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92 shorebirds killed by vehicle on Washington state beach, authorities say

Darrell Gulin / Corbis file

A flock of dunlin stand on a Washington state beach in 1990.

Nearly 100 shorebirds were killed when a vehicle was driven into a flock on a beach in southwest Washington state, NBC station KING of Seattle reported.

Wildlife officers and sheriff's deputies who were called to the scene Thursday afternoon found 92 dunlin dead on Long Beach. The Wildlife Center of the North Coast said the trauma was consistent with a collision with a motor vehicle, KING reported.

Seabirds and shorebirds are protected by law. Wildlife officers have shown that a vehicle must be traveling much faster than the posted 25-mph speed limit on the beach in order to hit these types of birds, KING said.

The dunlin is a type of sandpiper known for large flocks that exhibit swift, synchronized flights and can hit speeds up to 110 mph,  according to the Audubon Society website

A $500 reward was offered by Wildlife Center of the North Coast for information leading to the person who hit the birds. Information can be reported to Sgt. Dan Chadwick of the state Fish and Wildlife police at 360-581-3337, KING said. 

This article is based on reporting by Susan Wyatt of KING 5 News.

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