Mallard Ducklings Were Lost and Now are Found

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) mothers for millions of years have selected safe secluded places to lay their eggs. Under bushy plants, in high grasses, and not more than a day hike from a nice pond. Once her babies hatch from their eggs, they are quickly on the move. Unlike songbirds whose young are altricial, meaning they are unable to do anything for themselves at all but open their mouths and accept food, ducklings are precocial – they come into the world ready to walk around and feed themselves. Within hours of hatching, mother Mallards lead their babies to water.

[Please support our work. Your contribution goes directly to the care of injured and orphaned wild animals and keeps our doors open! We need you! Please help. You can donate here now.] 

Of course in the intervening years, human have arrived on the scene, and in the last few thousand years began the process of covering the Earth in roads and other serious threats to our wild neighbors. Now an obstacle course of mayhem stands in the way of Mallard families and the ponds where they must grow, develop and learn to be successful adults. A mother killed by a car in traffic might leaving a dozen day old ducklings scrambling for their innocent lives. An off-leash dog might scatter a family with some babies never re-grouped. However it happens, thousands upon thousands of Mallard babies are separated from their families in California each year. Every year Mallards are the avian species most frequently admitted for rehabilitation in our state. Swimming pools with no way for a duckling to get out, pollution, traffic, dogs and cats, curious unsupervised children – the threats to young ducklings in human society are nearly endless.

At Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, we see less victims of these threats simply because we have a much lower human population. Still, we raise anywhere between 20 and 40 Mallard ducklings each year.

Orphaned Mallard patients from 2016, learning about duckweed, the miracle food!

Our three young Mallards who are currently in care, under a heat lamp in our indoor housing. Soon they’ll be old enough to be housed outside.


Last week we admitted the first Mallard orphans of the year. Found scrambling though a backyard in the coastal community of Manila, these three babies are doing very well, now. Currently housed indoors until they are big enough to stay warm through the night, soon we’ll move them to our specially built duckling pond and then to our waterfowl aviary where they will continue to grow and develop in relative privacy – their wildness respected and protected – until they are old enough to fend for themselves. When they are ready, after about six weeks in care, they’ll be returned to their free and wild lives.


Right now we are entering the busiest time of our year. Every day from now through the rest of Summer we will be helping keep wild families together and raising wild orphans when we must. The workload is intense and so is our need for your support. We are striving raise $25,ooo by May 31. We have $20,000 to go. Your support makes all the difference. Please donate today. Thank you!

photos: Bird Ally X

Wild Baby Season is Coming!

The earth rolls around the sun dipping first this hemisphere then that one toward the light and the wild animals follow suit. Summer birds have already begun to return to the North Coast. Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) investigate the old cavities where they may have raised last year’s young. Ravens (Corvus corax) fly though late Spring winds with sticks for their nests held tightly between their bills.

Mother mammals are on the move, seeking safe places to give birth. This year everyone is in  a hurry to bloom and leaf!

All of  this means that our busiest season is about to start. Each year we treat around 1200 animals. Nearly half of these patients come in during the months of May, June and July. While we stive to reduce the number of our wild neighbors who need help,  through public education and good phone consultation to resolve human/wild conflicts, still our caseload and our costs will predictably skyrocket in the coming weeks.

We will be reaching out to you frequently, asking for help. Financial contributions of any amount are critical. We’ll also be asking for donated supplies, like goat milk, produce, sheets, towels, vinegar and baking soda – all things that are crucial to our daily operation!

Nestling Swallows (2015) receiving their regular feeding – soon these birds would fledge into our Songbird aviary where they continued to be fed while they learned to fly and eat on the wing.  
Common Murre (Uria aalge) chicks, separated from their fathers at sea, too young to provide for themselves. Each year we raise any number of these oceanic birds, depending on the how successful the year’s breeding season is… last year we raised 6, the year before, 30.
Every year for the last 5 years we’ve provided safe haven and bits of mouse for a Western Screech-owl (Megascops kennicottii) chick found in Fortuna’s Rohner Park

Every year we care for several Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) goslings who’ve been orphaned by the highways that separate their nest site from the water. Parents killed trying cross US101 leave chicks scurrying in traffic – a dangerous situation for all. If safely captured, the young geese will come to our facility in Bayside.

The most common reason for young Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) to be orphaned? Their mothers are hit by cars while they’re still in her pouch. Each year we admit over 50 babies! 

Black-crowned Night-Heron(Nycticorax nycticorax) chick’s life took a turn for the worse when s/he was knocked from the nest high above the beach at Moonstone during a wind storm. This yung bird ate a lot of fish!
Every summer we save lives, preserve wild families, and give unfortunate victims of accidents and human intervention a second chance. This juvenile Hermit Warbler (Setophaga occidentalis) whose nest was disturbed in the Arcata Community Forest. An improvised substitute made from a basket lined with twigs and mosses was placed high in the tree  above where the young not yet flighted bird was found. Soon parent birds were seen bringing food and resuming care. Reuniting wild babies with their families is an important and frequent task throughout Spring and Summer.
Each year Raccoon (Procyon lotor) mothers are shot, trapped, poisoned and otherwise mistreated in ways that leaves their babies behind, often stuck in an attic or a crawlspace and left to die. When they’re lucky, someone hears them, finds them and brings them to us. Almost every single orphaned raccoon we care for could have been raised by their mother if only people would take basic steps to protect their property by preventing Raccoons and other animals from getting in, or seeking advice before acting irresponsibly and resorting to lethal solutions. Providing care to orphaned Raccoons isn’t cheap! Usually they are in care 4 moths before they can be released. Each baby costs nearly $500 to raise successfully and we raise over 20 of these curious Earthlings each year!


Every year our busy season has the added stress of paying for food and medicine, the water bill, the electric bill, staff salaries. Scrimping and saving is good and necessary, but so is knowing that our basic costs are going to be covered. It’s good to know that if an unexpected major expense comes up – like last year when we treated a lead-poisoned Bald Eagle whose care required six months of recuperation – that we’ve got it covered.

So, we’re launching a special Baby Season fundraiser.* Our goal is $25,000 between now and May 31. That’s 9 weeks. $25,000 will keep us going through early Spring and leave us ready to take on the most hectic months of our year with something in reserve, reducing our stress so that we can be better care providers. It costs us about $12,000 a month to operate during the Summer. Your help is vitally important. Without your generosity… well, let’s just say that we are grateful that you’ve kept us going this long and we look forward to your continued support. Let’s make this the best, least stressful Wild Baby season we’ve had. Thank you!!

