[NAFEX] cat predation

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Wed Feb 14 23:00:30 EST 2007

In fact, that article supports the statement "They don't do much to  
the birds, the birds are too smart.  All they get are babies that  
fall out of nests. "  It says "Birds that nest of feed on the ground,  
such as California Quail, are the most susceptible to cat predation,  
as are nestlings and fledglings of many other species".  And despite  
the title being about birds, most of the examples given are of mammal  

Sure, cats prey on birds.  Some more than others.   (My boy never  
killed a bird.  My girl still takes a couple each year, despite my  
removing hazardous attractors, such as low bird feeders.)  As Joan  
says, every locale has its own problems, ecological and otherwise.   
In my area, the only birds I worry about are the flickers, because  
they feed on the ground and we don't have many of them.  The other  
local ground-feeders are very common, and their population is limited  
by a shortage of good nesting sites, not by adult mortality.  My  
neighborhood still has an assortment of wild predators, too.  I've  
seen foxes (red and gray), coyotes, raccoons, skunks, and several  
species of hawks. I've heard a few species of owls, and neighbors  
photographed a fisher.

Personally, I've uneasy with all the wild predators around, and  
fondly remember the pre-leash-law days when the wildlife was much  
less diverse, and we didn't worry that a coyote might eat a small child.


On Feb 14, 2007, at 9:56 PM, road's end farm wrote:

> Actually, there's nothing there that really addresses my question.
> Let me rephrase it: for example: the population of this area, say  
> 500 years ago, included bobcat, puma, fox, wolf, several species of  
> the weasel family, hawks, owls, eagles, and probably some predators  
> I've left out.
> Some of these species are gone entirely; others are greatly  
> diminished in numbers. Coyote have moved into the area, filling  
> some of the predator space, but presumably not all of it.
> What was the likely bird mortality rate from predation then,  
> compared to now? (Specifically from predation: leaving out of the  
> modern data habitat loss, automobiles, pesticides, etc; and  
> preferably from a comparison in a similar area, currently a rural  
> area.)
> I agree that in certain specific situations the presence of cats  
> may be a disaster for certain bird populations. I don't think this  
> necessarily means that the presence of cats is always, in all  
> areas, a disaster for bird populations.
> If it's any comfort to you, my cats are all spayed/neutered and  
> inoculated; and the barn swallows raise and successfully fledge two  
> clutches in my barn every year, despite the frequent presence of  
> the cats in the barn itself.
> On Feb 14, 2007, at 5:09 PM, Jackie Jameson wrote:
>> Here's a good start:
>> http://www.abcbirds.org/cats/
>> When on that page, click on the hyperlink in the first paragraph  
>> ( Domestic cat predation on birds and other wildlife) and it will  
>> open a four page pdf which discusses these  questions.
> --Rivka
> Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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