The birds sustained injuries including cuts, scrapes, abrasions and bruises from bracing the winds and waves during the nor'easter. One even suffered from a broken wing.
Cape Cod’s Director Zack Mertz said these injuries break down an essential component of the birds' feathering.
“When this happens, it also breaks their waterproofing,” Mertz explained. “When the sand and grit gets into the feathers it breaks that waterproof barrier that keeps them warm [and] helps them float.”
The waterproofing will return once the birds start preening again. Until then, they are getting a lot of rest, relaxation and nourishment.
“Some of them will probably be with us for days if not weeks,” Mertz said.
WBZ’s Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) has more: