Delaware group ready to help oil soaked birds in Gulf of Mexico

    It’s the calm before the storm for workers with the Newark, Delaware based Tri-State Bird Rescue who are responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    It’s the calm before the storm for workers with the Newark, Delaware based Tri-State Bird Rescue who are responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

    The group is working with the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) in setting up facilities for birds that are affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Tri-State Bird Rescue’s director Heidi Stout says because the spill has not come ashore yet,  the rescue workers have had time to get treatment centers established in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.  She says, “Those centers are quite flexible in that we’ve picked large facilities that have warehouse space so we have a tremendous capability of expanding our operations if that be required.”

    IBRRC director Jay Holcomb says the spill is very unique.  “There’s this very, very large amount of oil sitting out there, and it keeps flowing from the ground, and yet it hasn’t made this great impact to birds yet.”  Holcomb says rescuers have never seen anything like this, and that makes their planning and preparation for what happens next very difficult to do.  Holcomb says as the oil starts coming ashore in the next weeks or months, fledgling birds could be affected by the oil, but it all depends on where the spill goes.  “We just watch it day by day.  We have this saying, ‘We prepare for the worst, hope for the best.’  That’s kind of where we’re living.  It’s kind of unusual for us.”

    Stout says BP is paying for the expenses of both bird rescue organizations.

    IBRRC has posted pictures of a handful of birds that have been treated so far on the photo sharing site Flickr.

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