HOUSTON — Dozens of injured and orphaned baby birds were rescued Saturday after someone destroyed their nesting area, according to the Houston SPCA.
Several of the blue herons and great egrets were found alive inside trash bags that also contained dozens of dead birds.
Many of the injured birds had broken wings, mangled legs and internal injuries.
The young birds are being cared for and treated by veterinarians and wildlife experts at the Wildlife Center. They'll remain at the center until they can be released back to the wild.
The TPWD is conducting an ongoing investigation.
Photos: 71 birds rescued by Houston SPCA
Migratory birds like egrets and herons are protected by state law and are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). More than 1,000 species are protected under the MBTA and it is unlawful to kill, injure or capture them.
To report anonymous tips of animal cruelty to the Houston SPCA, click here.
Here are some tips from the Wildlife Center of Texas on what to do if you find a baby bird that needs help.
Each year, the Wildlife Center cares for more than 12,000 native wild animals, and more than 360 different species.