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American Avocet Release

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  • debmcduck1956
    The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center is releasing the American Avocet tomorrow, Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 11:30am. Meet at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1 10:36 PM
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      The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center is releasing the American Avocet
      tomorrow, Friday, March 2nd, 2007 at 11:30am. Meet at the Wetlands
      & Wildlife Care Center, 21900 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington
      Beach, CA. We will release the bird at the end of our property into
      Magnolia Marsh.

      As of yet, we do not know the exact cause of the sea bird deaths for
      the Santa Ana River Incident, but what we do know is that something
      acute and neurological happened to the affected birds. Gross
      necropsy findings: They died well to moderately fleshed, with no
      apparent illnesses or injuries.

      Fourteen different species were affected by this incident. We had
      10 live intakes, 22 DOA and 50+ dead birds, called in but never
      recovered. Approximately 80 birds have been affected and there are
      many more casualties that we will never know about. We released two
      birds, a California Gull and a Killdeer. The American Avocet will
      be the third and last bird released.

      Here is the final report of the incident:

      Santa Ana River Incident
      Seizuring Sea Bird Crisis

      Event History – February 4, 2007 through February 22, 2007

      Since February 4th, we have received seizuring birds. The first two
      patients were a California Gull (CAGU) and a Brandt's Cormorant
      (BRAC). The CAGU was released eight days after admission on Mon.,
      Feb. 12th. The CAGU survived 5 days of blindness and seizures
      before recovering from the illness. The BRAC passed away after just
      a few days despite treatments.

      On Friday, Feb. 9th we received three seizuring birds, an American
      Avocet that fell from the sky into a good Samaritans yard having a
      seizure (this person lives next to the Santa Ana River in Costa Mesa
      about 1 mile inland from the delta), an Eared Grebe from Newport
      Pier, and a Western Grebe brought in from just north of the Santa
      Ana River mouth in Huntington Beach. We began receiving calls from
      the public of dead birds that were either left on the beach, given
      to the Lifeguards, or thrown into trash cans. An estimated 25 to 30
      dead cormorants were reported seen during the previous week in
      Newport Beach from between the Santa Ana River and the Newport Pier.

      Key four letter species ID:

      California Gull (CAGU) Brandt's Cormorant (BRAC)
      Ring-billed Gull (RBGU) Double Crested Cormorant (DCCO)
      Rhinoceros Auklet (RHAU) Lesser Scaup (LESC)
      Brown Pelican (BRPE) American Avocet (AMAV)
      Western Grebe (WEGR) Eared Grebe (EAGR)
      Black-crowned Night Heron (BCNH) Pacific Loon (PALO)
      Great Blue Heron (GBHE) Killdeer (KILL)
      Black Vented Shearwater (BVSH)

      Species # of Live Intakes # of DOA Intakes Total
      AMAV 1 0 1
      BCNH 0 1 1
      BRAC 1 6 7
      BRPE 0 2 2
      BVSH 0 1 1
      CAGU 2 6 8
      DCCO 0 3 3
      EAGR 1 0 1
      GBHE 1 0 1
      KILL 1 0 1
      LESC 0 1 1
      PALO 1 0 1
      RHAU 0 1 1
      WEGR 2 1 3

      Necropsy and Lab Findings

      Our necropsy team took necropsy and tissue samples. Samples and
      carcasses have been sent to:

      1. Caron Labs at USC for Domoic Acid Poisoning tests
      2. USGS Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI for toxicology
      tests (EAGR, WEGR, PACO)
      3. ANTECH Diagnostics Labs for tissue biopsies using OC Animal
      Control's ANTECH ID number.

      ANTECH Diagnostics Lab Findings:

      Findings from ANTECH Diagnostics Lab; Pathologist: Cynthia X.
      Bacmeister, DVM, PhD, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary
      Pathologists

      Reference #: IRPB07415482
      Patient: WEGR 19568
      Source: Liver, heart, skeletal muscle

      Microscopic findings: Skeletal Muscle: Myodegeneration, segmental,
      moderate with mild fiber fraying and mild interstitial edema and
      mild multifocal lumphohistiocytic inflammation.

      Microscopic findings: Heart: Congestion, mild segmental.

      Microscopic findings: Liver: Hepatitis, mild multifocal, random
      granulomatous with mass congestion and cholestasis and segmental
      autolysis.

      Comments:
      There is no evidence of neoplasia in hepatic, cardiac, or skeletal
      muscular sections examined. On routinely stained sections,
      parasitic agents are not observed. In the liver sections there are
      rare random granulomas. Distinct abscessation and suspense
      heterophilic inflammation suggesting acute inflammation, however,
      are not observed.

      Special stains can be performed on the liver sections in Block 5 to
      enhance visualization of mycobacterial and fungal etiologic agents.
      Call 1-800-745-4725 to order special stains. In this case, we would
      order two stains, acid fast stain to rule out mycobacterial
      infection and GMS stain for fungus. We keep the tissues in paraffin
      blocks for two years, so the decision on special staining does not
      have o be made at this time. While these stains can be helpful in
      advancing the diagnosis when positive, a negative result does not
      rule out these etiologic agents and concurrent culture (fungal;
      bacterial: routine and special) is recommended if an infectious
      etiology is suspected.

