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Enlightening a "bird" person

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Today I was part of an animal welfare press conference. One of the other panelists was a bird lover. Although we both love animals, our preferences sort of clashed. He dislikes cats because they kill birds. I didn't like the way he generalized cats. I remember someone posting a link in TCS proving that cats are not THE threat to birds. Does anybody remember? I just have to send it to this fellow. Thank you.
post #2 of 15
On this subject, when I was browsing the net yesterday I came across what is called and 'audio-visual collar' for cats that supposedly stops them killing birds but not rodents. There was no real info with it, but it seems to have a device on it that gives off an alarm. It was expensive, at $14.00. Has anyone else heard of this? Does it work?
post #3 of 15
The only time cats become a huge threat to bird populations is Spring, while the majority of birds are fledging.
Cruelly enough, Mother Nature insists that baby birds jump from the nest before they can fly.
This leaves them vulnerable on the ground for 3-5 days until they can get themselves back into the trees.
Most of my friends with indoor/outdoor kitties keep their cats in during the spring now in the hopes of allowing just a few more babies to live.
Healthy, adult birds falling prey to cats is pretty rare when you look at the overall cat population.
Feral cats, and barn cats that aren't fed, do develop keener hunting skills and are more likely to take down adult birds.
Birds most often fall prey to snakes, other birds, members of the weasel family, and rodents.
post #4 of 15
Disliking cats because they kill and eat birds makes about as much sense as disliking birds because they kill and eat insects and worms.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by evnshawn
Disliking cats because they kill and eat birds makes about as much sense as disliking birds because they kill and eat insects and worms.
post #6 of 15
I don't know if this is the article you were thinking of, but I wrote one for Stray Pet Advocacy examining the studies of feral cat predation and its' effects on wildlife. The bottom line is that, except for extraordinary situations like isolated ecosystems, humans and not cats are the main cause of wildlife loss.

http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/html..._reviewed.html

Also, Laurie (LDG) wrote an in-depth review of the "Wisconsin Study", which is used by most anti-feral cat groups to prove just how "dangerous" feral cats are to songbirds. She found that there are many problems with the study, ones anti-cat groups don't like to face.

http://www.straypetadvocacy.org/html...sin_study.html

Hope these help!
post #7 of 15
I have many types of bird feeders...tons of birds that come to them ...and my 2 cats LOVE to watch them.....but they are "insiders" so they are no threat.
post #8 of 15
I think he probably has other reasons for disliking cats besides them killing birds. You can't change a persons feelings or opinions on something, especially this because cats do catch birds. I know my sisters cats did...and not just young ones but adult ones too. And if he does hate cats only because they catch birds...then that is one weird fellow
post #9 of 15
Check out the Alley Cat Allies website for more info. I have outside (barn) cats, and LOTS of birds in my yard. And although my cats are fed, they catch mice, too. I have never seen evidence of them killing birds, in fact this spring Will ignored a baby bird that had fallen on the ground by the back door.
post #10 of 15
I'm so glad I can respond to this for we are both "Backyard Birdfeeders" and Catlovers. I belong to forums of both kinds. Here's the problem. Backyard birdfeeders fall in love with their visitors much in the same way we love our cats. I have seen too many times where a domestic cat on the roam will have caught somebodys cardinal or destroyed nest and all a family of robins they were photographing for many weeks. I have detected tears in these situations. We had a "feeder hunter" in our yard but after reviewing his technique I deemed him harmless. I think it's the cat owners responsibility to keep our cats away from other poeples feeding stations. It' dangerous! I have heard of cats being shot in these situations. This is about as close as we ever let our cats get to our "and other peoples" birds.
post #11 of 15
Hmmm... my formerly outdoor cats have never brought home birds. Only snakes or mice/rodents. At this point, we have so many coyotes in the neighborhood, that cats are all indoors/inside a cat-fence in the backyard. Personally I really don't see that cats are such a threat to the birds, but we don't really have the bird population that some states do...
post #12 of 15
I have 4 cats that go outside. I have a bird feeder in my back yard that is always loaded with many birds. So far this year, I have found one dead bird and one dead mouse. I think the birds are smarter than we give them credit for.
post #13 of 15
I have/love birds and I love cats too! They usually bring home moles or chipmunks. Salem did bring home a bird once. She brought it in the house and let it go... evidently she decided that we liked birds, so she brought one home - alive. It took us 20 minutes to get that wild bird out of our house.
post #14 of 15
It's true that some cats will hunt and catch birds. In a rural setting I see no problem with a cat catching a bird or two.. It's what they do. Although some may argue the fact that even this is destructive, I'm ok with it. It's a poeple problem... When a cat can roam from yard to yard in a suburban setting they hunt and do kill some birds that poeple have been feeding for years. I'm not sure a lot of cat owners understand this. Birds live a LONG time and are habitual in their seasonal migration patterns. I have been feeding the same pair of Downey Woodpeckers for four years. Some poeple expect to enjoy pehaps a nesting pair of birds in their yard for years. It's devastating to them when that is taken away from them. The reality is that teaching our cats not to hunt birds is impossible. It's out of our hands. If our cat decides it's going to hunt birds and it's outside it will. Do I think that a cat killing a cardinal will tip the ecological scale? No. The kill is trivial.. but to the person that was enjoying that bird the scenario is just about the end of the world. Durring Lengthy stays at bird forums I have found that there are a number of cat lovers like myself. But I can understand some poeple whodislike the neighdors cat for eating their favorite bird.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailfish
Some poeple expect to enjoy pehaps a nesting pair of birds in their yard for years. It's devastating to them when that is taken away from them ... Do I think that a cat killing a cardinal will tip the ecological scale? No. The kill is trivial.. but to the person that was enjoying that bird the scenario is just about the end of the world.
You make a very good point. For cats to kill birds is entirely natural, but as someone who keeps fish (and goes to some pains to ensure my cats don't get to snack on them, no matter how natural that would be), I can see how disturbing it would be to set up a habitat in your back yard and be rewarded for your efforts by a long-standing acquaintanceship with a particular pair of birds, only to have that taken away by the neighbor's cat.

Another good argument for having indoor-only cats or confining your cat to a pet run.
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