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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs down A backyard slaying

This is a kereru. A fine example of the beautiful New Zealand native wood pigeon. It is a protected species, the wilful harming or killing of a kereru being a criminal offence in this country. Once sought after as a game bird, their protected status in recent years has allowed their numbers to increase and they have become a much loved visitor to domestic gardens and urban bushland whenever food sources (mostly the berries of native plants) are available.

This morning, I came upon a grisly scene on the lawn in my own back garden. A large number of feathers, which I believe to be those of a kereru, were spread over a quite large area, indicating an intense struggle between a kereru and what could only have been a stray cat (I do not own one myself). I should explain that in this country there are no lions, tigers, cougars or, in fact, any cats other than domestic moggies and and their feral progeny. The kereru is a tree bird and does not forage or roost at ground level, so I can only assume that a domestic cat has ambushed a kereru in a tree during the night, dragged it onto my backyard lawn and viciously attacked it. It must have been some struggle as these are large birds. If, by some miracle, the bird escaped, I don't imagine it would have survived the night and from the kereru's perspective that would be a merciful result.

Although I am constantly chasing stray cats from my vegetable patch which they seem to think I provide for their sole use as a lavatory, I am no cat hater. But I do believe cat owners have a civic responsibility to stop their pets from straying to where they can kill and maim wildlife and foul other people's property. There is ongoing public debate about cat control, including compulsory micro-chipping, limiting the number of cats per household, requiring most cats to be sterilised, etc, etc. Something needs to be done. The cats themselves are only doing what comes naturally to them. Cat owners need to be held responsible.
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If eating carrots improves the eyesight, how come there are so many dead rabbits on the roads?
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 01:09 AM
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If you have feral cats there, good luck.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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If you have feral cats there, good luck.
Most, if not all, of the cats that frequent urban neighborhoods seem to be pets, but one of the suggested remedial strategies is to allow the euthanising of non-microchipped cats, which should eventually reduce the feral population.

If eating carrots improves the eyesight, how come there are so many dead rabbits on the roads?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 04:02 AM
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Hi Keith,the Kereru is a beautiful bird alright,I just wish we were allowed to import them to Australia.I have been breeding Kakariki parrots for a few years & my plan was to send the progeny of my birds over to somebody in NZ to be released into the regions where the Kakariki is now extinct.Long story short it didn't pan out the way I wanted but I am still trying.Hope the cat that killed? the Kereru gets what's coming to it. Best wishes James.

I sincerely apologise Keith.Didn't mean to take over your post.JJ
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 09:49 AM
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I like cats- they taste like chicken!
We have county and city ordinances about pets running loose. Like speed limits and stop signs, no one pays any attention plus there is no enforcement of these laws. We have had two or three shrubs at the corner of the house and they all died. I checked the pH and it is acceptable. I figure that dogs are the cause. We have a stray cat that likes our flower bed. If you call the animal shelter, they come out, never when the culprit is around, and maybe put out a trap.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 09:52 AM
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That bird looks similar to the American Pigeon, of which we have way more than is needed. If you need some of those let us know and we will be glad to share, but be aware pigeon poop is a real problem in the US. All kidding aside it is a beautiful bird.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 10:59 AM
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I recently learned that there are projects here and there to capture, vactimize and release male cats back into the wild. The theory being that the male cats can occupy the females without producing offspring produces a double whammy on ferral numbers. The captured females can be neutered, but it doesn't affect population much. We occasionally have a stray cat who catches one of the small birds we feed, but that's nature.

That is quite a nice looking bird, very similar to a pigeon. Our neighbor raises racing pigeons which fly over our property pretty often. And although we're maybe 80 miles from the Pacific ocean, we get occasional scrabble of seagulls that swoop and circle over the small oasis of our property.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 11:50 AM
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A while back someone commented on the number of birds killed by windmills, so I looked it up. Windmills kill hundreds of Thousands of birds a year, bad enough, but Cats kill hundreds of Millions of birds a year, with some estimates going well over a billion.


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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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I sincerely apologise Keith.Didn't mean to take over your post.JJ
No need for any apology, James. That's what a forum is for.

Very interested in your comment about breeding kakariki.

Keith

If eating carrots improves the eyesight, how come there are so many dead rabbits on the roads?
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 11-10-2017, 02:10 PM
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I like cats. But if you could tell that a cat is feral, it would probably accomplish more by killing them. But how do you tell, unless you capture them? I think most of your bird losses are likely due to feral cats, but some by pets. One partial solution would be any domestic cats caught in a trap, levy a hefty fine on the owner. -After a fine or two, most owners will keep track of their cat. I do not think this would cure your problem, but it would at least help.
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Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet my demands.
.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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