Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Florida: Hundreds of pelicans found dead or injured off Jacksonville coast — Blamed on “chemicals in the water” (Pictures)

Pelicans turn up sick, dead off Jacksonville coast

Founder of sanctuary treating the birds blames chemicals in the water.

Posted: January 17, 2011 - 6:43pm

By JUSTIN SACHAROFF

The Times-Union

Hundreds of Eastern brown pelicans, some with missing wings and frostbite, have been injured or killed in the St. Johns River the past couple of weeks in the Mayport area.

The exact reason is unknown but the cold weather could have caused hypothermia when the birds landed in the water. The pelicans have been losing a protective coating they have on their body to shield their feathers from becoming saturated by water.

Cindy Mosling, co-founder of the Bird Emergency Aid and Kare Sanctuary on Big Talbot Island, thinks chemicals in the water could be the culprit.

Mosling and her team, which consists of her husband and their only employee, Jose Gutierrez, have been capturing the sick birds for a more than a week when they fly to an open feeding area at their facility. They spot the weak ones and bring them in to be cleaned, warmed and fed.

Read more and see the pics here:

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