International Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Center recently took in a Brandt’s Cormorant with extensive fishing hook injuries, especially to the sides of its mouth. While pelicans are the species most commonly plagued by this type of injury, cormorants also plunge-dive in fishing areas, and thus run a similar risk.
Our staff is anesthetizing this bird every two days to surgically debride its commissures, or remove the affected tissue from the intersections of its upper and lower mandibles. A hook that had pierced through the top of its mandible also needed to be removed, and there is a large wound on the side of its cheek from yet another hook. The Cormorant has suffered deep wounds and severe loss of tissue, but while the road ahead may be a challenge, this bird is responding to antibiotics and still has a strong chance of survival.
International Bird Rescue staff and volunteers continue to work hard toward this resilient and “feisty” bird’s recovery.