Imagining the suffering of birds and mammals that encounter the spilled oil in Santa Barbara is heartbreaking. Just the other day, I was out birding when I stopped on the walkway to look for a bird in a tree. I was about to move on but found I was stuck. I looked down and saw that my sneaker was stuck to tar that had not cured properly in a repaired area of the walkway. It was gross and I cannot not even fathom being covered in the stuff. We all need to do more to ensure that oil spills do not happen and to respond quickly to mitigate the damage.
I was in Santa Barbara this past October (2014) and was thrilled to see all of the birds in around the beach. When I was growing up in California there were so few birds compared to nowadays. I am thinking this was because of pesticides that have been banned since then. I spent a lot of time down on the beach watching the birds during my recent visit. I snapped a few photos which I share here.
Kudos to the International Bird Rescue and other responders that are rescuing birds!
If you are a California resident please visit Audubon’s website and send an easy request to your senator for no new offshore drilling off California coasts.
International Bird Rescue can be reached at the following number for emergency oiled wildlife response or an oil spill drill, call +1 (888) 447-1743 to reach the Duty Manager (no other inquiries, please).