FAIRFIELD — It was a rescue mission of enormous proportions and it was highly successful too — but it’s not over yet.
“It is absolutely unique to take birds from a nesting rookery,” said J.D. Bergeron with the International Bird Rescue.
That was the challenge last week in downtown Oakland after a ficus tree broke and the remainder was deemed a danger and had to be removed. It prompted a major effort to collect the stranded chicks.
“Nest by nest removing the birds,” Bergeron said. “The adults were swirling around the tree as we were removing the young. Hopefully, they realized fairly quickly, but yeah, it’s not a good thing.”
All 89 birds, which included 72 babies or adolescents and 17 eggs, were taken to the International Bird Rescue in Fairfield. Fifty of them were snowy egrets and the remaining were black-crowned night herons.
Some needed medical attention and all the birds were extremely traumatized.
“Probably we’ll see in a couple of weeks the oldest of those birds will be releasable,” Bergeron said. “The very young ones and especially the ones that just hatched will probably be here six or seven weeks.”
The rescue center became standing room only with the new additions and the staff has had to work overtime to care for them all.
“This was a lot of birds all at once and our volunteers are already quite taxed at the end of a baby bird season,” Bergeron said.
With the additions at the facility in Fairfield, they are holding a volunteer workshop to help train new people. The workshop is happening on Saturday at 10 a.m. Visit the bird rescue’s website for more information.