Published: Apr 30, 2010 5:29 PM EDT

FORT JACKSON, La. -  Rescue crews are cleaning the first bird found coated with oil that's been spewing from a sunken rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

Workers with Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research, which is based in Delaware, are using Dawn blue dishwashing soap to scrub the oil off the young northern gannet. The commercially available detergent is commonly used to clean animals.

The rescue center says the bird was found offshore, not on the shoreline. The bird is normally white with a yellow head and long, pointed beak but was covered in thick, black oil.

The rescuers are cleaning the bird at Fort Jackson, a historic landmark about 70 miles southeast of New Orleans. It was the only animal being cleaned late Friday morning, but rescuers expected many more to come in throughout the day.

Related: Officials say oil from spill could hit Florida by Monday

New drilling on hold as oil from Gulf rig explosion washes ashore