A large Sugar Gum tree branch fell down in the local school over summer. I had a look and in the branches was a dead magpie and a nest. There was plastic tangled around the magpie’s foot. It looks as though the parents used some plastic in the building of the nest. When the youngster grew up he became tangled and couldn’t fly. He must have starved to death, hanging upside down by his foot.
words and photo Originally uploaded by Geoffmo
Jennifer L. Lavers, Jarrod C. Hodgson, Rohan H. Clarke, Prevalence and composition of marine debris in Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster) nests at Ashmore Reef, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 77, Issues 1–2, 15
December 2013, Pages 320-324, ISSN 0025-326X, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.09.026
Abstract: Anthropogenic debris is ubiquitous in the marine environment
and has been reported to negatively impact hundreds of species globally.
Seabirds are particularly at risk from entanglement in debris due to
their habit of collecting food and, in many cases, nesting material off
the ocean’s surface. We compared the prevalence and composition of
debris in nests and along the beach at two Brown Booby (Sula
leucogaster) colonies on Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, a remote area known to
contain high densities of debris transported by ocean currents. The
proportion of nests with debris varied across islands (range 3–31%),
likely in response to the availability of natural nesting materials.
Boobies exhibited a preference for debris colour (white and black), but
not type. The ephemeral nature of Brown Booby nests on Ashmore Reef may
limit their utility as indicators of marine pollution, however
monitoring is recommended in light of increasing demand for plastic
Keywords: Brown Booby; Marine debris; Nesting ecology; Plastic
pollution; Sula leucogaster; Timor Sea
More reports on other animal deaths can be found here