Saturday, June 14, 2014

Tangled Anhinga

So, a friend of mine, Marcus, calls me and is really concerned about an Anhinga that had some type of material wrapped around its bill and could not feed. Wondering if I could do anything about. Maybe we could catch it somehow and since I have nets for catching birds...

However, the mist nets I used to capture small birds at the banding site do not fare well against larger birds, such as Anhinga. Larger birds have a track record of ripping straight through them. That won't work. I decided to at least head down to Mead Garden and check the situation for myself. The first bird I actually saw was a Great Blue Heron hanging out in the creek.

Great Blue Heron

I found Marcus and he told me the bird was just being harassed by a young hawk. It flew over to another perch not far from us so I observed and took a bunch of photos. It spent a lot of time rubbing the bill along the side of the tree trunk in attempts to free itself.


Not long afterwards, it decided a nap would be a good idea and we wandered around a little. It was way too high to even consider capture.


Another friend of Marcus showed up with a blanket. Soon, the Anhinga flew up the stream and we tracked it down. Marcus did have a net and he brought it down and we spent the 30 minutes trying to nab the darter as it swam up and down the waterway. I managed to get to net to touch it but it was too fast and eventually made it back to the pond and flew up into another tree. We gave up as to not stress the bird any further.

When I got home I looked at my photos and found some encouraging shots. The yarn was working its way loose some. I could see the gap it had created so it was getting close to being rid of it. Unless it was stuck on its tongue somehow.


Otherwise, this male in breeding plumage, seemed pretty healthy. It could fly and swim, and did not look thin. It could open its bill some and might be able to grab onto some smaller food and definitely could get water.


Told Marcus to keep an eye on it and let me know about it during the week in case I could make it back out to attempt to catch it again.

UPDATE: On the 19th, Marcus called to say a rehab person was able to capture the bird and remove the yarn. Problem solved!


Wally Jones said...

Good job on making an attempt! Happy to hear the outcome.

warriormom said...

whew! The pictures are great. So glad it all ended well.