As a child growing up on the Florida gulf coast, seeing different birds on a daily basis was quite normal; all different colors, sizes, and shapes. I remember many times fishing with my family, enjoying the outdoors and watching the birds wading in and out of the water for food. The roseate spoonbill was always one of my favorites. Like the American Flamingo, they get their pink color from their diet. This particular bird was not camera shy and allowed me to get up quite close to just sit, watch, and snap away.
A wonderful article, of a dear friend of mine, just came out in The New Spirit Journal. Mirabai Starr is one of those people you feel walk into a room as she projects love and happiness everywhere she goes. It was truly an honor to take this photo of her and be a small part of her journey in this crazy life.
Many of us love to fish and enjoy the outdoors but how many of us do not think about something as simple as the fishing line. We buy what we need to catch the fish but that is as far as it goes. If it breaks we fix it or replace it but what do we do with the broken line? It can be a vicious hazard to many different kinds of birds, causing not only serious injuries but sometimes death.
When a bird gets entangled in a fishing line they tend to struggle which only tightens the line. The bird also has movement restriction that can cause a lack of flight or drowning. If the line is around the bill, it can cause starvation just as swallowing the line restricts food digestion. The line can easily be picked up by birds who mistaken it for nesting materials. This not only can harm the hatchlings but can cause future bird populations to decrease.
Hooks and sinkers are Just as harmful as the fishing line. Hooks can lead to serious infections and the sinkers can cause lead poisoning along with suffering from ingestion.
What can we all do to help the birds? Start by discarding any line that you come across or break while fishing. States like Florida have a monofilament recovery and recycling program where people can deposit old fishing line they find. Many areas have phone numbers posted to call if you find a bird entangled with line or a fishing hook, including bird rescue organizations.
The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings and how each action we make can help or harm our planet.