However, recently we have received quite a few emergency wildlife call about shorebirds and seabirds. Callers have told us that the birds are lethargic and do not attempt to fly away when they are approached, which is very unusual! This recently happened to our Coastal Scientist (who specializes in shore/seabirds), Lauren Schaale, while she was out birding near beach access 11...
"It was a relatively cold and windy afternoon, while I was out looking for birds at beach access 11. As I was looking around I noticed there was a Herring Gull laying a couple meters away from me. I thought to myself, this isn't quite normal behavior. If gulls, and birds in general, lay down they are usually with a flock. I decided to approach him just to see if he was alright. When I got within 5-10 feet of him and he struggled to get up off the ground. I noticed that there was fishing line stuck around him. I called my fellow staff to bring supplies, so we could help him out. After catching him, we found he had a large amount of fishing line wrapped around his neck, wings, and body. After carefully cutting away the line and giving him time to stretch his wings he was able to fly free once again! It is always a great feeling seeing a bird that you've helped make that first flight of freedom!"
This rescue is just one of many! While fishing is fun and enjoyable and the BHI Conservancy wants island guests to enjoy what the island has to offer, it is important to properly dispose of fishing line to prevent future animal entanglements. There is a fishing line recycling bin located on the BHI Conservancy campus, just outside of the Turtle Central Gift Shop in the parking lot.
If you see any injured wildlife please call (919) 457-0089 x5.