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AIBU

Blackbird

(146 Posts)
Namsnanny Sun 10-May-20 19:43:50

AIBU …. to be distraught as I watched next doors cat catch and kill my lovely blackbird (sad)

I know that's what cats do, that's why I try to keep them out, but it's impossible.

I love the garden birds.
I've been so enchanted watching the blackbird build it's nest in our Pyracantha bush. Nice and prickly, a good choice I thought as it might keep out predators.
He/she was becoming like family member to me.

I kept away from the bush and watched from a distance, so as not to frighten it off.
I have a garden mirror which he had problems with, as he saw his reflection and kept leaping up to it, thinking he was protecting his territory from an interloper.
It was funny, the first time I saw him do this, nothing made him give up!
So I covered it, so as to allow him some peace.

I haven't stopped crying since, silly me.
I suppose lockdown is getting to me.

Cat lovers please at least put a bell on your beloved.

Namsnanny Mon 11-May-20 00:48:46

Ginny …Thanks! and do let us know how the Bluet tits get on. I've noticed they're chasing insects more than taking the sun flower seeds at the moment. I suppose if the young have hatched they can only digest protein in the form of grubs etc.

Hetty … When you say the cat wont tolerate a collar, if it's on and left on what can they do about it? Surely they will get used to it?
Not that I want to see a cat distressed, but it sounds too indulgent towards the cat to just accept they won't tolerate it.

Callistemon … yes that's what I felt like doing!! grin

NFKdumpling …. I've read this time and again.
If humans were to kill as many garden birds as cats do, there would be an outcry!
The worst thing imv is, the cat is only amusing itself, it's not hunting for food, so it's all so terribly pointless.
Predators such as Magpies Crows etc are at least part of the natural cycle of the food chain. That I can accept.

We get a Sparrow Hawk every summer chasing down the small birds that feed in our garden. It churns my stomach, and I always hope it fails (it is successful around one in 8/9 times that I've managed to catch a glimpse of it hunting) But it's just doing what comes naturally.

But bloomin' cats grrr

Willow500 Mon 11-May-20 07:21:17

I've had cats for 40 years and sadly a few birds have been caught despite collars and bells but these days the male who is 12+ just sits and looks at them - they run around on the lawn feeding right in front of him. A blackbird family nest in the hedge every year so it doesn't deter them. He still catches mice though so it's not as though he's not capable. They twitter constantly when he's sitting on the back of the sofa by the window. The female is too clumsy to catch anything but she doesn't go outside the garden anyway and just ignores them.

Much more distressing was a hawk catching and decimating a dove in the garden a few weeks ago. I found the fresh mess and knew it wasn't a cat kill so tracked the security camera and finally saw it swoop down sad

Furret Mon 11-May-20 07:28:46

My dog won’t allow cats in his garden.

Loislovesstewie Mon 11-May-20 07:35:48

Cats just do what all carnivores do; i.e eat meat by catching and killing other animals. Big cats, lions ,tigers , cheetahs etc do just the same thing. They kill other animals which are very pretty to look at . It doesn't mean that I am unfeeling about those animals but I recognize that it is the normal behaviour of a carnivore . And don't think that your pet dog wouldn't kill if given half a chance because they would.

Gaunt47 Mon 11-May-20 07:44:45

Lois you're correct, it's the natural cycle of life. Pet dogs worry and maim and kill sheep, bite humans, and bite and kill toddlers.
Humans kill animals for food and clothing. And so on.

Glorybee Mon 11-May-20 07:49:33

I used to love nature programs but can’t watch them anymore, even though I know predators have to eat. I’ve come across many accounts in which people who have been stabbed or shot or something horrible has happened to them initially don’t feel the pain and are in shock as certain hormones are released at that point. Obviously pain will kick in if they survive but this makes me think that if a creature is attacked and killed, it might not be as bad as it looks to us. It’s a small consolation for me anyway!

eazybee Mon 11-May-20 07:51:09

Could you not have banged on the window or shouted?
I rushed outside to prevent next door's cat mangling a blackbird, who managed to escape. I have two cats, too elderly now to catch birds, but they do scare away mice and very probably rats, from the house.

