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Dehydrated Baby Egrets Dying In DeSoto

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(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Andrea Lucia
Andrea joined CBS 11 and TXA 21 in September 2010, one day befo...
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DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – Drought and destruction of habitat are forcing adult egrets to fly farther in search of food, leaving their little ones at the mercy of their thirst. The baby birds are wandering out of their nests in search of water.

“They’re dehydrated and very emaciated,” said Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Director, Kathy Rogers.

Dozens of dead baby egrets littered the streets of one DeSoto neighborhood Monday.

“It’s pretty heartbreaking. A lot of them you can tell they’re little. They’re little chicks,” said neighbor Julie Norris, who spotted a few still struggling to stay alive.

Wildlife rescuers said they’re doing all they can to save the egrets, but as the heat index continues to rise, so too will the death count.

“It’s a desperate situation, a very desperate situation,” said Rogers.

Rescued chicks that make it to Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation are dusted for parasites and injected with fluids.

“If we didn’t come pick them up, they’d be dead in the grass,” said Rogers.

Once the baby egrets are on the ground, Rogers said their parents stop feeding them, causing them to starve.

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Volunteers recovered at least 20 Monday afternoon, but they expect more to follow. “The hotter it gets, the more of them come out for water,” said Rogers.

Rogers will return to the neighborhood in hopes of nursing as many as she can back to health, before it’s time for them to migrate south in late August.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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