Birds on the Wire

A question posed in my graduate colloquium this morning suggested that the news didn’t have any relevance.  As I spent the morning reading bird-blogs (totally relevant!) and working on data analysis, I couldn’t recall any news stories of note, but upon returning to my computer there were a number regarding birds!

  • Washington Post reports that the largest comprehensive study on the impact of American cats on wildlife: “Outdoor cats kill between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion birds a year”. Feral cats killing more than outdoor cats.  Death by cat vastly overshadows death by windows-crashes or deaths from wind turbines.  Data suggests that 10% of adult land birds are killed by cats yearly.
  • Also worth noting, in Where the Wild Things Were, a  frightening look at how the loss of predators has eroded community stability, coyotes in Arizona keep cat populations in check and bird populations at healthier levels.
  • Earlier this month, a New Zealand economist began pushing for legislation to do gradually eliminate cat ownership due to it’s toll on biodiversity.
  • Also from New Zealand, a couple have created a farm to increase the Korora, White-Flippered Penguin population.  The population has doubled in the last decade reports the New York Times and Scientific American.  The conservation efforts in that region has also heralded the return of other bird species, including another species of penguin, the Yellow-eyed Penguin.

3 thoughts on “Birds on the Wire

  1. Kathleen, I just noticed your “real” name when I posted the last comment! I am a Kathleen as well! It looks like you are having a great time learning all your birds and writing your blog! thanks again for stopping by mine. good luck with your studies.

    BTW, that is an interesting note about how coyotes keep cats in check in AZ. I happen to live there and while I also have 2 cats, mine are totally indoor cats and have been for years. I use to be an outdoor cat person but came to change my mind in the 90’s. Now I totally believe in keeping cats indoors!

    • It’s been a good third go at it so far! Hoping that my blogging efforts will keep me focused on getting out there as often as possible.

      Regarding outdoor cats, we compromise with our cats because they love outdoors so much. My folks allow their cats on the screened porch so they can enjoy all the sights and smells, and my roommate’s cat is allowed out on a leash.

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