NEWPORT BEACH ( — A local company is facing public rebuke after a demolition project in which employees tore down a tree, resulting in injuries to several birds.

Seven young birds were rescued after sustaining injuries that occurred Thursday when the excavator knocked down the tree. The birds are being cared for at a wildlife center.

Residents are holding the company, Tim Greenleaf Engineering, which was permitted on the job, accountable.

The snowy egrets and black crown night herons had hatched about three weeks ago and were perched in nests along with several other birds in the 50-year-old ficus. The tree was on private property on the Balboa peninsula.

The birds were too young to fly.

A YouTube video surfaced of the tree being knocked down, showing residents running toward it and picking up the fallen birds and putting them in a cage.

Witnesses estimate that there may have been as many as two-dozen nests in the tree. While the egrets and night herons are not endangered, they are protected by federal law.

A spokesman from Tim Greenleaf Engineering told the Orange County Register: “We’re not happy about how the crew responded to neighbors or how the wildlife was handled. This whole thing is raising issues internally in our company and pushing us to be a better citizen in the area.”