Monday, December 17, 2012

Tjeldstø 16 December 2012 - F*****g Cats!

The main aim of this blog is to provide the latest bird news from Øygarden. Today I feel obliged to put the cat among the pigeons so to speak...

 Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin taken by a cat at Tjeldstø

A couple of days ago a cat in a nearby housing estate caught and killed a Jack Snipe kvartbekkasin - a species already struggling to survive in the freezing conditions and forced to concentrate on any unfrozen areas that remain. I was already painfully aware that the local cats were patrolling such areas but had yet to see concrete evidence of their success.

This is surely one of the best arguments against yet another proposed "development" on the edge of the local nature reserve - right among and next to some areas that remain unfrozen even during protracted periods of cold weather. Not only do the local planners want to destroy prime habitat directly but this project will also bring even more cats into the reserve. Any wonder bird populations are struggling with such incessant habitat loss and degradation compounded by artificially high number of predators?

Meanwhile the cat owners shrug their shoulders and say its just "nature's way". Imagine the hue and cry if I used the same argument to let my dog loose - a dog who is already an accomplished Mink killer and would like nothing better than to be allowed to add cats to his list of prey...."so sorry but it's just the way of nature".

The situation is bitterly unfair and the losers, as always, are the birds.

On a vaguely positive note at least this bird will end up as a valuable addition to the collection in the Natural History Museum in Bergen.

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