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Letter to the Editor: Help Sought Locating Bird with a Sock on its Beak

A Clearwater resident shares the consequences of leaving socks out where they can cause harm to wildlife, after an encounter with a bird at the Florida Botanical Gardens.

Dear Editor,

Thursday when a friend and I were at the in Largo, a beautiful anhinga bird in distress kept following us from tree to tree as we walked.
 
We initially entered over the bridge adjacent to to the bridge that enters into the wedding garden.
 
The distressed bird, an anhinga had a very big sock stuck on its beak.
 
Last year, where we live in Clearwater we encountered an anhinga that had lots of moss stcuk on its beak and it had difficulty with feeding. It could only open its beak partially.

The bird resided in a tree outside our window and my husband and I assisted him with fishing by throwing wheat bread in the water.

I was excited when one day I was doing this and as he surfaced from an underwater swim, it finally fell off. He almost looked as if he were smiling. He stayed  a few more days and then flew away.
 
The Botanical Garden anhinga is a different story. There is a bulky sock stuck on the beak and this interferes with eating. Thay swim underwater to catch the fish and their beak has a little hook inside of it.
 
I felt so bad, the office was closed and while the bird perched himself/herself in a tree close to us, he was just out of reach where we could not help him. I called the bird sanctuary and they said they would help if we could get him there.
 
My husband sent pictures and a message last night to parks and wildlife through their website and they are looking for him now .
 
We stood beside the bird for quite awhile last night and saw the distress in his face.
 
I also called the Botanical gardens this morning and sent the pics I am sending you and they are trying very hard to locate but so far, no luck.
 
When we left just before sunset, the anhinga was perched in a tree adjacent to the left lamppost of the main entranceway of the garden, just before the butterfly chair and wedding garden.
 
Tomorrow there is a event at the gardens and I am wondering if you sent out the pictures and just asked the public to be on the lookout for him. The staff at the gardens are awesome and are looking for the bird now. If someone sights him and alerts staff, perhaps this bird can get some relief.
 
I was at Pass-A-Grille beach earlier in the week and someone left their socks on the beach.

Perhaps if you could post a picture, this could be an educational piece and a reminder of the consequences of leaving items like this sock around areas where they can cause harm to the wildlife.

Sincerely,
Dorothy Bryan

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