Dr. Scott Ford provides veterinary medical services for wildlife. This includes seeing wild bird patients for examination and surgery, providing surgical and medical support for field biologists, assisting in environmental disasters, and providing online or telephone support for veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators.
Dr. Ford’s studies and career began with wild birds and he has strived to maintained a connection with them throughout his career. Most of the injuries that befall wild birds are anthropogenic (that is, human-caused). It’s only right that we do our part to lend comfort and care to injured wildlife and do our best, through public education and political action, to reduce their injuries and conserve the environment we share. To that end, whenever possible, he lends his services to local wildlife center free of charge. He also speaks at national conferences and local events and offer seminars to help improve the quality of wildlife care.
Since 2008, Dr. Ford has provided services, by contract, to wildlife researchers to assist them with their field projects. Entities he has served have included US Fish & Wildlife, US Geological Survey, Canadian Wildlife Service, Sea Duck Joint Venture, Alaska Dept of Fish and Game, Washington State Department of Wildlife, Biodiversity Research Institute, Smithsonian Institute, Hamer Environmental, and many others. Typically the projects focus on surgical implantation of tracking devices in water birds. Dr. Ford understands the complexities of preparing and deploying for field work in remote locations. He simplifies the medical aspects by providing protocols for Animal Care and Use Committee approval. He also provides all his own medical supplies and handles logistics. Dr. Ford is one of the most experienced avian tracker implant surgeons in the world, having deployed over 400 transmitters into birds from 27 different species with a high rate of success.
Dr. Ford has volunteered his services for major bird events caused by oil spills and harmful algal blooms on the west coast. For several years he was the lead trainer and veterinarian for the Southeast Alaska Petroleum Resource Organization (SEAPRO) based in Ketchikan, Alaska. He was also the lead veterinarian for bird treatment for Focus Wildlife during a 1 million-gallon oil spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2010. He continues to instruct and offer consultation on preparedness for environmental disasters that may affect birds in the future.
Dr. Ford offers remote support for veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitators on their individual medical cases. He is an avian consultant on the Veterinary Information Network (vin.com) where he responds to cases on a near-daily basis. He also regularly responds to less formal consults that come by phone or email and visits sites during his travels to lend a hand in whatever way he can. For the most part, these consults are free of charge.