The Oiled Wildlife Society works primarily to maintain a central stockpile of equipment, establish contingency planning and provide training to key personnel. We act as an important support organization in the event of a spill. We are a completely volunteer-driven organization, and although we have a stockpile of equipment we neither have sufficient equipment nor professional oiled wildlife responders at our disposal to carry out a spill response on our own.

How do you clean an oiled bird?

Birds are washed, rinsed and dried using internationally accepted protocols. Contaminants vary in their composition, and are removed accordingly. Sometimes this involves using special pre-treatment agents to help break down the contaminant.

Utilizing specialized washing techniques the contaminants are removed from the feathers. The wash is performed using specific detergent, water temperature, water hardness and water pressure. Each one of these factors is critical to the effectiveness of the wash process.


Once washed the bird is carefully rinsed to remove any soap (any soap residue will also act as a feather contaminant), then whisked to a drying area where it is placed under large blow dryers. It is monitored carefully during this time to ensure its core body temperature remains within a normal range.

When the bird has dried completely and its medical stability has been reaffirmed it is transferred to a pool. There it may start preening its feathers back into alignment, allowing its waterproofing to be restored.

Do you wash an oiled bird as soon as you find it?
Do heavily oiled animals have any chance for recovery?
How long do oiled animals remain in captivity?
Where do you release wildlife once it has been cleaned?
Who takes care of oiled wildlife in British Columbia?
How much does it cost to clean oiled wildlife?
Who pays for the clean-up costs?
Why should we bother to respond to oiled wildlife?