      Potential etiologic differentials for the skeletal muscular lesions
      noted include: nutritional deficiencies, toxic myopathy, and
      exertional myopathy. Lack of hemorrhage makes the differential of
      exertional myopathy less likely.


      Reference #: IRPB07415473
      Patient: EAGR 19573
      Source: Heart, skeletal muscle, liver

      Microscopic findings: Liver: Congestion, mild, segmental, with
      minimal to mild cholestasis.

      Microscopic findings: Heart: Congestion, mild, segmental.

      Microscopic findings: Skeletal Muscle: Congestion, severe, with
      rare segmental myodegeneration and fraying, and cytoplasmic
      vacuolation and rare primarily perivascular, lymphohistiocytic
      inflammation.

      Comments: There is no evidence of neoplasia in hepatic, skeletal
      muscular, or cardiac muscular sections examined. There is no
      substantial hemorrhage or necrosis. Pectoral muscular sections
      examines demonstrate substantial congestion with loss of cross
      striations. Cytoplasm demonstrates granularity rather that distinct
      fibers with cross striations. Primary etiologic differentials
      include nutritional myopathy, toxic myopathy, and exertional
      myopathy.


      Reference #: IRPB07415464
      Patient: PALO 19575
      Source: Liver, Heart, skeletal muscle

      Microscopic findings:
      Liver: Congestion, mild, diffuse, with mild cholestasis.
      Heart: Myodegeneration, mild, segmental, with rare myonecrosis and
      lymphohistiocytic inflammation.
      Skeletal Muscle: Myodegeneration, segmental, mild to moderate, with
      mild interstitial edema and lymphohitiocytic inflammation.

      Comment: There is no evidence of neoplasia in cardiac, skeletal
      muscular, or hepatic sections examined. Parasitic and fungal agents
      are not observed, nor is there substantial active inflammation.
      Segmentally, there are areas of Myodegeneration and myofiber loss,
      both in cardiac and skeletal muscular sections. There is no
      substantial mineralization. Primary differentials include toxic and
      nutritional myopathy and exertional myopathy. Coccidiostats, growth
      promoters, gossypol, and plants such as cassia has caused skeletal
      muscular lesions in birds. Gross changes are typically not noted,
      and histologic changes can be minimal. Exertional myopathies are
      typically associated with some degree of hemorrhage. Nutritional
      myopathies (e.g.: vitamin E or selenium deficiencies) can be seen in
      picivorous birds fed diets of improperly frozen or thawed fish. Any
      diets containing rancid polyunsaturated fats could cause similar
      lesions.





      Reference #: IRPB97415491
      Patient: BRAC 19585
      Source: Heart, Liver, Skeletal Muscle

      Microscopic Findings:
      Heart: Congestion, Mild
      Liver: Congestion, mild, with mild cholestasis and segmental
      autolysis.
      Skeletal Muscle: Interstitial myositis, mild segmental
      perivascular, lymphohistiocytic, non-supperuative, rare segmental
      myodegeneration and loss.

      Comments:
      There is no evidence of neoplasia in examined sections. Parasitic
      and fungal agents are not observed on routinely stained sections,
      nor is there substantial active inflammation. No substantial
      mineralization associated with areas myodegeneration. The
      degenerative changed noted in skeletal muscular sections examined
      are not evident in the cardiac muscular sections. Toxic myopathies
      and nutritional myopathies as well as exertional myopathies can all
      be characterized by myofragmentation and non-suppurative
      inflammation as are present in this case.

      End of ANTECH Diagnostics report

      Caron Labs Findings:

      Reported February 15, 2007:

      Astrid Schnetzer of the Caron Labs at USC ran Domoic Acid analyses
      on 5 birds that were brought into the Wetlands & Wildlife Center - 4
      bloods and 1 stomach content sample. Out of the 4 samples she had 1
      positive hit for the stomach content sample with 0.032 micrograms
      per gram weight on a DOA Double-crested Cormorant (DCCO) found
      between Newland and the mouth of the Santa Ana River. Astrid
      continues to test other blood and stomach samples that the Wetlands
      & Wildlife Care Center collected and I will pass this information
      along as I receive it.

      Attached is a map that Astrid provided that shows the station
      locations for samples that were collected on Monday and Tuesday
      February 5th and 6th. Astrid found that 4 of her 13 samples were
      positive for Domoic Acid with particulate ranging from 0.02 to 0.166
      micrograms per L (see map). "BD" stands for below detection limit.

      Reported February 17, 2007:

      Thanks for the update. We included the 2 birds (AMAV and Loon) in
      our analyses
      But weirdly enough these are the only 2 samples that came back with
      very questionable
      replication. I am not certain what happened but we will have to
      rerun both next week (likely
      on Wednesday). I believe more dilution steps for these samples are
      necessary - it almost seems
      something interfered with the chemistry during the test (although
      all other 34 samples in the same test plate looked fine).


