KQED/Science Jan 20, 2015: "...the gooey substance was first reported at multiple sites on Friday, including Alameda County, the Crab Cove Visitor Center in Alameda, Hayward Regional Shoreline and the San Leandro Marina."
"So far, the stuff is finding its way primarily onto common shoreline birds, such as buffleheads, surf scoters, and horned grebes. Meanwhile its impact has spread to the Peninsula coastline and has started to affect more fragile species, including sandpipers."
"...sending samples to laboratories at the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Toxic Substances Control."
LA Times, Feb 28, 2015: "[The birds] didn't die in the natural world, they weren't taken as part of hunting or fishing — these animals died just a horrific death," said Capt. Paul Hamilton of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife."
"A criminal investigation is also underway, led by Fish and Wildlife game wardens. There are about 400 game wardens statewide, and depending on the amount of information available, between two and eight officers are assigned to the mystery goo case each day."
Feb 13, 2015: "Hundreds were covered with the goo beginning around Jan. 16 in the waters of San Francisco's East Bay, from Fremont to Alameda Island next to Oakland. Volunteers with the International Bird Rescue cared for 323 birds, but another 170 birds were found dead."
'“It’s some material that we nor the wildlife center has ever seen before,” Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a real mystery.”'
'“We know it’s not a public health or safety risk,” Hughan told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It killed the birds because they froze to death. It sapped all the heat out of them. They were not poisoned. They died because of a loss of body heat.”'
San Jose Mercury News, Jan 21, 2015:"Since Friday, coated birds have been found in the bay or on its shoreline at or near the San Leandro Marina, Hayward Regional Shoreline and the Harbor Bay Isle area of Alameda."
SFGate.com, Feb 12, 2015: "The exact oil- or fat-based product has not been determined, but likely suspects are silicone fluids, tung oils, resins or rosin oils, animal fats, and edible or inedible seed oils from plants, said Janna Rinderneck, an environmental scientist with the state Office of Spill Prevention and Response."
' “It may seem simple, but there is a lot of complicated chemistry in fats and oils, and also with oils in the environment, there are a lot of environmental processes,” Crane said. “They can change in composition over time when exposed to sunlight, oxygen or heat.” '
Wikipedia.com (current): "In November, 2007, an oil spill in San Francisco harbour oiled and killed thousands of birds including many surf scoters. About 40% of the birds affected were from this species. Scientists said that while the species is not endangered it has declined 50 to 70% over the past 40 years and this spill could decrease populations since most of the affected birds are healthy adults."