Crowdsourcing funds to clean California birds of ‘mystery goo’

WATCH ABOVE: Hundreds of birds from San Francisco Bay’s eastern shores are coming into a rescue centre covered in a mysterious goo.

Hundreds of seabirds have been discovered in the San Francisco Bay covered in a mystery substance. The sticky material is killing scores of birds as it destroys feather waterproofing, causing hypothermia and sometimes death.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said 315 birds had been rescued alive, and 200 found dead. International Bird Rescue has been caring for the surviving seabirds since Jan. 16, and have been appealing for financial help. The rescue says it costs upwards of $9,500 a day to care for all the seabirds.

On its blog, the rescue described the birds’ condition.

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“The rubber-cement like goop mats the seabirds feathers, causing them to lose their insulation and become hyperthermic.”

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The rescue has been using baking soda and vinegar to loosen the substance stuck to the birds, followed by a gentle dish detergent and warm water. Surf Scoters, Buffleheads and Common Goldeneyes make up a large part of the affected seabirds.

READ MORE: 122 birds dead after landing on three separate oilsands sites

You can watch its live “BirdCam” here.

The rescue announced that the first of the birds are recuperated and set to be released.

Labs have been working to determine what the substance is, as officials search for the source of the contaminate.