Submitted by GSPCA on 13:54, 8th Feb, 2013 | 0

After a call yesterday and a flight this morning the GSPCA received a Razorbill from Alderney which has been affected by crude oil.

Staff at Alderney Animal Welfare have cared for the bird over the last few days and done a wonderful job removing the crude oil from the its feathers after being found on the coast of Alderney. If it hadn't been for their staff this bird would certainly have perished.

This is certainly unrelated to the incident of the South Coast of the UK (more on this story click here), but the Bailiwick often see birds affected by substances that have been illegally or accidentally dumped in the surrounding waters.

Geoff George Animal Collection Officer collected the bird from the airport this morning, and Gillette and he's been fondly now named is in an intensive care unit located in the Wildlife Unit at the GSPCA Animal Shelter.

Geoff George said 'We are still keeping our eyes peeled around the coast in case we see any birds from the South of England incident that have been affected by the oil substance, but Gillette the Razorbill was covered in crude oil so it isn't going to be connected.'

'He has no natural oils on his feathers so he has a fair bit of rehabilitation to go before his release, but thanks to our purpose built oiled bird unit that was constructed in the early 90's we have the right facilities at the GSPCA to help give him the best chance.'

'If anyone sees any birds struggling or covered in oil we do urge them to contact us here at the GSPCA on 01481 257261.'

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said 'With the facilities we have here at the GSPCA there are occasions when we are asked to help care for animals by the other islands in the Channel from seals to oiled birds.'

'Gillette has a long way to go but we are very lucky we have trained staff and volunteers to care for these birds.'

'We are looking at holding a training course in the near future for volunteers that would like to learn how to wash oiled birds so that if heaven forbid we did have another disaster there would be plenty of trained hands.'

'If anyone would like to help support the care and rescue work for the wildlife at the Shelter then you can sponsor the wildlife unit monthly by joining our ANGEL Sponsorship scheme.'

If you find you kind a bird affected then here is a little advice -

  • Do not risk your safety by looking for or picking up birds from dangerous locations. Be aware of the tides and weather conditions.
  • If you do find an oiled bird and it is safe to pick it up, ensure that you are wearing gloves because the oil could be hazardous to your health. The birds may also try to peck you, so keep them away from your face.
  • Collected birds should be placed on their own in cardboard boxes with newspaper or a towel. DO NOT use hay or straw. The boxes should have ventilation holes.
  • Call the GSPCA 24 hour help line on 01481 257261 or take the bird directly to the Animal Shelter in St Andrews
  • Please do not attempt to wash or feed the bird yourself - leave that to the Shelter staff and volunteers who have the correct training and facilities.

The Razorbill (Alca torda) is a medium-sized seabird. It is black above and white below and has a thick black beak which is deep and blunt, unlike the thinner bill of the similar guillemot. They breed around the coast of the UK, with the largest colonies in northern Scotland. There are none breeding between the Humber and the Isle of Wight. Birds only come to shore to breed, and winter in the northern Atlantic. Concerns of the marine environment include fishing nets, pollution such as oil and declining fish stocks all threaten the Razorbill.

Other ways you can support if you would like to donate to the GSPCA and help us care for animals in Guernsey by calling into the Shelter, over the phone on 01481 257261 or by clicking the Paypal button below.

Thank you for your support.

If you see a seal pup click here to find out what to do.

To see the story of Jethou Bumblebee the grey seal pup please check out this short video from start to finish on how staff rescued him with a lot of help.

To see the story of Hanois and his rescue please go to

To nominate and find out more about the Ceva Awards for Animal Welfare please go to -

Ceva Awards for Animal Welfare 2013

Also there are the Petplan & ADCH Animal Charity Awards 2013 - Find out how to nominate here by going to

Petplan & ADCH Animal Welfare Awards 2013

Events planned in 2013 are -

GSPCA Purple Week - Coffee Morning & Bric-A-Brac Mondy to Friday 10am-12pm next week at the GSPCA - & appeal for Bric-A-Brac - click here for details

Every Tuesday during term time between 10.30am and 12pm at the GSPCA we have a coffee morning with bric-a-brac and pet supplies on sale.  Please click here for more details

To find out about the GSPCA Purple Week - Celebrating 140 years Caring for Animals in Guernsey 11th - 17th February and how you can join in.

GSPCA week

The GSPCA are pleased to announce our GSPCA Sunday Family Fun Lunch on the 3rd March - click here for more details

25th - 31st March GSPCA Cupcake Week - more details to follow.

4th April - World Stray Day - more details to follow

Saturday 6th June 2013 Itex Walk Guernsey - We are pleased that for 2013 we are one of the nominated charities benefiting from this years walk. To register and find out more click here for more details.

June 2013 - Summer Fayre and Dog Show - more details to follow

September 2013 - Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday - more details to follow

4th October - World Animal Day - more details to follow

There are always animals at the GSPCA looking for good homes from farm birds to rabbits and to see many of them please click here. Felix in the video is our longest stay cat and really needs your help to find a new home.

There are many items on the GSPCA's Wish List and you can see many of them by clicking here including a list of Amazon items which would make a difference to animals in Guernsey.

To download our latest newsletter or become a member of the GSPCA please

To become a GSPCA member


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