HANCOCK COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Wildlife experts spent the day on Coast beaches working to save birds and other animals battered by Tropical Storm Cristobal.
Following the storm, the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center received many calls regarding injured birds along the shore of the Gulf. Randall Hines, the vice president of the Wildlife Center, said each time there’s a storm or high winds, many birds are washed from their homes. And in this case, it happened at the peak of nesting season.
“Their nesting season has expanded to begin around January or February, but it still extends to this time of year when they’re skeptical to these tropical systems coming in,” said Hines.
On Tuesday, staff members were specifically on the lookout for baby brown pelicans. “What we look for in a baby pelican is a shorter beak, downy feathers with pen feathers, no flight. They aren’t able to fly,” said Hines.
Depending on its condition, the center nurtures the bird for about six to eight weeks, and that’s typically the same time the bird leaves the nest after hatching. To ensure the pelican is healthy before its release, the staff examines it for external parasites then it’s dewormed for anything inside.
Other researchers and rescue teams were out and Abby Darrah, a Mississippi Audubon biologist, stated that hundreds of clapper rails were stranded from their home. “It is a part of their evolutionary history and their life history. They evolved in a dynamic ecosystem like this that has these kinds of storms. So yeah, there are going to be years where the chicks die and even some of the adults, but they are robust enough they can come back from that,” said Darrah.
If you happen to see any injured wild animals, you can contact the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center at 228-669-2737.