Fair end to fowl story

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A badly injured sea bird had firefighters scrambling on Bergen Street in Boerum Hill on Tuesday morning — but New York’s Bravest were eventually able to coax this scared and wounded cormorant into safe hands.

As a crowd looked on, Ladder 105 smokeeater Christian Stathis went up in a cherry picker to save the cormorant, who had become ensnared in a tree on the block between Bond and Nevins streets at around 9:30 am.

Closer inspection revealed that the bird had swallowed a fishing hook and was stuck in the branches.

There was much applause when Stathis returned to earth with the bird.

“This is a very, very community minded and this was an uplifting event this morning,” said resident Maureen Houtrides.

The bird, unfortunately, had less appreciation for the firefighters’ efforts, repeatedly trying to peck its savior.

“Hey, don’t get mad at me,” Stathis said.

The ailing avian was taken to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan where she was diagnosed with a hook in her neck. The bird was rehydrated and calmed, and will undergo surgery on Wednesday, said Ludger Balan of the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy, who was involved in the rescue.

“It should be a happy ending,” he said.

But it certainly didn’t start out that way.

Several residents of the close-knit block noticed the distressed bird at around 9 am and “started calling everyone,” Balan said.

“We called 311, 911, the ASPCA, animal rescue — everyone — but no one was interested in coming,” he added.

Finally, Balan said, a man climbed into the tree to make his own attempt at a rescue. But when he became stuck himself, firefighters finally agreed to come.

“Once they got here, they couldn’t have been more gracious and caring,” Balan said.

The cormorant is believed to be one of a fairly large colony that lives along the Sunset Park waterfront and, believe it or not, is often seen foraging in the Gowanus Canal.

“That’s where we think she swallowed the hook,” Balan said.

See on Wednesday afternoon for an update on this fowl story.

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Reader Feedback

Hester Moulton from Boerum Hill says:
Great article. The incident happened in front of my house. It was very exciting, to say the least. My 3 cats, Aggie, Zoe and Miss Grey thoroughly enjoyed it. Hester
Sept. 4, 2008, 3:25 pm
Mike Gerien from East Moriches says:
Kudos for the rescuers and for the photo!
Sept. 5, 2008, 4:48 pm

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