Dedicate this Earth Day to the birds!

by Carolyn Kraft on 04/22/2014

Photo credit: International Bird Rescue

It’s Earth Day and I was prepared to do a celebratory post hailing all the wonderful gifts our planet Earth bestows upon us everyday. That is until I saw this eye-popping, jaw-dropping photo on Facebook accompanied by a plea from International Bird Rescue offering a $2,500 reward for information on who slashed this poor California brown pelican (see above).

Who on earth would commit such a heinous act against a pelican? They can’t even bite much less protect themselves. Here are all the grim facts from International Bird Rescue’s press release:

“A California Brown Pelican whose entire pouch was cut with a sharp object like a knife is in stable condition at International Bird Rescue’s bird hospital in San Pedro. The bird was found at 5400 Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach on April 16th by Animal Control. A reward of $2,500 is being offered for for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the mutilation of this bird.”

Since the press release was issued, the award has increased to $5,000. If you know something, say something! Please contact International Bird Rescue with any information you have about this bird.

The California brown pelican is my favorite bird to see at the beach, watching them soar overhead makes my heart sing. Now I will be keeping an even closer eye on pelicans to make sure they don’t become victims on my watch.

To save this pelican, International Bird Rescue staff have temporarily stapled the pouch together so this brave bird can eat and gain strength before heading into surgery. During surgery (or surgeries if necessary), hundreds of stitches will be used to repair the pouch, which is lacerated on both sides. If you would like to support International Bird Rescue and their healing efforts, visit their website to make a donation.

Celebrate this Earth Day by supporting the birds!

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Be an intern for the birds

by Carolyn Kraft on 03/22/2014

International Bird Rescue (IBR) is looking for a few good interns! This is a great opportunity for students interested in biology, wildlife preservation, environmental conservation and of course…birds.

Being a bird isn’t so easy these days. Despite possessing the gift of flight, birds still have to spend many hours on land resting, foraging, nesting, preening and other essential life activities. In the process, they end up crossing paths with humans (directly or indirectly) and often times have trouble waddling, swimming or flying away.

IBR  specializes in caring for sick, injured, abused and orphaned aquatic birds by helping them get back on their feet and wings again to lead productive lives in the wild. Common human-caused problems that keep IBR’s rescue centers busy include habitat destruction, plastic pollution, fishing hooks and fishing line.

Thanks to a grant from the Harbor Community Benefit Foundation, the new Academic Internship Program is designed specifically for young people ages 18 and over from the harbor communities of San Pedro and Wilmington, where the impact of human activity on wildlife is especially apparent. The internship includes a stipend, plus the feel-good opportunity to help our feathered friends.

Interns will have the chance to learn how to care for injured birds at IBR’s Los Angeles center in San Pedro. Two courses of study and training will be offered: One focused on wildlife care and rehabilitation methods; and another on data analysis and clinical research.

IBR’s Los Angeles Center is a busy, bustling place. As of March 18, 2014, the center had 32 birds in various stages of help and healing including seven western gulls, six western grebes, five California gulls, three eared grebes, two common murres and one red-throated loon. (I couldn’t stop myself from singing that list to 12 Days of Christmas.)

If you or anyone you know living in San Pedro or Wilmington is interested in becoming an IBR intern, find out more details on the Harbor Community Academic Internship page of their website.

Be an intern, be a bird caretaker, be a good person.


Hawaii humpback heaven

February 25, 2014

I was in Hawaii humpback heaven and it was amazing! One of the best places to access humpback whale heaven is off the island of Maui from the city of Lahaina. This is where you can find tons of whale watching boats to take you out to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary [...]

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Look at the size of that gray whale penis!

February 1, 2014

On Sunday, January 26, 2014, a lucky group of whale watchers got to witness gray whales mating just off the backside of Catalina Island. This exciting encounter included a great flash of a gray whale’s penis. Suddenly a male’s privates were not so private if you know what I mean. It’s not super common to [...]

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Final California king tides event for 2013-2014 season

January 27, 2014

It’s that time of year again for king tides! January 29th – 31st are the last days for California king tides during the 2013-2014 season. The California King Tides Initiative is asking members of the public to take photos of the highest tides of the year to help document and visualize the potential impacts of [...]

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Walking along the tidepools

January 22, 2014

You never know what you might see walking along the tidepools. On a recent excursion I got lucky and spotted a California brown sea hare (Aplysia californica) in a little pool of water tucked amongst the rocks. My first sighting of one in the wild! I watched it eat for several minutes. It was easy [...]

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