95 years later, cats still seen as #1 enemy of wild birds, but “You can’t call it science if you’re guessing.”


A few days ago I posted about a practically antique book I own that hates on house cats for killing wild birds. I found the following on Vegan.com while perusing news to possibly use for our LIVE All Things Vegan show earlier today. {In case you’re wondering how that went—we blundered through and it was fun, in a nerve-wracking kind of way. It’s going to be frustrating not to be able to edit any of my awkwardnesses out, but I’m just going to have to accept.}

Tweety Was Right: Cats Are a Bird’s No. 1 Enemy

While public attention has focused on wind turbines as a menace to birds, a new study shows that a far greater threat may be posed by a more familiar antagonist: the pet house cat.

new study in The Journal of Ornithology on the mortality of baby gray catbirds in the Washington suburbs found that cats were the No. 1 killer in the area, by a large margin.

{Original post from Vegan: com}

And an opposing view—

Shaky Science Behind Cat/Bird Study. Vegan.com reader Chris Glazier writes:

The recent study on predation of catbirds is based on flawed science. Unfortunately, cats (usually feral cat colonies) take the blame for declining bird populations despite abundant evidence to the contrary.

The site Vox Felina dismantles this study’s conclusions, noting that in many cases bird deaths were attributed to cats not by hard evidence but by the mere assumption of guilt. You can’t call it science if you’re guessing. And this study is not alone. Pretty much every time I see feral cats mentioned in this context a little digging reveals oversimplification and bad science.

It’s studies like these that lead to legislation such as Utah’s bill that would allow hunters to shoot feral cats.

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