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What’s killing birds is in plain sight

 

I came across this article in the NY Times and can’t get it out of my head.

Photographer Chris Jordan has devoted himself to taking pictures of birds living and dead on Midway Atoll in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean.

These small islands are the breeding ground for many bird species but are probably best known for the large populations of albatrosses.

Albatrosses are amazing birds. They have a way of locking their wings into an extended position so they can just glide along the air currents folding off the waves. It’s the reason they can literally circumnavigate the globe, only returning to land to breed.

But these birds, and seals and turtles, are digesting the pieces of plastic that now clutter our oceans. And they are dying painful deaths.

The proof can be seen in the carcasses, as you’ll see in the video below. The bright-colored plastics shocking in their size and number. Perhaps the question isn’t how these birds are dying but how these birds are living at all.

MIDWAY : trailer : a film by Chris Jordan from Midway on Vimeo.

“Each time we go out there we’ve gone deeper into the horror,” Mr. Jordan told Rendezvous from his home in Seattle.

The horror resides mostly in the stomachs of young seabirds, primarily Laysan and black-footed albatrosses. The parents feed their young chicks by regurgitating food into their mouths, food they’ve gathered at sea that includes nurdles, bottle caps, pieces of fish nets, toothbrushes, cigarette lighters.

 

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