Blue rings from plastic milk bottles have definitely proved to be a
problem for Satin Bowerbirds. Here in the Blue Mountains there have been
quite a few instances of these birds being found dead or nearly dead
with the ring around its neck and between its mandibles, preventing the
bird from eating or drinking. If I remember correctly, this problem
first came to light a few years ago and as a result blue rings were
phased out for a while but reappeared a couple of years ago (at least in
the Sydney region).
Last year I wrote to the manufacturers of Pura milk who at the time were
using this type of ring. They referred me to their plastics
manufacturer, Brickwoods Holdings, who were very co-operative, phoning
me several times from Melbourne to report on their progress in
developing a bowerbird-safe lid. Now Pura milk uses rings which
automatically break on opening.
However it's proving to be a never-ending saga! Savings brand of milk
are now using unbreaking blue rings. I wrote to them recently and have
just received a short reply, stating that they are looking into the
matter in consultation with Taronga Park Zoo and the RSPCA. I haven't
yet followed this up. I guess the more people that contact the companies
involved, the quicker something will be done.
Satin Bowerbirds are also attracted to yellow objects, and I have been
wondering whether yellow rings could also be a problem. Does anyone have
any experience of this?
Cutting or breaking the rings does prevent the problem, but to be on the
safe side the ring should also be bent back so that it's no longer
circular, or else cut twice.
>Date: Thu, 04 Feb 1999 13:16:09 +1100
>From: Victoria Quinton <>
>Subject: birding-aus rings from plastic milk bottles
>Is it true that these(rings from plastic milk bottles) kill birds by
>choking them, or encircling their beaks and thus preventing them from
>Would cutting them prevent this and is it an argument for cardboard
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