NewsProtecting Paradise


Chilly weather can put birds in harm's way, experts say

Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 18:56:12-05

PALM BEACH, Fla. — You may be enjoying our cooler weather, but experts say this recent dip in degrees could be putting beautiful birds in harm's way.

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Every week, you’ll find the Friends of Palm Beach cleaning up miles of shoreline on the Palm Beach.

"We pick up trash, micro plastics, Styrofoam, pretty much anything that’s out here," said Jamil Andrea with Friends of Palm Beach.

This week, volunteers saw something alarming.

"Pretty much every day a sick bird that’s just been lying over by the shore, like, can’t move its legs, can’t move its wings," said Andrea. "And one of them we found was getting pummeled by the waves, so we moved it to the dunes and called an animal rescue team to see if they could come out and get it."

Mark McCarthy at McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary in West Palm Beach said birds like gannets are likely migrating south.

"If they are coming down here and they are running into cold weather and the waves start getting larger and crashing, it just stresses them out a lot," said McCarthy.

McCarthy said he’s taking in more birds at his rescue and believes more pollution is getting into the ocean than every before.

"It’s everything. It’s fertilizers on the golf courses, fertilizers at your home. It’s constant," said McCarthy. "The run-off off the highways, which goes in the drainage system, that run-off usually runs into the ocean."

McCarthy warns that if you see a bird struggling to move or injured, you can call a sanctuary like his. He said if it’s moving and closer to the water, it might just be taking a breather.

"It’s rough out there in the wild," said McCarthy.