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​Sticky situation: Mystery goop endangers birds in California

The International Bird Rescue is running like an emergency room.

Dozens, possibly hundreds, of seabirds are covered in a clear, sticky, odorless substance that spilled into the water at Hayward Regional Park in Northern California.

"It really is mimicking something like an oil spill," Julie Skoglund, operations manager at the Bird Rescue told CBS News.

But it's not oil. And Skoglund and her team don't know what it is.

The spill was found Friday and rescuers spent the weekend scooping up goop-covered birds and bringing them to the lab where they fed them, gave them a warm bed and tried to get them clean.

But their methods aren't working. Soap, baking soda and vinegar have proved ineffective against the silicone-like gunk that gets deep under the birds' feathers. The situation is stressful for the animals. They stop eating, and soon, dehydration and hypothermia begin to set in.

The rescue team is asking for donations to help fund their effort to save the birds and find out what the mystery substance is -- and who's responsible for the spill.

"Not only is it environmentally irresponsible, but for it to affect this many animals is very upsetting," Skoglund said.