Monday, 13 March 2017

Feeding birds, owl baiting

Butch is awake from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

There was an interesting discussion on baiting birds, specifically owls, in order to grab a photo. Essentially, it is unnecessary to feed the birds at all. Bird feeders encourage predators, may contribute to disease, and causes an imbalance in the ecosystem. You disrupt the birds by watching them, especially in groups, or in a farmer's field. It affects the rodents they might grab. You habituate owls, getting them used to people and associating people with food. This is a bad thing.

"Estimated' is the keyword.
I believe we do encourage an imbalance by feeding the birds, and it is a selfish act. It's not one that I am willing to give up, though. Bird lovers demand I stop letting the cats outdoors. Perhaps, they should stop feeding birds, and they won't draw city cats to their yards! Our 16 acres shelters a lot of critters. The biodome is larger than that, with neighbours owning 600 acres apiece, for example.

There was a painful discussion on an owl group I belong to, and they started bashing cat owners. I gave up. "All cats should be indoors." Well, they need a life, too.
Non-profits are marketing themselves by appealing to those who hate cats. It's been demoralizing to me.
No one knows how many birds are killed by cats. The birds die bashing into windows, and that we can better determine from the bodies they pick up.

The Migratory Convention Bird Act, an agreement across North America, says we're not to kill, harass, or bother the birds in any way. This covers owl baiting, and handling critters.

Thursday March 09, 2017

AUDIO The big debate in the world of birders

Photographers can dangle a mouse and get a perfect shot of an owl flying toward the camera and pouncing on its prey. But is bird baiting bad?

You can tell when they bait the owls, as they use white mice! 

In the UK, they release raised game birds for hunting. Such old traditions.

Phil, writes:
So called “game shooting” is big business in providing jobs and revenue for those involved whereby there is zero likelihood of anyone tackling the subject in favour of the environment or the landscape at large.



eileeninmd said...

Great post and info. I am against owl baiting. Back home, I also stopped feeding the birds. I was attracting too many unwanted critters. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Cloudia said...

Thank you, Jenn

Anvilcloud said...

Life is short, and nothing is perfect. Feed the birds if you want to.

I agree about keeping cats indoors in urban areas. It's not about the birds for me, of which there are bazillions, but about digging in gardens as well as the cats themselves being in danger of traffic and other misadventure by cruel people. IMO they should be the owners' pets and not the neighborhood's responsibility.

Cat Lover said...

Interesting post Jenn. I do feed the birds too, I love watching them. When we had cats they did not go outside. I was worried they would be hit by a car. Growing up I witnessed one of our cats being hit. Not pleasant!
Enjoy your week.

William Kendall said...

Bird baiting just feels wrong to me. That raccoon certainly seems to have gotten through winter down time quite well.

Nancy J said...

Birds are usually savvy enough to fly off if a cat comes near, and baiting, I had to Google that to find out what is done. White owl, white mouse, white snow? What about the real photographers with long lens, who sit for hours waiting for the right shot? Keep filling your feeders Jenn, after all for those ones, feed is so scarce in your winter. We have sunshine today at last.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Welcome to spring, Butch!

Here in UK any talk of baiting of birds would be in reference controlled to cull of corvids or for purpose of capture (in cages) - and a government issue licence is required in both cases. The idea of it being done just for recreational purpose I find a tad repulsive. As Nancy says, what about those who are willing to take the long breath?

As to the cat issue; Jasper was an in/out cat, who opted to be mostly in. However, I do believe I would think differently of that now; especially having met three folk who have indoor-only cats who are living perfectly charmed lives! YAM xx

Phil Slade said...

I think raptor baiting is a hotter topic over your way Jenn. You have so many large and photgenic birds that it will continue to take place unfortunately. As I think I mentioned on my own blog, here it is illegal to use live bait for photography, as it should be.

Cats are a more difficult subject but I do agree that when I watch birds in the garden, they are generally well aware when there is a cat about and so can avoid it. Less so with young birds recently out of the nest that have yet to learn about predators.

There is good evidence that feeding birds can help individuals survive the cold winter periods in climates like your own, thus helping the overall population of a species.