A blight has developed with a popular kite war game, originated from southern Asia (banned in Pakistan) , carried over to here to the wide open spaces of Floyd Bennett Field. The harmful string used to fly the kites, called manja, is a very strong high tensile usually red ( or another color) string coated and embedded with glass ! The purpose of this war game is to cut the competitor(s) kite strings in the sky.You get the idea. see this link
The problem arises when this string is left behind , discarded unto the fields, posing great danger and threats to birds that use these fields for roosting, feeding or resting. Can one envision a Short -eared owl being a victim ?
Last month , me and another birder found remains of manja which I rolled up at least 1000 feet across field A, my glove shredded afterwards. Last week, birders ( who contacted me yesterday) found remains of fighter kite string in field C where the Northern Shrike was and those birders also collected the string, also getting their gloves damaged. Its a widespread problem that is not enforced , likely because no stated policy or action has been clarified by Gateway administrators. I sent a letter to the Gateway superintendent tonight stating my concerns and need to ban and enforce by the US Park Police. I stated also the requirements of the Migration Bird Treaty Act in the spirit of that law even if it doesn't cover fighter kite string.
If you happen to come upon this nemesis kite string, I advise you tell the Gateway staff person at the Visitors Center, if possible collect the string with a stick ( never bare hands).Or carry rawhide gloves and a plastic bag if you visit Floyd Bennett.
Let me know if you find any and I 'll forward to the appropriate people or give you the superintendent contact info.
To give you an idea of how dangerous this fighter kite string is, please read these links below of what the glass string did to a human being's neck. The second link includes pictures and comments about the kites at Floyd Bennett and Flushing Meadow (Queens County) . In the first link,apparently a young man had his throat slashed by some of the string. The "sport" has been outlawed in Pakistan because of the injuries.
The following NY Times link shows eleven slides , some showing the cuts on the kite flyer hands which the string no doubt will kill birds or at least maim their limbs or bodies and produce extreme prolonged suffering.
For more about Fighter Kites, read this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_kite