GRAND CHENIER, La. (AP) - Sixteen birds washed of oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill are free in southwest Louisiana. State and federal biologists released 13 laughing gulls, two royal terns and a sandwich tern on Wednesday at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge in Grand Chenier.

State Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham says the refuge and nearby areas provide the sort of habitat they need. He says they hope to release more rehabilitated birds in Louisiana in coming weeks.

The birds are among more than 550 released after treatment in Buras and now Hammond, where the bird rescue station was moved this

The Rockefeller state refuge is in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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