Take steps to help protect our birds

Tuel Lane

Sowerby Bridge

I would like to make a plea on behalf of all our birds, and goodness knows we have precious few left around here, to please, please put a collar with bell on your cats.

Around here they are being decimated by several of the neighbourhood cats. Three in particular have taken many birds. A pair of robins that were building their nest in the ivy, and the male blackbird, who we thought had been killed by the amount of his tail feathers, managed to survive but looks a sorry sight.

A collar and bell would help to alert the birds who is sometimes so intent on searching for food but the doing away with cat flaps which have been one of the worst things invented as far as our bird population are concerned.

The cat flap may be convenient for cat lovers who are out working, but these flaps allow the cat to come and go at will, which includes very early dawn when the birds are at their most vulnerable, out seeking breakfast.

A survey showed that most wildlife were caught at this time. Also the old adage about putting the cat out at night is detrimental to our birds, allowing the cat to sit and hide waiting for the birds to fly down. The ground feeders are especially in danger particularly our wonderful blackbird.

Up until two days ago our local blackbird could be heard singing to proclaim his territory starting around five in the morning, some may have been awakened by him and found him an irritant, but it was a most beautiful sound.

It’s with mixed feelings that I watch him as I wish he would find somewhere safer to live, and we can only try and keep an eye out and constantly shoo the cats away.

So please, everyone who treasure our dwindling bird population, mostly because of human activity, through pesticides and flagging over green spaces, do help by putting a collar and bell on your pet cat to give the bird a fighting chance.

Valerie Mellor