lightly.

A sense of urgency is growing in communities everywhere, that we must act now, and with intelligence, if we are to preserve ourselves and our wild neighbors.

In these shared current circumstances, joining together makes sense.

Unquestionably, a major component of protecting wild animals from injury and keeping their families together is to advocate for and practice place-based, energy-aware wildlife care.

BAX/HWCC, with your support, is able to provide leadership and innovation as we accept the challenge of making true progress for our relationship with our wild neighbors, especially as viewed by the generations that will follow ours. Together we match extensive professional wildlife care experience – from around our state, our country and our world – with the rooted knowledge and deep affection long time residents of our region have for our home.

Bringing familiarity with “state of the art” facilities, combined with the organic know-how, responsible husbandry and sustainable practices needed to reduce waste and repurpose the material wealth of our world, BAX/HWCC offers a possibility for the future of wildlife rehabilitation that is adaptable and resilient in uncertain times.

Most importantly, and most practically, this union allows us to streamline our efforts at outreach and education. Encouraging co-existence with our wild neighbors is as important as providing quality rehabilitative care. Because we reach out to a diverse community, our message of humane solutions for human/wildlife conflicts is one of our most effective forms of animal care!

As one entity our materials and programs can be efficiently designed and the burden of costs can be jointly shouldered. Our ability to ensure that the overall community is aware of the services to wildlife we provide will be enhanced by this streamlining as well. We look forward to producing more quality materials for schools, agencies and organizations.

We also will be “rolling out” our new website by the end of the year with expanded resources, thanks to support from the McLean Foundation and the Humbodlt Area Foundation.

There is, in short, a lot of work to be done. Against all our modern catastrophes, hands are needed everywhere. At Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center we are committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned wild animals. We believe that no matter what crises we face, these individual animals whose lives are disturbed by the industrial world, will always deserve the best available care.

Thank for your support of our organizations in the past, and for helping us reach this exceptional place. Now we ask for your continued support as we embark on this new era.

With warm appreciation,|
The Board, Staff and Volunteers of Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center