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May 20, 2003

Heading for a duckling record

Overflowing with orphan ducklings, center asks for public's help

Editors note:

Photo op, Invite to Cover: release of mother duck, hit by car and her eight ducklings tomorrow May 21, 2003

A t the International Bird Rescue Research Center in Cordelia, everywhere you look you see ducklings; inside, outside, in incubators, in pools, splashing, eating and chasing any bug that dares enter their world, are little, fuzzy, webbed babies. IBRRC is making a plea for drivers to be more aware that a duck by the side of the road, may be trying to cross with a dozen or so of her babies. IBRRC would also like help, in the form of new volunteers, to care for them all.

One of major reasons baby ducks become orphans is due loss of safe habitat as mallards and humans increasingly compete for waterfront real estate. Rapid development has occurred in Solano and the surrounding counties and this is a major factor that puts ducks and humans at odds, and the ducks in danger. Ducks typically nest in the same place each year and many times the place that used to be wild is now a subdivision, with deadly roads and swimming pools that become death traps for little ducklings.

Many of the mallard ducklings, goslings and orphan wood ducks are transfers from centers in counties as far away as Monterey. "They came in fast and furious," said the center‚s rehabilitation manager, Michelle Bellizi, "hundreds of them, around 500 so far, one hundred short of the total number we raised last year, and it's only May! We could use more volunteers this summer, just for duckling care."

Ducklings, goslings, baby egrets, herons, killdeer, and other assorted orphaned waterfowl find caring hands and hearts at the wildlife rescue center, one of the largest in all of northern California, and one of two in the state that is totally devoted to waterfowl and aquatic birds. The center has a vet, staff, and interns, some of whom come from around the world to train at this state-of-the-art center, however, the center can't run without volunteers.

"Raising and releasing orphan birds is one of the most rewarding things we do," says Volunteer Coordinator, January Bill. "Because our facility is specialized for waterfowl, we are taking injured and orphaned birds from ten counties, but the majority of our volunteers come from only four. Anyone who loves birds, and can spare a few hours a week, should attend our orientation this Saturday, May 24 from 9 AM–11 AM. No experience is necessary, but you must be at least 18 years old." Interested people should call the center at (707) 207-0380.

IBRRC is located at 4369 Cordelia Road, a quarter mile east of the Cordelia Fire Station, just off the 80. More information about the volunteer program, directions to the center and volunteer applications can be found online. IBRRC is a member of California's Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN).

Media contact:

Karen Benzel
Office: (831) 622-7588

E-mail: karen@ibrrc.org


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