Daily Archives: January 18, 2009

A stray cat that killed birds

About 3 years ago we had a thin, bedraggled, stray cat wandered into our lives.

It came from nowhere and started to come to the house. It would sit on the window ledge outside our living room window and tap on the window with its paw.

We told it it did not live here and shooed it away. But every time we opened the front door it ran inside and sat on the living room chair. We threw it out. It came back. We listened to the cat tapping and the rain tapping on the window at the same time. The cat won the battle and joined the household. We have never found out where it came from. We called it Tabby. Then the trouble started.

It killed and ate birds. Lots of them. Killing birds seemed to be its one aim in life. I would watch it as it climbed inside a high hedge, crept along a branch and tried to kill an unsuspecting bird. It was a born hunter. I did try to stop it. I put two bells on its neck. I tried to keep it inside all the time, but it found open windows and also sneaked outside whenever anyone opened a door. I put up with a lot. I tried to make excuses for this cat.

Then one day I found two sets of soft, red, fragile robin feathers close together. So light and innocent. These soft feathers gently started to flutter in the breeze. This was solid proof that two robins had been killed by this cat. This was two lives too many. If the robins died, should the cat die? My patience turned to anger.

I realised that cats will always kill birds. This was just a food factory for this cat. I did not kill it. I rang the RSPCA. I left it at a collection point to be picked up by the RSPCA and have not seen it since. It was the only decision I could make. We have been free of cats since then and it has been lovely.
It is because of this experience I know that cats do a lot of harm to bird life. Too much harm.
 I found out the other week that we have a feral cat round about.  Hope it’s not killing a lot of birds.

Birds not feeding at a birdtable

I was talking to a very nice lady who was telling me that she put food out for wild birds – but not one bird came to get the food!

She did say there had been building works going on in the area.  We have tractors and cars comg and go but we get birds, birds and more birds.

This morning I was about 4 feet away from a bird in a hedge.  I moved out of the way to let a car go by and the bird did not flinch or move, it stayed perched on a branch.  So neither me or the car bothered this bird.

I’ve been puzzled by her problem of lack of birds.  I know it could be the building works, but I have thought of three other possible reasons why the birds aren’t coming to her garden bird table.

1.  It can take a few weeks for birds to find a new source of food.

2. At certain times of the year certain birds find enough food in the countryside and don’t need food from the birdtable.  But this would not happen in January.

3.  There could be a bird of prey nearby which is keeping the garden birds away.

This morning I had the mad thought that it would be nice if I could tell some of my birds to go to her garden.  Share the wild birds out a bot.  50% for her and 50% for me! 

I hope she keeps on trying to feed the birds as this is, usually, the time of year they need it most.

I’m only guessing the reasons.  If anyone else has any ideas please let me know.

Have a good day. Trisha