Friday, 5 September 2014

Herons and Kites don't mix...

As some of you are aware I have been trying to convince fisherman to properly dispose of their fish line because I often have to deal with water fowl and turtles who get tangled in that stuff.

Today I encountered an issue new to me. It involved a Great Blue Heron and discarded kite line...

The home owner noticed this bird up in his tree who tried to fly away, but seem to get pulled back to the same spot every time. 

In this (not so great) picture you see a GBH it got it's wing tangled in a line from a discarded kite. The line is suspended between two trees, so the GBH is dangling by one wing on this line.

I used the zoom on my cell phone to take this picture, so in reality it is a lot higher, so now what do we do...

I made a couple of calls and was very surprised to see the City of Hamilton Cherry Picker Truck and it's crew drive up within 10 min of me making the calls.

These guys are the forestry crew and they happened to be working not far from the location of this bird and where ready for action. After careful deliberation a plan was put into action and standing on his tippy-toes with the bucket fully extended one of the guys was able to cut the line at one end.
with zoom
without zoom to indicate the height

If you look at the no-zoom pic you see a tree in the right bottom corner. The line was suspended between these two trees, so by cutting the one end the GBH tried to fly, but was yanked out of the sky by the other end of the line and was dangling low enough so that I could grab it of the hastily provided step ladder. One of the city guys cut the other end of the line and the bird was safely in my arms.

To my complete amazement other than a painful wing, some damaged feathers and dehydration the GBH is not in bad shape at all. It was suspended by that one wing for more than 24 hours.

The feathers and kite line where so badly entangled that I needed some serious tools to remove it.

before line removal

after line removal
With a little bit of care to help with re-hydration and some specially formulated food this Heron will be back in the sky in a couple of days

I cannot thank the Hamilton Forestry Crew enough for their help. Without their help I have no idea how we could have possibly gotten that Heron down from up there and suspended by one wing would have been a horrible way to slowly perish.

Also a great big thank you to Carol from the Open Sky Raptor Foundation who facilitated the calling for the forestry crew and to the home owners who cared enough to look for some help for this GBH...

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