A Coast Guard HC-130 from Air Station Sacramento flew to Astoria, Oregon to pick up almost 300 rescued migratory birds and transport them back in Sacramento.
The birds, that are federally protected, were rescued by the Wildlife Center of the North Coast in Astoria, Oregon. A request for the transport came from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife after the center that was tending to the birds was overwhelmed by the number of animals it was receiving. The birds are being affected by a red tide phenomenon in the area that is impacting their ability to survive in the aquatic environment.
“The epidemic numbers of seabirds soiled by the ocean slime quickly overwhelmed the one wildlife rescue facility in the Oregon area,” said Jay Holcomb, Executive Director of the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) “International Bird Rescue has stepped in, as has PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) in Washington to help by taking on birds. Time is of the essence as these aquatic species, built for life on the water and requiring special housing and care to make it through the rehabilitation process. More birds are in need of rescuing. With word that the Coast Guard plane is arriving Monday, the wildlife center in Astoria is able to continue admitting new patients.”
The HC-130 left Sacramento and flew to Astoria with three seabird specialists from the International Bird Rescue Research Center. The HC-130 Hercules returned and the birds were transferred to a state-of-the-art oiled wildlife facility in San Francisco Bay to be washed and rehabilitated.