Seaside Seabird Sanctuary saviors

2020 Storyfest Entry

These photos are the story of the journeys of the birds at the rehabilitation center Seaside Seabird Sanctuary. The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is a nonprofit that takes in injured birds and either releases them or keeps them as permanent residents. They offer education and volunteer opportunities. Most seabirds admitted suffer from human-related injuries, the most common involving cases of getting caught in fishing lines and hooks. In one of the images, a bird is being treated for a hook puncture. In another image, a bird is assessed by the wildlife technicians for a compound break, which is a break in its wing in multiple places. Because it affected more than 30% of the wing, it had to be euthanized. This is due to Florida's Quality of Life law.  

The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary offers a second chance to injured birds. The staff has great care and respect for the birds housed there. When the technician came to the conclusion that the bird with the compound break had to be euthanized, he became very quiet. He rubbed his eyes and looked forlorn. I could tell from his expression that this was the hardest part of the job. 

Animal rehabilitation centers like the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary are at the forefront of conservation efforts. There is a limited number of centers that offer rehabilitation services, so they are kept busy. They rely entirely on donations. 

How do you move the Planet Forward? Tweet us @planet_forward or contribute to the conversation with your own story.