I watched this Great Blue Heron moving into position to catch fish and I also noticed that the limb it was on had fishing line with a hook. I thought at first it was doing a good job of avoiding it but the heron did get tangled up in it as you can see in the second photograph. This Heron got lucky and was able to free itself and didn’t seem to suffer any injuries.
I posted a few photographs a few years ago of an owl that wasn’t as lucky: Owl vs Fishing Line
Here is some great information from birding.about.com:
How You Can Help
Because fishing line is such a potent hazard to birds, it is imperative that it be properly cleaned up and safely disposed of. Whether or not you fish, you can always help.
- Remove any discarded line you come across, or any line that breaks when you are fishing.
- Look for tangles whenever you are birding in a riparian area that is open to fishing.
- Organize a fishing line collection from your local birding club, school group or service group.
- Carry small scissors at all times in order to cut line free if you do find it.
- Contact bird rescue organizations if you find a tangled bird so it can get help quickly.
- Only fish in authorized areas where the risk of line tangling in trees or brush is minimal.
- Use the proper fishing line weight and tackle when fishing to minimize the risk of breakage.
- Share information about how fishing line hurts birds with other fishers so they can take appropriate steps to safeguard wildlife.
Fishing line may itself be lightweight, but it is a heavy risk to many types of birds. Understanding those risks is the first step in being able to help keep birds and other wildlife safe in fishing areas.