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Wildlife Reminder as Rare White Blackbird is Victim of Cat Attack

14 May 2014

UK - Pet owners are being asked to help take measures to protect garden birds from attacks after a rare albino blackbird was injured by a cat.

The pure white fledgling was admitted to RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire after it was caught by a cat.

rare albino blackbird was injured by a catLee Stewart, manager of the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, said: “The combination of the fact this bird was young and more noticeable due to its colour probably meant it was more of a target for predating animals such as cats.

“Sadly during a veterinary check it was discovered the blackbird had a fractured leg and had to be put to sleep as it would not survive in the wild. It is such a shame.”

Now the animal welfare charity is urging pet owners to take steps to help birds that feed in their gardens from becoming the target of a cat’s natural hunting behaviour.

RSPCA wildlife scientific officer Llewelyn Lowen said: “The RSPCA supports measures to limit the killing of birds and small mammals by cats which do not cause stress to the cats whose welfare deserves equal consideration.

“There are a number of sensible actions which cat owners can safely take and which those who feed birds can use to help garden birds at this time of year.

“Adding a bell to a cat’s collar is a simple but effective way of alerting wildlife to the cat’s presence. While some collars are undoubtedly a risk for a cat, the type which snap apart appear to be relatively free from the likelihood of getting the cat caught and therefore injured.

“Equally, limiting a cat’s access to outside at high risk periods, mainly dawn and dusk, can be a useful technique to limit damage to wildlife.

“The manner in which birds are fed is also likely to be a factor which limits the cat’s ability to catch them.

“A metal post is best to mount your bird table on to make it impossible for cats to climb and for those birds that prefer to feed on the ground, a low-level bird table kept away from shrubbery can be provided.”

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