Most people rescued by firefighters grateful for the help, but not one bald eagle recently rescued in Florida. According to the Naples Daily News, a resident spotted the raptor tangled in fishing line and dangling upside down in a tree. Rescue workers arrived in minutes to try to disentangle the bird, but it wasn't cooperative - beating its wings and trying to get away on its own. Finally, the fishing line broke and the bird flew off, without even a thank you. Local birdwatchers will be on the lookout just in case the bird's injuries cause it additional trouble.
About 150 feet of fishing line was recovered from the incident. Many people recognize the threat discarded fishing line poses to birds, but they don't imagine a powerful raptor getting tangled. Any bird can be injured by fishing line, however, and if left untended, the tangles can cause amputation, starvation and death, depending on how the line is attached.
What can you do to help? Always pick up discarded fishing line whenever you're out birding!
Photo © Laurie Sullivan Allyson Greene