This morning I came across a pair of chicks entangled in plastic. They were bound together and attached to a mess of nesting material.
One of the birds only had plastic wrapped around its foot, but the other chick had the plastic crisscrossed across its back and around its neck.
The plastic removal went uneventfully and I didn't realize I was holding my breath until I freed the last chick. Once I returned the chicks back to their nest, I sat down and examined the offending material.
This was rather flimsy and made me wonder if it was part of a shredded plastic bag.
This is what the plastic looked like stretch out. I have NO idea what it was or where it came from, but it was pretty sturdy.
A creek runs through the property of the Ecology Center and upstream there is a golf course and countless retail stores and other businesses. It is not uncommon to find quite a bit of trash in the creek and on the banks after a good flood. There's no telling where the adults found this "nesting material". But I suspect the chicks grew into the offending nest material and I'm not sure the chick with the plastic across its back would have survived to be banded (The chicks were too small today to have bands placed on their legs).
I think people are aware of the plastics that inundate our oceans and rivers, but give little thought to the garbage that floats in creeks or blows across the parking lots to end up in someone's yard. Of course that same litter on the street and parking lots is easily accessible to birds and other wildlife, who will pick it up to use in a nest or ingest it, thinking the trash is food.
The moral of the story? Please don't litter. Most businesses have public trash cans and at the very least, keep the trash in your car until you get home and then throw it in the garbage can. But I imagine I'm preaching to the choir if you're reading my blog.