Cats have been blamed as being “cold-blooded killers” and are being blamed for the songbird extinction. Poor cats! The circle of life must continue. As opposed to having more cats rounded up and taken to kill shelters, we need to find a better solution!
Cats can be outdoors, much to the dissatisfaction of public awareness like 20/20. Cats are outdoor creatures but unless they are cared for and spayed or neutered, cats can become feral and then the population can increase because cats will naturally be drawn together when the calling comes. That is why spaying and neutering is so very important!
Stanford has completed a study about the decline in forest songbird populations in the eastern U.S. In fact the decline has been happening since the end of WWII. One reason for such drastic decline in some species of songbirds is the rapid destruction of tropical forests where some of the songbirds used to fly south to. This has nothing to do with cats and everything to do with people.
Another explanation could possibly be the intensified cowbird parasitism, loss and disintegration of habitat and amplified nest predation in habitat areas. The reason for the cowbird parasitism increasing may be due to the increased waste grains that are their winter food supply. Many of the forest-dwelling tropical migrant birds are very vulnerable to the cowbird parasitism thus their populations are decreasing; again a man-made issue, not a feline issue.
Since the eastern migratory songbirds tend to have strict habitat requirements that are no longer being met, the result is negative since songbirds are disappearing as a result. Although a few birds may be eaten by feral cats each year, the felines can nary be blamed for habitual extinction, but man can!
Ecologists such as David Wilcove of the Wilderness Society are working on the reasons for songbirds becoming extinct. Upon further review of some studies, it certainly does not seem as though the cat population ever came up so it is uncertain as to why cats are being blamed. Wilcove’s experiments were with pseudonests and nest predation. Every single explanation for the songbird dilemma seems to come up as a result of human-induced changes in the landscape – not the increased population of cats eating the songbirds.
Although the cat population will continue to grow unless people become wise and have their cats (albeit inside or outside cats) spayed or neutered. In the long-run this is also healthier for the cats as they run less risk of being euthanized due to their sheer numbers.
The fact remains that there are many other factors, human-made factors, which are contributing to the decline of the songbird population. Although the bird prognosis is grim, the cats are simply not the real blame and should not suffer needlessly because of it!