OAKLAND, Calif. - A bird rescue operation is underway in downtown Oakland from a tree that was badly damaged two weeks ago and now must come down.
A young heron seems upset and confused about what to do as crews dismantle the other side of the ficus he calls home.
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It's a delicate operation, an effort to rescue the life that remains in the canopy of this damaged tree, home to dozens of black-crowned night herons and snowy egrets.
"The tree has to come out, so what we've done is we've coordinated with the city of Oakland on a very thoughtful process to get the tree down and get the birds rescued out of the tree who cannot self-rescue themselves," Golden Gate Audubon Society's Cindy Margulis said.
This is the same ficus that split in half two weeks ago, killing six adult and baby birds and injuring a dozen others, part of a larger colony that nests in this tree and others around it.
Now before the city cuts down the tree entirely, the remaining birds and their nests are being removed, along with any eggs.
"We knew that we wanted to get in there and take care of the birds before we took the tree down," Oakland Watershed Program specialist Terri Fashing said.
The rescued birds are being taken to the International Bird Rescue in Fairfield and eventually will be released back in Oakland.