Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roadrunner Rescue at Desert Botanical Garden

Roadrunner entangled in fishing line at DBG, May 30th, 2012.
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

DBG Cacti Horticulturist, and head ranger
work to free roadrunner from the cactus.
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

Early this morning photographers Jeff Stemshorn and Saija Lehtonen discovered a Greater Roadrunner hanging upside down in the cactus, just a few feet from her nest at Desert Botanical Garden.  Upon closer inspection they realized that she was not just wedged among cactus spines, but that her feet were hopelessly entangled in fishing line.  Initial attempts to free the bird with resources readily available were not successful.

So Jeff immediately summoned much needed help from the DBG rangers.  The cactus horticulturist and the head ranger quickly appeared, equipment in tow, to rescue the roadrunner.
DBG staff diligently removing the
tangled mess of fishing line.
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

Once they got her down from the cactus, they proceeded to carefully remove the fishing line (monofilament) from her feet.

Upon being released the thankful roadrunner darted away as fast as she could.  Hopefully momma roadrunner will return to her nest where there are 2 very hungry one week old nestlings eagerly awaiting her arrival.

Further updates pending...

***Update***  May 31st, Momma roadrunner has been seen back on her nest, feathers a bit ruffled, and tending to three nestlings!

A thankful roadrunner sans fishing line is released.
Photo by Jeff Stemshorn

Anglers please remember that monofilament can kill...
 The Arizona Game and Fish Department would like to remind all anglers that the improper use and disposal of fishing line (a.k.a. monofilament) can have a dramatic impact on our wildlife. In addition to being an eye-sore along our waterways, many shore birds, migratory birds, waterfowl, and raptors have become entangled in monofilament and died.

Anglers can help protect wildlife by:
  • Properly disposing of used fishing line in trash containers or MRP bins. MRP bins are located at common angling spots and fishing retailers around Arizona.
  • Using the appropriate test line.  By using the appropriate test line, anglers reduce the amount of broken line and gear that can harm birds as they prey on previously hooked fish.
  • Setting the drag correctly. An incorrect drag setting can cause the line to break, leaving line and gear that can harm birds. Set the drag to allow the line to properly spool out rather than breaking.
  • Replacing fishing line annually. Arizona’s extreme temperatures and bright sun weaken fishing line and cause it to break easily.
  • Taking the initiative. Pick-up discarded fishing line and tackle along waterways and properly dispose of it.

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