*By the way, we are still a couple thousand short of our March goal of $7000. Want to help us reach it? Donate here. Thank you!!

 

photo: Bird Ally X/ Laura Corsiglia

A Young Bald Eagle, A Difficult Case, A Slim Chance.

Usually we share our successes. Now and again we might share stories of patients whose injuries were so severe that the only care we could provide was to end their suffering, but we don’t often take our supporters and community members through that process. It’s our task and we perform it as we need to, without regret, because it is a simple fact of wildlife rehabilitation that most  of our work consists of ending the suffering of animals still alive but battered, sometimes beyond recognition, let alone repair.

Also, we don’t often share the stories of animals who are still in care. The primary reason is that for wild animals, captivity itself is life threatening. The stress of being in a caregiver’s hand can be too much for a songbird – sudden misfortune, or setbacks in care, can derail a patient’s recovery. Building expectations of happy resolution that doesn’t come seems unnecessary.  Also, it’s simply a cultural standard that we don’t count our proverbial chickens before they’ve hatched. 

So, with all that in mind, here is the story so far of this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) who we admitted for care a few days ago.


Last Friday evening, BAX co-founder Laura Corsiglia and one of our long time volunteers met a Warden from California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) in Willow Creek to accept a Bald Eagle who’d been in care in Weaverville since June of 2016.

Our first glimpse of young Bald Eagle, after meeting CDFW staff in Willow Creek. Although young and disabled, this bird is still formidable!


It is unknown how the young Eagle was injured. According to the Trinity Journal, the fledgling was found at Trinity Lake at the bottom of a tree with an Eagle nest, suffering with multiple fractures of his left wing. (While it isn’t certain, we believe the bird is a male based on his size which is at the smaller end of the spectrum of Eagle sizes.) At the time he was found, a CDFW warden in the area took the fledgling to a veterinarian in Weaverville. Near death due to dehydration and lack of parental care, the Eagle was stabilized by the staff.

For reasons we are not sure of, the Eagle’s treatment continued in Weaverville over the Summer of 2016 into the Winter. In December CDFW staff attempted to transfer him to our facility in Humboldt County (Trinity County is our neighbor to the East) but a rock slide had closed Highway 299 east of Willow Creek, barring passage. Several attempts were made over the next few months to get past the slide during temporary openings without success until last Friday, the 10th of March.

Once in care, immediately BAX staff could see that this Eagle’s left wing was seriously damaged. Multiple fractures to the humerus, radius and ulna have healed with very poor alignment. His wing cannot function at all, nor can he hold it in anything close to a normal position. At this point, only extensive surgery could save this bird’s life let alone help him recover to the point of being releasable.

Our patient after his first day in our care. We immediately contacted the wildlife biologist at USFWS responsible for Migratory Bird permits who grants our permit to rehabilitate birds. We stay in close contact with her any time we treat a specially protected species (most birds are protected under various laws, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act) such as the Endangered Species Act, or, in this case, the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.


However, this Eagle has been in care for nine months, and since we have one avenue that may give him a chance, we’ve decided to try even though it’s an extremely long shot. Bird Ally X co-founder and co-director, Dr. Shannon Riggs, DVM, who is Director of Animal Care at Pacific Wildlife Care near San Luis Obispo, is a highly accomplished avian orthopedic surgeon – her evaluation of his wing and his chances for a successful surgery are worth seeking. With the approval of the USFWS we’re transporting this bird to her care at that facility this week.

He has a difficult road ahead with the odds stacked heavily against him. If he were a patient like any other, we would likely have already made the decision that further treatment would be unlikely to help and would only compound the misery of captive life.

While his prognosis for recovery is very poor, and his current condition is so poor that humanely ending his suffering may be the only possible outcome, we believe it is worth it to exhaust all possibilities. We will be posting updates as his care proceeds.

The damaged wing is presumably painful and drags on the ground causing secondary wounds. Soon, however, this limbo will end – hopefully with good news, but at least his suffering will be over no matter which direction his care goes.


The care for any injured and orphaned wildlife here on the North Coast wouldn’t be possible without your support. For this patient, when we factor the cost of transport to a facility 500 miles away, the cost of surgery, the cost of rehabilitation post-surgery (here’s hoping!) we will need your help more than ever. We already have a goal for March of $7000 that doesn’t include the care of this young Bald Eagle. Want to help? Donate here. Thank you for supporting our work!

photos: Bird Ally X/Laura Corsiglia

One Western Grebe Improves Care For All

A storm-tossed Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) was admitted last month at Humboldt Wildlife Care Center.

Western grebes are relatively common birds on the Pacific coast in winter where they can often be seen in the salt chucks, bays, lagoons, and the ocean, often in large groups, just beyond the breaking waves. We treat many each year. Last year we provided care for nearly 30 Western Grebes. 2014 was a bad year for these elegant aquatic birds – we treated 97.

Because Western Grebes are frequent patients, we generally have good results treating their most common ailments, parasites such as tapeworm, emaciation, and loss of waterproofing due to contamination.

In most ways, the Grebe that came in last month was an ordinary patient. Found on the beach in Trinidad, small abrasions under her lower bill had bled and soiled her neck feathers, which caused her feathers to lose their waterproofing. But that wasn’t her primary problem. Her biggest problem was that she is a juvenile who’d been facing her first winter of independence. This year’s exceptionally stormy season got the better of her. Emaciated, dehydrated, and wet, she didn’t stand a chance without rescue.

But in one critical way this Grebe’s treatment was unusual.

Many of the aquatic birds we treat are piscivores, or fish-eaters. Ordinarily, it is the protocol in successful treatment of highly aquatic birds who require pools to offer these patients fish with low fat content. Pool water quality is important to protect and fish with higher fat content has caused problems, the fish oil contaminates the pool water and in turn contaminates the feathers of the patient, which disrupts the carefully maintained waterproofing. In the wild, these contaminants lead to death. Oil isn’t water-soluble. A detergent of some kind is required to remove it. Once oiled, a bird needs to be cleaned.

