Today, only one bird was observed in the Ventura Harbor with possible oiling – a loon that was “riding low in the water”. This is a common sign of a bird with waterproofing problems, and is due to water seeping under the feathers causing a loss of buoyancy. However, this finding can also be seen due to a number of other issues not related to oiling, such as other contaminants and poor general health (which leads to decreased preening).
Due to the decreased numbers of birds seen and collected within the spill area, it was decided by all of the involved parties to discontinue active search and collection efforts this evening. However, if people in the area of the spill do see oiled wildlife, please continue to call the OWCN Oiled Wildlife Hotline at (877) UCD-OWCN (877-823-6926) so we can contact our local partners.
An update on those birds that were affected: The three live birds that were captured are doing very well at our San Pedro center. They were successfully washed yesterday, and today are being reintroduced into permanent pools at the 12,000 square foot purpose-built facility. Once they appear to regain “normal” behaviors and body condition, they will be caught up out of pools, fully examined and, if they are healthy, will be released with permanent bands on them. That will not be for several days at least though, as birds take time to regain waterproofing and body mass. So stay tuned!
-Mike Ziccardi, OWCN Director