Irshadgul News report,
Blue herons are a common sight on Nancy Brown’s regular kayak trips. But recently while sailing the Oromocto River in southwestern New Brunswick, he noticed something that troubled him.
At first, it was an eagle that attracted his attention. When she came a little closer to take the photo, the bird failed to fly away.
Brown said, “Something was holding him there.”
Then he saw a blue heron emerging from the edge of the grassy water.
He took some pictures and as he looked closer, Brown saw several fish hooks and a fish stuck in the heron’s tongue.
She said, “I wanted to get help immediately. But… the heron flew away after seeing my boat and the eagle went after it. So I paddled to where they landed and saw that they started a sort of fight. are doing.”
“There were some sounds coming from the heron. It looked terrible. I don’t think they actually touched each other. I tried to contact people for help, but there was no response. So I was sad Having gone from there.”
But Brown said she can’t stop thinking about that heron.
Pam Novak, director of wildlife care for the Atlantic Wildlife Institute in southeastern New Brunswick, about 20 kilometers north of Sackville, said the institute received a call from Brown about the bird that day.
He said that it is clear from the photographs that this is not a tangle that the heron can get out of on its own. Unfortunately, she said the institute’s distance from the bird and its lack of field resources meant there wasn’t much she could do.
“It was really up to anyone in the area who was able to help catch this bird and get the fishing line away from them,” Novak said.
solving the heron
The next day, Brown returned to the site. This time, he found the heron weak and unable to fly. So she posted another call-out on Facebook to see if anyone could help.
Eventually, he received a message from his friend Chris Barrett who brought in his friend Mark Robinson to help.
Barrett said via email that the hooks were in the heron’s tongue and neck, “a fish dangling from a hook.”
Barrett said that “so as not to put too much pressure on the bird,” he and Brown stayed at a distance while his friend, who has worked with injured animals, dealt with the thorns.
Brown said Robinson got close to the heron and used wire cutters to cut the fishing line before removing the barbs from its tongue.
“It was scary for a moment,” Brown said. “When you’re seeing something like that, it’s usually longer or seems longer than normal.”
After saying this, the heron got up and left.
On Monday, Brown said she went to the river and saw a lot of herons during her visit. She thought one of them might be the bird she had helped, but she wasn’t quite sure.
“I go there quite often, so I’ll definitely keep an eye on him and see how he’s doing.”
Novak said it’s not uncommon to hear of birds getting caught in fishing line and hooks.
He said that the wildlife institute has seen different types of blue heron, duck, loon, osprey and other birds.
Novak said, “Whenever a call like this comes in, it’s not shocking, I’ll keep it that way.”
In the past, she said blue herons have gotten tangled up because they see a shiny small object in the water — thinking it’s a fish — and try to go after it.
When this happens, Novak said there can be a number of possible outcomes for the bird, including injury — especially if it tries to settle itself — the injury can lead to infection and possibly even poisoning.
He said that if a bird ingests something like a sinker, which is a weight used for fishing, which often also contains lead, lead poisoning can occur.
Novak urges people to pick up any gear left behind, or be sure to dispose of it properly after you’re done fishing.
He said, “It can be frustrating sometimes because these are things that can be prevented. If people take care of themselves… we can reduce these kinds of complications.”
“An animal that is entangled in gear is generally not going to survive, because if they can’t get it out on their own it gets worse.”