Caring for aquatic birds is a specialized skill precisely because of their need for water. Pools, water quality, feeding techniques are each crucial elements in providing care, as are the efforts we make to protect our patients from the harm that can be caused by holding aquatic patients out of water. On land and inside our building, birds who typically float on water their entire lives, are highly susceptible to pressure wounds, respiratory infections, and other secondary problems caused by their time in captivity.

An aquatic bird housed in “dry-dock” needs protective wraps to guard against injures from even the softest solid surfaces. Even with these measures, the patient still must get back to water quickly.


Most of the techniques and protocols for rehabilitating injured aquatic birds come from oil spill response. During an oil spill, sometimes thousands of birds might be impacted. The techniques developed to increase success with such large caseloads is the basis for most current aquatic bird care. Generally we follow them with predictable and largely positive results.

However, something very unusual happened in 2016. The low fat fish we feed our patients, Night Smelt were no longer available. Our supplier said there would be nome until April, and that wasn’t even certain.

Fish populations across the oceans are in trouble, of course. Rising sea temperatures, plastic pollution, over-fishing, agricultural waste run-off, acidification are all wreaking havoc on the marine environment and the health of Mother Earth.

So, we got the fish that our suppliers could deliver: River Smelt, known here on the Northwest coast as Eulachons.

Eulachons are a very nutritious fish, with twice as many calories as Night Smelt. They are also bigger. Not so big that they can’t be swallowed whole by a Western Grebe (see video below) but five times larger than night smelt. Mathematically, it’s easy to see how Eulachons are a better fish to feed. Two 50 gram fish hold a total of 150 calories. Night smelt, at 10 grams each and 70 calories per 100 grams, require 20 fish to reach the same energy content!

This Grebe wouldn’t eat for her first week in care. She had no interest in food. She also had an injury just inside her cloaca, or ‘vent’, so it is possible that she was very uncomfortable when eliminating solid waste. In any case, we had to provide her nutrition via a feeding tube, a technique known as ‘gavage’ feeding – basically putting a fish slurry (a blend of smelt, vitamins, and a nutritionally enhanced liquid similar to a protein drink) directly into the patient’s stomach.
Gavage feeding is necessary when a patient isn’t able to self-feed.


Her weight during this period gradually rose. Our schedule for feeding balanced the needs of the patient to not see our scary faces too many times a day against the calories she needed to recover from her near death by starvation.

Typically aquatic birds require about 3 weeks of Night Smelt to recover from clinical emaciation. Of course there is some variance depending on other factors, including the personality of the patient.

[Your support needed! We are several thousand short of our March goal of $7000! Any amount helps! from $5, to $5 a month to $5000 dollars, your generosity goes directly to our mission of direct care and education. Please donate today!]

After the first week in care, going in and out of the pool, the Grebe struggled with her waterproofing. Her feathers around her vent were consistently wet. Besides for the confirmation that she might indeed have a wound healing just inside her digestive tract, her waterproofing issues were keeping her from spending all her time in the pool, which she needed badly. She had begun eating on her own and her weight was climbing steadily. The only thing holding her back was the persistent wetness around her vent. So we applied detergent to that area to give her a boost. Within a day she was waterproof.
After a week in care, she’d started eating on her own, and with our help, she was waterproof.


After 48 hours in the pool, we thought she was going to be released very soon. And then came a major setback. A volunteer went out to check at the end of the day that the birds in the pool had food and our Grebe was completely soaked, sitting on the little net (we call it a ‘haul-out’) we have for birds who need get out of the water. A healthy bird rarely uses it – it’s essentially a lifeboat for a bird who is struggling.

We pulled her from the pool, put her under a pet dryer and kept her indoors overnight. We analyzed the pool for what might have caused her problem. An obvious suspect, of course was the fish, the fatty Eulachons that had been such an effective food for her emaciation.
This is a very soggy bird using her haul-out. 50˚F water isn’t comfortable for warm blooded animals without thir protective shell. Aquatic birds rely on their feathers to satay warm and dry.


How fish are presented in pools is a tricky proposition no matter what the fat content is. Pieces of fish rather than whole fish are an oily mess even with Night Smelt. Our pools all have an overflow system so that any oils from fish or feces on top of the water are constantly being eliminated.

The problem was identified and we took corrective action. The basket we place the fish was not allowing water to freely flow, trapping oils. Every time our patient put her head in that water to grab a fish, she was picking up the oils and then spreading them around body when she preened, the time-consuming work that most birds must do every day to keep their feathers in good, functional shape. It was a simple problem, simply fixed.

We re-washed her. Within 24 hours she was fully waterproof. 48 hours after that, she was released, 300 grams heavier than when she was admitted, her wounds healed, and her life back on track. Her total time in care, with set backs: 15 days. The Eulachons, even with the problem, shaved a week off her recovery time. That’s simply too good to reject. So we amend our ways to accommodate the oil.
Using a very mild detergent and warm water, the Grebe was quickly washed. From here she was palced in a warm water pool where she essentially rinses herself, finishing the job. Another day of preening and she’ll back on top of her game. A hidden camera caught her as she works to reolve her feather issues in private. She also likes fish!


After another 48 hours in our pool, with modifications made to our system, she ate Eulachons and gained even more weight. After 2 weeks in care, she was released back to her wild freedom.





And then she was gone.  Our intimacy with her is done. She returns to her rightful place, out of our hands.


Right now we don’t have a choice. Eulachons, or river smelt, are what we can find. But even if we do have a choice, we’ll be sticking with the Eulachons. Our goal is to provide the best care, and good nutrition is cornerstone to that goal.

At our clinic in Bayside, with 1200 animals per year in care, we have the opportunity to elaborate on the gains made in aquatic bird care that emerged from high casualty marine disasters such as oil spills. We have the opportunity to develop strategies using our hard won knowledge to improve the care individual animals receive. Will Eulachons be a good fish choice to feed patients in an oil spill? Maybe, but we’d need to devise methods to improve water quality in ways that aren’t currently available. For individual patients, however, or for the much more common caseloads that coastal wildlife rehabilitators face daily, at our teaching hospital here on Humboldt Bay, we are doing the cutting edge work of improving the results of our care. Just as importantly, our efforts here don’t stop here. Through workshops and conferences we take the results of our work to other rehabilitators, demonstrating techniques and processes that they can use, on limited budgets, with limited resources. This necessary self-reliance seems to be the future of all rehabilitation work.

