FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — The South Florida Wildlife Center is nursing two baby Least Tern birds back to health after being displaced by the bad weather over the weekend.
The Least Tern, the smallest tern in North America, is listed by the state as a threatened species. It is listed as endangered in the Midwest and Great Plains states.
They nest on gravel rooftops.
“With this heavy rain and wind, we would imagine they would be out walking around a little bit and with just one gust, unfortunately, fell from the roof top,” explained DeAnna Duskin from the South Florida Wildlife Center.
The baby birds are being hand fed during their recovery.
They’re eating pretty well. One is bigger than the other because they came from different nests about a day apart. The smaller bird started showing encouraging signs through care and company.
‘We put the two together and sure enough within the first day, they were actually sleeping together, they would go in the water dish and kind of feed together a little bit, so we saw improvement with that as well,” said Duskin.
It seems the smaller bird could have been inadvertently injured after being played with by children when it was found. Experts say when you find wild animals, especially babies; it is best to touch them as little as possible and try to re-nest them if they are not hurt or abandoned.
“We ask people to stop, look around, see if they see the parents or any other birds or mammals of the same species around them and then think about ways to get them back to those parents,” said Antonia Gardner from the center.
The hope for these two is that they can make it back to the wild soon.
“Our plan is to raise them together, they’ll move to an outside house together when they’re old enough, learn how to fly together basically, so they’ll be raised as siblings in our care,” said Duskin.
Since the pair probably will not be able to be re-nested, they will both go through rehab at the center and then be released into another colony in late June.
In Florida, Least Terns live along the coast and are seen in most coastal areas but their habitat continues to diminish as human population and development increases along the coastline. They are also spotted near estuaries, bays and rivers. Outside of Florida, they can be found along the Atlantic Coast and all the way down to Argentina.