Bats, birds among wildlife pummeled during Southern freeze

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FILE – In this Feb. 16, 2021, file photo, thousands of Atlantic green sea turtles and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles suffering from cold stun are laid out to recover at the South Padre Island Convention Center on South Padre Island, Texas. As many Texans hosted neighbors who had no heat or water during the vicious February storm, numerous types of wildlife are believed to have taken a beating from the cold snap. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP, File)

DALLAS (AP) — Birds, bats and other wildlife appear to have taken a beating during the winter storm and deep freeze in the southern U.S. Scientists say it might take weeks or months to determine the extent of the harm.

But dead robins and other songbirds are being found on yards and sidewalks. And rehabilitation specialists are nursing starving bats found on snow-covered grounds.

Experts say migratory birds in the region don’t fatten up for winter because the South usually has mild weather and plentiful food.

Naturalists also worry about habitat for monarch butterflies and other vulnerable species. Officials say there may be fish kills in some waters.

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