Feral Cats Kill 480 Million Birds in the U.S. Each Year - Responsible for 33 Extinctions.
This is the headline at Wildlife News and you can read the whole story there, it's pretty interesting.
We all know how loving our furry little felines are. But we also all know what relentless predators they are and that it doesn't matter how well they are fed, they will still kill if simply for the pleasure of it.
It turns out that millions of the birds killed are at bird feeders. This is a tragedy. Essentially baiting a trap.
When I had cats, they were constantly catching doves who would come to the feeders. The sad thing is, they would most often not kill the bird, but leave it so maimed that recovery was impossible. I was forced to kill the bird to end its misery. I would strangle them. I broke my heart each time one of those beautiful little birds died in my hands. I could literally feel its heart stop beating.
I decided to do something about it, and it worked. Here's a few tips from my experience.
- Place the bird feeder in an open place. Give the cats no where to hide and the birds a chance to escape.
- If you hang your feeder, be sure there is plenty of open space under it. The birds will land on the ground to pick the seeds dropped from above. They need at least an 8'-10' head start.
- If you must, fence in the area around or under the feeder. This only requires a small garden type wire fence 24"-36" high. It should be at least 8' in diameter. The cat must jump it which slows him down just enough for the bird to escape. I did this with two of my feeders and it worked very well.