Fur and feathers may fly over Cape May cat control plan

Full story: Newsday 47
The cats vs. birds struggle in this Victorian seaside resort has come down to the carrot vs. Full Story
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#21 May 5, 2008
Sharon wrote:
Who cares about birds? Their just feathers, wings and poop.
Apparently you are very uneducated about birds, nature and ecology. Ever been on a bird walk? Ever do a count of migrating birds in spring or fall? Ever seen a migratory fallout where your yard or local park is full of various warblers, vireos, thrushes, grosbeaks, tanagers, buntings, flycatchers, kinglets, cuckoos and orioles? If you are not moved by the beauty of these birds you have a problem. Do you have any idea what these little creatures accomplish within the course of a year? Ever see how dedicated and loyal they are to their babies? Ever watch an oriole build a nest using only her bill? If you take a few hours out of your precious time, grab a pair of binoculars and go bird watching at some nature center or wildlife refuge, your life will be changed forever! And now is a perfect time. Migration is in full swing, you will see the most number of species at this time of year and they are all in fresh spring plumage.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#22 May 5, 2008
Teresa wrote:
Isn't it sad that people dump off their cats as if they were garbage instead of the breathing, feeling creatures that they are?
These cats are the innocent victims of man's inhumanity. I hope that Cape May continues the TNR efforts to keep the population down. As a society, we are responsible to be compassionate and kind to all living creatures.
As a society we are responsible to be knowledgeable about and maintain a healthy ecosystem for our native wildlife. Cats are not a part of it. They are a out of control alien species brought here from Egypt by man many years ago. We are now realizing the disaster we created and we must reverse it before it's too late.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#23 May 5, 2008
Kris Neal wrote:
Feral cats are opportunistic, they would just a soon eat food from a plate than hunt. If they do hunt, rodents are they're preference not birds. TNR works flawlessly in our area. We have fixed colonies with 50+ cats 3 years ago now down to 15, with no new litters. Areas with 15 fixed cats, no new litters and just a few cats. We place fixed feral colonies at business's, surplus yards, etc. these working ferals keep the rodent population down just through their presence there, just as they are doing in your area. Good work Alley Cat, keep it up!
Any cats that are "placed" where I live don't last long. I have eliminated almost 2 dozen cats already.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#24 May 5, 2008
Gwen Packard wrote:
As director of a non-profit, no-kill pet rescue for 8 years, I have seen so many cats and kittens abandoned, starved, dehydrated and close to death. We take feral cats from K. Neal and her TNR program and they have almost all been tamed and many have been adopted. By "fixing" and vaccinating the cats in feral colonies, you do away with the problem of unwanted litters and the original colony stays at a stable number. If you trap and kill feral cats, then it opens up spance in the colony for more cats and perpetuates the problem. After working with animals for many years, I have come to the conclusion that man is the most vicious and dangerous animal on our planet.
We are also the dumbest to introduce such a disastrous alien species into the wild before we knew the implications. I won't save one animal at the expense of thousands. Use you brain to think, not your heart.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#25 May 5, 2008
Colleen Muir wrote:
We live in a small town in southern Utah.. We have been involved in the Feral Cal program here and have seen it work wonders. We are all voluneers and work very hard at what we do, and we will keep doing it because we love all the cats, Feral or house cats... We have a house cat and many feral cats that have been dropped of to us and have no other place to go. Not knowing what colony they are from we have to give them a home with us.
Keep your trap neuter and release program going... Thank You Colleen Muir
You've seen it work wonders for who? You need to learn both sides of the issue before you claim victory.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#26 May 5, 2008
cleanbeach wrote:
The news people need to check with NJ DEP Commissioner Lisa Jackson and her order to reduce bear/human contact in NJ.
According to her order, ALL NJ residents, especially those in NJ’s bear country, must secure their garbage, scrub their bar-b-cue grills, not leave out pet food dishes, etc. Violating this order will get you a $1,000 fine!
Yet, cat feeders leave out open cans of cat food – just about anywhere and everywhere – even in neighborhoods, public parks and on other public property.
Bears can smell a dead carcass 2 to 3 miles away. You can bet they can readily smell cat food.
Leaving cans of open cat food for feral/stray cats is a direct violation of Jackson’s order and extremely dangerous – especially for children.
Why are the “cat feeders” getting a free pass and allowed to conduct an activity that violates her order?
It’s time for the news investigators to contact Commissioner Jackson about this violation!!!!
And why aren't cat owners fined and jailed when their cats kill federally protected birds. Why are (most) cat owners so irresponsible?
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#27 May 5, 2008
Jonas Tras wrote:
In my area TNR does not help. More cats are released into the colonies..some are not able to be captured. I've seen people drive by and release more into the colony. Since I've lived here this is what I've witnessed. And I have found these dead. These are the species removed with the introduction of this colony.
Wild Cottontail Rabbits-Gone
Mourning Doves-Gone
Bobwhite Quail-Gone
Bullfrogs-Gone
Eastern Box Turtle-Gone
Moles-Gone
Bluejays-Gone
Cardinals-Gone
Eastern Wild Turkeys-Gone (Not killed frightened away)
Carolina Wren-Greatly Reduced
Goldfinch-Rarely seen anymore
Robins-Greatly Reduced
Killdeer Plover-Gone
Tree Frogs-May see one per warm season
We the neighbors say that if you wish to keep hoarding all these cats to please keep them indoors or move.
Where I live I have eliminated almost 2 dozen cats and I once again have Eastern Towhees in the area!
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#28 May 5, 2008
High Island is the first piece of land the birds come to after flying 600 miles across the Gulf of Mexico. The birds are thoroughly exhausted after the flight if they have strong north winds or storms along the coast pushing them back out to sea. That is, the ones that make it to shore are exhausted. Some will sit in one spot for hours and are even too tired to eat. While walking through the sanctuary there, some of the neighborhood cats were stalking. And they seemed to be mostly hanging out in the area that the Painted and Indigo Buntings liked. Beautiful little songbirds that stay near the ground for the most part eating weed seeds. And Painted Buntings are already in trouble without cats adding to their problems. And Indigos have really declined up here in MI as well. This made me sick to know that people can be so ignorant and oblivious to what their cats are doing and how they may be affecting other wildlife. I certainly hope that the volunteer workers at the sanctuary, or the hurricane, have taken care of the cat problem.
Sharon

