Rescuer’s account of tern and chick found hooked together


Update July 8, 2014 from our vet: “Wounds are healing well but both parent and chick still have guarded prognosis for full return to function. Chick has elbow and leg problems, parent has wing problem.” We will continue to update you when we know more. Thanks for your concern. –IBR Staff

As we posted earlier this week, our Los Angeles center recently received an adult Elegant Tern and a tern chick hooked together by a fishing lure. Found at the Terminal Island tern colony near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the birds have since been separated and are now receiving daily bandage treatment, antibiotics and plenty of supportive care. The prognosis remains guarded.

Nick Liberato, a biologist who monitors the tern colony, found the birds and took this photo upon rescue. “I spotted them as I was ushering some stray chicks back through the chick fencing and into the main rookery,” Liberato says.

“As is usually the case, tangled birds become noticeable when the rest of the colony moves away as one approaches,” he says. “At first, I thought they were just tangled in monofilament [fishing line], but when I saw that multi-hooked lure puncturing both of them, I knew my tools wouldn’t cut it, so I got them over to you guys as quickly as possible.”

11 thoughts on “Rescuer’s account of tern and chick found hooked together”

  1. God bless all of you for your work which must surely give you many sleepless nights.
    Please know that posting these stories helps us all to continue the task of bearing witness to the predicament that so many and so much of wildlife faces. Some of us cannot join you in real time as you do your work.. But prayers are sent to you from those of us who know you are out there doggedly trying to help

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for all you do for the birds…. How are the Mom and Baby doing..??
    Dont have to email me personally, just post another update…
    Thank you very much.

  3. When I read this story, my heart went out to these two beautiful birds in this cruel situation. I truly hope that the Mum and baby bird survive and can be released back into the wild. It is very luck that Nick Liberato, biologist was there at the scene and could get help for the Mum and her chick. Wildlife has to contend with so many negative factors, which are mainly man-made, to try to survive in the long-term.

    Kind regards, Donna

  4. I saw this posted on a Care2 email and was looking for an update since it’s 10 days later.

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