As we enter this period of dire uncertainty – with the Endangered Species Act under threat, with the Environmental Protection Agency openly attacked – in this terrible anti-bloom of the post-conservation era, our work is critical to the future of wildlife rehabilitation.

No matter how bad things become, no matter what night mare unfolds, wild animals will continue to suffer from human activity, human structures, and human caused problems such as quickly deteriorating ocean health. There will be those among us, today, tomorrow and as long as humans are present, who will be compelled to help. If we meet the challenges of our mission, those rehabilitators to come will have reliable information on how to provide good care.

Your support is the only thing that makes any of our work possible. Thank you!

All photos/videos Bird Ally X.

 

 

Osprey in Care – the Fish Hawks

Love is a hunting osprey    
above the charging sea –
Silver fish beneath the sky
expose their dreams to fly.

The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), the Fish hawk, an easily observed raptor who plunge-dives feet first from the sky to catch fish, lifting themselves and their prey straight back into the sky. A familiar sight: one of these large, long-winged birds carrying a trout or a perch, or any other of the over 80 species of fish that make up nearly all of their diet.(1)

We don’t often see these birds in care. When we do, often we are only able to help them out of this world due to the severity of their injuries – collisions with industry, fishing gear, and other hazards industrial civilization has brought to rivers, lakes, shorelines of fresh and salt water. Rarer still that we raise their young as orphans.

The challenges of raising wild predators are steep. Predators need to learn how to hunt. This is something that parents teach their young, something that adults of a family group can teach, even, in some cases, a foster parent. We can place young nestling hawks into a another nest of the same species and the new “parents’ will care for the young newcomer as their own.

For a wild animal like the Osprey, the challenges are clearly greater. It’s a rare species that produces young who don’t do better with their parents help post-natally. For young Osprey, an adult to lead the way is crucial. For wildlife rehabilitators to successfully raise any wild animal, serious attention to that patient’s natural history and a means to replicate those principles as best we can are essential. For orphaned Osprey, recreating the juvenile period of education requires a degree of specialization.

Our work with other plunge-diving species, like the Brown Pelican or Belted Kingfisher, coupled with our work with more commonly admitted land-using birds of prey, such as the Red-tailed Hawk, give us the tools and experience we need to provide good care for these unique birds.

And this Summer, those tools and experience are being put to the Osprey challenge! We have both an adult and a fledlging in care.

2015 Osprey - 106Our adult Osprey patient, brought to our facility after intial treatment at Tehama Wildcare, outside of Red Bluff.


2015 Osprey - 122Our Juvenile Osprey patient was brought to us  from Stanislaus Wildlife Center in Stanislaus County.


The Adult, we believe a female, was a victim, along with her entire family, of a nest fire. In early July, her nest in Red Bluff came in contact with utility equipment (Osprey often nest on utility poles and towers). Her feathers were badly singed. She and a nearly-fledged chick were taken to Tehama Wild Care in Tehama County. After being stabilized, she and her chick were transferred to Humboldt Wildlife Care Center for long term care. Unfortunately, her chick died soon after arriving at our facility, possibly due to stress.

At this point the adult Osprey has an excellent prognosis. Her feather damage is severe, but she is able to fly, and we anticipate a full recovery.

2015 Osprey - 001BAX/HWCC rehabilitator Lucinda Adamason meets Karen Scheuermann of Tehama Wild Care in Weaverville to bring the adult Osprey and her chick to Humboldt for continued care.


2015 Osprey - 037The adult’s feather damage is apparent as she is perched above the pool in our Aviary developed for patients who dive for fish.


2015 Osprey - 047At feeding time, we have opportunities to take photographs. This bird has no desire to be around people and protests loudly when her “space” is violated. Keeping our movements hidden from a sharp predator like her is difficult, but we try so that her stress level stays as low as possible.


2015 Osprey - 104Our second Opsrey patient, a juvenile from Stanislaus County.


After nearly in month in care, we admitted another Osprey, a juvenile who’s been raised by Stanisluas Wildlife Care Center near Modesto. Fearful that the youngster was becoming too accustomed to people, with help from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the bird was transferred to Humboldt Wildlife Care Center to provide an opportunity for recovery. Between our large aviary as well as the company of the adult Osprey , this bird also has a good prognosis.

This bird has some feather damage as well, so, even if all else about her (we believe based on her large size that she is also female) is fine, it will be some time before she will be released.

2015 Osprey - 087The initial exam. The feet that we hope will soon be lifting fish from rivers and lakes!


 

2015 Osprey - 080

2015 Osprey - 091A small amount of blood is periodically collected and tested to make sure that general health is maintained while in care.


The day after the new juvenile arrived we introduced her to the adult with whom she’ll be spending the rest of her care. While it’s hard to tell what any raptor is thinking, the introduction went well – both birds became more interested in each other and appeared less stressed in general. Now it is our hope that they form a bond of some kind – for both of thier sakes.

Because the damage to their feathers may extend their time in care, we have an opportunity to give the young bird the chance for an education in hunting. Because of the adult, the juvenile may actaully wind up with a foster-mother, and the time spent in our aviary will provide her chance to to learn to hunt.
2015 Osprey - 097Introduction day. While it is hard to ever say what any wild animal is thinking, let alone a raptor, the introduction went well. Both birds became immediately more interested in each other than us. Each appeared to become less stressed by the company of the other.


2015 Osprey - 068Stocking the pool with goldfish to begin the process of learning to hunt.


Four years ago we began the hard work of rapidly increasing the capacity of Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. Four years ago, HWCC could have not taken these patients. Four years ago long-term patients, most aquatic birds and others were transferred to rehabilitation facilities in the Bay area.

Thanks to your support we are emerging as the kind of wildlife care facility we’ve long strived for, a place that is respected throughout the state for the quality of the care we provide. We still have more progress planned, and there will always be advancements to make. But with these two Osprey, sent to us from hundreds of miles away, we have the chance to acknowledge the distance we’ve already traveled.

Thank you for helping making Bird Ally X/Humboldt Wildlife Care Center into the place we are today. And thank you for looking forward with us, and supporting us in our continued improvement and development – for providing the best care we can, working for the best injury prevention, for continuing to improve co-existence with our wild neighbors and for training the next generation of wildlife caregivers.

2015 Osprey - 076

Thank you for being a part of this life-saving work! Your support is 100% tax-deductible!

