A visit to LAOBCEC

I have just returned from a wonderful week with the staff and volunteers of International Bird Rescue and Research Center (IBRRC) in their Southern California facility.  I arrived last Tuesday morning and was immediately thrown into work with about 20 oiled birds, including Western Grebes, Common Murres, and Pacific and Common Loons.   These are part of a group of oiled birds that have stranded over the past few weeks in Southern California, especially in the Santa Barbara and LA County areas.  The Department of Fish and Game’s Petroleum Chemistry Lab is in the process of testing oil samples from these birds, and their initial analyses indicate that the oil is  consistent with seep from the Monterey Foundation crude oil that occurs naturally in California.  I was fortunate to be able to seize this opportunity to travel to IBRRC’s San Pedro facility for the first time and learn from their awesome group of staff and volunteers.  I want to thank IBRRC staff and volunteers, from both the Northern and Southern California facilities, for the learning opportunities that they have offered to me over the past few months since I began working for OWCN. Here’s hoping that we don’t have too many more individual oiled birds this winter!  Emily

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