The “Un-Oiling” Machine

If Kyra has a well-oiled machine out in the field, here at the facility we have an un-oiling machine. With amazing staff and volunteers from numerous OWCN member organizations, we’ve washed nearly 50 birds, and for the past two nights I’ve gone to sleep knowing that none of the birds at the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center were coated in oil.

Just like Kyra, I’m in awe of the skill and dedication of the people with whom I’ve worked these two weeks . . . . not to mention their general congeniality, friendliness, and sense of humor. Despite long hours and sometimes heart-breaking situations, they’ve kept me going and inspired me with their compassion. I can honestly say I’ve not heard a word of complaint (well, except about the oil!), but I have heard plenty of laughter (and sometimes downright silliness).

Although things are slowing down, we’re not done yet, as we still have plenty of work to do getting these nice clean birds ready for release. And the birds have work to do, too; they need to do their part, preening, eating, and staying (or getting) healthy enough to go home. Fortunately the birds are as conscientious as the human responders! Every afternoon I spend a few minutes watching the pelicans, and the preening, resting, and swimming I see in the aviary brings me a sense of peace and satisfaction that’s hard to describe.

Thank you to the OWCN staff and volunteers from International Bird Rescue, Bird Ally X, SeaWorld, Monterey SPCA, Pacific Wildlife Care, and Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center. It is an absolute privilege to work alongside you.


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