Cygnet 87, cleaned of oil, is recuperating
in IBRRC's Alaska center.
hen "Cygnet 87" arrived
at International Bird Rescue Research
Center (IBRRC) in Anchorage, September
27, the young swan was covered with
thick crude oil, and would have
died if not for the lifesaving efforts
of wildlife rehabilitation professionals.
The unfortunate cygnet fell into
the same reserve oil pit that almost
took the life of another young swan
exactly one year ago. That bird,
named "TR", missed migrating
with her family, and was flown to
Delaware in order to meet up with
the wild flocks.
BP personnel on the
North slope of Alaska found the
swan and rushed the bird to Barbara
Callahan, IBRRC regional representative
for Alaska, an oil spill veteran
trained in the rehabilitation of
not out of the woods yet, I feel
that she has an excellent chance
of survival, just like TR did, said
Barbara Callahan. “This is
due to the quick action of petroleum
industry people who captured her
and got her to us, and having a
facility specifically designed for
rehabilitating oiled wildlife.
IBRRC operates the Alaska
Wildlife Response center in
Anchorage, a large warehouse funded
by the petroleum industry, and designed
specifically to handle up to 500
oiled birds at a time.
is now clean and regaining the waterproofing
lost from being oiled. But, whether
her flock will begin their migration
before she is ready for release,
is another question. She may have
to make her first journey from Alaska
via commercial airline, as TR did.
On September 29, 2003,
“TR” flew from Anchorage
to Philadelphia International Airport.
She stayed at Tri-State Bird Rescue
and Research, Inc, in Delaware until
the migratory tundra swans arrived
at Eastern Neck National Wildlife
Refuge. Before she was released
at Eastern Neck on December 3, TR
was outfitted with a transmitter
collar that relays her location
coordinates to an Argos satellite,
enabling biologists to track her
during the past year.
either go back to the North Slope
to travel with its family south,
or travel to Delaware in an airplane
in the coming weeks. It all depends
on how quickly she recovers and
when her family decides to leave
on their long migration south.
see: Oiled cygnet may catch a flight
south: KTUU-TV story
to list of press releases
Barbara Callahan, International
Bird Rescue Research Center, Barbara@ibrrc.org