Iam64 Mon 11-May-20 08:36:42

No you arent BU to be so upset namsnanny. I haven't shared my life with a cat for over 30 years now and haven't missed the things at all. We're on a road that has become increasingly busy so there are few cats. If the occasional cat stalks along our fence I let the dogs out and the cat will disappear.

I feed the birds, love watching them and since lockdown, birdsong has been a real joy.

eazybee you did well to prevent a cat from killing a blackbird. I once removed a frog that my two cats and their cat friend from next door were playing with. They were sitting in a triangle (like the three witches in MacBeth), using their paws to bat this frog to each other. I'd heard the frog screaming and decided it was too late to rescue, and that its death would be quick. It wasn't, they carried on playing with it. I went out and took it from them. I can't believe I did this but I put it out of its misery. My two cats didn't come in to the house for several days. They wouldn't eat when I put their food outside the back door, choosing to sit on the roof staring at me in disdain. Eventually I bought some whiskers and that enticed them to me.

harrigran Mon 11-May-20 08:37:56

My sister once tried to scare off a sparrow hawk in her garden by shouting and waving her arms, the bird flew straight at her, luckily she managed to get back through the patio door.
DD has a sofa surfer cat, belongs further up the street, she lets it in the house otherwise it terrorises the birds in the nesting boxes.
DD has woodpeckers and parakeets as well as red squirrels in her garden which attract the attention of the cats and even a fox creeps along the wall. The surprising thing is DD lives in a city centre.

Puzzler61 Mon 11-May-20 08:49:19

I’m a cat lover and a cat owner. My female cat came from a rescue centre 7 years ago and had had a bad start to life. She seems so grateful to have a loving home she rarely bothers to go outside. She’s certainly never brought any mice or birds back with her.
Callistemon my pet cat’s purring soothes me when I’m unwell or anxious, and she lies on my lap. I’m very glad of her friendship and company.

Puzzler61 Mon 11-May-20 08:50:11

Namsnanny I am very sad for you losing your friend, the blackbird. ?

Greyduster Mon 11-May-20 09:08:01

We had blackbirds nesting in a hedge in our garden three years running; for two years they failed to rear a brood and the third year, we had fledged chicks. One morning we got up to find all five chicks dead on various parts of the lawn, massacred by a visiting cat as soon as they left the nest. We were heartbroken. The parent birds came back and forth for a number of days. We had many cats over the years, though not in this house, and it is not one of their most endearing traits, but it’s what they do. I have watched magpies predate a wood pigeons nest, taking the newly hatched chicks one by one; and anyone who has seen a hen house after a fox has got in.... they seem to do it more for fun than for food!

lemongrove Mon 11-May-20 09:29:48

You need to remember that although cats ( and dogs) have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still have the instincts to kill, and if they are abandoned by humans would still need that instinct, so just as well it’s still there.
None of the cats we have had over the years have been good enough hunters to get birds, but mice and shrews are another story! Most of which were brought in alive and released causing much hassle for us.?

lostinfrance Mon 11-May-20 09:53:35

Not a cat fan so I would be just as upset as you.

I love watching the birds in our garden.

I don't like watching the neighbours' cats coming in and trying to find a place to have a poo. angry

minxie Mon 11-May-20 10:00:05

Can we stop with the cat hating. Its nature and it what cats do. Why would you hate someone who won’t put a collar on their cat. Mine will fight and take it off within minutes of putting one on .
Humans do far worse

Flakesdayout Mon 11-May-20 10:03:23

I have two cats. One is a mouse catcher and brings them home sometimes alive sometimes not. He will catch birds too but they don't always die and I spend a lot of time rescuing them. They will not wear collars and one will actually get himself out of it. The other cat is not quick enough and just watches his brother. I am a cat person and although I like dogs not all of them (Probably blame the owners). One of the worst things I saw which made me cry was a young thrush that I had nurtured, watched, fed and a kestrel swooped down and caught it, dropped it in the pond as I dashed out but it was dead. Another time a Sparrowhawk caught 'my' collared dove. I went out to help. My dove was dead and the hawk had the cheek to sit in the bushes and watch me. It is not only cats that are cruel it is everywhere in nature.

