In the 1971 San Francisco oil spill, $900.00 was spent per successfully released bird, with 95% of the 4,686 treated birds dying in captivity. Through continuing research and development, those figures are improving. In 1973, the International Bird Rescue Research Center (IBRRC) treated 523 oiled birds with a 41% survival rate at a cost of approximately $15 per successfully released bird. The history, population effects, and physiological effects of oil pollution on birds are described here, and recommendations are given for treatment. The problems of maintaining aquatic birds in captivity are also discussed. Advance preparations of instructional materials, equipment, and supplies have been made by the IBRRC in anticipation of future oiled-bird incidents. Additional research is indicated.