United States

#29 May 6, 2008
I have better things to do with my spare time that walk around with binoculars looking or stalking birds. Don't really care about how many birds are out there, or which ones are dwindling. There is nothing about birds that I find interesting or beautiful. They are just wings, beaks and feathers. I do like chicken and turkey though.
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
<quoted text>
Apparently you are very uneducated about birds, nature and ecology. Ever been on a bird walk? Ever do a count of migrating birds in spring or fall? Ever seen a migratory fallout where your yard or local park is full of various warblers, vireos, thrushes, grosbeaks, tanagers, buntings, flycatchers, kinglets, cuckoos and orioles? If you are not moved by the beauty of these birds you have a problem. Do you have any idea what these little creatures accomplish within the course of a year? Ever see how dedicated and loyal they are to their babies? Ever watch an oriole build a nest using only her bill? If you take a few hours out of your precious time, grab a pair of binoculars and go bird watching at some nature center or wildlife refuge, your life will be changed forever! And now is a perfect time. Migration is in full swing, you will see the most number of species at this time of year and they are all in fresh spring plumage.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#30 May 6, 2008
Sharon wrote:
I have better things to do with my spare time that walk around with binoculars looking or stalking birds. Don't really care about how many birds are out there, or which ones are dwindling. There is nothing about birds that I find interesting or beautiful. They are just wings, beaks and feathers. I do like chicken and turkey though. <quoted text>
Let me guess, You live in a downtown area of some ugly cement and skyscraper laden city full of European Starlings, pigeons, rats, disease infested feral cats and freaky homo sapiens. You have never been on a nature trail and if you were, you were probably scared to death that something or someone was stalking you in there because all you know is drugs and crime. Come sit in my nature sanctuary that I call my yard and watch the Baltimore Orioles, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Yellow Warblers build their nest and tend their young and you just might become human again.
Raptor in Michigan

Warren, MI

#31 May 6, 2008
Sharon wrote:
I have better things to do with my spare time that walk around with binoculars looking or stalking birds. Don't really care about how many birds are out there, or which ones are dwindling. There is nothing about birds that I find interesting or beautiful. They are just wings, beaks and feathers. I do like chicken and turkey though. <quoted text>
BTW- That is precisely why people like you shouldn't be making decisions about how to deal with cats and other non-native wildlife. In order to make informed decisions, one must have an education in the subject. That means knowledge about cats AND birds.
Sharon

