“Big Blue” – Great Blue Heron

Check out today’s Orlando Sentinel! Big Blue made the Reader Views section (letters to the editor) in a great letter titled “Litter Kills: Overwheming threat to wildlife” by Beth Hollenbeck. It is the feature article!

From: Beth Hollenbeck [mailto:beth@eco-store.com]

This is the day we captured Big Blue; the can had been ripped by this time to the point where it had moved up onto his face, making the drinking hole he was stuck in even tighter on his beak.

We had to monitor him for more than a week until he was too weak to fly away before we could capture him. Although he responded magnificently to the care and feeding by Mary Jane Eisner, the bird rehabilitator, he suddenly died on the day he was ready to be released. Apparently he went without food for so long that his body had already begun to shut down, and our jubilant success ended in tragedy. Louise Mills discovered him and his plight and notified ECO-Action, and we all did the best we could. She lives on Lake Formosa and tries to keep the lake clean by herself!

A can underwater is a very attractive place for small fish to hide or live in, and the Heron was just hunting for his lunch when he poked his beak into the can. The fish was still in his mouth when we caught him.

And people wonder why we’re so freaked out by “harmless” litter. This beautiful innocent magnificent creature was killed by a Budweiser can and the slob who threw it in the lake.

Thanks to everyone who tried to save him. Please help to make people aware of how dangerous litter is to wildlife. All are welcome to join us any Sunday to remove treacherous trash from our waterways to prevent this type of tragedy. Although this rescue ended horribly, we have saved countless lives in the last 450+ canoe clean-ups we have conducted. There’s more litter out there than we can possibly retrieve, but every bit we remove helps prevent injury or death to innocent wildlife.

For the critters,




Photo credit: David Faith

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