Facility Manager Jay Holcomb of IBRRC (International Bird Rescue Research Center) describes the process of cleaning oiled birds.
Fledgling pelican being cleaned. Dawn is the soap of choice to remove oil. Most pelicans arriving at the center now are juvenile pelicans, very vulnerable as they've been oiled for weeks. At the beginning of the spill, healthy adults arrived in larger numbers, but now younger birds make up the majority of arrivals. 2-3 months ago, 40-60 birds arrived per day. Today, 6-10 are coming in.
While the clean up crew may appear to be rough with the pelican, they are in actuality being firm and gentle while trying to keep it under control. As Jay Holcomb pointed out, it is of utmost importance that the animals stay wild: "We don't want them to get habituated to people."
And, a little video with Gulf images and video set to Faded Paper Figures: