Red tide still sickens birds along coast

- Several patients have been checked into the Wildlife Center of Venice, where workers have seen an influx of birds.

During the last two months they've had about 100 come in needing help. The main culprit appears to be red tide.

"We're getting a lot of calls from all over. There are a lot of sick birds out there," said Beverly Groom.

There are some key signs to determine if a bird isn't doing well.

"Birds that are having trouble standing, drooping wings are important. Birds that aren't generally acting correct," said Kevin Lindberg. "They swim out eat the fish that have been effected with it and then it effects them. They get dehydrated, weak, they kind of just float into shore and just float on the beach." 

Red tide gives the birds toxic poisoning and the Wildlife Center works to get it out of their system.

"We flush them out. Until they're strong enough to eat on their own again and then slow down on the fluids and go from there," said Lindberg.

With a bloom still offshore, they expect more patients. But it helps when people keep an eye out.

"The more people we get out there looking around observing the wildlife that helps us," said Groom.

If you see a sick bird you can contact the Wildlife Center of Venice. You can reach them at 941-484-9657.

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