Dawn and the International Bird Rescue


Dawn celebrates 40 years of collaboration with the International Bird Rescue with this heartwarming video involving cute ducklings. A 2010 article by NPR described why Dawn is the bird cleaner of choice for oil spills:

At a warehouse turned bird bathhouse in Venice, La., dozens of bottles of Dawn stand like soldiers behind a row of deep sinks. It takes three people as much as an hour to get the gooey oil off each pelican. They start by rubbing the bird with cooking oil; veterinarian Heather Nevill says that loosens the sticky petroleum. Then one of the crew sprays it with dish liquid.

“She’s scrubbing very vigorously, getting her fingertips under the feathers to really agitate the feathers in the water,” Nevill says. “It’s that action of getting the detergent into the feathers that really removes the oil.”

The bird is covered with a lot of suds.

“We’re using very heavy concentrations of Dawn because this crude oil has become very weathered, and it’s very difficult to remove,” Nevill adds.

When asked whether they have to use Dawn, Nevill replies, “Dawn definitely works the best. It very effectively removes grease but does not cause harm to the skin of the birds.”

Nevill and the rest of the workers at the International Bird Rescue Research Center sound like walking commercials for Dawn. And that’s not new.

NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling discovered this when he interviewed the group’s founder, Alice Berkner, during the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster in Alaska.

Zwerdling joked, “You’re going to get letters from Ivory and the other companies.”

“I hate to sound like an advertisement,” Berkner said, “but I won’t allow any substitutes for Dawn.”

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