United States

#32 May 9, 2008
Well excuse me, but I have been to your bird sanctuary in Cape May, BORING...... and at 2 zoo's aviaries BORING....., and no I don't live in the city, I live in Bucks County, where their are a lot of birds, geese, parks, trees, etc. So don't act like a know it all, when you don't know s@$t. I personally prefer cats, that of which I own two. They are house cats, they have never been outside, they are spayed, neutered and declawed. I don't see what you find so interesting about birds....if you have seen one you have pretty much seen them all. Just because you dislike cats does not allow you cat vigilantes the right to harm cats. I am not a bird enthusiast and I wouldn't want to harm them. Your argument is the cats are killing the birds, but the birds are dirty, and spread their droppings everywhere.
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
<quoted text>
BTW- That is precisely why people like you shouldn't be making decisions about how to deal with cats and other non-native wildlife. In order to make informed decisions, one must have an education in the subject. That means knowledge about cats AND birds.
Sharon

United States

#33 May 10, 2008
There is such a thing as a food chain. Anyway, why aren't these dumb birds flying away when a cat is around?
Sharon wrote:
Well excuse me, but I have been to your bird sanctuary in Cape May, BORING...... and at 2 zoo's aviaries BORING....., and no I don't live in the city, I live in Bucks County, where their are a lot of birds, geese, parks, trees, etc. So don't act like a know it all, when you don't know s@$t. I personally prefer cats, that of which I own two. They are house cats, they have never been outside, they are spayed, neutered and declawed. I don't see what you find so interesting about birds....if you have seen one you have pretty much seen them all. Just because you dislike cats does not allow you cat vigilantes the right to harm cats. I am not a bird enthusiast and I wouldn't want to harm them. Your argument is the cats are killing the birds, but the birds are dirty, and spread their droppings everywhere.<quoted text>
Raptor in Michigan

Flint, MI

#34 May 12, 2008
Sharon wrote:
Well excuse me, but I have been to your bird sanctuary in Cape May, BORING...... and at 2 zoo's aviaries BORING....., and no I don't live in the city, I live in Bucks County, where their are a lot of birds, geese, parks, trees, etc. So don't act like a know it all, when you don't know s@$t. I personally prefer cats, that of which I own two. They are house cats, they have never been outside, they are spayed, neutered and declawed. I don't see what you find so interesting about birds....if you have seen one you have pretty much seen them all. Just because you dislike cats does not allow you cat vigilantes the right to harm cats. I am not a bird enthusiast and I wouldn't want to harm them. Your argument is the cats are killing the birds, but the birds are dirty, and spread their droppings everywhere.<quoted text>
I do not dislike cats at all and I commend you for keeping them inside. I love all animals and I have never harmed a cat in my life. The problem I have with them is that they are not a native predator. They were brought here by humans, released into the wild where our native birds have no defenses against them. I never claim to be a know it all, but I do know a little about birds and that their populations are declining big-time, mostly due to human ignorance. That is why most are protected by federal law, even the gov't is aware of the problem and the detrimental effects it would have if we lost them. And the statement you seen one you seen 'em all could only be said by someone who is surrounded by house sparrows and starlings.(Both are non-natives also). I used to think that, too until I started finding our native birds in natural areas. I don't know anyone who would say an Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, Blackburnian Warbler, Wood Thrush, ect. is boring or all look the same! You must have had a slow day at Cape May. I've never been there.

Your statement that birds are dirty couldn't be more wrong. They are one on the cleanest creatures in the world. They bathe often and are constantly preening to keep their feathers looking nice. If the feathers weren't well maintained they wouild not fly well to escape predators or handle a 5000 mile migration. They also take dust baths, the purpose is to kill any parasites or lice they may have. The parents remove the fecal sacs that the babies deposit so the nest remains clean and doesn't attract predators.

I am currently trying to help a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that is suffering from a possible head injury. He has lost the motor skills in his legs and cannot perch upright. He is such a pretty creature and even has his own little personality and one of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear in nature. Probably another window hit. They face so many threats- cats, windows, cars, pesticides, cell towers, skyscrapers, wind turbines, pollution, habitat loss, etc... If more are lost than can be reproduced, they will eventually disappear. We need to do what we can to help them since we have created most of the problems they currently face.
Raptor in Michigan

Flint, MI

#35 May 12, 2008
Sharon wrote:
There is such a thing as a food chain. Anyway, why aren't these dumb birds flying away when a cat is around?<quoted text>
I understand the food chain and am not bothered when it involves native animals, like hawks and squirrels. But cats are not part of our natural food chain. They are slick, skilled, hunters and they kill even when they're not hungry. I can think of no other mammalian predator native to this continent that stalks prey in the manner cats do. I have seen cats sit in one place motionless for long periods of time waiting for something to happen by and then they are very quick. Native predators like raccoons just prowl around and look for things. That's why birds can't just fly away from cats.

