It was another day on the Cinco Ranch Nature Trail, trying to get some exercise for myself and the dogs. My mission for the day was to check on a geocache I had hidden out there on one of my recent forays, since the last seeker was unable to find it.
After checking on it, I was only a few feet down the trail when I noticed these little babies (there are two in the picture). Their mom was above me in the trees, squawking in panic, probably thinking I was gonna let the dogs eat her babies. Amazingly, the dogs weren’t even curious about these vulnerable little fledglings.
My head was telling me what to do in this situation – leave the birds alone, and mom will take care of them. However, it was hard! Now I know how it happens, how people end up taking the baby birds home and trying to “rescue” them. I have been following this Facebook page about birds, and it seems like every other day lately someone is being lambasted for trying to save the baby birds. Even though I also get annoyed about those posts (shouldn’t those people know better?), I watched the baby birds struggling and my heart was telling me to do the same thing.
What I should do, if I want to help baby birds, is keep my cat inside. This is a simple thing that has huge ramifications, but none of us can seem to resist her meowing and reaching at the door to get out. It is theorized right now that cats kill about one to 4 billion birds per year. The birds are most vulnerable around this time, when the babies are learning to fly but haven’t quite gotten it. It makes me sad to think about all that work the birds did for their young, only to see them get gobbled by a domestic pet, or ran over or snatched up by perhaps some well-meaning animal lover.
I think I amgoing to at least get a bell for my cat, so at least when she does go outside, she will be a little less lethal.