More than 100 birds wash up on Brunswick County beaches

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — More than 100 Great Shearwater birds have washed up onto Brunswick County’s Beaches in just the last four days.

Sea Biscuit Shelter in Oak Island says good Samaritans have dropped off between 106 and 109 of the South Atlantic species. Shearwater birds are water birds, only coming to land in Southern Africa and South America to nest.

These birds are hundreds of miles away from their home, have been washing up sick and dead in Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, and Holden Beach. The non-profit shelter says many of them have already died. The Great Shearwater bird’s legs are built for paddling, not walking. When the tropical storm beached them, many starved. Most of them weigh less than half their typical body weight.

“So what happens when they show up here, and they’re so debilitated and so exhausted, we just feed them a whole lot of food and hope that they gain enough weight that we can return them to the wild,” founder, Maryellen Rogers explained.

Rogers says she’ll release the birds to the Intracoastal waterway when they gain enough weight. There, they’ll relearn to forage for their own food and gain enough strength to fly back to the South Atlantic. She asks beachgoers to call Sea Biscuit if they find an animal, and to bury or dispose of it if its already dead.

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