As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

ENTANGLED: Rescuers respond to birds ensnared in fishing line

Fishing line and birds can be a deadly combination.

On Thursday morning, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge received a call from Destin Yacht Club, alerting them that a great blue heron was tangled in fishing line in a tree behind the yacht club, Stephanie Kadletz, wildlife health supervisor at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, told The Log.

Debbie Edwards, who’s on the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge’s board of directors, responded to the call. After arriving on scene, she could not immediately assist the bird because it was about 40 feet up in a tree.

While Coastline Tree Service in Destin scrambled to the scene with their bucket truck, Kadletz said the bird, which was standing in the tree, when it lost its footing and then went limp.

Edwards choked back tears as she described the incident to The Log.

“Basically, he ended up slipping and hanging himself,” Edwards said.

She said that he was in really bad shape and that even if they had gotten him down before he “expired,” his chances of survival were slim.
“When we got this guy down basically he had a fish hook in his mouth that was wrapped around the tree and he couldn’t free himself,” Edwards said. “If I thought I could climb the tree and get to him I would have, but I would’ve just put myself in danger.”

Edwards said that about 75 percent of the herons and pelicans the ECWR sees come in with fishing line injuries.

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