140 Baby Herons Rescued in California City After Falling From Trees

by Megan Molseed
(Getty Images)

California rescuers have come to the aid of over one hundred black-crowned night herons during this nesting season. The team of rescuers from the Oakland Zoo make it part of their routine to scour the city searching for fallen black-crowned night heron fledglings throughout the Oakland neighborhoods. The Oakland Zoo staff and wildlife volunteers search downtown at least twice a day for these fallen young birds.

The Heron Rescue Team Rehabilitates Hundreds Of Black Crowned Night Heron Fledglings

This dedicated black-crowned night heron rescue team works in collaboration with the California-based zoo. As well as the International Bird Rescue, and Golden Gate Audubon Society. And this nesting season alone the teams have “rescued, rehabilitated and released” a jaw-dropping 140 fledglings this season.

The black-crowned heron has been Oakland’s “official bird” since around 2019. The Oakland area has the “largest black-crowned night-heron rookery (communal nesting ground for birds)” in the Bay Area, officials have noted. And, the experts say, these birds “merit some special attention to ensure that they can continue to thrive in the city.”

Fledglings Learning To Fly Can Sometimes Take A Spill Onto The Hard City Sidewalks

The officials connected to the black-crowned heron rescue team note that each year the city sees a return of nesting colonies of the birds returning to the city. The fledglings begin their lives sitting among Oakland’s trees throughout the city. So, when they are learning to fly in these busy Oakland areas, a spill can mean major injury. Especially when the little birds are falling onto the concrete-covered ground.

These falls from nests onto the sidewalks or streets can result in major injuries for the baby birds. Sometimes these spills even result in death. This is where the dedicated rescue team comes in.

Once the black-crowned heron fledglings are rescued, the tiny birds are taken to the Oakland zoo. Here, they receive “intermediary medical evaluation and treatment.” Then they are transported to the International Bird Rescue for further care and eventual recovery.

“The birds that have recovered and are old enough to survive and fly are steadily being released into the wild,” officials note of the rescue program.

“Into safe and local habitats, such as the Oakland Bay shoreline,” the statements continue.

One of the Oakland Zoo’s top officials Nik Dehejia adds that the rescue team has hopes to keep this program going. The goal, Dehejia notes is to “continue this important work and see our city’s official bird thrive in the years to come.”

The black-crowned night heron has been called “the most widespread heron in the world.” They typically settle in are known for their “fresh, salt and brackish wetlands.” They are most active around night or dusk.