View Full Version : Cats More Lethal to Birds Than Wind Turbines
May 26th 07, 09:14 AM
In article >,
Not neccesarily. Even the cutest cat had the basic body plan of a
And I currently have two cats in residence who go spastic when they see
a bird, squirrel, mouse or rat.
They even chase insect in the house. And they're damned good at both
tracking them and killing them.
And having an idea how many feral colonies are out there, I'd say that
their kill ratio is pretty high.
In article >,
T > wrote:
> And having an idea how many feral colonies are out there, I'd say
> that their kill ratio is pretty high.
Having lived on a rural farm for a couple of years now, I have had the
opportunity to observe a large number of
feral-to-semiferal-to-astonishingly intrinsically tame barn cats in the
area. They and the other non-migratory animals here live in terribly
harsh conditions that can make death-by-predator seem humane. Only a
very few of the cats are impressively effective as predators. The rest
rely on our largesse and that of other local farmers who encourage
their vermin-clearing presence by feeding them.
Both the good feline hunters and the poor *are* able to catch birds,
but the good hunters seem to prefer catching ground mammals like
rodents. And there are levels of effectiveness for the poor hunters.
Many of them just lounge around the base of trees waiting for some
hapless bird to land on the ground. That doesn't happen very often.
The birds that DO get caught by the poor hunters tend to be the ones
that stand there eyeing the cat as it approaches-- sometimes from far
away. All the other birds have long ago flown off, but the ones that
wind up as prey just stand there. I could easily anthropomorphize the
scene as "suicidal".
Having watched this process go on for well over two years now suggests
that it also applies to larger predators who feed on the cats. It is
the sickly, the feeble or otherwise compromised (we have quite a few
all-white cats who are apparently deaf or very hard of hearing) barn
cats who most often seem to disappear overnight.
All this makes me think that natural predators like cats or coyotes are
simply fulfilling their innate Darwinian function-- unintentionally
strengthening the genetic lines of their food. I think the human role
in all this is much less than some might construe. IOW, I don't think
those folks who care for feral colonies make that much difference
overall in the predator/prey equation. My role here on the farm is to
chase the birds away who are about to become cat chow and to clang pots
and pans outside at night to chase away the coyotes seeking to eat my
favorite barn cat. The cats still catch birds and coyotes still catch
cats despite my dedicated efforts.
I don't know what, besides man, kills coyotes. But I am pretty sure
that if they didn't have enough cats to feast on, they would happily
eat birds (and yes, coyotes, among many other predators, DO catch and
While I'm sure I am having some effect (after all, a coyote deprived
this evening is a more determined coyote the following night), I
seriously doubt whether my direct interaction (or anyone else's) with
these animals is very meaningful in the broader secular view or in the
wider predator/prey dynamic.
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