Meadowlands Commission naturalists were on the Hackensack River at Saw Mill Creek Wildlife Management Area when one noticed an apparently gruesome sight — a Double-crested Cormorant had slipped and gotten its head wedged in a gap between boards of an old tidegate.
At first, the young bird appeared to be dead, but as the naturalists approached in their boat, they could see that it was hanging on for life.
Naturalists Gabrielle-Bennett-Meany, Brett Bragin and Mike Newhouse pried the boards further apart, and intern Eleanna Ballas of Secaucus lifted the cormorant until its head was free.
She placed the cormorant in the water, and it dived under. It surfaced again about 20 yards away and swam off, hopefully no worse for wear.
NJMC naturalists also rescued a Snowy Egret on the Hackensack River last fall. Post is here. NJMC naturalists also rescued a Red-tailed Hawk near Harrier Meadow in North Arlington in late March. Post is here.