Thursday, July 31, 2014

I plead my case: not guilty

The other day, my new blog friend, troutbirder, expressed his concern for songbirds as I was expressing mine for the feral kitties in the parking lot at work.  Troutbirder is a new friend, so I will have to give him a little background on me and how I look out for bugs and frogs and snails and fish and kitties and dogs and pretty much all sorts of creatures.  I hope he sees that I'm an okay gal and that I probably love the creatures of this good green Earth more than most of the humans that inhabit it.

So, troutbirder, know that I DO look out for the birdies in my 'hood.  Here is a video of us shooing off a big hawk from our yard one very snowy day.  I was protecting those very same songbirds you are worried about too.  My help sorta stinks though:





And yes, I take crap for letting my kitties outside when we are home.  When you have kids running in and out of your house a cabillion times a day, it was just too difficult for us to keep them from getting out.  We let our cats out with supervision. We are surrounded by dogs in the other yards, so they learned the hard way it is just easier to stick in our garden....napping under the hostas:



Each cat has a snap-collar with a giant bell on it.....but no worries, we have lazy non-hunting cats regardless. Grace is very old and isn't interested in going outside too much anymore.  And she was never a hunter.  I don't think she ever killed anything--maybe a cat toy or two in her day.  Now she likes to sleep a lot and snub the food we offer her. Sometimes she enjoys barfing on the one rug we own.

Hobbes is commonly referred to as 47 lbs of Stripey Goodness.  He is on a strict diet and is somewhere around 18 lbs currently.  He does not eat human food of any kind (not interested), birdies or mousies...although he did lick a worm once. He is a hard cat-food kinda guy.

I have a pond in the yard that is home to frogs, snails, little fish, and a big fish named Mr. Cuddles.  I try to keep them from the raccoon and the pterodactyl with a low-wattage electric fence that is on a timer from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.  It is used to train dogs, so it does not harm, but "encourages" trouble-makers to move along.

I leave out veggie scraps under the birdfeeder for the mom opossum who carries her young in her pouch.  She comes over all the time.   We once had to trap some raccoons who were causing damage to our house and caught the opossum on accident.  I let the opossum go--they were not the troublemakers.

So, while I try to assure you that I have the backs of all the animals in the 'hood, I do have to admit that the songbirds ARE indeed in some danger.  But is it not the kitties or the hawk that they have to worry about--the greatest danger to birdies in our yard is this:


Sometimes you can't stop nature, hard as I try, troutbirder.  I hope you understand.


15 comments:

Love and Shenanigans said...

Frogs eat birds? Is there a recent shortage of bugs for them to eat? OR is this natural frog diet?

Lin said...

Love and Shenanigans--Hi new pally! Yes, frogs eat birds. And snakes and other frogs too! Anything that moves is fair game if the frog is big enough. I have bullfrogs, so yes, when they get large enough to swallow a birdie, they eat them far too often for my liking. This is normal. Creepy, but normal. And for what it is worth, it takes them a long time to get that thing down, so you have to look at that for a few hours. blech.

Marg said...

I had no idea that frogs eat birds either. I will stand up for you Lin, you do love all animals. And guess what, nature will take it's course with the animals too. Everything has to eat. Take care.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Our cats are outside as well. We adopt them from a place that specializes in rescuing feral cats and placing them on farms in barns to keep the rodent population down. As it turns out - we are bonded with ours so much that they come inside at night (instead of living in our sheds) but they do insist on going out every day. And I can proudly say that I haven't had a single mouse in my minivan since we got them :-)

Grace said...

WOW on the photo and the frog dining habits...I shall be silent on the other issues aside from "Lin - you go girl!"

Sharkbytes said...

Love this post! If it moves a big frog will go for it, I think. Can't believe you got pictures!

BeadedTail said...

A frog eating a bird? Who knew! Troutbirder is going to be very glad he found you as a new blog pally!

vanilla said...

Lovely detailing of life as she is lived in your yard. Nature, bloody in tooth and claw, has provided for her own. Certain creatures will eat other creatures, and so it goes. Bring on the New York strip!

vanilla said...

. . .and that is a great shot of Froggie at dinner!

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

Whoa! I'm impressed at that frog's catch! On a more serious note, the biggest threat to songbirds isn't feral cats - it's humans encroaching on their habitat. Cats actually catch more mice and voles than birds... why? Because it's easier!

Ann Thompson said...

Wow, I had no idea that frogs would or could eat birds.

Lin said...

Marg--I try to maintain a level of fairness in my yard--no one species or animal can take over, hence the electric fence. But sometimes, I just gotta let nature take its course. No matter how icky it gets.

Lisa--I wish you lived near me! I need a home for a feral colony! :( I learned that some cats are not hunters and some are. Mine...not so good.

Grace--Yeah, it's not pretty when you witness them eating a bird. Or you find bones at the bottom of the pond...with feet and beak. :(

Sharkey--You are right--if it moves, frogs will go for it. I used to tell the kids not to get too close to the frogs. It's easy to get photos of this because it takes so long for them to process the bird. Then they are full for days.

Beaded Tail--I'm not sure if he likes the Duck and Wheel or not. But that is okay--I am okay with me. Warts and all.

Vanilla--Even the ferals at work are in danger of being eaten by coyotes. It is the circle of life. Ugly as it may be.

Sparkle--I agree--humans are destroying habitats for many animals and then complain when they live amongst us. I try to allow them here, but they have to behave themselves.

Ann--Yep. It's not pretty. And I find a lot of dead birds floating that they could not get a good "grip" on.

Petula Lloyd said...

Nicely written. I remember the video from when you originally posted it. Still tickles me. You're like a creature whisperer... I'm surprised by the opossum visitor. Those things scare me. One creeped through my yard when I had the house and I watched until he toddled out of the yard. You have such a good spirit and sweet heart.

Veronica Lee said...

I agree with Petula. You rock, pally.

Patty Woodland said...

That hawk has to eat too. Nature is beautiful and brutal all at the same time.