Baby Bird Found Stabbed at South Natomas Nest Site

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NATOMAS --

You probably won't notice them on San Juan Avenue and Azevedo Drive, unless you look closely and listen to the chorus of chirping.

"It's really loud like a jungle or something," said neighbor Alana Clark.

There are nests in the trees, eggshells on the ground and feathers in the air.

"It's kind of like you live with them they're everywhere," said neighbor Deanna Dixon.

'They' are herons and egrets. For years, the protected species have been nesting in a South Natomas apartment complex.

Mary Ford and her family have been rescuing the young ones who fall from the trees. Neighbors call her the 'bird lady.'

Too young to fly, babies can starve or die on the ground.

Ford says she's heard of these birds getting tortured on the ground: smashed with bricks and run over by cars. But Friday was the first time she saw it firsthand.

She found a black crown heron stabbed in the back with a stick.

"That wasn't to kill it. That was to torture him," Ford said.

Ford took the Heron to the Wildlife Care Association, where Operations Manager Brianna Abeyta is nursing him back to good health.

"We actually pulled the stick out.  It was in there two inches deep into his body," said Abeyta.

The little guy is lucky to be alive, but will be recovering for a while.

The Wildlife Rehab Center is also caring for other young birds Ford saved.

"Theyre all here because they fell out of their nests," said Abeyta.

Abeyta says anyone who wants to help can collect the baby birds in a box and bring them to the Wildlife care Association for free.

The team will help rehabilitate the animals in hopes they can return to the wild someday.

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