LAGRANGE, Ga. — A rare bird that appeared on West Point Lake this week and garnered the attention of hundreds of bird watchers is injured.
Jeff Sewell, a lifelong bird watcher who operates the Georgia Rare Bird Alert, said the Ivory Gull that's been spotted this week now has a broken wing.
"The bird appeared OK Monday when I went down," Sewell said. "Went again Wednesday and the bird was noticeably lethargic and going down hill since then. Late yesterday or early this morning it turned up with a broken wing."
The Ivory Gull is typically found in the Arctic-area and Canada’s maritime provinces. Bird watchers who have traveled from all over this week have called the sighting a once in a lifetime experience. It's estimated between 100 and 150 people have come to see the gull so far and more are expected Saturday.
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Sewell said because the bird was so far off course, something may have already been wrong with it. It was also likely having trouble finding food.
"The problem with birds like this they are often in trouble by the time they get here," he said.
As of Friday evening Sewell was unsure of what was next for the Ivory Gull.
"Some people talked about trying to capture it and rehabilitate it," he said. "I don't know if it will go anywhere or not."
Sewell, along with others, plan to travel to West Point Lake to see the bird on Saturday. Although, Sewell said with bad weather expected to head in this evening he wasn't sure if the injured bird could survive.