Watch an Oiled Brown Pelican Be Washed (VIDEO)

If you’re as concerned about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s effects on wildlife as I am, you’ll be interested in this video. It shows how help is being given — to one bird at a time. 

The video comes from the U.S Fish & Wildlife, and shows Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC), explaining what happens when a bird is oiled. He then demonstrates how an oiled victim from the Gulf spill is washed at the Fort Jackson Rehabilitation Center in Louisiana. 


photo credit: thanks to IBRRC via flickr


nora l.
nora l7 years ago

I agree these are living creatures but sometimes we call them 'it' because they are extremely difficult to sex. These people are working hard to care for these animals, let's give them a break and support them.

Dia Bryan
Dia Bryan7 years ago

bless these people. i hope they save lots of these little guys(& girls!)
also, i agree with Patricia W.'s comment!

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

Carri K.
c w7 years ago

Poor sweetheart.
Im so glad that so many people actually want to help save the birds! After some of the awful stories we see on here (and the fact that BP dont care) it gives me so much hope to see this.

Patricia W.
Patricia W7 years ago

I love that the guy in the video addressed the pelican as 'her' or 'she'. So many people use 'it' even when they know the gender of an animal. Why 'it'? They're not objects, they're living creatures!

Debbie Z.
Debra Z7 years ago

What's done to treat the birds and other wildlife who develop internal damage from ingesting the oil? Anyway, I have a great deal of respect for the biologists who care for the animals. I wish I could help.

Debbie Z.
Debra Z7 years ago

It's too bad the CEO, COO, & all the other bigwigs at BP can't wash the birds. Maybe then they'd develop compassion for wildlife & more respect for nature.

Sarah C.
Sarah C7 years ago

I live outside of New Orleans and volunteered to help (as I'm sure did many others) but was told that only people who had handled wildlife before were being used. Although I really wanted to help wth the wildlife I would have helped clean the beach as well. I know so many people living here wanted to help but I think it wise that we were told they are using only experienced people. Well intentioned though we are we would have been in the way It's good to know some decisions ( and this locally) are being well thought out and implemented though it hurts to see the innocent wildlife suffer and is frustrating to do nothing.Charles S. has the best idea for all of us- prayer- pray for the knowledge on how to cap the well and to save the wildlife and our coast. With 30% of the nations seafood coming from these waters and shores it should be important to the whole country. Please pray.

Barb F.
Barb F7 years ago

my feelings are expressed so well by Charmaine C.

Julie D.
Julie D7 years ago

As some of you have already worked out, there IS more to cleaning and rehabilitating oiled seabirds than is made clear in the video.
The bird cannot be released at once, because of the continuing oil disaster and because its feathers take time for natural oil, from the bird's preen gland, to make them warm and waterproof again.
All you horse owners out there who bath their horses before shows and after hard work in hot weather, remember how it takes the natural oils out of their coats so you then have to rug them up in bad weather? People who show poultry bath their birds before shows, but then you have to take care about them getting wet and chilling after the show if they live outdoors. And these are pampered pet animals!
Back in the 1970's a friend of mine worked at the Mousehole Bird Hospital, nr Penzance in Cornwall U.K. The hospital was founded after the Torrey Canyon oil disaster in 1967. They made a lot of mistakes at first learning how to deal with oiled birds but things have improved since then. However, something tells me "the powers that be" would prefer us all to think that every oiled sea creature will be lovingly cleaned and released at once back to it's natural environment. If only it were so simple.