Birds sickened after mysterious St. Pete fish kill

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Fish kills are a normal part of nature, in some cases.

But when a fish kill is accompanied by dead birds, there may be something wrong.

You can see several dead fish near the edges of a lake in the Riviera Bay community in St. Pete.

The city found out about the kill early in the week, and says workers have been cleaning up thousands of pounds of the dead fish over the last few days - mainly to contain the smell.

Nearly a dozen birds are either sick or have died at the lake, as well. Some have been rescued by seaside seabird sanctuary.

They say this happens pretty frequently when winter brings cooler temperatures.

 “When you get cold temperatures, you get a colder water temperature on top, and then the warmer water reverses, then comes to the surface,” explained John Norris with the city. “[It] depletes the oxygen and then it results in fish dying.”

The bird deaths, however, are unusual. City officials say they don't usually go hand-in-hand with fish kills.

The city is testing the water to see what is getting birds sick.

Workers from Seaside Seabird Sanctuary rescued 8 of the birds from the lake in the Riviera Bay community. Three died, while the remaining five are in critical condition.

The sanctuary said it would treat the birds as if they were affected by red tide.

"Our ultimate goal is to rescue these guys, get them better, rehab them and get them back out in the wild," said Eddie Gayton, with the sanctuary.