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International Bird Rescue



About Us


To inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis.


We dream of a world in which every person, every day, takes action to protect the natural home of wildlife and ourselves.


In 1971 after 800,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay, concerned individuals led by a registered nurse named Alice Berkner jumped into action, bringing International Bird Rescue to life. We have always had to pave a road where there is none. Staff and volunteers work with tenacity alongside clients, partners, and the public to find solutions. Today, we research best practices at our wildlife crisis response hospitals in California and Alaska and share them worldwide. Video: How It All Began

Bird Rescue is a proud founding partner in the State of California’s Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN), which is hosted at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California at Davis, as well as the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS), a consortium of leading experts trying to solve the challenges of oiled wildlife outside of currently covered geographies.


Wildlife treated annually: 4,500 average
Volunteers Hours each year: 31,000
Oil spill response: 230+ spills across six continents

Video Media


Pelicans and cormorant in care
Snowy Plover chick in care