Bird rescue isn’t exactly what the Center for Inland Bays staff specializes in – but, hey, when somebody is in need, who can say no?
On Monday, Oct. 26, some fishermen fishing by the Coast Guard station bulkhead near the Center for the Inland Bays’ office at the Indian River Inlet came across a cormorant that had some fishing line stuck around its neck.
They headed to the CIB office and asked the center staff for some help. So, CIB Wildlife Manager E.J. Chalabala went, out – waders and all – to see what he could do. After getting the little guy free, they sent him on his way, and he seemed to be fine as he swam back out to find his friends, Chalabala reported.
“It’s just good to see the public take care of our wildlife in distress,” said Chalabala this week.
“It’s good that they cared that much,” added CIB Education and Outreach Coordinator Sally Boswell of the fishermen.
The cormorant is type of waterfowl found near the ocean coastline and near rivers and lakes. It is normally about 27 inches long, with a wingspan of about 50 inches. Double-crested cormorants can weigh between 2.5 and 5.2 pounds. They have webbed feet, swim well under water and may stay submerged for a long time.
Because their wings are not fully waterproof, after swimming or fishing for food, cormorants often spend time flying or standing with their wings outstretched, to dry them out. Adult double-crested cormorants are black with yellow-orange, hooked bills that are paler at the tips. Juveniles have a dark brown back and wings, with white or pale throats and chests.