The Birdkillers

Kristin Hugo

About 4,000 birds were killed by the BP oil disaster last year. That’s a lot of turkey salad gone to waste. Considering 4,000 birds according to the Deepwater Horizon response’s Consolidated Fish & Wildlife Collection Report, it may look like British Petroleum is responsible for one of the greatest avian disasters of the decade, at least. But it was far from the biggest threat to the birds.

Collisions with buildings cause 100 million to one billion bird deaths per year. Hunters kill 100 million. Pesticides: 67 million. Vehicles: 60-80 million. Domestic cats: 39 million-1 billion.

So, Fluffy is one of the biggest aviocidal maniacs out there. That gift she left on your doorstep? A boon to the ecosystem, and there’s more where that came from.

It is a little strange that we have cats, an invasive species of non-social animal as a popular pet. It’s even weirder (and sadder) that with 9.6 million cats and dogs killed in shelters each year, we continue to pay breeders to make more cats and dogs to be sold, released, and killed in a shelter.

What should be done? We could keep our kitties indoors, but I would never do that to my Mew. We could introduce them to Kinect Birdcatch(tm), but I think I just made that up.

One thing that I’m sure I support withdrawing support from cat breeders and kitten mills which feed pet stores. Cats cause so much damage to the ecosystem, and we are paying people to produce more of them, just to see these animals killed in the shelters. If you’re going to get an animal, adopt one at, the Lange Foundation, or your other local shelter. And try to keep them out of birds nests.