cape cod heron rescue
Harwich Animal Control via Facebook

Beautiful Night Heron Found with Wing Entangled in Fishing Line

In Massachusetts, Cape Cod, although known for its seafood and beaches, is also a birdwatching paradise. Birding enthusiasts love visiting the scenic area to see the 400 different species that reside there including Yellow Warblers, Solitary Sandpipers, Marsh Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds, Virginia Rails, and more. But if you want to see some beautiful birds, finding one trapped in a leftover fishing line is definitely not the ideal way to do it.

A man enjoying a nice daytime walk found a beautiful Night Heron stuck in a tree, its wing entangled in a fishing line that was hanging from a branch. According to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, Night Herons are actually active at night. The man called Wild Care Cape Cod to get some help, so that they could carefully get the bird down without damaging its wing anymore. An assistant harbormaster cut the line while  Harwich Animal Control Officer Jennifer Harrington safely caught the bird by its feet and wrapped it in a towel. It was then transported to Wild Care in Eastham for further treatment.

Harwich Animal Control posted the latest updates on the bird's conditions on Facebook, but also gave an important reminder to always make sure fishing equipment is properly disposed. They said, "This is also a reminder to please be responsible and pick up and dispose of properly all fishing equipment. Fishing line, hooks and lures cause serious injury and some times death."

Luckily the Night Heron only suffered minor damage to its wing and will most likely heal completely. There were also no fishing hooks found on its body. But moral of the story, always clean up after yourselves. Whether its fishing, camping, hunting, make sure you know how to dispose of your trash and waste the right way so that your experience doesn't get in the way of nature. Fishing lines specifically require a special recycling process, so it's not something you should ever just leave out in the wilderness. But it's also not as simple as throwing it in the garbage. You'll want to cut your line into 6-12 inch segments before placing it in a container with a lid before throwing it away. You can also recycle your fishing lines by bringing them to your local tackle store. The lines are not to be thrown in your household recycling bins with other recyclables.

READ MORE: Braided Fishing Line: What It Is and When Best to Utilize It