Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Backyard birds

This article was very true - I've actually seen this happen in my backyard (minus the hawk eating the little birds - yet!). I'll look out and suddenly there are no birds anywhere. Once I saw what I think was a kestrel sitting just over the bird feeder.

It reminded me of the woman who wrote in about the East Coast cats and how she wanted the birds and the butterflies but not the cats. Here's the thing people often forget - nature often is very cruel. For every beautiful hawk out there, there is also a little creature that has to die for it to survive.

It also makes me wonder about people who claim cats kill wildlife and therefore the cats should die. First of all, I have two cats who come over and sit right under my bird feeder - the birds pay the cats no mind, but they take off at first sight of a kestrel of hawk, which makes me think the birds know the cat isn't something to get too worried about. In addition, I've never seen the cats ever catch a bird. So why is it that people get very upset when a cat happens to kill a bird, but don't say anything when a bird kills another bird? Aren't both part of the same cycle? Both are tragic - I would hate to lose a bird to either a cat OR a bird - but you have to think that is life.


Anonymous said...

i hate to mention it but i really have seen a cat munching on a bird. the poor bird's wings, head, blood, bone was everywhere. Worst is i have to clean it up so that no one else will see it. Is the cat too hungry, i really wonder..

Anonymous said...

Cats are 'fussy' eaters-that bird-munching cat could be an exception.

The majority of our community cats are fed reasonably well so few have to look for an alternative source of food.

Dawn said...

I don't doubt that the cat might eat a dead bird - for that matter, I've been told that the birds often eat dead deer by the side of the road. The question is whether cats really kill all that many birds to begin with.

I found a dead bird under my tree one day - no cat in sight on the day in question so I don't think it was the cat, but it disappeared the next morning when we went out to bury it. Any number of things may have eaten it.

Anonymous said...

I think cats are actually pretty unsucessful birders...when my cats used to roam they brought back on average less than 1 bird a year per cat. The total includes the random kills I found in the back alley. Still nothing compared to the large numbers of dead roaches and lizards found lying around.