Row housing for the birds

Our new deck at the cottage currently has row housing (for birds) along the beam under the overhang…

row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds
row housing for the birds

 

Eleven nests all in a row, protected (somewhat) from the rain by the overhang, in varying degrees of completion.  We have yet to see a bird using any of the nests, so not sure if they were all constructed by one slightly confused bird (all the locations do look similar) or a group of birds.

It does look like a new suburban housing development, many very similar houses all in a row!

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Why are cats allowed to roam freely outside?

My rant for the day is this:  Why are cats allowed to roam outside freely, killing birds and rabbits and pooping in gardens while dogs must be leashed with their owners picking up their poop immediately after it hits the ground?

My husband was upset when he witnessed a cat killing a baby rabbit in our backyard recently.  He was looking out our kitchen window and saw the cat chasing the bunny.  By the time he got out to the backyard, the cat had injured the bunny so badly it barely had the strength to limp across the yard before it collapse dead.

This video posted on Youtube recently shows a cat eating baby birds in a nest…

 

One of my gardening clients says her cat brings her dead birds as “presents” all the time. My cousin, also an avid nature lover, posted recently on Facebook about a cat in his neighbourhood that attacked a nest of baby cardinals…

 

Why is this allowed in this day and age?  Granted, cats rarely attack people and their pile of poop is smaller than most dog’s, but cat poop or feces is very dangerous to pregnant women and small children.  I learned this firsthand as TOXOPLASMOSIS was one of the suspected reasons for the three  STILLBIRTHS  I suffered through years ago.  Toxoplasmosis is a parasite transferred to humans through exposure to cat feces.

I understand that cats like to hunt the birds and bunnies, thinking they are presenting their owners with a gift.  Domesticated cats certainly do not need to hunt these poor unfortunate creatures as a source of food.  Some of you will say this practice is part of nature.  Cats like to stalk, shred, scratch etc.  Regardless, it is a cruel, unnecessary practice that should be prevented!

Cat owners should be accountable and responsible for their cats as dog owners have to be for their dogs.  If you cannot prevent your cats from roaming the neighbourhood killing creatures of nature, get them declawed or keep the cats on a leash.  Better yet,  keep them inside, buy them fancy toys to play with or let them shred your furniture.

 

 

Gathering Birds

IMG389b

Why do birds gather in large groups some evenings?  I have seen (and heard) this happen numerous times in our suburban neighbourhood, mostly in autumn.  This picture was taken in late August this year; hundreds of blackbirds, or possibly crows, roosting in the dead tree and a few live trees surrounding the dead one.  The birds in the dead tree show up well against the evening sky, while the others blend in better with the leaves on the trees.

I looked into this behaviour, but cannot seem to find a definitive answer.  Some say the birds gather as a “stop over” on their migration route, others say the birds gather as a form of protection from predators.  I have a hard time believing that these very large birds need protection from much of anything in this neighbourhood.   They can be very aggressive, especially on garbage pick up day, when I have seen them tear garbage bags apart, flinging pieces of garbage several feet as they scavenge for food.

Whatever the reason for their gathering may be, they sure do make a racket!  Their noise brings to mind an English class years ago when my teacher explained the word “cacophony”   http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/cacophony    That about sums in up.  I am glad the houses they choose to gather behind are a few blocks away from mine…

This Sign Makes me Laugh every Morning…

I have to chuckle when I see this sign each morning I drive my son to school.  It is located at the roadside of a parkland setting that is surrounded by a new Urbandale housing development here in Kanata:

cropped bird sign

Most times I only wish I had my camera to take a picture so I could share the humour with you; today is your lucky day…

Obviously the park is used by nature lovers not happy with the new development.  I am not sure why a City of Ottawa sign is there anyway, but someone found a clever and humorous use for it!