It's Baby Bird Season again...

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lilynmitz
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It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by lilynmitz » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:38 am

Hi all, can I just remind everyone that it's baby bird season again. The parents are busy finding mates, gathering nest material, finding food and, eventually, feeding fledglings, both in and out of the nest. So they're completely distracted and very vulnerable, and the loss of one parent means the loss of all the fledglings, as one parent can't feed them enough. Even worse, the loss of both parents means they will all starve to death.

So can we please be vigilant with our cats. If you can, please try to keep them in from dusk until as late as you can in the morning, as this is when the birds are most active feeding, and cats have better eyesight in poor light, so the birds are at a further disadvantage. This alone will make a huge difference to their survival rate.

If your cat is an avid hunter, please fit them with a safety collar and loud bell. The RSPB say this reduces the kill rate by at least a third, and as I said, one parent dead means the loss of the entire brood, so each bird saved has a knock-on effect.

If you're feeding the birds to help them along, please put the feeders away from shrubs, and cut back the undergrowth, so the cat can't hide before pouncing. This will give ground feeders such as sparrows, chaffinches, dunnocks and blackbirds a better chance to see the cat early and get away.

These rules are valuable all year round, but especially between April and June.

Thanks everyone.

(Mods, I hope you don't mind me posting this on Chat and H&B forums)

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:49 am

Good advice Anna. At the moment only Pepsi is going into our new garden but as old as she is I was still surprised to see a great **** go into the caged feeder whilst she was out though he had been alarming loudly to let everyone else know she was there. Edgar will be a keen hunter I feel so every precaution is bring taken in the garden before he and little Lou Lou are allowed out.

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by cathyday » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:53 am

Good advice Anna. Mine are both in until broad daylight in the morning and Boris is in once it starts to get dark. H is the problem. It's toad season around our way. My boy has a liking for toads and thus is out until all hours hunting them down. Running down the road with the Da Bird to get him in (in my slippers) is a great source of entertainment for the neighbours....

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by Jacks » Wed Apr 02, 2014 8:18 am

Anna, I agree entirely, and it's a timely warning. Of my three only tiny athletic Lara is a hunter, but when she's been still out after dusk (OH letting her out when I'm not there) she's come back with a bird in her mouth. As much as she begs I won't let her out first thing (there's traffic to consider as well at busy times) and not too near dusk - she's trained to come back every couple of hours for treats, so I can time it fairly well. Safer for your cats and safer for the birds....

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by misspaws » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:21 pm

Great reminder although Ziva has been very interested in all the bird activity in the garden. Since we have had her we have always kept her in from late afternoon until about 0930am and she is not stressed out at all by this it is the routine she has got used to.

The birds also seem to realise this and there is much activity by them during her curfew! It does make life easier in that Ziva is very much a lap cat and much prefers the comfort of her own favourite chair rather than risk getting her paws dirty in the garden and in the 3.5 years we have had her there has only been one present brought in!

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:40 pm

You're lucky with Ziva, Mo used to bring me nearly one a day, the little s*d. However, Lily has never even tried to catch anything, and Mitz caught a butterfly once and brought it home (not bad for a blind cat), so I've been able to make up for the devastation Mo caused by feeding the birds to bursting point since I lost Mo, particularly through those last few very hard winters.

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by lilynmitz » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:53 am

Just bumping this up in case anyone hasn't read it - bird season continues till the early summer, sometimes longer if they have a second brood, so please be vigilant.

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by MarkB » Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:05 am

I saw one of the visiting torties stalking a blackbird that was feeding from the bowl of scraps I put out for the seagulls. Thankfully the cat decided that having a cuddle with me was a better option :) - I can't be there all the time so there might be casualties :(

I hate the idea that if they catch an adult, there will probably be babies left to starve in the nest :(

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by Suzynick » Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:09 pm

Very good advice. I actually encourage the birds in my garden, but I am very vigilant about when one of my cats can go out and when he does, I always walk down the bottom of the garden first to alert any birds that may be in the hedges to leave. Bit extreme I know but I adore feeding the birds so I take extra extra care.

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Re: It's Baby Bird Season again...

Post by lilynmitz » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:38 pm

Not extreme at all Suzy. Sadly one of my neighbour's cats caught a newly arrived swallow the other day. It's very unusual for them to be on the ground, so I can only assume it was exhausted from it's flight from Africa, and wasn't concentrating. Very sad, such a beautiful bird, to travel so far and to reach its destination only for this to happen as soon as it arrived.

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