Here are a few photos I managed to take for the story that follows in the next posting. You can see how much line was attached to this poor young bird that Kate & I rescued at Tiny Marsh. It was very lucky I decided to go for a walk after Kate & I were done the marsh monitoring. And the little bird and I both were lucky Kate decided to come along too. I could of never done this alone. One very lucky young bird. What a way to start out your life. For the record. I have nothing against fishing. I am just asking that you guys are more careful in making sure you take everything home with you and realize the dangers leaving fishing line behind can cause for not just our wildlife friends,but for ourselves as well. I am very lucky I was walking slowly or I may have fallen. Just another wildlife story to add to my long list. A happy ending and another experience to learn from for all.
Jen's Creative Photography
Thursday, July 5, 2012
The other day I was walking along the dike in Tiny Marsh with Kate when suddenly my foot was caught up and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t see anything. But I was unable to move. As I tried to free myself from whatever had me, we also heard a lot of flapping in the reeds. Just birds flitting about we thought to ourselves. But no. As I bent over and felt around I found it, I was caught in a green heavy fishing line. And at the other end,an immature grackle was also trapped in it. When I pulled,I pulled on it’s totally wrapped up little leg. Kate Harries and myself had just finished doing the marsh monitoring for Bird Studies Canada and decided to walk further out on the dyke. This babe would have died a terrible death if we hadn’t of gone. With the help of Kate I got free,then we rushed to the little grackle. I could not of done this alone. It was all wrapped up around it’s leg which was wrapped all around the reeds. You didn’t know where to start and we had to be so careful not to pull on that leg. It was a difficult free while I held the bird and Kate worked on untangeling the fishing line. We finally got it out and then Kate got wrapped in it as we walked back onto the trail. It was everywhere on the trail and leading to the water. And was caught tight in the brush in more than one place leading to I guess you could call it a booby trap for anything that crossed it’s path. You could not move once tangled in it. And you could not see it. We had to get this line off this babies leg or it was going to loose that leg. It was tight and wrapped around a few times over. We had nothing to cut this line with. At a nearby farm, friends of Kate’s,Anne, helped and with a steady hand a good eye and a needle. We kept the baby hydrated through the whole event,something he welcomed when I offered it. This wonderful lady got that line off this babe. It took 3 people and some time. We took it back working as quickly as we could to keep the stress to a minimum. It still took over an hour to free this little bird all total. It was taken to were we found it hoping it’s mom was nearby. And it flew free. That could have been anything caught in that line,including somebodies pet. Somebody could have been injured walking alone,getting caught and falling,like an older person,anyone. A lot of people walk along that dyke. You could not see this line waiting to entangle anyone or anything that came into it’s path. We have all snagged a lure and had to cut the line. BUT. Please,DO NOT LEAVE IT BEHIND. I was walking slowly so I didn’t fall. But I was stuck tight. Then Kate was all wrapped up in it from just walking from the reeds. If she had not of felt that she could have fallen the way it was wrapped around her legs. This innocent little baby bird was so scared,struggling for it’s little life. No food,no water,no mom. Luck was with this little one that day. But it does not always work that way. Even leaving a cut line in the water is a danger to those in that water,but that sometimes can not be helped. But what is on land. Take it with you and dispose of it properly and safely. It is your responciblility to do so,it could be your child,mother,father or dog that gets snagged in it next time and gets injured,or you. Yes this was stuck hard and fast. And it took us some time to get it all. But we did it with babe in hand. We were not leaving without out every inch of it in our hands. And I am guessing it was a good 20 feet plus that we gathered up. Maybe the municipalities need to install devices in fishing areas for fishermen to dispose of unwanted line. They do this in Florida and it works. I have been a part of many shoreline clean ups. And the fishing line we have found rolled up in a ball or still in the water and on land has been sickening. We rescued a loon off of Tiffen years ago that was all wrapped up in fishing line. It would have died,it could not dive or eat anymore. And many do propbably die in that way ,unoticed. I also want to mention at this time another deadly peace of fishing gear we leave behine.( LEAD SINKERS. Don’t use lead, it kills a slow terrible death to those that ingest it. You can buy lead free now. Buy it and ask your local fishing place were you can get rid of your lead tackle.) It’s a sin and an unecessary one at that. Mink,muskrats,beavers,raccoons,diving ducks,loons,gulls, turtles, and land birds,people and their pets and so much more can all get caught up in and in some cases leading to injury, loose a limb and even die because of abandoned fishing line. Let’s be responcible and keep our shorelines debrie free. Do not leave anything behind. Keep fishing a clean and safe sport. I now have an addition to add to my emergency rescue kit in my car. A sewing kit. I hope I never have to use it.