Pussy cat predators
Bird-feeding has an entirely different meaning for cats.
After all, they are the ones doing the feeding.
Steve Holmer, a spokesman for the American Bird Conservancy in Washington, D.C., says "there is no real way of keeping count" but believes cats kill about 200 million birds a year.
His group is behind Cats Indoors!, a campaign to have owners keep their pets indoors, particularly in early morning and in the evening when birds are on the ground more to feed.
"This is one of the unintended consequences of bird-feeding," he says.
He estimates there are 200 million cats in the United States, with 90 million being pets and the remainder feral.
Erin Estell , manager of community outreach for the National Aviary in the North Side, agrees and says the cat issue should be greatly considered by anyone interested in bird-feeding.
The secret, she and Holmer say, is to keep feeders away from places where cats can leap. That also means making sure feeding sites are not near brush or shrubbery.
"Cats just lurk in there and pounce," Holmer says.Additional Information: