LIDO BEACH, Fla. - Something is making laughing gulls sick on Lido Beach.
Save Our Seabirds' avian hospital administrator, Dana Leworthy said it started when nine laughing gulls were brought in, showing signs of sickness. Within days, they were treating 25.
While red tide does not appear to be present in the area, samples from Collier County have tested positive. Lweorthy said the symptoms, on the surface, present the same.
"This is the same kind of results we had last year, same as red tide. Listless, they’re not able to stand or keep their head up," Leworthy explained. "The first few that came in were really down and they passed away immediately. The ones that are coming in now are a little more livelier and they have been able to pull through."
Birds coming from Lido and Siesta Key beaches are on the mend, but the team at Save our Seabirds is bracing and prepared for more.
"This is just another major concern. Is this another incident or are we going to see more numbers come in? Is this an isolated incident or are we going to see other species affected?" she wondered.
They'll rely on the keen eyes of beachgoers who will be able to spot the unusual behavior of the birds in paradise.
"These birds will not be walking or standing. They will not fly away from you. They'll kind of be laying and that's abnormal," said Leworthy.
If you spot a sick seagull, contact Save our Seabirds at 941-388-3010.