Authorities said it could have been a heartless end for a bunch of birds.
Now, the Suffolk SPCA is asking for the public's help in locating the person who dumped lovebirds and parrots along a wooded area of the Northern State Parkway just east of Route 110 in Melville on Saturday.
Rescuers recovered five of the birds, four of them using cages and nets, SPCA Chief Roy Gross said.
Another bird was struck by a car on the parkway and killed.
Gross said it remained unclear if additional abandoned birds were not recovered.
"These birds were really stressed and now they're in quarantine," Gross said Friday, adding: "We're hoping somebody saw the person and the vehicle used, because it is criminal what they did. It really is. It's so easy for someone to give up these birds — to the SPCA, to bird rescuers out there — and to leave them like this, to do something like this, it's just not the way to deal with this."
Gross said the SPCA became aware of the abandonment when a passerby on the Northern State Parkway saw a man exit a silver sport utility vehicle, possibly a Nissan Pathfinder, with a cage in his hand around 12:15 p.m.
When rescuers reached the area Saturday, Gross said, the vehicle was gone — and rescuers could hear the birds "screaming in distress" in nearby trees.
Eventually, the rescuers corralled the five birds, Gross said. Gross said rescuers returned to the area on Sunday to search for additional birds, but didn't find any.
Love birds can live for decades, Gross said, and some parrot species can live for 80-100 years.
Most important, Gross said, is for owners to understand there are options available beside abandonment — shelters, bird rescuers, the SPCA.
"If they'd have called us, we have bird rescuers ready to step in," he said.
Gross said the dumper, if caught, would face misdemeanor abandonment charges and possibly charges of negligence or neglect.
If convicted, that could mean a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, he said.
The SPCA is asking anyone with information about the birds or the person who abandoned them to call them at 631-382-7722. All calls will remain confidential.