Local bird rescue provides update to ‘tragic bird die-off’ at Jacksonville beaches

The Arc Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation organization is trying to rescue two of the hundreds of shearwater birds that washed up onto local beaches Thursday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Ark Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation organization gave a reason for the bird die-off that beachgoers first witnessed on Thu., June 20.


Action News Jax broke the story when visitors to Hanna Park first noticed shearwater birds struggling to move or fly.

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In just a short time, The Ark Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation received over 200 calls about sick or dying birds.

“I don’t know what we can do about or what’s causing it, but it’s definitely sad to see,” Neptune Beach resident Justin Butters said.

On Friday, a Florida Wildlife Commission shorebird biologist offered insight into what might have caused the die-off.

In a social media post, the rehab organization said that biologists concluded the birds are dying from migratory and wind-related stress and exhaustion. Other wildlife rehabilitators have found that many are dramatically underweight.

READ: Suspected fish kill near Julington Creek attracts vultures, neighbors say they are suffering

“These almost always tend to die soon after they are found on the beach,” The Ark said.

The bird rehab organization said two surviving birds are being tube-fed. They said they might make it through to release but “it’s touch and go.”

The Arc Wildlife Rescue said in the meantime, please move any dying birds found on the beach into an area protected from the sun and wind.

Because of the overwhelming response, The Arc Wildlife Rescue is taking donations. Click here to see how you can help.

A shorebird biologist has concluded the birds are dying from migratory and wind-related stress and exhaustion.

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