All photos Laura Corsiglia/BAX

 

 

(1)http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/lifehistory

 

Improvements that will protect Pelicans coming to Shelter Cove

Day 11 in our August fundraising Drive: So far we’ve raised $580 of our goal of $5000 by the end of the month. Your help is needed. Every donation helps. Thank you for being a part of this wildlife saving work!

Three years ago, August 2011, Bird Ally X began responding to fish-oil contaminated Brown Pelicans in Cresent City and Shelter Cove. Besides the 50 birds rescued, we noted that the infrastructure at both locations were the cause for the contamination. In November of that year we presented this information to the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. It seemed that the situation would be rectified. A positive aspect of this event was our partnership with Humboldt Wildlife Care Center, which eventually led to the unification of the two organizations.

Unfortunately, in 2012, it became obvious that the problems hadn’t been fixed. We ended up mounting a large response, treating over 250 Brown Pelicans out of our very small facility in Bayside. Trying to get the discharge pipe that was spewing fish waste into the water of Shelter Cove stopped was very frustrating. While some modifications were made, the outflow continued. It wasn’t until Brown Pelicans left the area and headed north that the contaminations stopped. (read about our 2012 efforts)

Preparing for the Possibility of Pelicans: 2013The discharge pipe at Shelter Cove – July 2012 (photo Daniel Corona/Bird Ally X)

Bird Ally X/HWCC inundated with Fish-oiled Brown Pelicans! Again!
Dead contaminated Brown Pelican – July 2012 (photo: Drew Hyland/Bird Ally X)

North Coast Fish Waste Response (updated)
Brown Pelican released at Shelter Cove, September 2011 (photo: Laura Corsiglia/BAX)


Now, two years later, we are happy to see that the Harbor District is taking its responsibility for the fish cleaning station at Shelter Cove seriously and moving forward to stop the discharge pipe. What follows is a news story from the Redwood Times that ran this Spring… We’re glad we were able play our part, with your support, in bringing these needed changes. Thank you for helping us meet our mission!

Harbor District meets with RID and the public in Shelter Cove

Sandy Feretto, Redwood Times
Posted: 03/18/2014 04:21:00 PM PDT

On Thursday, March 6 the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District met with the Shelter Cover Resort Improvement District and about 100 members of the public in Shelter Cove.

Jack Crider, chief executive officer of the Harbor District told the Redwood Times that the meeting addressed a variety of issues.

The Harbor District has a goal of eliminating the discharge pipe from the fish-cleaning table into the bay that has caused problems for the pelicans.

The first step is to eliminate the carcasses, Crider explained, and the next step would be to process the water from the fish-cleaning table and dispose of it in the resort district’s sewer system.

The solids separated from the water and carcasses can be frozen and sold as bait.

Crider said that over the last year the Department of Fish and Wildlife has finally acknowledged the district’s right to remove and sell the fish carcasses from the fish-cleaning table.

Since the harbor district first discussed the idea, Patrick O’Shea, of Shelter Cove, has entered into a lease agreement with David Mollett, the owner of Mario’s Marina that included the commercial boat-launching contract.

O’Shea intends to upgrade “the green building” that is in the middle of the parking lot at Mario’s. He plans to sell the frozen fish carcasses for bait and fresh, locally caught fish from the building. He has been in the process of obtaining permission from the Coastal Commission, Crider said.

Crider went on to say that the Harbor District’s easement covers the public access road down to the beach for recreation purposes, the breakwater, and technically the Harbor District owns the fish cleaning equipment. There have been some improvements made to the breakwater, but Crider said they are having some problems with sand that will require maintenance.

The Harbor District also has safety concerns with the public parking at the bottom of the beach access road. The district will post signs at the bottom to remind people not to park there.

He said that the Regional Water Quality Control Board has asked the district to test the beach sand and water in order to determine the impact of allowing cars to drive all over the beach. It will cost the district about $10,000 a year and take two or three years to yield results.

Belted Kingfisher Says Every Day is Earth Day

(Video of release at bottom of story!)

Last Sunday, while kids scrambled for eggs, others headed to Redwood Park, and birders ventured out across the county and beyond as a part of Godwit Days, Humboldt’s annual birding festival, along the west bank of the Mad River just up from the hatchery, a Belted Kingfisher struggled at the end of a long strand of fishing line. The line was entangled in overhanging branches and the bird, a female, presumably preparing with her partner for the season of rearing young, was suspended above the river, the line wrapped around the flight feathers of her left wing.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 02

A young man, Brian, had been walking along the bank – it was a warm, bright day – and saw her struggling. There was no one else around. He called Humboldt Wildlife Care Center. He offered to wait for our rescue team to arrive on scene to show us exactly her location.

It’s a terrible thing to see a bird snared in fishing line, struggling to get free, nowhere to stand. Serious injury seems certain and quite possibly life threatening. Brian saved this kingfisher’s life. If he hadn’t seen her or hadn’t called, a long, suffering death awaited her, all due to fishing line lost into the wild and forgotten.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 03During her exam, the kingfisher was clearly dehydrated, as her “squinty-eyes” attest.

We quickly placed a net below her to support her weight while we snipped the line. No apparent injuries were seen – the line wrapped her left wing’s primary feathers, but no bones were broken, nor was any skin. She was exhausted and dehydrated. She was still willing to fight. We brought her back to our clinic.

After a complete exam – she was in relatively good shape, a healthy bird, living well – we gave her a mild pain medication and anti-inflammatory drug, warmed fluids, and a safe, quiet place to rest.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 01Kingfishers’ 3rd and 4th toes are united. We call this kind of foot syndactyl.

Two years ago, when we were building our waterfowl aviary, we included a perch high above the pool. No duck or goose would ever use it, but we know that occasionally a kingfisher will come into care. Kingfishers in their home plunge-dive, like a tern, an osprey, or a Brown pelican, for their fish. Small, powerful birds with an extreme amount of panache, in captivity they can be difficult to feed. This aviary was about to get its test.

The next day in care we gavage-fed a liquid protein diet to continue her re-hydration. She was alert and attempting to fly so we moved her to the waterfowl aviary with the kingfisher perch. Over the course of that day she improved rapidly – not well enough to be released yet, but highly encouraging.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 04Our waterfowl aviary does double duty as Kingfisher housing.

