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Sick birds may have been in a Santa Barbara oil slick

Published On: Feb 18 2013 09:08:05 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 19 2013 03:38:01 PM CST

Natural oil seeps off the Santa Barbara County coastline are being called the possible reason for the unusually high number of oiled birds now being reported along the coast of Los Angeles County.

Over 100 sick birds are now being treated in a Los Angeles area rescue center, and they may have been injured in oily waters from natural seeps off Santa Barbara County. 

Experts say there are no known oil spills off the coast.  The largest source of oil is from Mother Nature, due to cracks in the ocean floor in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Surfers off Isla Vista say oil in the ocean, and tar on the beach, comes and goes due to the seeps, but it hasn't been unusually bad lately.  It's something they say they see often.

The International Bird Rescue Center in San Pedro says 110 oily birds have been brought in and most were picked up this month.

They are hoping to flush the oil off the feathers and free the birds into the wild again.


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