1st rescued birds released in Huntington Beach after O.C. oil spill as search continues for more oiled wildlife


The primary two of dozens of rescued birds had been launched again into the wild in Huntington Seashore Wednesday after recovering from a serious oil spill that killed and threatened wildlife alongside the Orange County coast.

One taking off in flight, the opposite gracefully gliding onto the water, a Ruddy duck and an Eared Grebe had been again residence after getting some assist from native wildlife rehabilitation consultants.

It took an intensive washing and days of conditioning in an out of doors pool to get the duck in form for the discharge. Earlier than-and-after pictures confirmed the fowl that was as soon as painted black with oil apparently smiling after its cleansing.

“These are two of the primary animals that got here in early within the spill — closely coated, very affected — so getting them again right into a clear surroundings is totally superb,” mentioned Dr. Michael Ziccardi, director of the Oiled Wildlife Care Community.

However the work isn’t over for rescuers. 

The Oiled Wildlife Care Community, which is the principle group working to assist oil-covered birds, has recovered a complete of 73 birds — 28 of them alive.

When tens of 1000’s of gallons of crude oil went gushing into the Pacific Ocean, groups fanned out to search for oil-covered animals in want of assist north of Bolsa Chica and right down to Laguna Seashore.

Practically two weeks later, the search nonetheless continues.

Ziccardi informed KTLA that simply releasing two birds is a vital milestone.

“We actually really feel that each fowl is vital,” he mentioned. “These animals had been oiled resulting from an accident of our inflicting. Actually, it’s a human-related damage to them, and we actually really feel that it’s actually our accountability to attempt to restore that injury if in any respect potential.”

The oil made its means into Talbert Marsh, an ecological reserve residence to about 90 species of birds, in keeping with the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy.

Among the many shoreline birds recovered thus far, rescuers have discovered seven Snowy Plovers, in keeping with the Oiled Wildlife Care Community.

The Snowy Plover, a small grey-feathered fowl, is listed as threatened and is a extremely delicate species, in keeping with Ziccardi.

The small birds nonetheless aren’t prepared for launch, however have been washed and are present process a conditioning course of that can assist them work on waterproofing their feathers.

When birds are discovered, they’re taken again to a rehabilitation facility in Huntington Seashore, the place they get heat, meals and relaxation earlier than being transported to the Los Angeles Oiled Hen Care and Schooling Heart for laundry and therapy, in keeping with UC Davis, which manages the Oiled Wildlife Care Community.

The following step is launch again into the wild, when the birds are prepared.

Officers have confused that crucial means to assist is to keep away from touching any oil-covered animals and as a substitute report any sightings to the Oiled Wildlife Care Community at 1-877-823-6926. | 1st rescued birds launched in Huntington Seashore after O.C. oil spill as search continues for extra oiled wildlife


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