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  •  I read the study (4+ / 0-)
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    annieli, BlackSheep1, sharman, BYw

    The other wildlife we are talking about here are gophers, voles and snakes. They do get a few birds I admit, and I hate that but so do the crows that are here and right now the biggest threat to our bird population is mourning doves. We are over-run with them.

    I have never seen so many in all the time I've been here. They are driving out the red wings and even the starlings. I have no idea what has caused this boom, we have been here for 23yrs with a fairly stable feral cat colony, so they aren't causing a change.

    I don't feed birds, I leave that to neighbors who are far enough away that it isn't really worth it for the cats, besides my cats average a vole or gopher a day in the summer. Mice? I don't see them.

    We don't have squirrels or quail here, never have in this side of town. Too many bigger predators, coyotes and the red fox that lives in the next field over. We have skunks and raccoons who have wintered over in our yard as well.

    Since you are into owls we have a resident Barn Owl that has been here for years but we are just too urban for burrowing owls. I know where some are, but they are in the next valley over.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 01:26:34 PM PST

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    •  Barn owls eat plenty of mice! (1+ / 0-)
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      high uintas

      Mourning doves, hmm, maybe a climate change effect, a lot of their habitat is hotter and drier now.

      Perhaps you could consider keeping cats inside more during migrating season? Your avian regulars are probably cat-shy, but visitors might not be.

      I do think the suburban sprawl and their cats are more of a problem than areas that have been rural for a long time. There have been a lot of houses built into farmland and forest over the past few decades, so impacts on wildlife haves soared.

      It seems to me that with the changing climate, a lot of stressed species are a lot closer to the edge now. We don't see a species go extinct, it's sort of like drought, a slow emergency.

      It just seems to me that a feral cat colony is, as any invasive species, just one more stress on the local ecology.

      We can safely abandon the doctrine of the eighties, namely that the rich were not working because they had too little money, the poor because they had too much. JK Galbraith, 1991

      by Urban Owl on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 02:19:17 PM PST

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      •  I do understand what you are saying (1+ / 0-)
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        Urban Owl

        I live on a corner, windy road with fields behind me. The amount of drop off animals is unbelievable. We are stressed with trap/spay/neuter programs and working to adopt as many out as we can.

        It is a never ending and growing issue. My heart will not let me ignore the colony that was here when I came and will be here when I die, once a colony establishes it's there is almost always one. Still, with the t/s/n work I end up with more. It's very hard to handle.

        My indoor cats are always indoors, I am talking about real ferals who I can't touch or pet, who barely trust me to feed them. We are in the middle of a very tough winter here, there will be losses, I can't keep the stress off them even with all I do. Still there will be more, there always is.

        In Europe they have been using a contraceptive for cats for years. We claim it isn't safe and won't allow it's use here, only for people who raise pedigreed cats and want to control estrus. I don't know how safe it is, but it can't be worse than litter after litter. Sometimes I just don't know what to think.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Sun Feb 03, 2013 at 09:57:03 PM PST

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