TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) -- After strong storms this week, the Tucson Wildlife Center says there have been sightings of seabirds stranded in Tucson.
The center says they have gotten calls about sightings of Storm-Petrels. The birds are dark in color and about the size of a small swallow, experts say, with webbed feed and a tube-like nostril at the bill so it can drink salt water and dispose of the salt.
“Hundreds have been sighted south of Tucson, blown in from the hurricane,” said Lisa Bates, co-founder of Tucson Wildlife Center. “These guys are pelagic ocean birds from the Sea of Cortez. They won’t survive in the desert or in fresh water, so it is imperative people get them to us so we can stabilize them and transport them to a California bird rescue.”
Bates says at least two of the birds have died, and once found they need immediate care or they will die.
“At night a wet parking lot looks like water and many of these birds will strand, in exhaustion, on the hard surface of the pavement,” said Dr. Pat Latas, Tucson Wildlife Center’s veterinarian. “The birds will be injured and physiologically depleted from the terrifying ride on the hurricane, and in desperate need of medical attention. Some can be saved and returned to the ocean. And those that die can help document the species and events, and help direct policy to conserve the ocean’s seabirds — who are in great peril from human impact alone.”
Latas says if you find one of the birds, put it in a cardboard box lined with something soft like a T-shirt and bring it to the Wildlife Center.
The address is 13275 E. Speedway Blvd in Tucson.