Some of the long-legged marsh birds that were hurt in a highly publicized tree-trimming accident in May are back in the wild Saturday night.
As the birds were released Saturday, one instantly took to the air while some of the other young birds seemed confused by their sudden freedom. The plight of the black-crowned night herons made national news when tree-trimmers knocked them from their nests.
A rescue group then took over nursing the birds, who are now old enough to thrive on their own on a shoreline near Alameda.
"This is a pretty nice environment for them," Veterinarian Rebecca Duerr said. "There's a rather nice acreage marsh behind us that we're gonna release them into, and there are trees on the margin for them to roost in."
Each bird has a band, so it can be tracked for post-release monitoring. Rescue workers want to know whether the birds join a colony, and if they will breed.