These baby birds were rescued from a Portland dumpster. Credit: Maine Center for Wildlife photo

CAPE NEDDICK, Maine — The Center for Wildlife in York said four baby starlings were rescued after someone threw them in a dumpster along the Portland waterfront.

“Cases like these baffle and sadden us a person passing by heard them calling, muffled by the plastic trash bag they were in and the garbage on top of them,” the center, which rehabilitates wildlife, said in a Facebook post. “Upon inspecting the noise, this kind community member found the for babies in amongst coffee grounds and other garbage.”

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The center said the entire nest and the babies had been tossed in.

“If they had not been found, these babies would’ve slowly starved to death or been crushed under more garbage and suffocated. The cruelty, lack of empathy, and complete disregard for life leaves us at a loss,” the center said.

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One of the babies suffered a broken leg. The other three are confused, hungry, and subdued especially for this species, according to the center.

The center said they are hopeful that with supportive care they will make a complete recovery and be able to be released.