Things at the SFBOWCEC have settled to a dull roar today, with the team working hard but like a well-oiled (ooh, I know – pardon the pun) machine.
The oiled birds that were captured yesterday by our crack Recovery & Transportation teams and transported/assessed last night were actually washed this afternoon. Typically we stabilize these birds for 1-2 days prior to wash, but as this oil has been causing significant irritation to the skin, we elected to move them up in the process. We have been washing their feet on intake and have done some “quick washes” to get some of the oil off, but we are now finding birds with much thicker, less fresh product on them – oil that is much more difficult to remove in the wash.
Birds that were washed on previous days are being moved in and out of the facility today, giving them some time in pools and aviaries but drying them back off indoors should they become wet or cold. We continue to closely monitor their skin condition as well, and are giving them pain medications as needed should it appear to be causing them discomfort. Hopefully, the skin burns that we are seeing will not turn out to be severe, as that will cause a more lengthy rehabilitation time as the skin heals. As wildlife workers typically say, there is a discrete “window of opportunity” where you have time enough to care for wildlife before captivity-related problems start to occur. Keep your fingers crossed that our window is still wide open!
Personally, I want to thank all of the staff and volunteers that have put all of their time and effort towards this event so far. It continues to amaze and gratify me to know what wonderful partners we have as Member organizations. As Kaiti would say, you guys rock!