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Save the Dying Baby Birds

“Situation Deadly for the Baby Birds at Winter Park Rookery”

 

The situation:

A small grove of tall cypress trees serves as a makeshift rookery (large bird mating and nesting area) for hundreds of water birds each spring, including egrets, herons, cormorants and anhingas. This area is heavily populated and the park is a high traffic area for vehicles, runners and park goers. Over the past few years, the number of birds using this rookery has increased exponentially due to the loss of many other nesting areas to endless development and human encroachment. Each spring, over 250 baby birds fall from the trees, where the tightly packed nests are crowded onto every available branch. Unfortunately, many of the baby birds die helplessly on the grass, sidewalks and roadways below. The chicks succumb to exposure, fire ants, roaming cats and dogs, and even concerned citizens who are unsure how to help them.

Volunteers from Second Chance Wildlife Sanctuary frequent the park, collecting the surviving hatchlings and alerting local park and wildlife officials about the escalating death toll of these beautiful birds. Sadly, it soon became apparent that there were no programs or funding in place to deal with the expensive and time-consuming efforts needed to save these baby birds.

The solution:

We are not going to stand by helplessly and hope to have a much better outcome for these amazing birds. With your help and our locally based on-the-ground volunteer patrols, we can save hundreds of baby birds from certain death. We’ve acquired the necessary permits to collect the fallen birds, stabilize them and then transport them to a seabird rescue center in Melbourne, Florida where they will receive veterinary care, specialized food and, of course, safe shelter. They will be raised on site for eventual release back into the wild.

This effort will consist of:

  1. Multiple daily walkthroughs of the nesting areas to retrieve fallen chicks.
  2. Immediate medical care to injured hatchlings and timely transport to the seabird center.
  3. Educational presentations and flyer distribution to inform local residents and park visitors on the proper protocol if they discover a baby bird on the ground, including who to contact and how to keep the chick safe until help arrives.
  4. Training for any volunteers interested in helping out during the nesting season (early March through mid-May).
  5. Community involvement to raise awareness about the rookery and the importance of protecting this priceless natural resource right here in our backyard and preserving it for future generations of both humans and birds.

This effort takes planning, dedication, cooperation and, of course, money. From the medical care to the transportation expenses to the costly food and housing requirements, it will not be cheap to save all these birds and return them to freedom in the wild — we think it is well worth it and hope that you do as well.

Please consider making a monetary donation to help fund this project and save a life today. No donation is too small and all are tax deductible.