The “research” showing that cats are responsible for the collapse of bird populations is of the obviously lame-brained sort. Cats have been in North America since the time of the Pilgrims. Birds have begun to disappear in the last few decades — in step with climate change.
Since deer mice are a link in the transmission of Lyme Disease, why is that a growing problem? Why are the mobs of cats out there exterminating song birds not wiping out the deer mice?
The loss of birds is probably due to insects also becoming few — the food for many birds and the nestlings of many of those that eat seeds as adults. (With the rule proving exception of the Lanternfly.) 50 – 60 years ago, at night in the summer there’d be galaxies of gnats and moths around any outdoor light. Look now. It’s a surprise to see any.
And on the topic of the research being nonsense, the problem isn’t that migratory birds from the wilds of Canada and the jungles of Central America are being exterminated by cats in the US suburbs. The birds are gone. They aren’t coming here. Feral cats swarming in the wild places of Canada and Central America are killing of the birds there?
There very likely are less cats in the US now because of coyotes. Migratory birds are disappearing in the northern and southern wilderness. And that’s because of cats in the US? And this is at a time of climate catastrophe. And that has nothing to do with the disappearing birds? And the insects that birds eat are gone, too. Are cats to blame? The urban areas were teaming with Starlings in the same neighborhoods with feral cats. That was so for a century or so, but now there are less Starlings.
Contrasted with community cats in urban settings — the first line of defense against rodents and disease — cats should not be allowed to roam in rural areas or sensitive environments. Pet cats should be kept inside. Cats should be relocated from places where endangered species live. That cared for colonies of city cats are a problem for native birds is nonsense. Especially considering the slaughter of the innocents caused by widows on office buildings.
There are the supposed authorities claiming a cat population explosion. How was this determined? An army of feline census takers checked every nook and cranny in the wilds of the US? The pet cat population has increased many times over. Very likely the same for urban community cats. The cats eaten by coyotes in rural areas certainly aren’t adding to any increase in the numbers of cats. I have not often gone out to the country, but in FLA i did hear about lots of feral pigs. Nobody said anything about swarms of cats. Driving on the roads between FLA, TX and NJ, I saw lots of dead armadillos, raccoons and
oppossums, and a coyote, but no cats.
Science sadly is shot through with hucksters hustling for the next grant. Before I trust any census of cats in the deep woods, I’d like an explanation of where Omicron came from. The most studied thing on the planet— and well funded— and everyone is clueless.