Submitted by GSPCA on 16:05, 21st May, 2013 | 0

On the 8th February this year the GSPCA received a Razorbill from Alderney which had been affected by crude oil.

Staff at Alderney Animal Welfare had cared for the bird 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.

Over the past few months there have been a number of oil related incidents the biggest being the PIB problems that have affected the south coast of the UK.

Today we are pleased to announce that Gillette as the staff fondly named the Razorbill was finally released back to the wild this afternoon.

Yvonne Chauvel Senior Animal Care Assistant said 'I have been washing oiled birds at the GSPCA for over 15 years and it always warms my heart to see them back in the wild.'

'It has been over 15 weeks of care and rehabilitation for Gillette as when you wash the oil off them it removes the natural oils that helps keep them waterproof which they need to survive in the wild.'

'Its never ending though as we have released this little fella last week we had an oiled gull in.'

'If anyone does see a bird with oil on it, sick or injured then please call us here at the GSPCA on 01481 257261.'

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said 'We are very lucky to have the oiled bird unit here at the GSPCA and with all its facilities it is fantastic that we are able to treat and rehabilitate them.'

'Gillette is one of the lucky birds as many that are covered in oil often don't make it.'Gillette the Razorbill back in the wild at the GSPCA Animal Shelter in Guernsey

'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.'

To see the story of Gillette when he first arrived please click here.

To see Gillette having his first swim please click here.

To see pictures of the release please click here.

To see the story of the GSPCA and other local NGO's view on PIB please click here.

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.


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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

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

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The following are events planned for 2013

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

Clinton's Kilimanjaro Climb in March - One man VS 5,895 m - to find out more please click here for more details

Sunday 2nd June 2013 - Summer Fayre and Dog Show - please click here for more details

Wednesday 5th June 6.30pm - Volunteer Induction Evening - to find out more please click here.

Saturday 8th 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 and sponsor those taking part.

Sunday 15th September 2013 - Animal Welfare Seafront Sunday - click here for more details.

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


Fancy doing a sponsored event for the GSPCA?  To download a GSPCA Sponsor form please

Download a GSPCA Sponsorship Form


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