Cormorants are becoming tangled and hung in trees by fishing line after ingesting fish and fish hooks. When the fishing line is cut and the bird flies away, the fishing line can tether the bird in the branches. Two birds have died in the trees in the Summerland-Montecito area. The birds nested this spring adjacent to the 101 southbound freeway there.
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network has been trying to free the trapped birds, seeking help from various agencies such as the Fire Department, Caltrans, Animal Control, Humane Society Emergency Response, Highway Patrol, and California Fish and Wildlife. Finally, Mesa Tree Care tree climbers have offered to help free the birds.
If you fish, please do not cut the line if a bird grabs the fish. Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network can send rescue transporters and remove hooks and line when the bird is captured.
Julia Parker is director of animal care at the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.