- 23 Jul
July 18th we rescued a pelican from Snell Harbor off of Cordova Blvd. The bird was in poor condition: entangled in fishing line, compound wing fracture, and bones were exposed. Our SPCA colleague made us aware that in all likelihood the bird would be euthanized as they could not heal this severe injury. If you catch a bird, do not cut your line and turn it loose, you doom the animal if you do this. FWC recommended procedure to take care of a hooked pelican (or other bird):
Put on glasses/sunglasses to protect your eyes. Reel the bird in slowly to reduce the risk of added injury. Or use a net to carefully lift the bird from the water. Fold the bird’s wings against its body and hold the beak firmly. Allow the beak to be open slightly to allow it to breathe. Cover its head and eyes with a towel or shirt to calm it. Clip the barb and back the hook out. If the bird is severely injured, has swallowed a hook, or you are unable to deal with the problem, call a bird rescuer, such as Helping Hands Animal Rescue: 727.365.4592.
When fishing, avoid casting into projecting mangrove branches, there is high probability the line will become entangled and pose a trap to birds. If you see line in mangroves and other structures please remove it. The Brown Pelican is the Iconic symbol of Saint Petersburg, let’s all do our part to be good stewards and care of birds that need help.
Thank you Walt Jaap, Coffeepot Bayou Watershed Alliance