Louisiana releases rehabbed oiled birds found after Ida

Louisiana
This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows LDWF personnel triage an oiled tricolored heron recovered at the Alliance Refinery oil spill in Belle Chasse, La. Louisiana wildlife officials say they have documented more than 100 oil-soaked birds near after crude oil spilled from a refinery flooded during Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 that a growing number of oiled birds had been observed within heavy pockets of oil throughout the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, as well as nearby flooded fields and retention ponds along the Mississippi River. (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries via AP)

This undated photo provided by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shows LDWF personnel triage an oiled tricolored heron recovered at the Alliance Refinery oil spill in Belle Chasse, La. Louisiana wildlife officials say they have documented more than 100 oil-soaked birds near after crude oil spilled from a refinery flooded during Hurricane Ida. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021 that a growing number of oiled birds had been observed within heavy pockets of oil throughout the Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse, as well as nearby flooded fields and retention ponds along the Mississippi River. (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two birds captured after they were found oiled at a Louisiana refinery following Hurricane Ida have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild, state wildlife officials said.

The birds were released Thursday at the Bayou Teche National Wildlife Refuge in Franklin as part of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ efforts to save dozens of birds found coated with oil at the Alliance Refinery in Belle Chasse after Ida struck Aug. 29.

The department has documented more than 100 oiled birds with some degree of their bodies stained with oil. At least 34 birds have been captured and are at a rehabilitation facility in New Iberia. The birds released Thursday were a Purple Gallinule and a King Rail, both marsh birds.

Black-bellied whistling ducks, blue-winged teal and a variety of egret species were among some of the birds identified. Other wildlife observed with some degree of oiling include alligators and river otters.

The release of more rehabilitated birds will be based on their individual recovery status and approved by the department.

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