And if you know anything about birds you would know they are not dumb, but extremely intelligent creatures. Ever seen how a Baltimore Oriole weaves her nest with just her bill? Or wonder how a Bobolink knows the way to Argentina and back to the very same field the next year? Or how does a crow know to drop a nut on the raod and wait for a passing car to crush it, so he can get what's inside? What makes a Blue Jay think that if he imitates a hawk all the birds will leave the feeders?
gbr1

Corning, NY

#36 May 13, 2008
Yikes...Have bears been seen in Cape May? There's not much room for them there...
Sharon

United States

#37 May 17, 2008
Raptor, you state you have never harmed a cat in your life, but in your post of May 5, you stated you personally have eliminated 2 dozen cats and the birds are coming back. So, did you hurt?kill?or remove? the cats..Just how did you personally elimate them???..
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
<quoted text>
I do not dislike cats at all and I commend you for keeping them inside. I love all animals and I have never harmed a cat in my life. The problem I have with them is that they are not a native predator. They were brought here by humans, released into the wild where our native birds have no defenses against them. I never claim to be a know it all, but I do know a little about birds and that their populations are declining big-time, mostly due to human ignorance. That is why most are protected by federal law, even the gov't is aware of the problem and the detrimental effects it would have if we lost them. And the statement you seen one you seen 'em all could only be said by someone who is surrounded by house sparrows and starlings.(Both are non-natives also). I used to think that, too until I started finding our native birds in natural areas. I don't know anyone who would say an Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, Blackburnian Warbler, Wood Thrush, ect. is boring or all look the same! You must have had a slow day at Cape May. I've never been there.
Your statement that birds are dirty couldn't be more wrong. They are one on the cleanest creatures in the world. They bathe often and are constantly preening to keep their feathers looking nice. If the feathers weren't well maintained they wouild not fly well to escape predators or handle a 5000 mile migration. They also take dust baths, the purpose is to kill any parasites or lice they may have. The parents remove the fecal sacs that the babies deposit so the nest remains clean and doesn't attract predators.
I am currently trying to help a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that is suffering from a possible head injury. He has lost the motor skills in his legs and cannot perch upright. He is such a pretty creature and even has his own little personality and one of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear in nature. Probably another window hit. They face so many threats- cats, windows, cars, pesticides, cell towers, skyscrapers, wind turbines, pollution, habitat loss, etc... If more are lost than can be reproduced, they will eventually disappear. We need to do what we can to help them since we have created most of the problems they currently face.
Raptor in Michigan

Allenton, MI

#38 May 18, 2008
Sharon wrote:
Raptor, you state you have never harmed a cat in your life, but in your post of May 5, you stated you personally have eliminated 2 dozen cats and the birds are coming back. So, did you hurt?kill?or remove? the cats..Just how did you personally elimate them???..<quoted text>
I have never hurt or killed any cat. I set out live traps and call the county animal shelter to pick them up. From there, they either get adopted or euthenized after a certain amount of time. I do not want to know because believe it or not, I do care about them. One time I had a small, tame kitten come up to me while working in the yard. I knew someone at work who's cat had just died, so I found a good indoor home for her immediately.
Linda Gonzales

Harleysville, PA

#39 Jun 12, 2008
Can't help but notice that those people who will NOT give their REAL names, are the ones who OPPOSE TNR...fascinating...do you not stand behind your convictions/opinions/rants???? !!!!
Bird and Cat Lover in NY

Rochester, NY

#40 Jul 1, 2008
I do enjoy having pet cats and enjoy watching birds in my yard. I feel that fix and release does help slowly eliminate a feral cat population. I do not think KILLING feral cats that come into your yard is right. In NY that is illegal and you can be arrested for animal abuse. Both sides have a point but I think fixing and adopting when possible is the best option. With most pets it should be mandated that your animals are fixed unless you have a license to breed.
Raptor in Michigan wrote:
<quoted text>
Apparently you are very uneducated about birds, nature and ecology. Ever been on a bird walk? Ever do a count of migrating birds in spring or fall? Ever seen a migratory fallout where your yard or local park is full of various warblers, vireos, thrushes, grosbeaks, tanagers, buntings, flycatchers, kinglets, cuckoos and orioles? If you are not moved by the beauty of these birds you have a problem. Do you have any idea what these little creatures accomplish within the course of a year? Ever see how dedicated and loyal they are to their babies? Ever watch an oriole build a nest using only her bill? If you take a few hours out of your precious time, grab a pair of binoculars and go bird watching at some nature center or wildlife refuge, your life will be changed forever! And now is a perfect time. Migration is in full swing, you will see the most number of species at this time of year and they are all in fresh spring plumage.

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