Birds found shot through the neck with blow darts in Newport Beach

- Newport Beach police appealed to the public Thursday for help tracking down whoever wounded four birds with blow darts in recent weeks.

Three Heermann's gulls and a Mallard duck have been found with blow darts through the neck, but there are probably more, according to Jennifer Manzella of the Newport Beach Police Department.

The first call of a wounded bird came on Jan. 9, Manzella said. There have been about 13 to 15 reports, but some of them could be about the same birds, so it's difficult to say how many have been harmed, Manzella said.

The wounded birds can still fly, which has made it tough for animal control officers to retrieve them for treatment, she said. So far, the officers have not been able to corral any of the birds.

The darts are orange and about eight inches long, Manzella said. It is illegal to possess or use a blowgun and the darts, she said.

Anyone with information was asked to call Animal Control Officer Nick Ott at (949) 644-3688, ext. 2716 or by email at

Anonymous tips are welcome.

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