If you find a goose,
duck, heron or similar water bird entangled in fishing line or
plastic, immediate attention to the animal is required. Unfortunately,
many times the birds will still be flighted, so capture may not be
possible until the bird is so "down" that the leg cannot be
salvaged. The twine acts as a tourniquet cutting off blood supply and
debriding skin and bone. Prompt attention from a wildlife
rehabilitator is important. Call immediately for help and
If you intend to capture the bird yourself, use extreme caution! Wearing gloves, a sweatshirt and safety goggles is a must.
These birds will bite. If you do have safety glasses, a
shielded helmet or, at the bare minimum, a pair of sunglasses, use
them. They will help
protect your eyes. Wading birds have a very long reach with
their beaks and they are deceptive in their striking distance. A
sweatshirt will help protect your arms from bites.
When approaching the
bird, remain calm. If the bird is still flighted, a quick capture
is necessary. Grab the beak with one hand. The bird will
struggle and look like it is going to break its neck, twisting and trying
to get away. Do not let go! With your other hand, push
the flapping bird to the ground. Straddle it carefully with your
legs and fold in the wings. Having a second person around with a
blanket is helpful. You can then either cover the bird with a
blanket or towel or you can lift the bird in a football hold under your
arm. At no point do you let go of the beak! Place the bird
in a large cardboard box or dog carrier. Only at the last minute,
can you let go of the beak as you secure the box or carrier.
best solution is to get an experienced person to perform this type of
capture. Call a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible!