Monday, October 12, 2009

Wild Bird Rescue Workshop

Barbara from the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary conducts a workshop on rescuing injured birds.

Barbara and Liz show how to properly hold a cormorant and anhinga when helping an injured bird.

Ralph Heath, the founder of Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, stops by the workshop to thank everyone for coming. He started it 35 years ago.

Permanent resident at the sanctuary coming out of the pool. He is missing the top of his beak.

Another permanant resident pelican going in for a swim. He had a wing that was permanantly injured. He was looking at me like "come in with me".

Saturday was October 10th and still 95 degrees. I braved the heat and went to a wild bird rescue workshop at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. They reviewed all of the different situations that could happen when you see an injured bird out in the wild and how to handle them. Some might be fairly easy with proper equipment such as catching a pelican with a net, removing the hook from the beak the correct way and releasing the bird. They reviewed situations and types of birds where it's best to call the sanctuary for an experienced rescuer to come out. Liz (pictured in first 2 pictures on the right) is their experienced rescuer at the sanctuary and she had some great stories to tell and a few sad ones as well.

Liz spends a lot of time on busy fishing piers rescuing hooked pelicans and cormorants and trying to release them there if they are well enough. She shows fishermen how to properly pull up a hooked pelican, cut the hook and release. It's so important that the fisherman don't just cut the line with the hook still in the pelican which can then get tangled in mangroves, etc.

It was a fun morning and I learned a lot about the tough life of birds around the coast as well as how hard they work at the sanctuary. Please stop by there if you are in the Tampa Bay area. No admission but they welcome donations.

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