NOTE: This is an archive article from 1991. It may contain out-of-date information.
The Delaware Audubon Conservation Award will be presented to Barbara B. Lundberg at the annual dinner of the Society on May 31 at the Sheraton Inn-Newark. Barbara has, over the last 15 years, cleaned more oiled birds than anyone else in the United States and probably the world. She is a 15-year veteran of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, and served on the Board of Directors. She served as chairperson of wildlife cleaning projects after oil spills.
One of the founders of Delaware Audubon in 1976, Barbara was a member of the Board of Directors and chairperson of the society's field trips committee for many years. She was active in establishing Audubon's Bluebird nesting box trail system and was involved in its annual birdseed sales, which enabled Audubon to improve its fundraising capability. An oil spill on the Delaware River in 1976 caused people to ask Delaware Audubon to "do something" about the birds affected by the spill. Barbara felt that because of man's interference with the natural environment and all its creatures, they needed a helping hand in return.
Barbara has responded to at least 12 "official" oil spills, including the Ashland spill in Pittsburgh and recent spills on the Delaware River and in Manhasset, Long Island. She has shared her expertise at workshops and conferences with people from all over the United States and Canada. She has taught hundreds of people the four basic cleaning steps. The first step is pre-treatment, where heavy tar is removed manually. The second step is washing, where birds are carefully bathed in temperature-controlled water and special detergent. That is followed by rinsing, sometimes repeatedly, ensuring that the bird is completely free of detergent. And finally, drying, which is accomplished in a specially heated room.
Tri-State may be notified at any time that an oil spill has taken place. Barbara, working at the Wildlife Center or at the spill site, sees that all needed supplies are in order, schedules round-the-clock cleaning crews, evaluates the cleaning order of birds, and supervises the progress of birds through the cleaning process. During the initial wildlife response after a major spill, as many as 60 people a day are actively working in round-the-clock shifts. Not all oiled birds are the result of shipping accidents. Many birds are incapacitated after they get into settling ponds, fuel oil, or crank case oil.
Barbara has also served as chairperson of the Homestead Committee at Tri-State. This committee is responsible for the restoration and maintenance of the property's historic farmhouse, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Barbara is an active member of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and received an award in 1990 for her efforts on their behalf. Barbara is a "professional homemaker" who participates in essential volunteer work as well as being a wife and mother. She is married to Leonard V. Lundberg, principal of Rising Sun Middle School, and is the mother of four children: Debra, Daniel, Phillip, and David. Delaware Audubon would like to show its appreciation to Barbara B. Lundberg for her dedication to the welfare of the earth's creatures.