Rescue of a Double-crested Cormorant from a Fishing Hook and Line
On Labor Day we hung out with family at my parents house. Late in the day I saw a Cooper’s Hawk so I went outside to take some photos. I went down to the water looking for birds, doing my thing, when I saw this…
At first it looked like a bird, then it looked like garbage floating in the water. I went closer and then I could see, it was a cormorant in trouble. It had such beautiful blue eyes! I thought maybe it was sick or injured because it didn’t fly away and wasn’t moving much. Then it rotated enough that I could see it had a fishing hook stuck in its head. I could see it was caught in the fishing line too because it tried to flap its wing but couldn’t even lift its head.
I ran up to the house and got help. My brother waded into the water and picked up the bird who could barely resist. He carried it up to the house and the men got to work on the bird with scissors and wire snips. The fishing hook was stuck in its head and the line and weight was wrapped around one of its legs several times, nice and tight.
There was so many hands in there! You can even see my brother supporting the bird’s body with his foot. They freed the bird. Then my brother, the hero, carried it back to the water and released it. And instead of a thank you, it turned back and nipped his hand before swimming away!
I know we saved that bird’s life. It was pretty amazing! The next day I researched “birds caught in fishing line” and found this great “what to do” map. Often the line can be so tight that birds need real medical care. I also called Mass Wildlife to see if my brother should get checked out and they assured me that if he washed the cut thoroughly and applied antibacterial ointment, he should be fine.
Hopefully he doesn’t turn into this!
Good luck bird and stay away from fishing lines!
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Phew! How was your Labor Day?!