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Wednesday, June 14. 2017
While you have to count man's habitat changes and destruction as the primary driver of decreasing songbird populations, let's just look at direct kills. The top two are windows and outdoor cats.
Neither are "natural" in North America. Ornithologists say the best thing you can do for wildlife is to keep your cat, if you must have one, indoors. Cats are native to Egypt and nowhere else. They have an instinct to kill for fun, so letting your cat roam is a more destructive act than taking your gun and shooting songbirds (which is illegal).
Chart below is from Sibley (Feral includes all outdoor cats):
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Has the number of feral cats increased significantly?
What breeds of birds. Is and eagle the equal of a sparrow?
The chart conveniently leaves out total mortality, including "natural causes" such as weather, wild predators, disease, chicks falling out of nests and such. Show me a chart calibrated on total mortality, then I can decide whether the causes depicted on this chart are a major concern, or perhaps just a tiny segment of total mortality.
That would be good, but how to get the data?
That's why they chart man-related
My neighbors have large picture windows on the ground level and have a real problem with bird kill. Our windows are divided and under a deep porch on the second level; we rarely have a problem. Our neighbors have had good luck with big, soft screens in front of the biggest windows.
Our outdoor cats don't seem to bag a lot of birds.
I came to the conclusion that feeding the birds was for them and not for me and so I moved the feeders far from the house and now relatively few bird strikes.
Our hummingbirds don't seem to want to hit our windows so one of their feeders is right out back.
Obvious felinephobic tripe. I have had cats for 50 years; the last few have been strictly indoors, but previously some were in/out. I don't recall more than one or two bird offerings from any of them. I have seen my daughter's yellow lab bring a few as gifts.
Interesting, question. How can you say that data on other sources of mortality are hard to come by, but, conclude that cats exceed are the major culprits. Kind of like the global warming hockey stick, eh? If you are going to compile statistics, don't forget wind turbines, and the kind of huge solar panel arrays that are going into California.
Obvious felinephobic tripe.
Yup. And packed with fallacies as well, to wit,
Neither are "natural" in North America.
There's no such thing as a natural species. Investigate the encroachment of life itself into formerly lifeless Pacific islands from east to west. Or replace natural with pro-GMO narratives and watch rightist tropes dissolve. As arguments go, natural isn't exactly a thing.
...keep your cat, if you must have one, indoors.
Keep your dog, if you must have one, at the ready to retrieve birds you've killed. This we call sport. (Rover eating from the cat box not so much.)
Cats are native to Egypt and nowhere else.
Cats aren't native period. Neither are dogs although cats predate them by thousands of years. Dogs are vastly more impactful. Just not on songbirds.
They have an instinct to kill for fun,
Which is it? Does feline intent matter?
Letting your cat roam is a more destructive act...
In a very narrow sense
...than taking your gun and shooting songbirds (which is illegal).
Snapping squirrel spines isn't illegal which is why rover isn't arrested for it. Neither is blowing flocks out of the sky which is why you aren't.
I guess it's all quite relative except when it isn't.
Considering all the brouhaha I have heard over the years about wind turbines killing birds, I doubt there was serious under-counting. The condor and eagle fans in California are, if you pardon the expression, watching wind turbine killings like a hawk.
They are seriously undercounting, or only took data from a very small area with hardly any wind turbines and extrapolated that to the entire world without taking factors like location and turbine density into account.
And that was probably done deliberately. Can't have the truth make your agenda look weird, can you now?
The thing with the bird strikes is that most of them appear 'invisible', although our houses account for the odd sparrow or dove; the numbers are racked up (and they are) on the big skyscrapers of just a few cities. All conveniently located at migratory choke points: NYC, Toronto, Chicago, Houston, various west coast points. And occur at night and conveniently before the city street sweeper comes past.
Wind turbines, probably undercounted.
Cats...I keep my cats as indoor cats because of the birds but also because scraping a family pet off the highway sucks.
And they can get feline leukemia, feline AIDS, and other bad diseases from coming into contact with other outside cats.
Birds, Dogs, no like cats but they do enjoy pontificating about Calisthenics
People forget that the bird population in cities is far higher due to habitat and a large food supply then it would be in the natural world.
I care a lot more about my cats than I do for a lot of shrieking birds, of which there are billions. Like they could catch birds anyhow.
Nevertheless, they live indoors because I don't want them harmed.
feral cats, yes. But outdoor pet cats, too. We have several outdoor cats and they have killed 3 birds already this week. About every other day it looks like someone put a small explosive into a bird on our front yard because our cats leave only the beaks and the feathers. I haven't seen them torture birds, but if they treat the birds like they do the lizards or mice they catch, then yes, it is likely a slow death. I put the poor vermin out of their misery when I see the cats playing with them, but I can't be with them very often.
My daughter went through a vegitarian phase a while back and said she wouldn't eat meat because it hadn't been humanely killed. She thought that by avoiding meat she could improve the treatment of animals. I told her I agreed and said I was getting a gun to save animals. She asked "WHY?!!?" I told her I would save 100 animals a month by killing our cats because they each cause more animal cruelty in a year than I have in 50 years. Daughter said she didn't want our cats to die. I wasn't really going to do it, but I opened her eyes and she asked for a steak not long after that episode.
Great moments in parenting.