Jay Holcomb – A Tribute

Jay Holcomb with an Australian White Pelican
Photo courtesy: International Bird Rescue Center (IBRRC)

Tributes are being noted from around the world remembering the life of Jay Holcomb, International Bird Rescue Center (IBRRC) Director Emeritus who died peacefully Tuesday afternoon [June 10, 2014] in Modesto, CA. He was 63.
Holcomb retired and had been living in Tenino, WA.

Read more from the the Press Release of the International Bird Rescue Center (IBRRC).

Jay was a long-time student of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment and watched JZ’s Fresh Air II teaching in January just days after receiving his terminal kidney cancer diagnosis. Jay made “a plan.” He thought a quarter of a century of exposure to oil spill residues on birds was a contributing factor in his illness.

Jay utilized the teachings in his work, as he wrote for the IBRRC, published Jnauary 2012:
“During the Deepwater Horizon spill [Jay was on-scene for 6 months] we rehabilitated oiled birds in the midst of a great deal of stress and human chaos. I was very concerned about all the birds’ welfare and realized that the circumstances of the spill made it impossible to effect the change that I felt was needed. I could, however, hold the pelicans’ and other birds’ welfare in my mind as ‘cared for and safe.’I drew a red heart with a pelican in front of it on a 4×8 card and placed it right above my computer so I could see it throughout the day. This very simple picture reminded me to let go of trying to control the situation and focus on the outcome I envisioned. This practice is based on the concept in quantum physics that quanta energy waves behave according to the observer. What we focus on creates our reality. This picture, in its simplicity, implied that the birds were ‘cared for and safe.’ In essence, I ‘held’ the birds in a state of safety in my focus. I did this many times each day. In the end we released over 80% of the oiled pelicans that came to us.”

– “Jay Holcomb, leader of International Bird Rescue, dies”
By Carolyn Jones in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Read more

Jay’s Fieldwork® card continued to inspire the world during the Gulf of Mexico clean-up:
“We invite you to read the story behind International Bird Rescue’s limited edition Valentine’s Day merchandise, as told by the artist and International Bird Rescue’s Director Emeritus, Jay Holcomb.”
Read more

– UPDATE: The Jay Holcomb Legacy Fund has been established
On July 26, 2014, friends, family, colleagues and avian advocates from around the world gathered at Fort Mason in San Francisco to celebrate Jay’s life and work. It was an afternoon of laughter, tears, friendship and fond remembrances including a very moving video of Jay, highlighting the overarching ideals he brought to wildlife and International Bird Rescue. “I’ve devoted my career to wildlife rehabilitation,” Holcomb wrote in his organization’s 2013 annual report. “It’s an often unsung, crisis-based field, and the challenges in the work are many. But I can’t think of anything more rewarding I could have done with my life.” Images and the video can be found here:

“For decades, Jay was a singular force in saving wild birds everywhere, giving a voice to the animals who need it most,” said Susan Kaveggia, board chair of International Bird Rescue. “We can never replace him. But we can follow in his footsteps and continue to inspire others to care for wildlife in his memory.” Jay began his career in wildlife rehabilitation over 40 years ago, having assisted in efforts to help birds affected by a large oil spill in the San Francisco Bay in 1971 — an environmental catastrophe that led to the founding later that year of International Bird Rescue Research Center (the organization shortened its name to International Bird Rescue in 2010).

The Jay Holcomb Legacy Fund has been established in his memory to provide security for International Bird Rescue’s global mission to save seabirds and other avian species from human-causes crises such as oil spills, plastic pollution and animal cruelty. Further information can be found at

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