The next morning she was sitting in the early sun, on the high perch above the pool that we’d stocked with small “feeder” fish. At her morning check she flew in circles around the aviary. She was fully restored. Her flight was perfect. She was a lucky bird.

Her release evaluation was quickly completed and the kingfisher was driven back up to Blue Lake and the river above the hatchery.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 06Belted Kingfisher, on her perch in the morning sun – feeling much better!

Fishing line kills thousands of animals along our coast each year. Our annual clean-up days do a lot to raise awareness and improve the environment, but much more is needed. Every time we go into the woods, to the beach, down the river, to the grocery store, we need to see what stupid thing has been lost or littered and pick it up. What if this beautiful and fit kingfisher had gotten tangled 3 weeks from now, and she hadn’t been seen. It could easily have gone that way, and somewhere it will. She would have died and somewhere nearby, her babies would have cried for her return that would never come. Earth Day is a fine thing, but really, Mother Earth needs us every day. Just as we need her.

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Your support makes our rescue and rehabilitation efforts possible. Please donate what you can. Every contribution helps us provide skilled and equipped care for native wildlife. Thank YOU!

Scroll down for more pictures and video of release.

BEKI 22 April 14 - 08Capture for release evaluation – not as easy as it looks…

BEKI 22 April 14 - 09The long path home, into the wild!

BEKI 22 April 14 - 10Arriving at the river’s bank…

BEKI 22 April 14 - 13A rare moment…

BEKI 22 April 14 - 18Happy wildlife caregivers celebrate Earth day every day!

BEKI 22 April 14 - 14Photos of birds flying away are the best!

BEKI 22 April 14 - 16Belted Kingfisher’s plea, “Don’t leave your killing debris in our river!”

Print
All photographs Laura Corsiglia/BAX.

 

Spring, Renewal and being an Ally to Birds

The suddenly boisterous and highly visible activity of birds is one of the joys of Spring. Swallows, thrushes, egrets, mallards, geese and more are returned from the South, often coming several thousand miles to nest here in Humboldt County. Adults spend almost everything to make the journey, preparing for the oldest song and dance; – the hummingbird’s dazzling aerobatics, the grebe’s water ballet, the Red-winged blackbird at the top of the tree trilling for company – all around us these birds begin the season’s work of bringing their babies into the world. Renewal and rebirth – the spark of life is passed on.

IMG_20130524_173835A nest of House finches brought to our clinic, Spring 2013 (photo: mmerrick/BAX)

Right in our own backyards nest sites are selected. Close to shopping! Close to schools! Babies must be fed, after all, and adolescent birds get only a short apprenticeship before they must shift for themselves.

Once the eggs are laid parent birds are tied down, busy and focused. Once the chicks are hatched, frequent trips from sun up to sun down keeping babies fed is the routine life of mama and papa. It takes a lot of mosquitoes to make one swallow and many swallows raise two nestfuls each year.

Fledgling birds think they’re big enough and jump from nests before they can fly! Parents stay near feeding them on the ground or in branches and call sharply when danger is near. It can take as long as a week before these youngsters really have their wings.

Birders and casual enjoyers of birds are drawn to their beauty, feathers and song. Unlike wild mammals, many species of birds live their lives in the open, for all to see. We may never see a Long-tailed weasel in our lives, but here are House finches feeding their young just beyond the window.

As lovers of wildlife we cherish the close view birds allow, but this nearness brings such risk. If we get too close we can scare a parent bird away from a nest leaving a young featherless baby to go hungry, go thirsty – even die! Our houses are built where birds have lived for millions of years and our cars race through what used to be pasture of bounty, grass seeds and insects and all manner of good things. House cats roaming the lawn thrilled to pretend they are on the savannah, stalking game through the tall blades. But their kills are all too real, and a parent is left to feed a nest of five alone – it can’t be done and some will starve.

It feels good to be outside working in the long evenings, cleaning up the yard, planting bulbs; – yet we might trim a few branches and a nest full of hope crashes to the ground.

As Mother Earth rolls the Northern Hemisphere back into Spring, it’s important and good to get outside and rejoice in our shared and beautiful life. Being in nature is the only way to know and love her. Seeing our wild neighbors renews our own lives. As Henry Thoreau famously noticed, ‘in wildness is the preservation of the world.’ Any grandparent or songbird will tell you, do not harm what preserves us. Enjoy being close but allow who we see the privacy and the space to simply be. Be mindful of wild lives.

DSC_0429mallBaby Mallards in the aviary they were raised in after losing their mother. 2013 (photo: Laura Corsiglia/BAX)

Things you can do:

  • Keep cats indoors, or make an enclosed space outdoors.
  • Don’t trim branches during baby season. Plants prefer to be trimmed in fall anyway.
  • Give nests a wide berth. Enjoy with binoculars!
  • Feathered young birds hopping around the ground are probably learning to fly. Help them by keeping kids, cats and dogs away.

If you’ve found an animal you think needs help, or you have a problem with a wild family in your home or yard:

call baxHumboldt Wildlife Care Center – 822-8839
Spring and Summer
9am – 5pm everyday

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A simple briefing from today, about an “amoeba” of oil moving west – from Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft

From: Deepwater Horizon Response External Affairs
[mailto:donotreply@deepwaterhorizonresponse.com]
Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 5:55 PM
Subject: Press Breifing by Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft on Current Weather, its
Effect on Oil Spill Response

DATE: July 02, 2010 16:47:50 CST

Press Breifing by Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft on Current Weather, its Effect on
Oil Spill Response

NEW ORLEANS — Rear Admiral Paul Zukunft briefed the media today on the
current weather and its effect on the oil spill response.

A downloadable audio recording of the briefing is available here
; a transcript
follows.

Moderator: Jim McPherson
July 2, 2010
12:00 p.m. CT

Operator: Good afternoon.  My name is (Wendy), and I will be your conference
operator today.  At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the
update on weather effects and current response activities conference call.

All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise.  After
the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.  If you
would like to ask a question during this time, simply press star, then the
number one on your telephone keypad.  If you would like to withdraw your
question, press the pound key.

Thank you. Captain Jim McPherson, you may begin your conference.

