A mother bird has been caught feeding its chick a cigarette butt on a Florida shoreline.
Karen Mason, a keen environmentalist, clicked some shocking photos while on vacation in St Petersburg, Florida. The black skimmer gets a cigarette butt, thinking it is food, before giving it to its chick. The upsetting pictures demonstrate the younger bird run away with the butt still in its mouth.
It isn’t known whether the bird really ate it yet Karen says it could have ki*led the little Skimmer.
Karen, who is from Largo, Florida stated:
‘I do not know if the chick actually ate the butt. I hope not as it might have killed it. These birds come together to nest on Florida beaches. There are no beaches in Florida that are not full of people, so they have to try and co-exist with us and our trash.
These birds skim along the top of the water to get their food and the lower mandible is in the water. When it touches something the top one comes down on it. They don’t see what they are catching. I assume this one got this in a shallow area along the beach and didn’t know what it had.’
In a Facebook, post-Karen wrote: ‘This skimmer chick was offered a cigarette butt by [its] parent. It’s time we cleaned up our beaches and stopped treating them like one giant ashtray.’