Volunteers combed Golden Gate Park Saturday in search of an injured mew gull with a lure caught on its beak.
WildRescue, a Moss Beach-based wildlife rescue group, had several people searching the park this morning for the gull, which was spotted by local birders Friday, according to group spokeswoman Rebecca Dmytryk.
The young bird was seen with the fishing lure caught in its nare, or nostril, once at Elk Glen Lake and then again in the evening at Lloyd Lake, both in Golden Gate Park.
The lure could make it hard for the bird to feed and to preen, or clean its feathers, Dmytryk said.
“Preening is extremely important for water birds, because if they don’t preen their feathers will let in the cold air and water, and they’ll die of hypothermia,” Dmytryk said.
Volunteers failed to locate the bird today, and Dmytryk said the group is hoping the lure might have shaken loose.
However, if anyone spots the bird, she asked that they do not try to capture it but contact WildRescue right away at (415) 979-9700. Trained rescuers will respond.
WildRescue was also involved in the successful capture and rehabilitation of an injured red-tailed hawk spotted in Golden Gate Park in October. That hawk, which was shot through the head with a nail, made a full recovery and was released into the park in November.
The group is offering classes this month for anyone interested in helping with future wildlife rescues. The two-day wildlife search and rescue training session is taking place Jan. 14th and 15th.
Please go to www.wildrescue.org for more information on training or other volunteer opportunities, or call (831) 840-3896.
Sara Gaiser, Bay City News