Wildlife rescuers are working to save some baby birds from drowning in Long Beach Harbor, officials at the Aquarium of the Pacific announced Monday.
According to the aquarium, the Elegant Terns formed a colony on two barges in the harbor, but the chicks keep falling into the water. Because they have not fledged, meaning they haven’t grown into their adult watertight feathers, they drown unless they are pulled from the sea.
So far, more than 460 chicks have been rescued from the water.
“Staff members from the aquarium have been going out on their boat daily to retrieve chicks from the water,” aquarium officials said, while also asking people to keep their distance from the barges and reduce speeds when boating in the harbor.
Staffers in the Aquarium of the Pacific’s boat are picking up an average of about 35 chicks each day.
Once the wet birds are on the boat, the chicks are then transported to the clinic at International Bird Rescue in San Pedro, where they are hand-fed and rehabilitated before they can be released back into the wild.
Other organizations also pitching in to help the chicks include the Oiled Wildlife Care Network and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The organizations involved in the effort are asking the public to contribute donations to help feed and house the chicks by visiting birdrescue.org/help-terns.