Oiled Wildlife Care Network

Photo: washed birds preening to regain their waterproofing
Washed birds preening to regain their waterproofing

Pre-release Conditioning

Conditioning a cleaned bird usually takes 3 to 5 days, but can take much longer if the animal had injuries or wounds. During conditioning, an animal is put in an outdoor pen or pool. Here they can spend time getting used to being in the water, and spend time preening or grooming, which is important for them to become waterproof. They are given food and water and watched carefully, so that they become strong and ready for release.

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