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Heartbreaking moment Skimmer bird feeds her tiny chick a cigarette butt on Florida beach 

Enough to make you choke! Heartbreaking moment Skimmer bird feeds her tiny chick a cigarette butt on Florida beach

  • Karen Mason, a keen environmentalist, took a series of shocking photographs while on holiday in Florida
  • The images capture the moment a black skimmer feeds its chick a cigarette butt thinking it is food
  • The younger bird then runs away with the butt still in its mouth and its unknown if it eats it, Karen says

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A mother bird has been captured feeding its chick a cigarette butt on a Florida beach.

Karen Mason, a keen environmentalist, took the series of shocking photographs while on holiday in St Petersburg, Florida.

The black skimmer picks up a cigarette butt, thinking it is food, before handing it to its chick.

The troubling images show the younger bird run away with the butt still in its mouth.

The black skimmer picks up a cigarette butt, thinking it is food, before handing it to its chick, which then tries to swallow it

It is not known whether the bird actually ate it but Karen says it could have killed the small Skimmer.

Karen, who is from Largo, Florida said: ‘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. 

The troubling images show the younger bird run away with the butt still in its mouth as it runs along the Florida beach

The troubling images show the younger bird run away with the butt still in its mouth as it runs along the Florida beach

It is not known whether the bird actually ate it but Karen says it could have killed the small Skimmer if it did

It is not known whether the bird actually ate it but Karen says it could have killed the small Skimmer if it did

‘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.’

Skimmer's 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', Karen says

Skimmer’s 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’, Karen says

And those commenting were heartbroken as they looked at the photographs showing the devastating impact of humans on nature.  

One Facebook user wrote: ‘Absolutely heartbreaking.’

While, Sherry Brigham added: ‘Just sickens me…Plzz put your butts out in the garbage or put them in your pack if u don’t see a can.

‘I smoke but never do I throw them on the ground… just disgusting think of our wildlife.’ 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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