Sunnyside woman helps rescue young egret

<p>Egret Released</p>

Egret Released

An egret once fighting to survive is released back into the wild today thanks to a Sunnyside woman.

Mary Marquez, who found the egret two months ago, says the bird had lost its parents, and it couldn't eat or fly on its own.

So she rescued the bird and took it to Blue Mountain Wildlife in Pendleton, Oregon where employees cared for it.

This morning, Marquez and employees from Blue Mountain Wildlife released the egret back into the wild along the Yakima River in West Richland.

Marquez first saw the bird near her house in Sunnyside about two months ago, when it was born.

She said the bird's parents built a nest for the young egret, but a few weeks after it was born, the parents left and never came back.

Wildlife experts say if Marquez didn't help rescue the egret it would have died.

"I'm very, very, very pleased. We've given him the best chance we can give him, and that's no guarantee. But he didn't have any chance the other way" said Marquez.

"There are egrets on this water, the river here. And there are herons. There's lots of fish. So this is a really good place for he or she to figure out how to be an egret, a great egret" said Lynn Tompkins, Blue Mountain Wildlife.

The bird was never injured.

But it couldn't survive without learning how to eat and fly on its own, so that's exactly what wildlife experts helped the egret do during the past month.

The egret has been eating about half a pound of fish each day.

This is only the second egret Blue Mountain Wildlife has rescued in the last 25 years.