Re: 10/22 -- Pine Siskins and a tragedy


I personal believe cats do cause an unnatural stress on birds which frequent feeders. So is it the feeders that are the root cause? I have a feral / roaming cat that stalks my feeders and I believe it kills one bird a day during the winter months. I’ve installed barricades in the places it likes to sit and wait on unsuspecting birds but it always seems to find an new spot. There are times when I’ve contemplated removing my feeders to eliminate the artificial concentration of birds.

Steve Huckabone
Livermore, CA
Alameda County

From: Bruce Mast
Sent: Tuesday, October 23, 2012 5:55 AM
To: ; 'EastBayBotanist'
Cc: 'EBB Sightings'
Subject: RE: [EBB_Sightings] 10/22 -- Pine Siskins and a tragedy

House cats preying on birds is not "the natural order of things". House cats are human-introduced disruptions to the natural order of things as surely as pollution and habitat loss.

Bruce Mast

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 3:12 PM
To: EastBayBotanist
Cc: EBB Sightings
Subject: Re: [EBB_Sightings] 10/22 -- Pine Siskins and a tragedy

Hi Michael,

It is sad to see one of our birds fall prey, but that is the natural order of things.

Mike S.

----- Original Message -----

From: "EastBayBotanist" <>
To: "EBB Sightings" <>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 12:42:21 PM
Subject: [EBB_Sightings] 10/22 -- Pine Siskins and a tragedy

This afternoon, over lunch I noticed a commotion outside my window. To my delight, I saw a flock of PINE SISKIN at my neighbor's feeder and in a nearby tree. They were busy chattering and feeding. And after some time, perhaps an hour, they fell silent perhaps sated and were mostly perched in the tree. Other resident or common birds at this spot were mostly finches -- HOUSE FINCH, LESSER GOLDFINCH -- but also CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH.

Just a few minutes, I looked out again from my back porch and discovered a roving house cat or feral cat -- it's hard to tell the difference in some neighborhoods in Berkeley. It was walking down the step from the area where the feeders are located and it had a bird in its mouth.

The fallen bird had a streaky breast. I certainly hoped it was not a siskin. It has been over 5 years since there last were any in this yard.

The flock almost immediately departed the yard. I don't doubt the connection with the strike at the feeder by the loose cat.

Michael Park

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