WildCare to release red-tailed hawks rehabilitated from oil spill

 In Community, Environment

Releasing Common Murres near San Francisco
Releasing Common Murres near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. (Photo: IBRRC)

Most of the wildlife victims of the deadly November 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill on San Francisco Bay have been waterbirds, but the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory also found two oiled red-tailed hawks. WildCare in San Rafael took in the birds that had landed on the beach to capture oil-covered waterfowl on the sand. Both birds survived the toxic effects of the oil and are now being released. WildCare is inviting the public to to watch them fly free at noon on December 12 in the Marin Headlands. For directions and details, RSVP on their Web site.

To date, WildCare has received over 580 birds oiled as a result of the Cosco Busan disaster on November 7, 2007. Oiled animals continue to arrive nearly every day. The San Rafael facility has taken in more than 20% of the oiled wildlife found after the spill. As of December 10, 2007, the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBBRC) in Cordelia reports 1,076 birds have arrived live, 632 have died or were euthanized, 389 have been cleaned and released, and 389 have been found dead.

Now, at a time when more birds are being found dead than alive, the successful rescue and release of surviving birds and widespread concern for wildlife survival can give Bay Area residents something to feel good about. For a video of a releasee at Tomales Bay, go to the IBBRC Web site.

In addition to WildCare and the IBBRC, Bay Nature magazine also lists informational resources, organizations, and volunteer opportunities related to the disaster.

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