A wildlife rehabilitation centre near Halifax is hosting a large group of American birds, apparently carried to Nova Scotia by hurricane Dorian.
Hope Swinimer, owner of Hope For Wildlife in Seaforth, N.S. says she made a surprising discovery after post-tropical storm Dorian blew through the province last Saturday.
Bird researcher Ian McLaren, professor emeritus at Dalhousie University, says the gulls are most common along the Eastern Seaboard, between Florida and New England.
McLaren suspects Dorian swept them up from Cape Hatteras, N.C., for a journey of roughly 2,000 kilometres.
“The ones that were injured and not capable of flight, and had something broken and something wrong, were gathered up by the general public,” says Swinimer.
“And we had a steady stream of cars coming down our driveway all day Sunday.”
During Global News’ visit, veterinarian Dr. Jessica Khodadad was conducting an X-ray on an injured laughing gull, diagnosing the bird with a broken bone in its wing.
“We’ve applied a wrap to that wing, to stabilize that fracture, and over the next couple of weeks it should heal up nicely because it’s well-aligned,” Khodadad said.
“From there, hopefully he’ll be able to be released again.”
Swinimer said they’ve seen a wide range of physical conditions.
The centre sustained temporary damage of its own, losing power for six days, which made it difficult to contact volunteers who can help pick up birds at drop-off points.
However, electricity is now back to normal, and Swinimer expects most of the reluctant hitchhikers are to return home in a few weeks.
WATCH: Annapolis Valley families still waiting for power restoration due to significant damage caused by Dorian