One more wildlife pic, before Earth Day ends


That early-early-morning coyote pic is from “Fauntlee Hills Neighbor” near Concord/Barton, who writes:

This one is half of a young pair who cross Barton from Fauntleroy Park and have been seen late evening, early morning for some weeks now. I feed backyard feral cats and unfortunately, forgot and left food out overnight. They found a paper plate on my back porch and took to finish off. No warnings here, just information. I much believe we need to coexist and just be the smarter species. After all, we are the interlopers

18 Replies to "One more wildlife pic, before Earth Day ends"

  • danno April 22, 2008 (11:51 pm)

    I do not believe us to be interlopers. Nature is the survival of the fittest, and we are a species in competition just as much as the coyote.

  • Scott B. April 23, 2008 (9:09 am)

    “I feed backyard feral cats”

    It would be better for the cats, migrating songbirds, coyotes, and your neighbors, and worse for the rats, if you were to trap those cats instead and take them to the Seattle Animal Shelter.

    Get permission first from Seattle Animal Control (the cats have to be doing property damage, but property damage is defined fairly liberally: scraping in the yard to cover feces or scratching on the house are sufficient).

    The Seattle Animal Shelter lends out humane traps. You might even get the trap I donated to the shelter.

  • Neighbor April 23, 2008 (9:57 am)

    Hi Scott B. SAS works with feral cat rescue organizations that fix and re-locate — this is how I got them. They do not bother birds (I also care for many songbirds) and the cats keep the rodent population at bay.

    And… Danno’s comment is not worth a response…

  • B-Squared April 23, 2008 (10:14 am)

    Thanks for the pic, Neighbor. I applaud your caring for the feral cats, and concure with your closing sentiments.

  • Vio April 23, 2008 (10:56 am)

    FYI: The food you leave in your backyard is also feeding the rats, not just the cats and coyotes. An old neighor of mine used to do the same thing and, along with leaving lots of ivy to provide shelter, created a perfect environment for rats. Her solution was then to leave lots of rat poison everywhere…

  • catbirder April 23, 2008 (12:07 pm)

    Neighbor, you are sadly mistaken. Those cats do bother the birds and other wildlife. Well-fed cats hunt. A ‘kill bite’ is not necessary to induce death in a wild animal due to all that bacteria in the cat’s mouth. If you are going to feed cats, which is not a good idea IMO, then don’t feed the birds. You are inviting them to their last supper. You are probably not observing them 24/7. You may not see evidence of a kill because the cat consumes the animal, takes the bird elsewhere or the bird appears to have escaped only to die later from bacterial infection or internal injuries.

    Cats should be removed from the environment. They cannot co-exist with native wildlife. They do not contribute to biodiversity – they deplete it. Take the cats to a shelter or relocate them to an enclosed area on private property.

    And the others are right – that food attracts non-native mice and rats.

  • JT April 23, 2008 (12:39 pm)

    Here we go again.

    Feral/homeless cats have become the scapegoats while the real culprit, Homo sapiens, goes free to continue the destruction of the environment. Urban sprawl, shopping malls, road building, golf courses, pesticides in water and air, deforestation–these are the causes of songbird decline and these are the activities that must be curtailed or corrected if wildlife is to prosper once again.

  • JT April 23, 2008 (1:12 pm)

    And one more for fun, catbirder, from the National wildlife federation:

    *For Askins, the message is clear: As go the woods, so go the birds. Figures from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) seem to bear out those fears*

  • OP April 23, 2008 (2:27 pm)

    Yes, here we go again. The answer to all of our problems is to live like Thoreau on Walden’s Pond, or like The Professor and Mary Ann on Gilligan’s Island. And I tell ya what, why don’t you lead the way JT and and start by disposing of your computer in an environmentally sound manner. After all, it’s made with chemicals, plastics, silicone and various other volatile and nasty substances that contribute to the destruction of the environment.

    Look, mild sarcasm aside, it’s a wonderful ideal and goal to want to save wildlife and their habitats. I’m all for it. But the hyperbole over the urgency of such issues and the calls for what some people think needs to be done to solve the problem, coupled with human self-hating/self-flagellation, is nauseatingly unrealistic. Besides, there have been nearly countless city and county ordinances passed limiting urban sprawl, not only here but across the country. Hence, one of the reasons why we have townhouses going up along California and Fauntleroy that everyone complains about on this blog: to help curb urban sprawl and offer people an affordable housing (a relative term). So let’s tone down the world-is-coming-to-an-end hyperbole, shall we.

    OK, I’m off to play some golf an evil golf course.

