Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On Guard from Predators

A metal cone predator guard is placed below a wood duck nest to protect it from this meso-predator.  The swamping ground where I sometimes run the dogs has hundreds of wood duck boxes like this, with predator guards, courtesy of the Izaak Walton League right up the road.

We do what we can to protect nest birds in this country, but the skyrocketing number of raccoons, possums, fox, and feral cats have an impact as can be seen from the predator guards on every blue bird nest.

Back in 2009 I noted that some state wildlife managers suggested baiting fox traps with feral cat

Researchers have found that areas with the most coyotes had the fewest cats and the most songbirds.

The reason for this is pretty simple: Coyotes prey on cats, raccoons and possums, all of which prey on songbirds and songbird nests. Feral and domestic cats alone kill over three billion birds and small mammals each year in the U.S.!

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