Sunday, July 04, 2010

Cats are a menace!

We have so many birds at our feeders these days that it's impossible to get an accurate count. We certainly have more than 20 White-winged Doves and probably as many House Finches, while other regular visitors include at least 6 Blue Jays, 8 Northern Cardinals, 3 Northern Mockingbirds, 3 Downy Woodpeckers, 2 Red-bellied Woodpeckers, 3 Carolina Chickadees and 2 Carolina Wrens. Occasional visitors include House Sparrows and Common Grackles.

Inevitably, all this activity is catching the attention of local cats. Our own cats are not a problem because they are c
ontent just to watch the birds: one from under a wisteria and the other from our living-room window. However, our yard now gets regular visits from a neighbor's cat and from two strays.

These cats have killed at least two White-winged Doves over the past 2-3 weeks and it looks like one of them mana
ged to damage the wing of one of our Blue Jays.

The Blue Jay seems healthy except for its damaged wing. It can't fly but it can hop around well enough to access food and to disappear into the higher braches of bushes when necessary. I'm hoping it will survive.

A young female Northern Cardinal may also have fallen foul of the cats, since she is blind in one eye.

She seems to cope fine, though. And, of course, the eye may be the result of some kind of disease or accident rather than of a cat attack.

A Pathetic Sight

Most of our birds tried to keep as dry as possible during the recent rainstorms. However, one White-winged Dove just sat on the fence for hours and let the rain come down on it. Doves are certainly not the brightest of birds!


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