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Time To Bring Cats Indoors

To those tuned into natural rhythms, things seem to be quieting down in the Central Oregon bird world with much of the calling at a

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To those tuned into natural rhythms, things seem to be quieting down in the Central Oregon bird world with much of the calling at a distance from the nest site, or in the subtle, or at times not so subtle, exchange between nestlings and adults during feeding bouts. An urban exception at our house in Bend is the sundown chorus of robins and doves.

Very soon a "swamping" of sorts will occur. Swamping is an ecological term (disclaimer: I'm not an ecologist!) that describes the sudden appearance of many young animals that can tend to overwhelm predators and helps ensure the survival of at least some of the relatively inexperienced juveniles. As an example, I've heard the term associated with the synchronous birth of wildebeest in the lion-inhabited plains of east Africa. The swamping that has begun here is reflected in fledgling birds showing up at our feeders and birdbaths.

All of the bird-hunting predators are tuned into the new bounty, and opportunity to feed their own young: The mantra seems to be, "If you're smaller than me, you're toast!" That said, it's time to keep the cats in! From my purely anecdotal perspective (we have two cats), any amount of time that you can keep your cats inside at this time of year adds proportionately to the survivability of this year's bird brood(s). A few weeks of cat management during this critical time can make a world of difference. Please share this concept with your cat loving family, friends and neighbors.


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