Aripeka Pelicans

A friend of mine told me about a disturbing incident she had in Aripeka. Along 595 two roads merge, Osowaw Blvd and Aripeka Blvd that separate Hernando County and Pasco County. Each county has its own bridge that overlooks Hammock Creek, a popular place to fish from.

fishing lures hanging from power line

Hundreds of fishing line with bait and hooks still attached are wrapped around the powerline. 

You would think that there would be more birds dangling from those lines, which is amazingly enough not to see that. However, birds and other wildlife still get entangled and some sadly die of slow death by either becoming ensnared along the mangroves or surrounding trees. They can also suffer from internal damage as well as having monofilament lines wrapped around their beak or the hook lodged in their throat which enables them to eat or drink.

My friend, while out photographing the sunset from the bridge, told me that she saw a pelican grab a fish from the line while a fisherman was reeling it in from the bridge. It’s no fault of the fisherman nor the pelican for doing what it would naturally do. But what lies at fault is those that feed pelicans from the bridge.

When feeding, throwing fish out to the birds, it may become a way out of their natural instincts of survival. (They can become inactive…Why do they need to hunt when they are having people throw food at them.) The birds may wait for people in that location to toss food to them and steer them away from there forging instincts.

We didn’t find any pelicans with a fishing line, which is good news, however, it could have flown off to a different location.

On a good note, this is a great little spot for nature photographers to enjoy the beautiful Florida salt marsh habitat and a variety of amazing birds.

AMH_0391.jpg

Brown Pelican | January 2020 | Alice Mary Herden 

 

What birds I did see while:

  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Anhinga
  • Ducks (need id)
  • Great Egret
  • Wood Storks
  • Seagulls
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Small birds too fast for me to ID
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Little Blue Heron
  • Belted Kingfisher

Links

https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/birds/shorebirdsseabirds/brown-pelican/

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Brown_Pelican/id


For injured or nuisance wildlife issues, please call the Florida Wildlife Commission’s 24-hour Wildlife Alert number 888-404-FWCC (3922) or online at http://myfwc.com/conservation/.

https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Merritt_Island/FoundWildlife.html.aspx

http://wildlife.rescueshelter.com/Florida ( Please some places listed have dead links)

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