Disclosure: I’m a paid brand ambassador for Dawn and am sharing a series of posts this fall highlighting their commitment to saving wildlife. All opinions and experiences are my own, and I truly have loved learning what goes on behind the scenes of organizations who are committed to saving wildlife!
I’ve always been an animal lover, but it wasn’t until I was a married woman that I had my own furry friend. My parents successfully remained resolute through my tear-filled childhood speeches detailing all the reasons I needed a puppy.
But I did have birds. Zebra finches. Their names were Prettyboy and Prettygirl.
And my chosen Girl Scout Camp Name was Ducky.
While I’ll take four paws on my lap any day, I have a special place in my heart for birds, and I’ve always loved seeing the images of oil-covered birds being washed in Dawn.
When I was in California last month for Dawn’s Day in the Wildlife event, I heard the director of the International Bird Rescue speak. I loved learning what really goes on behind the scenes of those commercials and images we see.
Things I learned:
It’s loud. While we see images of sweet, sudsy birds and hear calm music in the background, the volunteers often can’t hear one another speak over the squawking.
Birds don’t understand they’re being helped. They often fight the volunteers because of their own survival instincts.
With certain birds, volunteers have to put sheets or towels between the birds and themselves to avoid “imprinting.” You know the cartoons where the baby bird hatches and bonds with the first person it sees? Volunteers work hard to keep this kind of attachment from forming because it will make the bird’s release back into the wild more difficult.
The washing process takes one hour per bird. The biggest job the IBR has done was in Capetown, South Africa where they washed 20,000 birds. Do that math!
Dawn is a huge supporter of the International Bird Rescue. The director explained that Dawn mobilizes to get them what they need all over the world. While only the huge oil spills make the national news, there are smaller ones that they deal with on a regular basis. These volunteers stay busy.
How did Dawn get started in its commitment to saving wildlife?
In 1978, unbeknownst to Dawn, “International Bird Rescue founder, Alice Berkner, secured a Chevron grant to test all major dish soaps for cleaning birds and discovered that Dawn worked the best, cutting the oil faster than any other soap.” The organization had tried all sorts of other cleaning methods before this, and nothing worked as well as Dawn.
In 1988, Dawn officially began its partnership with IBR and has since branched out to support other wildlife organizations like The Marine Mammal Center I visited.
For more information about the Dawn family of products and how to get involved in helping save wildlife in big or small ways, visit Dawn’s website. You can also share your own experiences by tagging #DawnDayintheWildlife at www.facebook.com/dawn, www.
I love this video that shows a day in the life of an IBR volunteer:
(Click here if you can’t see the video.)