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October 24, 2003

Fulmar fatalities

Fifty seabirds found beached along Southern California coast

San Pedro, CA

Nearly fifty dead and dying Northern Fulmars, ocean going seabirds seldom seen from shore, have been found along beaches from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles this past week. A dozen have managed to survive with intensive care at International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in San Pedro. Necropsies done on five of the dead birds revealed that they were juveniles that had starved to death.

Lifeguards began finding the birds on the beaches October 15th. Fulmars are pelagic seabirds, similar in size to seagulls that belong to the order Procellariiformes, which includes albatross. They breed in colonies, on remote islands as far north as the Canadian Arctic and migrate to the Pacific Ocean as far south as Baja California to feed on fish, squid, and shrimp.

The center asks that anyone who finds a dying bird bring it in a warm, dark
container to the local SPCA or animal rescue center. Please call the San Pedro center at 310-514-2573 for more instructions.

IBRRC is located at the Los Angeles Oiled Bird Care and Education Center in Fort Mac Arthur, 3601 South Gaffey, San Pedro. Phone 310-514-2573 or 2574.

IBRRC manages two wildlife rehabilitation centers in California as part of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and has specialized in the rehabilitation of waterfowl and aquatic birds since 1971. Volunteers are always needed.

Media contact:

Karen Benzel
Office: (831) 622-7588

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Related info graphic

Abstract on Fulmars

IBRRC piece on these open ocean birds

Photos of rescue

Stranded birds on Monterey, CA beaches

Birds in focus

More information on Northern Fulmars


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