Keeper1 Mon 11-May-20 10:04:47

Cats may not be hunting for food but they are programmed to do it. That’s why they will play and catch toys the movement draws them. They are only doing what nature intended. It is rare that a cat will be able to catch a healthy bird unless they get lucky and catch them unawares. Birds fly and cats do not. I have the remains of a pigeon in my garden and not the victim of a cat but a crow.

I love the wild birds and enjoy watching them and if a cat does come into my garden I shoo it away but would never hurt one. I had three at one point and a dog they would hunt mice but never caught a bird. It is all part of life.

jacalpad Mon 11-May-20 10:13:44

I’m so sorry you have lost your beautiful blackbird, Namsnanny.

I am a cat lover, and have a beautiful rescue cat who will be 11 this week. My husband and I also love our garden birds. We have a robin who happily feeds from my husband’s hand - husband is thrilled.

Fortunately our cat has no interest in any of the birds that visit. We had a visiting partridge in our city garden last October and he stayed for until March this year. Our cat and the partridge used to sit on the lawn three feet apart and look at one another.

Sometimes cats and birds can live in harmony, but not often I suspect.

Phloembundle Mon 11-May-20 10:18:56

I love all my garden birds, especially the blackbirds, but I love cats too. Fortunately, most of the cats that visit my garden have collars with bells. The tits have done a magnificent job of keeping the greenfly down. I love their acrobatics as they hang upside looking for insects. They must have fat chicks! In return I have sunflower seeds for them. I have many crows this year, which of course will take other birds, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

MBM Mon 11-May-20 10:20:16

Nature can be cruel, yesterday l found the remains of a
wood pigeon, feathers everywhere and it’s little heart on the lawn.
We have a few sparrow Hawkes as we live in a rural area .
It just made me feel so sad to see this.

Moggycuddler Mon 11-May-20 10:21:43

"What is the point of cats?" We may as well ask what is the point of humans. Humans have done ten thousand fold the harm to this planet and its living creatures (including other humans) than cats have ever done. Cats are predators. They can't help it, it's their instinct. And unless you are a vegan, you should realise that the cruelty every day to millions of animals in order to provide meat and dairy products to humans is very much more than the cruelty of a cat killing a bird. Predators are part of the planet's natural balance. Btw, I love birds and they have often nested in my garden and we have watched many chicks fledge. (Last year we saw a huge crow swoop down on a blackbird chick in our garden and kill it instantly to carry off.) We have a bird table and bird bath. We also have 4 cats, but they do not roam. We have an enclosed outdoor "catio" where they can only watch the birds from a distance. However, I think cats get a very bad rap where bird deaths are concerned. They kill some, yes, but so do many other predators, and the biggest killer by far of birds on this planet directly or indirectly by destruction of habitat is - you guessed it - humans

Theoddbird Mon 11-May-20 10:22:18

This is nature... I love my cats. They have never brought a bird in....mice and voles yes. I took one from the humane trap the other day. By the way....I once saw a neighbours dog slaughter a puddle duck. The same dog killed a kitten of mine. I do not like dogs at all. I have been bitten 3 times by them. Give me cats any day.

GrammarGrandma Mon 11-May-20 10:24:21

I am a cat lover and have three. They all have collars with bells. We feed the garden birds and, now that our cats are old (15), they very rarely bother about them. However the worst predator I have ever seen in the garden was a spaarowhawk mantling over its prey - a pigeon.

LadyGracie Mon 11-May-20 10:27:26

A typical injury to a cat wearing a collar. I love cats, I also love birds.

Callistemon Mon 11-May-20 10:30:00

Oh dear

I seem to have out the cat amongst the pigeons with a jokey remark!

grin

Ps our family have three cats, two are lovely but killing machines, one is terrifying.