BD0A2910By Samantha Clark, Santa Cruz Sentinel

LIVE OAK >> A troubling number of starved and weak seabirds are washing ashore on beaches from the Monterey Bay to Alaska at a similar rate not seen since past severe El Niño years.

Scientists think that ever-warmer conditions in the ocean are linked to the spike in struggling common murres being found and brought to rescue centers.

Native Animal Rescue in Live Oak has received 212 murres since Aug. 1 and about half have died. The rescue center typically sees fewer than 40 each year.

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