Jim McPherson:  Good afternoon.  I’m Captain Jim McPherson with the unified
command.  In the interest of providing you the latest information on the oil
spill assessment, we’re calling this is a spot report, and we have Admiral
Zukunft here today from New Orleans.  The purpose is to give you an
assessment of what we believe is going on with the trajectories, our current
plans and our future plans.

Admiral Zukunft will be leaving in approximately 20 minutes for an oversight
to verify the written reports that he has, so we’ll do a – he’ll do a brief
statement, then we’ll do some Qs and As.  If you have any other questions
after that, the JIC, 985-902-5231, we’d like you to call on that if you have
any others.

We have invited the governor, Governor Jindal, and his staff to join the
admiral on a helicopter flight this afternoon, and we’re waiting back to
hear on their availability.  He will be leaving on an overflight immediately
after this.

Admiral?

Paul Zukunft: OK, good afternoon, everybody.  For those of you that have
been following this for some time, you’ve probably also been following the
weather.  And as Alex has now moved inland, we’re still seeing some of the
residual effects of that tropical storm, which has prevented us for the past
48 hours from doing any skimming or in-situ burning both near shore and
offshore due to weather conditions.

As a result of the waves that have washed ashore, it has displaced some of
the boom, and we’ve also had weather conditions that have made it unsafe to
fly.  In fact, over 50 percent of our overflights had to be canceled due to
safety reasons.

And of note is we’ve had two lightning strikes, one that hit 10 people,
another lightning strike that hit the rig, so we clearly take these weather
threats to heart when we push the safety envelope in conducting operations.

I’ve been watching the activity as this weather starts to subside.  And in
the Gulf of Mexico, if you’ve seen the footprint of this oil sheen that runs
as far east as Panama City and as far west as Fourchon, Louisiana.

The more concentrated oil is closer to the well site itself, but we now have
a northeast wind direction, and it’s going to gradually shift to the east
over the weekend.  And so that amoeba, if you will, that footprint is going
to slowly march to the east – I’m sorry, to the west.  And what that means
is that some of that oil is going to wash along Mississippi Sound.  And
where it first meets a permanent barrier, if you will, a wall, that’s the
delta, the Mississippi River Delta and then Chandeleur Sound.

I’m concerned, because as I look at the environmental sensitive areas across
the region, besides Barataria Bay, that Chandeleur Sound area is an equally
sensitive one, as well, and there will be oil impacting that area, in the
past probably 24 hours and perhaps in the next 24 hours to come.

So I have worked with our incident commander in Houma to make sure that we
are launching every resource available, because this is going to be a very
long and arduous clean-up operation in the days to come.

I’m especially concerned with some of the wildlife habitats there,
especially an island called Brush Island, which is a wild bird fowl rookery,
and there could be oil impacting that area, as well.  So it’s going to be a
long weekend from an oil spill response perspective.

And we expect that there’s going to continue to be intermittent periods of
rain and thunderstorms due to a trough system across the Gulf of Mexico, not
related to Tropical Storm Alex, but, again, when Admiral Allen first – when
we first started this, he quoted a phrase that Mother Nature has a vote in
this, as well.  And, unfortunately, Mother Nature has voted against us as
we’re staging up this response that has kept people in boats.

And the people doing this work, these are the people that make their
livelihoods in this area.  And, you know, we’re – our hearts are with them,
as well, and trying to get everything possible to move on this effort.

I will say that offshore the seas are now down to seven feet, and that’s out
at the well site, so those heavy oil skimmers, they had to move off the
site, as well.  They’re moving out there as I speak today to resume the
skimming operations out there.  And some of you may have followed the
supertanker, the A Whale, and that will be moving out, and then it has to
take on ballast, so that ship could sink to a point where those intake ports
are at the same level of the water and oil.

And they’ve been assigned a five-by-five-mile square area just to the north
of the well site, and they’ll be working that tomorrow.  We have Coast Guard
research and development and strike team personnel on there to assess the
effectiveness of the A Whale and the skimming, as well.

So we’re using every and all available assets, but just, you know, to
clarify, the A Whale is right now an assessment that we’re doing, but
certainly it brings a piece of technology that has never been used in U.S.
oil spill response.

I’ll leave that as a – you know, where we stand right now.  But, again, the
reason I wanted to make this call is to see firsthand what the potential
impacts are, especially to Lake Borgne.  And as some of you from the local
area know, as you – as water enters Lake Borgne, it then goes through an
estuary system, through the Rigolets, and then into Lake Pontchartrain.  And
for me, that is where I’m losing the most sleep right now, is if oil were to
enter into that system and ultimately into Lake Pontchartrain.

I’m not here to say that it’s there, but I’m going to look, and if I see
even sheen, I’m going to push to make sure that we’re moving every and all
available resources to respond to this particular area.

Now, as you know, we’ve got oil that’s covering coastlines.  We’ve got 450
miles of oil-impacted shoreline and ongoing activity in those locations, as
well.  But doing this in triage fashion right now, this is my most critical
patient right now, is the Chandeleur Sound area.

So I’ve made the invite to the governor or his staff to join me on this
flight so he can see firsthand and share with me what his concerns are, what
our response strategy is, so we can clearly be united, and it must be a
united response to handle what’s going to be a very long-term response.

With that, I’ll open it up to questions.

Operator: At this time, if you would like to ask a question, press star, one
on your telephone keypad.  Your first question comes from the line of
(Jessica Reznikalt).  (Jessica), your line is open.

Your next question comes from the line of (Allison Bennett).

(Allison Bennett):      Hi.  Thank you for taking my call.  What rig was hit
by lightning?  And was any damaged caused?  And where was the one strike of
lightning that hit 10 people?

Paul Zukunft: OK.  The Discoverer Enterprise – and that’s the collection
vessel that has the top hat – that was struck by lightning.  It did cause a
small fire that was extinguished.  It did cause the operation to shut down
for approximately 8 to 10 hours.  And they do have precautions in place, so
any time they see thunderstorms within five miles of the rig, they do have
to shut down that top hat collection, which means during those shutdown
periods, you know, oil continues to release.

The other strike occurred down in Venice, and it was eight guardsmen that
were struck my lightning.  This was over a month ago.  None of them were
seriously injured, but, again, this time of year, with the convection
currents – and that’s what caused a lot of our aircraft to be grounded
yesterday, as well, due to the activity out in the water.

(Allison Bennett): OK.  Thank you, guys.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of (Kate Spinner).