  • JT April 23, 2008 (5:12 pm)

    OP, the here we go again is in reference to blaming cats for the decline of birds, when they are so far down the line as a cause. The take them to the shelter so they can be killed crowd, continues to rely on a paper who’s own author says *I never said cats kill millions of birds*. In fact, he is disputing Wisconsin state for using his words incorrectly in it’s campaign to allow people to shoot feral cats.

    They site 2 studies that have been negated by 60 other well researched, scientific papers that have concluding the decline in habitat is the root cause. I am not making a statement for or against sprawl here, just defending cats that are given a bad rap and posting links to organizations that know more than I do.

    This is one that didn’t post through.

  • Elikapeka April 23, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    Ummmm— if all of you who are chastising Neighbor about leaving out food read the original posting closely, you will see that the food was left out mistakenly overnight, so the fears about rats are probably overstated.

    I know the feral cat issue is one on which people are seriously divided, but I’m on the side of trap, spay/neuter and release. I have found more evidence pointing towards the ferals not being harmful to bird populations, and since they’re not procreating they get to live out a relatively safe and healthy life.

    And sorry Danno, but what a boring place this would be if the only living things were human because we were the “fittest.” I like most animals better than most people on any given day.

  • danno April 23, 2008 (9:57 pm)


    Maybe you should go live in the zoo then.
    I never said that we are the fittest, I just refuse to lower myself to the standard of interloper nor do I accept your or others’ assignment of guilt as a human. I can think of no animal that presents itself with as much love and compassion as do I and other Homo Sapiens to other animals, but I feel no guilt for animals who succomb to natural selection.
    Humans are not aliens, we are just another natural selection.

    I guess that not worth a response must mean I win in the natural selection of ideas. Good luck.

  • grr April 24, 2008 (7:08 am)

    Indeed..the Feral Cat issue is strongly divided. And, I’m on the side of capture/spay/ ADOPT. To me, it’s simply inhumane to let a cat ‘fed for itself’ as a ferral animal, free to roam, and destroy property. And least those cats are keeping the coyotes from going hungry. (I haven’t seen a stray cat in our area in a very long time..we used to have a LOT of them).

    Having had a neighbor who left food out all the time for a few neighborhood ferrals, and having to deal with the rodent population that followed, I’m obviously not a fan of releasing them back to the wild. Took forever to get the rats under control (and gone). We hate poison, so we trapped them (not that THAT’s a better option..ugh…)

    THAT being said, one of the ferrals allowed my wife and I to feed it for three years. It would wait by the side of the driveway every morning. We’d give it a can of food. It would wait until we were away to eat, but we watched from the window. As soon as it was done, we’d take the bowl inside and wash it. We even bought it a little ‘igloo’ for the winter time. –

    sometimes it would show up with obvious signs of being in a fight. We’d be able to give it antibiotics in its food (don’t ask) and help heal it. I always felt sorry for it, but there was no way we coiuld catch it. We tried.

    one morning, we came outside and it was just laying outside of the igloo. It had died their. No sign of trauma. Just dead. It was kind of nice knowing that he didn’t just run off into the woods to die, but chose to come to probably the closest thing to a home he’d had in years. We buried him under the tree where his igloo was.

  • OP April 24, 2008 (9:42 am)

    JT, sorry, but that’s not how your post reads.

  • catbirder April 24, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    Actually, cat predation is a very significant cause of the deaths of wild animals, but not one in which any of the TNR advocates are willing to admit. They can talk about habitat destruction, windmills, bird strikes against windows, communication towers, pesticides, etc., but we just can’t talk about the cats. All these causes are important and none should be ignored.

    Maintaining cat colonies IS habitat destruction. Maintaining cat colonies IS a human-induced cause of wildlife mortality. Cat predation is the second leading cause in some areas.

    TNR advocates use those two studies as red herrings. There is information to gain from each. Even conservative estimates are outstanding.

    As far as Churcher, they would have gained more by sampling more than just one village, but what is interesting is that they got nearly every cat in that one village to participate (like 70 out of 72).

    JT you need to do some homework. There is a lot of scientific documentation showing the results of cat predation and NONE that says TNR is effective.

    Because there is so little habitat left, we should not further subject wildlife to the presence of free-roaming cats.

  • JT April 24, 2008 (2:01 pm)

    Catbirder, did you read any of my links? Sounds like you have an agenda and homework is the last thing you’re interested in.

  • JT April 24, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    And OP, I was posting a quote from the site linked. Not my words, should have made that more clear, sorry.

  • Scott B. April 24, 2008 (8:38 pm)

    Fauntlee Hills Neighbor feeds the rats. The cats eat the rats. The coyotes eat the cats. Fauntlee Hills Neighbor should eat the coyotes. :-)

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