Idle Lobster Traps Kill Blue Jays

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2011
Authors:Cline, MH, Hatt, JL
Journal:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
Volume:123
Issue:1
Date Published:2011
ISBN Number:1559-4491
Keywords:Corvidae, Cyanocitta, Cyanocitta cristata, Garrulus, Garrulus glandarius, Hirundinidae, Hirundo, Hirundo rustica
Abstract:Abstract We report observations of Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) mortality in idle lobster traps stored on Merepoint Neck in the Town of Brunswick, Maine. Three of nine individual Blue Jays found inside the traps were alive but emaciated. Each of the live Blue Jays was seen picking off and swallowing pieces of pectoral muscles from Blue Jay carcasses also inside the traps. We could not find literature describing or warning of the attractive nuisance posed to birds by improperly stored fishing gear, such as lobster traps. Our observations identify a previously undocumented threat to local bird populations, and likely the first documentation of adult-adult cannibalism for the Blue Jay. We suggest some simple solutions to mitigate avian mortality due to improperly stored fishing gear.Abstract We report observations of Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata) mortality in idle lobster traps stored on Merepoint Neck in the Town of Brunswick, Maine. Three of nine individual Blue Jays found inside the traps were alive but emaciated. Each of the live Blue Jays was seen picking off and swallowing pieces of pectoral muscles from Blue Jay carcasses also inside the traps. We could not find literature describing or warning of the attractive nuisance posed to birds by improperly stored fishing gear, such as lobster traps. Our observations identify a previously undocumented threat to local bird populations, and likely the first documentation of adult-adult cannibalism for the Blue Jay. We suggest some simple solutions to mitigate avian mortality due to improperly stored fishing gear.
URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1676/10-095.1
Short Title:The Wilson Journal of Ornithology
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