Dead birds found on Jax Beach

Officials say deaths are migration-related


JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Dead birds have been popping up along the coastline from Jacksonville Beach to nearby northern St. Johns County, and some people are wondering why.

Wildlife officials say it's a "common occurance," but it has some beachgoers concerned.

"I think it's kind of sad, you know," beachgoer Linda Lutz said. "I always wonder what the cause is, basically. I just wonder what caused them to end up like that."

It's a mystery to many like Lutz, who said she sees the dead birds daily.

IMAGES:  Dead birds on beach

Within a week, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received reports that dozens of birds were dead on the beach. But some say they never noticed the decaying bodies.

"We've just been walking along, getting a little exercise this morning, and we haven't seen any," beachgoer Asha Goodnight said.

It appears different types of birds are washing ashore, like two birds that were found about 30 feet from each other Tuesday, but wildlife officials say not to panic because it's likely from natural causes.

"I think it happens, and that's the way it is, and we have to accept it," beachgoer Harry Richardson said.

In response to the reports, the FWC released a statement saying, "It is believed the deaths are migration-related, as some of these immature birds cannot handle the stress of the long migration from the northern Atlantic."

To Lutz, that seems to be a reasonable explanation.

"Makes sense to me," she said. "I really don't know."

Curiosity aside, it's still an alarming sight that beachgoers are hopeful is cleaned up quickly.

At last check, wildlife officials said their teams only found two dead birds at Jacksonville Beach, but that doesn't mean there aren't more.

The FWC encourages anyone who sees a dead bird, especially seabirds, to immediately notify wildlife officials.