BirdLife: The Magazine Apr-Jun 2018 - Page 18

This is a controversial one. People love their cuddly, purring companions – but the truth is that they are instinctive predators, who could be killing up to 3.7 billion birds a year in the USA alone. Solutions range from putting a bell on your cat’s collar, to enclosing an area of garden for your cat to roam (a “catio”), to keeping your cat indoors altogether. It’s up to you, but these actions could save birds’ lives – and keep your cat safer, too. 3 Stop your cat from catching birds Install a bird box 4 Modern buildings may be warmer and drier, but one thing they tend to lack is convenient nesting holes. Nest boxes are the perfect solution, and come in all shapes and sizes depending on the species you want to attract. They’re pretty simple to construct – but remember never to paint the insides. If you do, they may be too slippery for young birds to clamber out of when it’s time to fledge – and it may be toxic, too. And if you must paint the outside, keep it a light colour to reflect the sun’s heat – nobody wants to live in an oven… 18 birdlife • apr-jun 2018