ABSTRACT

We describe several cases of plastic use by the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), a declining grassland passerine that has not yet been reported interacting with anthropogenic material. Of 24 wild Loggerhead Shrike nests that were monitored over 2013 and 2019 field seasons in Ontario and Indiana, more than 20% contained incorporated plastic debris. Three instances of fledgling entanglement were recorded in Ontario as a result of loose plastic used as nesting material. We also describe an observation of a shrike handling plastic in a foraging-like behavior. Faced with a host of threats that include habitat fragmentation and roadside mortality, our observations suggest plastic debris presents yet another danger Loggerhead Shrikes must contend with in increasingly human-impacted environments.

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