Doc is Heart-Sick and Angry about 3 young birds at Jordan Lake. All 3 are in trouble because someone couldn’t take the time to put broken line in the trash. A few steps to save a bird is all I am asking. Please remove trash of all kinds and help the birds and fish and people have a clean environment.

     Today we found 3 different birds in trouble at Jordan Lake – ALL three due to carelessly left behind fishing line.
     1) This young cormorant has line wrapped through it’s bill and then wrapped around its neck. You can see the swelling behind the line on the throat. This bird probably won’t make it because the line will restrict his ability to swallow a fish.
     2-4) This is an immature great blue heron – one of this year’s babies. There is a cluster of fishing hooks snagged in its neck. There is fishing line trailing from the hooks, down around its body and trailing behind it. This bird might make it if the wound in the neck doesn’t get infected.
     5) I don’t have a photo yet of the 3rd bird – it is one of this year’s fledgling ospreys. It has fishing line wrapped all around one foot and the foot is swollen. The osprey can still fly so we have no way to catch it. The Rangers are closely watching the youngster. If it becomes immobilized they will do their best to get to it to help.

Doc Ellen is angry, frustrated and afraid for a lot of our songbirds.
I stopped by one of the Jordan Lake boat ramps this morning to meet a friend and share his birthday.
Instead of celebrating, he and I examined a mockingbird nest.
Yes, that is fishing line woven into the nest.  The parent birds think the fishing line is a natural vine.
Through the years I have found nests of several species made entirely of fishing line.
Neither adult bird nor chick nor fledgling can break the fishing line if they get entangled.
600 years is what it takes for fishing line to degrade.
A moment is all it takes for a fisherman to gather his discarded line and properly dispose of it.
A moment versus 600 years shouldn’t be a hard decision to make.

The Bonaparte’s gull was all wrapped in fishing line.
Scot made an experienced cast with a broken-off fishing rod that A.C.E. Ranger Lane provided from lost and found.
He snagged the gull, reeled it in and TJ gently untangled the bird….

WALK9356 Dec 16 2015 @ 16-56-55 Haw RiverBonaparte's gull rescue

It took 4 hands to untangle all the fishing line.

WALK9366 Dec 16 2015 @ 16-59-55 Haw RiverBonaparte's gull rescue

Just released, the gull floated away.

WALK9385 Dec 16 2015 @ 17-01-21 Haw RiverBonaparte's gull rescue

The Bonaparte’s gull rested a while and then was back in the air looking for fish.

WALK9416 Dec 16 2015 @ 17-41-16 Haw RiverBonaparte's gull rescue

This is the eastern kingbird.
I love his scientific name: Tyrannus tyrannus – yes, like the dinosaur.
This bird rules his territory and will aggressively escort any other bird, up to and including eagles, out of it.
What he cannot rule is the trash that man leaves behind.
Look below his tail and across my copyright notice: fishing line.
Look above his right wing: a fishing line leader.
Follow the leader to the snarl of line above and to the left of the bird.
Thankfully I didn’t see this bird get caught – he is a flycatcher and has quick reflexes and keen eyesight.
I wish I could have removed the line – but the whole mess is 20 feet up the tree and way out on a small limb.

WALK4717 Jun 10 2015 @ 07-28-23 Ebenezer Jun 10 2015 @ 07-28-23 kingbird fishing line

this afternoon a couple of people who didn’t know each other, worked together to rescue this horned grebe.  There was fishing line around its neck, it has swallowed the hook and was dragging a bobber behind it. The grebe was transported to – a non-profit wildlife rehab facility.  You can see the grebe and follow its progress on their Facebook page CLAWS, Inc.  If you would like to make a donation to help the grebe, please go to the CLAWS web site or Facebook page.

2 photos

WALK6785 Apr 06 2015  14-23-33 Haw Rivergrebe rescue

WALK6698 Apr 06 2015  13-55-44 Haw Rivergrebe rescue 2