California rescue center overwhelmed with starving seabirds

Sep 26, 2015 12:52 PM by News Staff

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (AP) - Across Northern California, malnourished seabirds have been appearing in alarming numbers, some shrunken to little more than feather and bone.

The Sacramento Bee reports Friday that the birds are turning up on beaches from Monterey County to Marin County.

Many of the thin-billed species are being brought into the International Bird Rescue Center, which says it is taking in the birds at the highest rates in 18 years.

The murres' presence is significant to scientists because they're considered a marker species. That means their movements and numbers signal changes in the ocean's food supply, the newspaper reported.

Center spokesman Russ Curtis says more than 250 common murres have been brought into the center in the last month. Curtis says the center usually sees about 10 birds each month in late summer and early fall.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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