It happens every year. At least three ducks have encounters with fishing gear and sometimes they die. In this case, Blonde Bombshell #2 is not in danger of death but she could potentially lose her right foot if the fishing line constricting her leg tightens. She’s been a successful mother on the millpond since at least 2012.
She was spotted limping near the central part of the pond last night in the company of her two remaining ducklings. She started with ten on June 11. Upon close inspection, she was dragging about four feet of monofilament fishing line behind her and it was knotted on her leg.
Russ and Matt, two gentlemen walking the millpond trail, were encouraged to join in the capture of the domestic duck. (That’ll teach them to come to Brighton for a relaxing dinner. Ha!) The three of us dodged, lunged, cajoled, and attempted to toss Matt’s hoodie over the elusive bird. The futile effort was halted just short of me calling the EMTs to transport my oxygen-starved lungs to the nearest hospital. Thanks for lending a hand, guys!
I had a second opportunity to nab the urban-pond-savvy-hen who is used to avoiding park visitors later in the evening. She brought her two babes to Main Street to roost. That effort, too, wasn’t successful though she allowed me to approach her. That surprised me. She forgot I was the big meany who was out to get her less than two hours before. Ducks do have memories and can easily recognize friends and foe.
She’s not in any danger of losing a foot as of this night. The photo at right makes her foot look dark, but blood is coursing through it; I assure you. In the days ahead, I’ll make other attempts to remove the painful line. I’m not fond of capturing ducks and have only done it a handful of times in the past six years. There’s always a risk of increasing injuries and, when it involves wild species, it can only be done in life threatening situations. If ducks could realize the intent is to help instead of harm them, it would make the task much easier.
If you ever see strands of fishing line discarded near ponds and lakes, please pick it up and get it to a trash can. Ducks and geese are talented in becoming entangled in it.