It’s not just the cats...

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View - Terry Rob­bins

I would like to sup­port Sharon Pain­ter’s let­ter (Bird Watch­ing, Au­tumn). As an owner of two cats, I am un­der no il­lu­sion that these nat­u­ral preda­tors of mine must have taken some birds, de­spite my ef­forts to mit­i­gate this. But the over­all num­ber of birds that have flour­ished and sur­vived over win­ter due to the £30 a month spent on sun­flower hearts in eight feed­ers has had an over­all pos­i­tive ef­fect. It seems the poor old moggy is un­der the cosh here, but let’s not for­get all those days out where we’ve spent hours in a coun­try park or re­serve to hear some­one pa­thet­i­cally call­ing their woe­fully dis­obe­di­ent Fido that then knocks over your tri­pod, crashes through nest sites, eat­ing what­ever it can, to­tally out of sight of the usu­ally un­con­cerned owner who also feels that every pond, lake or wet­land is a swim­ming pool for his or her loved mutt. Only yes­ter­day, I wit­nessed a child and his fa­ther feed­ing the ducks and swans on the bank of a lake, only to have the whole scene crashed by a dog that was off the lead and clearly badly be­haved, which risked the wild­fowl and scared the child to the point of spoil­ing his day. I don’t think cats are the is­sue here, more the un­think­ing, care­less, ‘ev­ery­thing is the dogs’ play­ground’ at­ti­tude of most dog own­ers.

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