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Can anyone help me get my birds back?

Posted by northerner_on Z5A ONCanada (My Page) on
Fri, Mar 7, 14 at 3:37

Over many years I dedicated my garden to wildlife, sometimes too much. Always had many birds, butterflies, humming birds, kept the squirrels at bay by providing feeding stations down at the back against the fence, had the occasional visit from a ground hog or skunk or racoon but generally enjoyed it. A few years ago our new neighbour was an assistant in a vet's office and proceeded to invite every cat in the neighbourhood to her yard. So we were overtaken by feral cats who took over our yards: used them as a bathroom; killed off several birds including two pairs of robins who nested in our trees for several years; secreted themselves under our shed and other places and gave birth to several litters of kittens. We complained a lot but to no avail. Finally we got a trap and trapped 13 cats and kittens...and they were really viscious. She has finally gone back to school, taken a different job, and has only one cat (domesticated and with her shots) who comes into our yard occasionally as most cats around the neighbourhood have always done but this is now three years later and not one bird has come back. I have feeders out, suet cages, a bird bath, but not one bird. Last year I saw just one humming bird 'pass through' but nothing stays. I am wondering if the 'scent' of the cats is still around, and if so, how can I remove it? Bird watching was a pleasure, not it's completely gone. Any ideas? Thank you,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can anyone help me get my birds back?

Maybe I'm wrong, but it sounds to me like something else is going on there. Are there other predators around that could be a danger to birds? Any spraying of toxic pesticides in your area? What about other people who live in the they see birds? It sounds like quite a mystery! I've noticed much less birds, butterflies, etc. in a city near me during times of year when they're spraying for mosquitos and West Nile. It makes quite a noticeable difference and it's extremely sad!

RE: Can anyone help me get my birds back?

Hi Linda: I never thought of pesticides. Come to think of it I have not seen a ground hog, skunk, or racoon lately either. The ground hogs always attacked my swiss chard, and ate the apples which dropped from my tree. There are definitely no pesticides on my property and the neighbours on either side have small kids and work so they just plunk in a few annuals from the nursery each year. We live in the suburbs and there are a few farms nearby: mostly corn and strawberries. However, they have recently been bought out by a larger outfit and I wonder about their methods. I commented to neighbours recently that you don't see any worms in the corn, which were present when 'old Henry' ran the farm organically. I must investigate this more fully. I definitely have fewer bees, and I have seen several yellow jackets rather slow moving and listless. I get some butterflies attracted to my Blue Fortune, but that's about it. It really is sad. I must make an effort to check other parts of the neighbourhood. Thanks for your ideas.

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