Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Hummingbirds, originally uploaded by dawnkua.

You know the old untruth that people shouldn't feed cats because more and more cats will come into an area when there is food? The more I watch different animals, the more I see how untrue it is, not just for cats, but for other animals too.

We all know that cats enter an area because of territory, not because of food. However, this isn't just limited to cats. If anything else, it's almost as if the animals don't want others near 'their' territory and food. In this photo, the hummingbird below is watching the hummingbird above as the latter tries to move closer to the food bowl. It doesn't matter that there are several food ports. It doesn't matter that there is plenty of food for both birds (and others besides). The hummingbird just does NOT want the other bird in its territory, or near its food.

I've seen hummingbirds that will just sit there and warn others away from the feeding station. I've heard someone say that her hummingbird would rather go hungry then let anyone else close.

This is the case for squirrels, raccoons and other birds even when there is ample food. I hang a finch sock outside and the finches have their own 'spots' even though there is plenty of food. If a finch attempts to sit on another 'spot', he or she is driven away.

The only time this doesn't seem to apply so much? Mating season.

So sterilised cats don't have that issue - and they get even more territorial about their area. Food really isn't the issue.


Anonymous said...

Food is an issue. If there is no food source, it is not possible to sustain life. However in crowded SG, food isn't a main issue as there is always food if there are humans around.

Dawn said...

That's true about food being all over Singapore. However, here there is abundant food for the wildlife I see - and the animals still do not want other animals coming into their territory.