< > W556 - Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, Inc. - http://www.tristatebird.org

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Organisation Reference

Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research

Wildpro Referenced Responsibilities:- Conventions, Legislation, Codes of Conduct, Manuals

This web-link has been created as part of the "Oiled Wildlife Response Resource for the Thames" Wildpro volume. Consult the Specific Section References at the end of this page for related links.


This information has been taken directly from the "Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research" website:

Tri-State Mission 

The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is to achieve excellence in the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned and oiled native wild birds, with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment. We do this through compassionate care, humane research, and education. 


On December 26, 1976, during one of the worst winters of the century, the Liberian tanker Olympic Games ran aground in the Delaware River. Oiled Canada geese were found walking on roadways three miles inland, searching for open water. This spill was the sixth major oil spill in the Northeast United States in a three-year period. Despite the efforts of many people, tens of thousands of animals died in these spills. 

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research was established that winter for the purpose of establishing a multi-disciplinary team of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, pathologists, chemists and concerned citizens to study the effects of oil on birds and develop protocols necessary to treat with affected wildlife. Twenty-seven years later, Tri-State continues to be a leader in oil spill response and is internationally recognized for its oiled bird rehabilitation and research. Tri-State’s oil spill team collaborates with oil companies, government agencies, colleagues and concerned citizens all over the world not only to respond to oil spills, but also to lessen the impact on natural resources through contingency planning and training prior to a spill. 

In response to community need, Tri-State Bird Rescue opened a full-time Wild Bird Clinic in 1982 to care for ill, injured, and orphaned wild birds. We outgrew the original facility because of a rapidly growing caseload and with your help, Tri-State opened a new state-of-the-art wildlife facility in 1989. Today the Frink Center for Wildlife consists of animal care wards, surgery and research labs, outdoor aviaries and pools, an oil spill facility, and administrative offices.

Oil Spill Response 

To report an oil spill, contact the National Response Center at 1- 800- 424- 8802.

Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research has been responding to wildlife involved in oil spills since 1976. Tri-State has a trained, dedicated staff on call 24-hours-a-day to respond to wildlife contaminated by oil spills anywhere in the world. Tri-State is one of only two organizations in the country that can professionally manage a response to a major spill.
Rehabilitation of oiled wildlife is a complex, crisis-oriented endeavor. Tri-State takes a teamwork approach to oil spill training and response, stressing the need for regulatory agencies, responsible parties, state and federal wildlife professionals, colleagues in wildlife care, and concerned citizens to work together both in preparations for and response to oil spills. 

NOTIFICATION: Tri-State is brought into an oil spill at the request of the responsible party or clean-up contractor, Coast Guard, or federal or provincial wildlife and environmental agencies. Tri-State will communicate with all the above named parties to discuss and coordinate their role in the response.

ASSESSMENT: Two to five key members of the Wildlife Response Team will arrive as soon as possible following notification to work with the contractor and federal and state agencies to help determine priorities for wildlife response. Additional services will be provided as needed, including:

WILDLIFE PROTECTION / RETRIEVAL: The Response Team will work with personnel (state, federal, or contractor) to discuss methods of preventing contamination of wildlife at risk, safety hazard, hazing, baiting, retrieval equipment and methods for handling wildlife.

FACILITY SET-UP: The Response Team will work with the contractor to identify a facility. The options will be to utilize Tri-State's mid-Atlantic Wildlife Center facility or to set up and equip an on-scene rehabilitation facility (this will take 24 to 48 hours).

TRAINING: The Response Team will train volunteers and client or agency personnel to work in an oil spill situation. The Team will advise all the people of extent of hazards, provide safety training and require signatures on informed consent of release forms.

REHABILITATION / FACILITY MANAGEMENT: Tri-State will provide an OSHA-trained staff with supervisory and oil spill experience, including wildlife rehabilitators, wildlife veterinarians, and support staff, to manage the wildlife response. The Tri-State team will establish operations control / logistics, medical husbandry and cleaning areas within the facility. The team will supervise staff and volunteers and will provide medical and rehabilitative care for the oiled wildlife retrieved and delivered to the facility. The team will prepare reports for federal and state agencies and for the responsible party and will maintain a chain of custody as required

For more information about response capabilities, contingency planning, or ongoing and planned research, call (302) 737-9543

Contingency Planning & Training

Being prepared in the event of a spill is crucial to the success of the response. For this reason, Tri-State offers training workshops on responding to and treating oiled wildlife for colleagues, government agencies, major industries and petroleum transport companies, and volunteers. In addition to workshops, Tri-State participates in drills designed to help government and industry responders, and rehabilitators prepare for the real thing, should an oil spill occur.

For more information about response capabilities, contingency planning, or ongoing and planned research, call (302) 737-9543


Tri-State conducts humane medical and biological research consistent with the goal of providing for the well being of native wildlife populations. Many of these studies are retrospective, comparing data collected from oil spill responses and Clinic cases to reveal common factors and trends, and derive future treatment methods and protocols based on this information. All research involving living animals is designed as "benevolent research", meaning it cannot cause pain to the animal being studied, and we avoid terminal research where the animal is killed during or after the experiment.
Dates Referenced February 2005, August 2005
Contact Details 110 Possum Hollow Road
DE 19711

Phone: 302-737-9543 (answered from 9 am - 5 pm EST daily) 
Fax: 302-737-9562 

Hours of Operation: Tri-State is open to the public to receive injured birds 7 days a week 
May - September: 8 am - 6:30 pm 
October - April: 8 am - 5 pm 

Additional Questions: If you have any other questions, please call (302) 737-9543. Phones are answered between 9AM to 5PM EST daily.

Website Address



For information about donating to Tri-State, please email giftsandmembership@tristatebird.org 
For information about volunteer opportunities at Tri-State, please email volunteer@tristatebird.org
For information regarding Tri-State's oil spill response services, e-mail your request to oilprograms@tristatebird.org 

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