Fishing birds with long pointed beaks are one of the most dangerous birds to handle. They have adapted to prey on fish and have deadly aim with their beaks. Because many have long necks and legs, they can extend their reach much farther than one would expect. When approaching a fishing bird, it is quite possible that the bird can reach out and injure you before you are even close enough to touch it.

We never work with these types of birds without full eye protection that covers the eyes completely, including the sides. Eyeglasses do not offer enough protection because the slightest mishap can cause severe eye damage and even permanent blindness. This is not a bird to take chances with, for it may cost you your sight!

Wearing both eye protection and gloves, use the box-over method outlined on page 68. Approach the bird from its front keeping the box between you and the bird. Once close enough, place the box down over the bird to enclose it.

If you cannot effectively capture the bird in this manner, you may need to use a blanket to first render it helpless. You may also need two people for this method and, again, both persons must wear eye protection and gloves.

Walk toward the bird with the blanket in front of you and drape it over the bird completely. Once the bird is covered, feel through the blanket for the beak. Hold the beak securely as a second person lifts the body of the bird. DO NOT LET GO OF THAT BEAK!

Working together, lower the bird and the blanket into the travel container. Place the lid on the container or fold in the flaps of the box while still holding on to that beak. Release the beak as the box is quickly closed and secured.


Your POCKET REFERENCE GUIDE to injured or orphaned wild animals!

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When rescuing injured wildlife, the choices you make will impact that animal’s life and possibly your own. Knowing about the risks to the animal as well as to you, your family and your pets, along with the right advice from the beginning can mean the difference between a heartwarming, educational experience and disaster.

This informative guide teaches would-be rescuers how to identify an animal in need, capture that animal, and safely transport it to a wildlife rehabilitator.

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