Posted by: janvozenilek | June 23, 2010

Not in my back yard!

Not in my own backyard!  Over the past 9 months, as a result of the life changing experience out on Midway Island last year, my family and I have worked hard at reducing and refusing single use plastic.  We started thinking that plastic is something others consume and the birds way out in the Pacific Ocean die from it.  BUT, today I was reminded how responsible I am, we all are together, for this plastic mess we have created.

Today behind our garage, Jennifer heard a strange noise.  As she looked closer she noticed a small baby bird entangled in a piece of plastic fishing line.  He was desperately trying to fly away but was tangled in the line struggling to breath.  At first glance it seemed as though he had swallowed it and it was stuck in his mouth.  We were on a rescue mission.  I gently grabbed hold of him and unwrapped the line that was twice around his neck.  Once free of the plastic prison I released him into the air where another bird joined him from a bush nearby, most likely one of his worried parents.

As I prepare for another trip to Midway Island in just over a week, I couldn’t help to think about the irony of this poor little bird who was dying from a piece of plastic, right in my own backyard. This experience was deeply moving for me.  When we are on Midway this time, we will be seeing baby Albatrosses, just old enough to head out on their own, many dying as a result of the plastic they have been fed.  Somehow it seems easier to think that plastic is a problem in the Pacific, but after today I am reminded that it is a huge problem right here in our own backyards.



  1. We have this same problem with seagulls on Nantucket.

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