My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Unwanted Visitor at the Feeder

I found some Cardinal feathers scattered about this morning and just knew something wasn’t right. I quickly headed outside to investigate the crime scene and hoped it was a Coopers Hawk or even one of the Screech Owls that made the kill! But these were mammal track left in the fresh snow. I would have settled with some fisher or even fox tracks but these were obviously cat tracks! Hmm, CSI-Tom followed the feral cat tracks to its hiding spot and you have no idea how bad I scared it away. I only wish I could have barrowed Zick’s Chet or even Mary’s  Chloe to help with my cat problem!! But, it came down to removing the feeder, no seeds scattered about and blocking its hiding spot. I am now bird less at my home bird feeder and I am amazed at how quickly the birds learn that there isn’t any food around (or that a predator is around). Lucky I still have my birds at my window feeder (on the second floor) to keep me entertained.

birds out my window

Photo of birds from this weekend before I took everything down.

Then on my way home from grocery store; I happen to see a fox running away with something in its mouth! Is it bad that I wished it was the feral cat? Hard to tell under the moon light but looked like a meadow vole or something else that size. I have to appreciate the food chain but did it have to be one of my Cardinals?

18 responses

  1. Rick

    so sorry to hear. the cardinals are also my favorites.

    31 January 2007 at 9:54 pm

  2. Marg

    Oh no too bad-a cardinal! at least you have your second floor feeder

    31 January 2007 at 10:23 pm

  3. I like house cats but they don’t belong outside! Sorry about your cardinal. Will you move your feeding station or leave it down?

    31 January 2007 at 10:27 pm

  4. Wah – cardinals – why did that have to happen at *your* feeder? 😦 And bummer that you have to be birdless now. Yeah, at least you have your 2nd floor feeder. CSI-Tom – that’s good!

    31 January 2007 at 10:36 pm

  5. I’m so sorry about the cardinal. What a wonderful assortment of birds you had there.

    I’m waiting for the falcon season to start heating up.

    31 January 2007 at 10:40 pm

  6. Grace

    Why is it the cats always eat the less common birds? They would be welcome to the starling that nests over my front door.

    31 January 2007 at 10:43 pm

  7. @ Rick – thanks for visiting 😦
    @ Marg – Yes, helps make it through the day easier! Although the Cardinals don’t visit that feeder at all! But bluejays have just started visiting!
    @ Lynn, reason my cats don’t go outside! Mice that come inside are free game! I probably will keep it down for a while unless something happens to the cat!
    @ Pam – happened because I had so many birds there! Just too tempting for the cat, I guess! 😦
    @ Barb – Thanks and can’t wait also! I have your falcon blog in the RSS feed just waiting for an update! – hint hint!
    @ Grace – tell me about it! Those starlings always get in my owl box and nothing ever wants to grab them!

    31 January 2007 at 11:13 pm

  8. Didi

    That’s sad, real sad . Hope you find a way to put food for the birds and still keep them away from the bad cat.

    1 February 2007 at 12:48 am

  9. Stupid people and their cats. I love cats (I have 5) but they haven’t seen outside in their lives. I have to wonder about people who just let them go outside and wander. Have these people never heard of CARS?
    You could have borrowed my Boomer, too, for cat-patrol. The sweetest dog you could ever meet, but he is lethal to cats. (He had my oldest cat by her stomach and was doing the terrier shake…would have killed her if I hadn’t been there to stop it)
    Boy Howdy…Chet would have chased that cat three states away!
    It’s hard to swallow (sorry…bad pun) when an introduced predator species eats the songbirds. If they HAVE to be out there, can’t they just eat the house sparrows and starlings????

    1 February 2007 at 1:30 am

  10. I’m so sorry about your cardinal. We have a neighborhood cat who is unafraid of dogs and I’ve seen her in the area around my feeder once. I always sick my dogs on the cat and she doesn’t get the hint. She always looks through my front door once in a while and shows no reaction to the wild Bostons on the other side of the glass. I wonder if she’s deaf.

    1 February 2007 at 6:38 am

  11. Sorry to hear about your cardinal – we bell our one cat in case she gets outside (the other one thinks that ‘outside’ is always a bad idea). But our neighbor’s cats have been known to stalk our yard. We finally had to say something to them, but at least they were nice about it.

    That doesn’t help your feral cat problem, though. I don’t suppose trapping it and putting on a collar with a bell (or taking it to a shelter) would be a possibility, would it?

    1 February 2007 at 8:54 am

  12. @ Didi – cat was out there this morning also! grr, this time no birds since they have figured out there isn’t any food around! We will have to see long it will be till I can put out seed again!
    @ Susan – I have two inside cats also and they are probably more happy inside than they would be outside! Would love to used Boomer to take care of the problem!
    @ Mary – how interesting and wonder if it is deaf?? I could have used your puppy for sure!
    @ Marty – I think I am going to have to try trapping this cat and probably right now would be the best time to try it.

    1 February 2007 at 9:05 am

  13. If it’s a feral cat, could you trap it and take it to the local SPCA? It seems a shame that you can’t feed the birds in winter when they especially need the support. Sad to read that you lost a cardinal to this cat. The Coopers Hawk and Sharp-shinned hunt our yard often. They are not very successful, but every now and then I do find the signs of a kill.

    1 February 2007 at 12:27 pm

  14. Robin, local SPCA is like a 45 minute drive but you are right! Guess I am going to have to get my trap back and try to catch this thing! Ugg

    1 February 2007 at 7:13 pm

  15. My plans for the neighborhood cats who are stupid enough to come into the yard:
    When I catch them, I will put little notes in their collars for them to take back to their owners, and the note will list statistics about how many songbirds cats kill a year (millions) and how cats on average, live longer and happier lives if they stay inside.
    Let them put THAT in their pipe and smoke it!

    1 February 2007 at 10:38 pm

  16. I only wish this was a neighbor’s cat but living out in the middle of wilderness, this is for sure a wild one! So, this cat probably eats more birds than I would like to think it does! Ugg!

    1 February 2007 at 11:11 pm

  17. Mary Lou Lohr

    Can I ask a question of y’all about cardinals? I usually have several “couples” at my feeder all spring and summer (and one at a time in the winter). Right now, I have a male who is chirping, “purdying” and making every sound he knows how… my feeling is that he’s looking for his mate (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this particular male with a female), but she never answers and never comes to the deck where he is. He attaches himself to my screen, looking inside the house (I guess he thinks maybe she got in there). I fear that maybe something has happened to the female, and I feel terrible for this little guy who keeps calling and calling. Any suggestions?)

    29 March 2007 at 11:19 am

  18. Not an easy thing to answer over the blog, I will send you an email!

    29 March 2007 at 2:37 pm

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