By Hal Snyder
May 17, 2020
On Sunday May 17, a injured Common Loon was sighted on Summer Beach. A Common Loon is unusual this time of year and it was likely pushed on shore by Tropical Storm Arthur. Fortunately, Amelia Island has wonderful wildlife protection services and people who are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of injured birds. In this case, Ken Ernst came out on a Sunday morning to rescue the bird and deliver it to Beaks where it would be treated. The rescue was complicated by coronavirus beach regulations, but Deputy Quick assisted Ken. The rescue was a success.
Each of us can play a role in preventing wildlife injury on our island. In the case of Loons they are often injured by lost fishing lines. The fishing line will wrap around the bill or throat of the loon: result is the Loon slowly starves. So picking up any fishing line or plastic you see on the beach will protect our wildlife. Amelia Island is also a stop over point for migrating birds. In recent years there have been serious declines in many species including Red Knots, Least Terns, and Piping Plovers. Keeping your distance (try social distancing with beach birds), having dogs on leashes, not feeding the beach birds, and staying out of posted nesting areas will play a big role in wildlife protection.