Last week I visited some of the birds that came from Alameda beaches and were afflicted with the mystery goo. The feathers of these birds arrive with a rubber cement-like substance on them and must be individually cleaned. Without the assistance of volunteers these surf scoters, scaups, horned grebes and goldeneyes die of hypothermia.
I saw the cleaned birds in stabilizing pens as well as healthier recovered birds in large water tanks. Many birds have secondary afflictions to their feet that must also be treated before they can be released.
As Director of Alameda Support Foundation, I was pleased to give the International Bird Rescue folks a check to provide some financial support for the lengthy process of rehabilitating these birds. Animal welfare is an important part of our mission at ASF. It costs $6,000-$8,000 a day to treat the 323 birds at IBR.
I recommend that other non-profits and individuals in Alameda consider making donations to IBR. Donations can be sent to International Bird Rescue, San Francisco Bay Center, 4369 Cordelia Road, Fairfield, CA 94534.