Thompson DL, Ovenden TS, Pennycott T & Nager RG (2020) The prevalence and source of plastic incorporated into nests of five seabird species on a small offshore island. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 154, Art. No.: 111076. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111076
There is little evidence documenting the prevalence of plastic nest incorporation for different seabird species and populations, and even less detailing the source of such debris as nesting material. This study presents a baseline dataset on the presence of plastic in the nests of five seabird species on Lady Isle, Scotland using a novel and repeatable methodology for quantifying plastic incorporated into nests. Plastic was found in 24.5% to 80% of nests of all species. We analysed pellets of regurgitated material and the spatial distribution of herring gull nests containing plastic in the context of the tide and nesting habitat. Differences in the types of plastic found in pellets and nests suggests that plastic incorporated into herring gull nests was not derived at foraging sites and likely collected from the local environment. Targeted beach cleans before the breeding season could help minimise the quantity of plastic available to herring gulls.
Plastic ingestion; Nest-building; North Atlantic; Marine debris; Plastic pollution; Litter
Marine Pollution Bulletin: Volume 154