Monday, June 27, 2011
A sad ending for a cormorant
While walking along the trail by the Patterson River, I noticed a strange shape in a dead river gum sprouting from the Donut Pond alongside the treatment plant. I took a quick photo and moved on. It wasn't until I got home and cropped the photo that I realised what I had observed: a cormorant with a fish hook embedded in its throat with the line and sinker clearly visible and snared on a branch above it.
I rang Wildlife Rescue to see if someone could investigate whether the bird was still alive but it was late at night and access was almost impossible. They got in touch with Melbourne Water and I met with two of their workers who volunteered their own time to see what they could do. We drove to the nearest access point but could not get very close as the pond was surrounded by a 2 metre cyclone fence and the tree itself was in deep water.
After some careful fence climbing I managed to get close enough to be 99% sure that the bird was dead.
Many thanks to Melbourne Water for their assistance.
A terrible way for the cormorant to die, the embedded fishing line was tangled around the upper branch and thus immobilising the bird. It either starved or dehydrated, or died from shock.
There must be some way that we can protect birds from taking the bait from fishing lines.