March 21, 2016.

It was a beautiful evening. The sun had begun to set, casting a golden light across a local park on the Florida Panhandle. I was showing my visiting parents around one of my favorite eco hotspots, and we walked a boardwalk between marsh grasses and maritime forest. The park we were visiting is known for its bird species, but within minutes of entering the park we spotted the last image any birder wants to see: on the top of a tall pine tree dangled a Great Blue Heron, its foot wrapped in fishing line. Unfortunately, the bird was dead.

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