I’m looking at her. She is no longer eating. Just stays there looking up at us.
Few minutes later I go and look again — to see if she’s gone.
No. She’s still there. Looking at Flipper and Sunny.
It’s getting dark outside. And it’s cold.
Hoping she’s not hurt, I start to open the door.
Thankfully she flies away.
Next evening she’s back with all the others.
(I feed the outside birds and squirrels during the winter months.)
The dove stays there long after everyone else is gone.
Obviously her mate has been killed; and she is in no hurry to go to an empty nest.
She thinks of Flipper and Sunny as her friends now.
Maybe they help her feel less lonely.
“Here’s an alarming but little-known figure—stray cats and pet cats allowed outdoors kill 3.6 million birds every day on average in the United States, for a total of at least 1.3 billion birds per year.
A 2011 study found that domestic cats have directly contributed to extinctions of 22 bird species on islands around the world.
Researchers in the United Kingdom estimated that 55 million birds fall prey to domestic cats there each year; in Australia, threats to endangered species led government officials to announce plans for euthanizing 2 million feral cats.
In the U.S., there are about 84 million pet cats, and around 46 million of them are allowed to roam outside. An estimated 30-80 million more live as strays.”
The above excerpts are from an article in The Atlantic Daily. The article describes how two cat owners, Susan Willson and Nancy Brennan, worked together to find a solution to this problem.
Brennan’s cat, George, kept dragging birds in the house. She tied bells on his collar but it didn’t help: “the cat moved too stealthily for the bells to have any sort of warning effect on his prey.”
Birds have excellent color vision
When Brennan read about birds’ excellent color vision she came up with an idea: make a new collar for the cat using a brightly-colored, multi-patterned fabric.
It worked from the first day — George came back home without any birds.
It worked so well that she decided to make a business out of it. Brennan started selling collars (Birdbesafe).
Willson had similar problems with her cat, Gorilla. A bird biologist, Willson wanted to do an experiment. She contacted Brennan to enlist her help for a study with two controlled groups: one with collars, the other without.
The results: the cats from the group without a collar killed 19 times as many birds as the other group. The study was published in the journal Global Ecology and Conservation. Australian researchers published a similar study in Applied Animal Behavior journal.
Kindness is a choice
Two loving cat owners who made the choice to be kind to birds and other wildlife. And together found a simple and effective solution — one that prevents so many needless killings!
If your cats go outdoors please have them wear bright-colored collars.
And please share this with your pet owner friends.
Your kindness will be appreciated by your feathered friends.
They will greet you with songs of happiness. Every day.
Thanks for visiting.