NYC's top wildlife rehabber may be shut down by suburban politics

The town of Oyster Bay wants to shut down Bobby Horvath, the wildlife rehabilitator you call when you’ve got a coyote, owl, hawk, or pelican problem in NYC.

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Blue Whale Bonanza

Risso's Dolphin, Grampus griseus

Capt. Dave Beezer says that, despite stories the media hype, this year isn’t so special. They’re starting to see this many blue whales every year. “Santa Barabara is becoming the best place in the world to see blue whales,” he says.

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For Pelicans and Sea Lions in LA, Go to Marina Del Rey

Grooming Pelican, Marina Del Rey

Want to see sea lions in LA? Go to Marina Del Rey, just south of Venice Beach. By a fishing dock, you’ll see plenty of pelicans and a few sea lions trying to steal a meal.

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Groups Recruiting Volunteers to Clean up to 400 Wildlife Species at Risk From Oil Spill

A stunning 400 species of birds, marine mammals, turtles, land mammals and reptiles could be hurt by the Deepwater Horizons oil spill, which is now just 6-7 miles off Louisiana. The current strong winds may blow the muck to shore by Friday morning, the latest report says. obtained a list of 400 species put in harm’s way by the oil from the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Bob Marshall writes that this is a particularly horrible time for the oil spill–right when birds are migrating through or nesting. The soon-to-be oiled area is:

vital wintering or resting spot for more than 70 percent of the nation’s waterfowl, is used by all 110 neo-tropical migratory songbirds, and produces 50 percent of the nation’s wild shrimp crop, 35 percent of its blue claw crabs and 40 percent of its oysters. Ressearchers say 90 percent of all the marine species in the Gulf of Mexico depend on coastal estuaries at some point in their lives, and most of those estuaries are in Louisiana.

The New York Times has a great chart highlighting which species are most at risk, mostly migrating birds. The brown pelican was just removed from the endangered species list.

The Oiled Wildlife Care Network–a collection of wildlife responders across California–has sent its director down and is collecting info on volunteers.  They say it’s too late to train you to clean up animals but you could become a “convergent volunteer.” Specialized groups or state rehabber associations do

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Pelicans, Otters, Manatees Could be Hurt by Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

Deepwater Horizon oil spill seen from space over LAImagery courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory

Endangered sea turtles, herons, white and brown pelicans, dolphins, whales, manatees, tuna and assorted sea birds  could all be hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that is now 16 miles off the tip of Louisiana and alarming wildlife officials all the way to Florida.

The Coast Guard is burning the oil, hoping that will keep it from making landfall and destroying wetlands. I wonder if, ironically, the giant dead zone in the gulf may mean that the area the oil spill hits may be devoid of life anyway. The next step for wildlife rescuers would be to herd animals out of the area by hazing them.  The International Bird Rescue Research Center in Texas says they’ve been put on alert for the decapitated oil well, which is gushing about 1,000 barrels (42,000 US gallons) of crude daily and already can be seen from space, with a circumference of 600 miles.

If the spill stays offshore then the impact will likely be minimal to birds. Coastal birds that are highly at risk if the spill hits shore are brown and white pelicans, terns, gulls, shorebirds, skimmers and herons. Nesting and feeding areas for birds and sea turtles such as marshes and beaches could be impacted.

Loggerhead and Kemp’s Ridley turtles are in the area, Live Science says. Birds are vulnerable if they ingest the oil or get coated in it. The

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Pelicans Visit Chicagoland for Spring Break

Unison by jpmatth

White Pelicans are just about hitting their peak numbers in Chicagoland. Practically nobody saw these big white birds a decade ago. Now you can see them every spring. Now you can drive 50 minutes from downtown Chicago and found up to 250 of these huge, exotic white birds in a tiny lake in a bland exurb housing development. 

The Daily Herald highlighted Nelson Lake in the Dick Young Forest Preserve, where they’ve been appearing for eight years. Kane County Audubon now says now they’ve left Nelson Lake–which was originally created by a beaver dam–and moved to nearby Carson Slough. On April 3 birders saw 133 white pelicans in this small manmade lake in a housing development right off the Sugar Grove exit from I-88.

Prairie State Outdoors says the 30-pound birds have somehow changed their migration habit so that they are increasingly showing up in Illinois, especially near the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers. (Batavia is about 20 miles from the Illinois.) The white pelicans (also called Rough-billed Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)) travel between the Gulf of Mexico and Canada but they only stop in northeast Illinois in the spring and only in this one area.

Kane County Audubon’s Jon Duerr, who used to run the forest preserve, told WTTW says birds travel around 300 miles between breaks. They stop for a couple weeks to feed. They don’t dive like brown pelicans; they work together to herd fish. The  This year they arrived March 19

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LA Rain So Polluted Pelicans Have to Be Treated Like Oil Spill Victims

Brown pelicans, just removed from the Endangered Species List three months ago, are getting slammed by California’s polluted storms. These swimming birds can cope with rain far more gracefully than whiny Los Angelenos have been. But the water is so polluted that they have to be treated like oil spill victims. The International Bird Rescue Research Center had 80 pelicans by 7 p.m. Friday and expects they’ll be treating 100 hypothermic birds this weekend.

There’s a bit of callous reaction to the brown pelican‘s plight. One comment on the Washington Post site said it was just the “circle of life.” But they aren’t dying because of storms; they’re freezing because the contaminants break down their natural waterproofing and insulation.

“Brown pelicans tend to feed and congregate near harbors and river mouths where nutrients from the runoff attract fish and other creatures. Pelicans can easily become dirty from pollution in these areas and can lose their waterproofing. The current massive runoff from the storms has brought even more grease, car oil sheen, fish oils and other forms of surface pollution into the coastal areas where these birds feed,” says executive director Jay Holcomb in a letter to supporters.

“We wash them just as if there had been an oil spill. We use dish-washing liquid,” spokesman Paul Kelway told the AP. It takes about a week and $500 of treatment for the birds to recover from hypothermia. The center has responded to 150 oil spills around the world and treated

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