Plastics and threads, in many shapes and forms, are responsible for killing biodiversity. There are lots of anecdotes about these kinds of things, but when it comes to making the case for the problem, sweeping statements need to be backed up with careful factual reporting. This paper in our ejournal Ornithological Observations achieves just this. It reviews deaths of weavers as a result of threads and plastics that were woven into the nests. This paper has just achieved the magical 400 downloads milestone, so it is highlighted here.
Trapped! Weaver nests as death traps - HD Oschadleus - Ornithological Observations 2012 3:38-43
You can download the pdf of the paper directly from
There were two other papers in OO last year with the same theme!
Close escape: Cape Cormorant entangled by sack.
Lauren J Waller, P Dee Boersma, Tom Leiden, Les G Underhill
Ornithological Observations 2012 3:195-200
Bank Cormorant chick entangled in fishing line dies after more than 88 hours
Kate J Robinson, Corlia Meyer, Les G Underhill and Jordan-Laine Calder
Ornithological Observations 2012 3:188-194
If you have a similar observation (or any other interesting bird observation for that matter), please write it up for OO. Go to the website http://oo.adu.org.za/ and you can download the "Guidelines to authors."
There is an amazing amount of great reading in Ornithological Observations!