(Kate Spinner): Hi.  Thanks for taking my question.  I’m curious about how
much oil you were not able to collect because of the bad weather.  How much
were you able to collect before the bad weather set in and – I don’t know if
I’m asking the question right, but…

Paul Zukunft: No, no.  That’s a very good question.  And on – on most days,
the seas have to be about three feet or less in order for us to be able to
effectively skim.  And on an average day, we’re skimming about 12,000
barrels of oil per day.

And you need those same weather conditions to – to herd oil and then corral
it, if you can imagine corralling oil, and then setting fire to it.  This is
all done, you know, far offshore, and we have eight, and we’ll soon have 12
operations configured to do what’s called in-situ burning.  And we’ve had
days where we’ve been able to remove another 8,000 barrels of oil through
in-situ burns.

So the – the 12,000 or so barrels of oil that are – that are skimmed, that’s
oil and water, so it’s not pure oil that’s being removed, whereas the oil
that’s burned, that is pure oil that’s being removed.  So that’s – that
20,000 roughly total is what we’re not being able to take out of the Gulf of
Mexico due to the prevailing weather.

(Kate Spinner): Thanks.

Operator: Your next question comes from the line of (Susan Dager).

(Susan Dager): Hi, Admiral, this is (Susan Dager).  I have three
clarifications.  When you were talking about the Discoverer Enterprise being
hit by lightning, was that a previous event or was that something that had
just happened during Alex?

Paul Zukunft: No, (Susan), that happened probably about three weeks ago.

(Susan Dager): OK, I remember that.  OK, the other thing is, when you’re
seeing – talking about 20,000 barrels of oil not being skimmed or burned
off, is that a day?

Paul Zukunft: That is a day.  And these are…

(Susan Dager): A day.  And so how many days would we be talking about?

Paul Zukunft: Oh, for the – for the last two days…

(Susan Dager): Last two days.

Paul Zukunft: And, actually, today we’re just starting to get those – you
know, the seas are still at about seven feet, so we’re looking at, you know,
between a 72- to 96-hour period where we’re not able to do skimming.

(Susan Dager): OK.

Paul Zukunft: And when you have sea states like that, as those waves come
ashore, you know, that boom is anchored, but it does cause the boom to
become displaced, as well.  So the weather hits us on several fronts, one,
in our ability – inability to recover and, two, it does break down that boom
and make it more permeable.

(Susan Dager): And then I guess the thing is, I’m not from New Orleans, but
I am familiar with Lake Pontchartrain. Why would it be so bad if oil reached
Lake Pontchartrain?

Paul Zukunft: Well, that’s just part of an inland ecosystem.

(Susan Dager): OK.

Paul Zukunft: And so we’re really trying to mitigate anything getting into
these – you know, these ecosystems that have not experienced any – any oil
impact, nor do we want them to.

(Susan Dager): And you think that the storm – there’s a chance that the
storm could have pushed it there, and you’re going to go check on that right
now to see if that happened?

Paul Zukunft: Well, we’ll certainly check.  Right now, there’s no
indication.  And we’re – you know, we do have a lot of technology at our –
at our disposal.  And even though we can’t fly airplanes, we have rather
sophisticated satellite technology, as well.

(Susan Dager): OK.

Paul Zukunft: But there’s – you know, when you have really light sheen, the
satellite can’t get a – can’t detect that.

(Susan Dager): OK.

Paul Zukunft:  And the only way to really ascertain whether there’s oil or
not is to fly over it.

Jim McPherson:  All right.  We have time for one last question, please.

Operator:  Your next question comes from the line of (Aaron Cooper).

(Aaron Cooper):  Hi, thank you for taking the call.  There’s been some
reporting about FEMA trailers being used to house workers in certain areas
about the trailers that had some toxic concerns in the past.  Can you tell
me if you are aware of any trailers that have – were used in the Katrina
response as FEMA trailers that are being used anywhere in this response for
anything?  And if not, can you give me any kind of guidance on how you
determine what is a safe trailer to use?

Paul Zukunft: I will say that there was no intentional – and we don’t know
of any FEMA trailers that have been hired by BP to shelter people.  And we
were re-running those numbers to make absolutely certain.  But right now,
there’s no indication that what had been FEMA trailers that may have been
purchased by an outside contractor were then inadvertently made available to
house people.

And we do know that, at this point, we don’t have people residing in FEMA
trailers, but certainly it was a concern, as that rumor surfaced, that we
ran that to ground immediately.

(Aaron Cooper): Are the – you say they’re not being used to house people.
Are they being used for anything else?

Paul Zukunft: Right now, I don’t know of any FEMA trailers that are being
used for storage or anything else.  You know, that’s not a resource, and
it’s probably one that perhaps maybe FEMA can answer to that, as well.  But
right now, no intentional effort to make those resources available.

(Aaron Cooper): Thank you.

Jim McPherson: OK.  Thank you for everyone’s questions.  I would just like
to make a couple of comments here.  First of all, we’d like to ask the
public to report any oil sightings to the phone number 866-448-5816, and for
questions from the media, to please call the Joint Information Center at
713-323-1670.

Male: That’s in New Orleans.

Jim McPherson: And that’s in New Orleans.  Thank you very much for your
time.

Operator: This concludes today’s conference call.  You may now disconnect.

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Joint Information Center
Unified Command for the BP Oil Spill | Deepwater Horizon Response

Why do we rehabilitate oiled wildlife?

Why do we rehabilitate oiled wildlife?

A very easy question, actually. For the same reason that we rehabilitate any orphaned or injured wild animals.

And what is that reason?  If you find someone in jeopardy you try to help.

If your best effort doesn’t help you try to discover why. You change your approach. You learn your lessons. You improve your result.

It is very simple really. What more needs to be said?

The cost of treating injured wild animals doesn’t come from some general fund set aside for issues related to wildlife, pre-established and limited.

No. It comes from the fund that is generated by those who agree that such treatment be available, and those people are few, and funds are scarce.

If it were not for all of those animals that will never be found, the thousands and thousands of dead, it would seem to be a rare moment of justice in a nation as built on wholesale destruction as is the United States, that the party who injures is the party who pays, as the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 demands.

 Now,  should the party who injures be in any way construed to be the party who cares? Absolutely not.

Dear BP, the only thing you have to give is money. Otherwise, butt out, shut up, and wait for your trial.