For weeks I watched two great blue herons flying over the beach in back of our Boca Grande property.
One had fishing line hanging off his leg.
I thought there was nothing I could do to help him.
The great blue heron is nearly healed with help from Boca Grande caregivers.
One day, however, he seemed to be staying on the beach and not flying so I called the animal rescue league. They came but he flew off.
I told my neighbors about this as I was going to be gone for two days. My neighbors were able to net the great blue heron as he grew weaker and couldn't fly.
They removed the hook and feed him some fish. Each day he grew stronger.
The great blue strengthened as my neighbors fed him every day but his limp remained.
My neighbor still feeds him every morning and now his mate comes for him and they fly off for the rest of the day.
My neighbors went away for a week and asked if we would feed him if he shows up in the morning. So at 7 a.m. I was cutting up fish and my husband, Dan, took it out to the beach and fed him.
Dan stayed about 25 feet from the great blue heron and tossed the fish to him, which he ate right away. It was quite a sight.
The great blue heron waited to see if he would get more and then flew off.
He doesn't show up every morning any more and he is walking much better.
We know we can't keep feeding him but we will for a few weeks more and then stop. It has been a wonderful experience seeing this bird recover.
I argue with the boating people that fish close to our dock about fishing near the birds. They don't seem to understand what happens when a bird gets hooked and the damage it will do.
Many birds die from fishing hooks.
I talked to some fishermen last week about casting toward the birds and they say when the bird picks up the bait it spits it out.
As they pulled the bait out of its mouth they were lucky the hook didn't catch him in his beak. I asked them if they were capable to take the hook out if it did get caught and they had no answer.
With that I chased the bird away. Some fishermen are so careless with what they are doing.
Nancy Erb is a Boca Grande resident and member of the Boca Grande Camera Club.