Letter: Birds caught in oil spill have been found on Coastside, volunteers needed

Breaking news

Posted by on Mon, November 12, 2007

Three oiled surf scoters were found on Francis Beach in Half Moon Bay Sunday afternoon. One was already dead, one died shortly after being picked up and one seemed well enough that it might survive. The latter was unable to fly and was slowly losing its body heat.

This could be a really big deal if the oil starts washing up on the beach. That is due to happen soon,  but no one knows how bad the oil will become. The oiled birds, we now know, are likely to be a serious problem.

There are Peninsula Humane Society and Marine Mammal Center persons working along this coast and are coordinating with State Parks volunteers.

Volunteers will be accepted today at the Half Moon Bay State Beach—Francis Beach—and the need for volunteers the rest of the week depends upon how things progress.  Volunteers will need to check in at Francis Beach, but may be asked to go to another location in this area. Volunteers should call the State Park Kiosk at


(650)726-8820 to be sure there is a person available to show what needs to be done.

Comment 1
Mon, November 12, 2007 5:26pm
Kevin Stokes
All my comments

All I’m getting is number disconnected.

Is there another number?


Comment 2
Mon, November 12, 2007 5:55pm
Barry Parr
All my comments

The number is (650)726-8820.  I’ve corrected it in the story.

Comment 3
Tue, November 13, 2007 1:13pm
All my comments

I saw one of these birds today on the beach by the Venice beach enterance near that giant flock of seagulls. It was sitting alone trying to clean it’s feathers. I’m not sure if it was just resting or had oil on its feathers. I got as close as I could without scaring it but I didn’t want to disturb it. I wasn’t sure the oil spill had affected the coast until I just saw a volunteer request from freecycle to train for clean up. This was at about 9:30 this morning (11/13). I cannot get back there to check it out again but how would one report this animal needing help? I keep getting a busy signal at the number in the article. Someone may have helped it by now, but just in case…

Jacquie Nauman

Comment 4
Tue, November 13, 2007 3:14pm
All my comments

I spent several hours on Montara beach this morning sitting in vigil with an oiled surf scoter while I waited for official bird rescue personnel.  At 8:30 this morning (11/13) I called 877-823-6926 and submitted a report.  I was instructed not to touch the bird and unfortunately due to the scale of the problem they could not tell me if/when somebody would arrive.  Thankfully, cheerful and qualified personnel came at 12:30pm.  I will say it was a helpless feeling sitting on the beach watching this poor bird try to clean its feathers of the black goo now coating it.

When I returned home, I quickly called to volunteer for the bird rescue efforts.  I am pleased to now have a job in the clean-up of this disaster.  Well, off to the beaches again.

Loretta O’Brien

Glad to hear someone was out there, but I didn’t make my call until 12:30 (Thanks to Barry Parr for the number) and the bird I saw was later. Hopefully the same bird rescue was able to find my bird as well. I have this number committed to memory for the next one.

In case anyone in interested there is a site where you can register if an all-out clean up is necessary. I received this notice via the Freecycle network. Go to: http://www.smcalert.info

Jacquie Nauman