Going plastic free to help regional birds

Helping our birds: Flesh-footed Shearwater. Photo: William Betts.
Helping our birds: Flesh-footed Shearwater. Photo: William Betts.

Inspired by the drastic over-supply of plastic, Plastic Free July is a movement that began in Fremantle.

All you do is make a promise to yourself not to use or purchase plastic products for the entire month of July.

On another note, the Flesh-footed Shearwater is a seabird that visits Bunbury in summer.

Bunbury's neighbourhood known as Shearwater near Maidens Reserve, and the adjacent Shearwater Forest, was named for this bird.

It can sometimes be spotted from Bunbury beaches or offshore from a boat, September through to May.

Look out for it with your binoculars along Ocean Drive.

It flies with straight wings, in long glides, low across the waves scooping for small fish, or swimming on the surface.

This species of shearwater nests in islands off our southern coastline, from Cape Leeuwin to Recherche Archipelago.

During our winter, after breeding, the Western Australian population migrates.

They fly west across the Indian Ocean then veer north from the Mascarene Islands near Mauritius to the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

On a sad note, these seabirds are being drowned in purse-seine nets used by the commercial fishing industry.

Recently they have been declared threatened.

This is because of the quantity of them found with stomachs filled with plastic.

Being surface scoopers they mistake scraps of plastic for fish.

On a good note you can join the revolution by going plast-free in July.

For more visit plasticfreejuly.org.