Second time around for 12-year-old Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron has been in care multiple times.
12 years later after release: Great Blue Heron is back in care for fishing line injuries.

Jay Holcomb, IBRRC’s Executive Director reports on a 12-year-old Great Blue Heron that has been given two chances at surviving in this rough and tumble world:

“Back on July 23, 1996 a Great Blue Heron, tangled in fishing line with fishing hooks embedded in its wing was captured and brought to the Alexander Lindsay Museum in Walnut Creek, CA. The young hatching bird was stabilized and treated for puncture wounds from hooks and abrasions from entanglement in fishing line.

The following day the bird was brought to the International Bird Rescue Research Center’s old aquatic bird rehabilitation facility in Berkeley, CA. The bird was put on a regimen of antibiotics and treated for its wounds. It’s recovery was quick and the bird did well. On July 29, 1996 the bird was banded with a small medal federal leg band (#0977-04747) and released in the Suisun Marsh.

Twelve years later on May 28, 2008, the same Great Blue Heron, now an adult but still wearing band number 0977-04747, was again found entangled in fishing line and fish hooks and was captured at a marina in Oakley, near Concord, CA. The bird was brought to the Lindsay Museum who, again, did an excellent job of stabilizing it and removing the fish hooks and line that were tangled around its wing and leg.

The bird was then transferred to IBRRC’s new facility in Cordelia, CA. As before, it was treated for its wounds, held a week or so and on June 5, 2008 it was released healthy and strong back into the Suisun Marsh.

California has a number of prestigious wildlife rehabilitation organizations that remain open 365 days a year to provide shelter and state of the art care for sick and injured native wildlife. The Lindsay Museum and IBRRC are two of those organizations and are considered leaders in the unique field of wildlife rehabilitation. Both organizations have worked in tandem for years to support each to provide the best care for local wildlife. IBRRC specializes in aquatic bird rehabilitation and has specialized facilities to achieve this.

The Lindsay Museum cares for many species of native wildlife including raptors, passerines, terrestrial mammals and reptiles. When IBRRC receives an owl or occasional mammal for care, we send them on to the museum for rehabilitation. In turn, they send us the aquatic birds that can benefit from our program and specialized facility.

Together we have helped hundreds of animals by cooperating with each other and putting the needs of the animals first. Great Blue Heron, band number 0977-04747, is a testament to this important relationship and the dedication of these two organizations.

IBRRC wants to acknowledge and thank all the staff and volunteers at both organizations for their ongoing cooperation and life saving efforts. Great Blue Heron, band 0977-04747, has been given two chances to go back to the wild and live its life, because of your efforts. This is your achievement and your reward for your time well spent. Enjoy it!”

Also see:

Lindsay Museum information

How discarded fishing tackle affects Pelicans and other birds

1 thought on “Second time around for 12-year-old Great Blue Heron”

  1. Both are great organizations – congratulations on all of your tremendous successes!! Eddie Alexander –

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