Disaster struck this week at a large heron and egret rookery in downtown Oakland, CA. A large ficus tree split and partially toppled on Wednesday, sending dozens of baby birds tumbling to the ground.
A concerned citizen saw these birds in crisis and immediately called our San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center to come to the rescue. A Bird Rescue team, including JD Bergeron, Executive Director and Michelle Bellizzi, Response Manager, was on the scene right away at Jackson at 13th Streets and began collecting the surviving birds to take into care.
By the end of day on Friday, July 12, teams had rescued a total of 90 birds – including 51 Snowy Egrets, 22 Black-crowned Night-Herons, and 17 eggs.
Meanwhile, back at the clinic, staff and volunteers worked late into the night to prepare special enclosures for the incoming patients and take care of their immediate needs as they arrived.
We are so grateful to be able to care for all of these precious baby birds but rely on the public’s support to cover the costs of care for all of our patients.
What happens when a bird is rescued?
Our partners also deserve praise. They stepped forward to help us, including the Golden Gate Audubon, Oakland post office staff, law enforcement, and Davey Tree Services, the city-hired arborists to rescue the rest of the baby birds from this tree before the tree was taken down.
Our clinic assesses and stabilizes the birds; any eggs collected are put in incubators, and all chicks will need to be hand-fed by staff and volunteers multiple times a day. Each of these rescued birds will require weeks and sometimes months of care before they are able to be released back into a safe environment.
These birds – especially the Black-crowned Night-Herons– hold a special place in the heart of Oakland residents. Earlier this year, local school kids urged and won a petition to have the Oakland City Council declare the Night-Herons the official bird of Oakland. Read more
Thank you for your generous support.