Birds that look like penguins have been coming ashore in Malibu.
The birds, known as common murre, aren't even related to penguins. Common murres are seabirds that spend eight or nine months of each year continuously at sea, according to Jeff Hall, Mammal Response Coordinator for the California Wildlife Center.
Hall said he has been rescuing many of the birds from Malibu's beaches. He recently took eight for treatment in San Pedro.
"They do kind of look like weird birds that shouldn't be here, but they do belong off our coast," Hall said. He said the birds are not supposed to be on land, so anyone who sees a common murre should call the California Wildlife Center.
That's exactly what Sophie Kidian and her neighbor did earlier this week when they spotted what looked like a penguin at Las Flores Beach, which is also known as "Dog Beach."
"He had grease on his front feathers and he seemed very busy trying to clean himself. Because I live on “Dog Beach” I wanted to also keep any dogs from trying to play with our new guest. A wave came in and took him out for a few minutes but he came back to his spot and continued to clean his feathers and flap his wings," Kidian said.
Just before the California Wildlife Center staff arrived, two retrievers ran toward the bird and the common murre flew out to sea.
"I stayed for a long time and watched with binoculars going out further and further, so our rescue ended," Kidian said. "A few days ago I spotted his sweet body on La Costa Beach and felt so sad that we were so close to saving him but the two dogs were just doing what dogs do playfully and changed the fate of this beautiful bird."
According to Hall, there have been a bunch of common murre coming to shore in Malibu, and anybody who sees one should call 310 458-9453.