"I've been near what I believed to be a big dirt clod in the muck. Then it blinks. And you realize: It's an oiled bird."
Debbie McGuire, wildlife director at the Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center here in Huntington Beach, is talking about what it's like on an oil spill recovery mission. McGuire is one of the best when it comes to saving animal lives amid catastrophes like the BP spill, and she soon may find herself in the Gulf.
"I got a call right when it happened to check my availability," she says. "The Oiled Wildlife Care Network called me, and so now, I'm just in a holding pattern. I could be headed down there anytime. But we are trained and ready, and while this is what we prepare for, I've never seen anything quite like this. This is unprecedented, a gushing volcano of oil spewing at least 50,000 barrels per day."