Common Murres undergo rehabilitation at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. The birds have washed ashore, starving and in need of critical care.

Common Murres undergo rehabilitation at the Wildlife Center of the North Coast. The birds have washed ashore, starving and in need of critical care.

Courtesy of Beth Wide, Wildlife Center of the North Coast

Unusually high numbers of dead and dying baby seabirds have been washing up on Oregon beaches this summer, alarming some scientists and rescue groups.

Just last week, Newport’s Oregon Coast Aquarium received three starving common murre chicks, bringing its total to 31 this year. That compares with just one in each of the past two years.

And West Coast rescue organizations from Alaska to California are reporting receiving hundreds more of the chicks, which look like baby penguins.

In California, some scientists are worried they’re seeing a repeat of 2014 and 2015 when the so-called “blob” – a mass of warm water that hung around the Pacific into 2016 – resulted in a mass die-off of common murres, as well as other marine birds and mammals.

Read the whole story at the Statesman Journal.