More than a dozen baby herons and egrets fell from their nests when a large ficus tree split in half and partially collapsed in Oakland, sending the birds plunging to the pavement below.
International Bird Rescue responded after receiving a call from a resident who was concerned about the young birds, some of which were only days old.
The tree, which was serving as a rookery, mostly for snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons, stood at Jackson and 13th Streets, near the scene of a 2014 disaster when tree trimmers sent cut branches holding nests and young night herons through a wood chipper.
As staff and volunteers rushed to the scene, others worked late into the night preparing enclosures for the incoming patients. By late Wednesday, the workers had rescued 16 egrets and herons, some of which were so young and so cold, they had to be placed in incubators.
Rescue crews returned to the site Thursday to look for more birds.
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Volunteers regularly patrol the Oakland streets looking for birds in distress at this time of year. Black-crowned night heron chicks seem particularly vulnerable to falling from their nests, and landing on concrete pavement can be fatal. Any rescued birds are taken to International Bird Rescue in Fairfield for treatment, rehabilitation and return.
Because of the 2014 massacre of chicks, third-grade students at Park Day School successfully petitioned the Oakland City Council to name the black-crowned night-herons the official bird of Oakland, raising awareness of the sometimes hard-knock life of the birds.
Source:: East Bay – Lifestyle