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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Birds rescued from gulf oil spill get a sendoff from Gov. Charlie Crist

P1030444 As photo-ops go, they don't get much better than this: Gov. Charlie Crist went to the shores of tranquil Lake Talquin in Gadsden County Thursday morning to help release a pair of pied-billed grebes that had been saturated with oil from the Deepwater Horizon blowout.

"Wow, this is beautiful!" Crist said as he surveyed the calm waters reflecting a bright morning sun. He donned a pair of blue rubber gloves and, with the aid of a couple of wildlife officers, helped open a cardboard box and set one of the birds free. The small diving birds feed on crustaceans and small fish. One was found on Perdido Key and the other at Gulf Breeze in the western Panhandle.

"It's an amazing thing to witness," Crist said, "having the opportunity to bring these birds back to their P1030445natural habitat and a chance to get their life going on again. It's kind of reflective of Florida, I guess." The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission director, Nick Wiley, said another 50 oil-soaked birds are "in rehab" and will be released when they're ready.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 10:46am]


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