      Reported February 23, 2007:

      Hi Everyone,

      We analyzed the samples that we collected on February 20th for
      particulate domoic acid concentrations (DA in phytoplankton) and all
      of them came back negative. We observed a mixed diatom assemblage
      but rarely any Pseudo-nitzschia cells under the microscope. Some
      sample locations had a fair number of dinoflagellates.

      Santa Ana Bird mortalities continued:
      This week we also tested 2 more bird samples for DA that we received
      from the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach
      (including the Avocet featured on TV) and those blood samples were
      negative for DA. Overall count, only 1 out of 7 bird samples
      positive for DA
      (see more details in our last update).

      Mammal samples: We received urine and a feces sample from a sea lion
      that was received on Feb 19th at PMMC (Huntington Beach) and
      detected DA in urine (0.8 nanograms per ml) and feces (0.0037
      micrograms per g weight).

      So overall somewhat mixed results.
      We will keep you updated -

      Astrid & Dave

      Astrid Schnetzer
      Research Assistant Professor
      Department of Biological Sciences
      University of Southern California
      3616 Trousdale Parkway, AHF 301
      Los Angeles, CA 90089-0371
      Tel: 213 821 2065
      End of Caron Lab findings

      USGS National Wildlife Health Center Findings:

      Email dated February 23, 2007:

      Hi Debbie,
      I got the results back from the Santa Ana River birds you submitted
      for brain cholinesterase on the eared grebe and pacific loon. Both
      were negative for cholinesterase inhibition so it doesn't appear to
      be a poisoning case. We'll run the western grebe next week. I got
      the faxed results from ANTECH and looked them over. I didn't see
      anything that popped out, but I'm going to discuss the results with
      one of our pathologists later today. Have you still been getting
      sick and dead birds? Hopefully, the die-off is slowing down. I was
      just wondering if you had anything that you would like to send our
      way next week. Did the rehab birds survive?

      I'm attaching our mortality event history form. If you wouldn't
      mind filling it out, I want to make sure that we get your
      information in our database. Thanks so much for all that you've
      done already.
      **************************
      Krysten Schuler, PhD
      Wildlife Ecologist
      Field Investigation Team
      USGS National Wildlife Health Center
      6006 Schroeder Road
      Madison, WI 53711
      (608) 270-2447
      (608) 270-2415 fax
      kschuler@...
      End of USGS National Wildlife Health Center findings



      As of yet, we do not know the exact cause of the sea bird deaths,
      but what we do know is that there something acute and neurological
      happened to the affected birds. Gross necropsies findings: They
      died well to moderately fleshed, with no apparent illnesses or
      injuries except for one BRAC from Dockweiler Beach that was heavily
      infested with roundworm and I think that was most likely his cause
      of death. All carcasses have been properly tagged and placed into
      our sub-zero freezer. We will keep them for 90-days beginning March
      1st unless I hear differently from any organization that may be
      interested in future testing. If anyone would like to do further
      testing, please let me know. And, if anyone would like to store the
      carcasses, please let me know.

      I will keep you informed if any more seizuring birds come into our
      wildlife center. We have a continual study with Caron Labs with
      Domoic Acid poisoning and will submit samples on suspect birds.

      Fourteen different species were affected by this incident. We had
      10 live intakes, 22 DOA and 50+ dead called in but never recovered.
      Approximately 80 birds have been affected and there are many more
      causalities that we will never know about. We released two birds, a
      CAGU and a Killdeer. We still have the AMAV in care showing daily
      improvement.

      Thank you again for all of your help.

      Debbie McGuire
      Wildlife Director
      Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center
      19200 Pacific Coast Highway
      Huntington Beach, CA 92646
      (714) 374-5587 Business
      (714) 713-1155 Cell
    • Nick & Mary Freeman
      Hi Birders Today, Nick and I along with Paul Weers cruised around Orange County and spent the day at the following locations for a pleasant day of birding.
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 4 9:41 PM
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        Hi Birders

        Today, Nick and I along with Paul Weers cruised around Orange County
        and spent the day at the following locations for a pleasant day of
        birding.

        This morning at Tewinkle Park, we were happy to have refound the
        YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER as it was found with a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER,
        and stayed mostly in pines. At the nearby pond, a pair of HOODED
        MERGANSER and a single male EURASIAN WIGEON were present with other
        ducks.

        We then tried locating the WORM-EATING WARBLER at UC Irvine off of
        Los Trancos to no avail.

        Then we visited Huntington Beach Central Park where we found a single
        WHITE-FACED IBIS at the pond on the east side of Golden West, and a
        nearby WILSON'S WARBLER.

        Then we finished our day making our first visit to Bolsa Chica since
        the renovation. It was very birdy. A REDDISH EGRET was well south
        (east?) of the first viewing overlook, but we found it through our
        scope. A few BLACK-BELLED PLOVER were starting to show signs of
        their breeding plumage. A few DUNLIN were amongst the WESTERN
        SANDPIPER flocks. At the flood gate, we found a single BLUE-WINGED TEAL.

        Happy Birding!

        Mary & Nick Freeman
        Glendale, CA
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