Sick Northern GannetImmature Northern Gannet –  D200, HH, f6.3, 1/160, ISO 400, 80-400mm VR at 230mm, natural light

My friend Adrian Burke and I were photographing along the west coast of Florida in the Tampa Bay area when we came across this young Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) just outside of the reach of the incoming waves. As a couple of beach walkers went past it we both found it odd that the gannet didn’t go into the water or fly away. Adrian went back to his vehicle to call the park supervisor while I kept an eye on the bird and a vehicle was sent to capture and take the gannet to a local seabird rescue group.

Unfortunately when we called the next day to see how the gannet was doing we were told that the bird didn’t make it.

Double-crested Cormorant with hook, line and sinkerDouble-crested Cormorant with hook, line and sinker –  D200, HH, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 250, 80-400mm VR at 195mm, natural light

I was photographing at the Gulf Pier of Fort Desoto county Park on Christmas Eve Day when I spotted this Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) and noticed the hook, line and sinker that was imbedded in the bird’s bill and hanging down its body. I called the park supervisor, Jim Wilson and he sent a crew out to capture the cormorant while I stood by watching the bird from a distance. The cormorant was taken to a local sanctuary where the hook was removed, the bird nursed back to health and later released.

I’d come across injured birds before and had put the contact numbers in my cell phone for the local parks that I photographed at. I also had put the number for the local bird rescue group in my contacts too.  I still do that so I can call and get help for injured birds I come across.

Many people volunteer at bird rescue groups, donate time or money to help the injured birds. The rescue groups provide a safe haven for birds to recover before being released back into the wild. I applaud those groups.

I’m glad the Double-crested Cormorant survived to fly and fish again.