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The Passenger Pigeon: A message to domestic cat critics

In the 19th century the raucous passenger pigeon was the world's most common bird. It swarmed in hundreds of millions over the eastern half of North America journeying from one forest to another in search of nuts, its main source of food.

One colony was 20 miles long and 5 miles wide. Other reports talk of columns of birds up to 3 miles wide; the birds tightly packed flying overhead for hour after hour.  The ornithologist, John James Audubon, recounted in 1810 walking in Kentucky with a never-ending stream of passenger pigeons flying past him for 3 successive days.  A modern estimate puts the colony of birds that he saw at 1,100,000,000 (1.1 billion) birds.  Other flocks of passenger pigeons may have numbered 2 to 3 billion.  The entire population at peak was estimated at about 10,000,000,000.

Male passeger pigeon x

In the 1880s there was still mass nestings of the passenger pigeon. Yet two decades later this most common birds was extinct. The last of the species was a captive female called Martha who died sometime between midday and 1 pm on September 1, 1914 in Cincinnati zoo.

Mark Avery, the author of a fascinating book entitled: A Message from Martha -The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon and its Relevance Today, has decided that the reason for this bird's rapid decline to extinction was a combination of industrial slaughter through sport hunting combined with another well-known form of human activity namely “progress", which in this instance refers to the rapid spread West in the 19th century of American colonists who cut down forests with such gusto that by 1872 some 52% of trees in eastern America had gone. These trees were mostly mature ones that provided the bird's main source of food. In modern parlance this is "loss of habitat". Both hunting in the form of poaching and habitat loss are very relevant today with respect to human threats to the wild cat species.

What has this got to do with cats?  Frequently on this website and on the Internet generally, we see criticism from people who dislike the domestic, stray and feral cat. They constantly state that bird populations are in decline because of predation by the cat.

In defence of the cat, I always state that human behaviour is far more dangerous to bird populations and has had a far greater impact upon their population sizes. The story of the passenger pigeon in North America illustrates my argument and I hope that it drives home the point that ornithologists and cat haters should please reconsider what they wish to say when they criticise the domestic cat.


Nature Advocate said…
Wow, what a fucking moron. Cats ARE human behavior and they destroy more native animals than all other human activities COMBINED. If there were no humans there'd be none of your man-made cats.

And thanks for reminding everyone -- that the ONLY way to deal with a species that breeds as prolifically as your cats is HUNTED TO EXTINCTION.

It worked where I live! The eradication of these destructive vermin was so complete and effective that I've not seen nor heard EVEN ONE of your piece of shit vermin for nearly FIVE YEARS now. So much for that "vacuum effect" myth and LIE too, eh?
Nature Advocate said…
Birds are just a minor subset of all the thousands of native animal species (billions of individual animals) that cat-lickers (criminally irresponsible cat-advocates) are annihilating around the world with their man-made invasive species vermin cats.

Not only are these demented invasive-species house-cats-ONLY "animal lovers" now killing off all Big Cats in all wildlife reserves around the world:

And for the ultimate example of absurdity and species-conservation irony, now making all moggie-licking residents of the UK (the inventors of that TNR insanity) the complete laughingstocks of the whole world, they've already made their ONE AND ONLY NATIVE CAT SPECIES EXTINCT in the UK with their invasive species "moggies":

"A report, produced by the Scottish Wildcat Association, reviewed 2,000 records of camera trap recordings, eyewitness reports and road kills, and concluded there may be only about 40 wildcats left in Scotland in the wild today. 'However you juggle the figures, it is hard to find anything positive,' says Steve Piper, the association's chairman. 'The overwhelming evidence is that the wildcat is going to be extinct within months.'" ... "However, it is not the loss of habitat that is causing the current cat crisis in the Cairngorms. It is the spread of the domestic cat." ... "'Essentially the Highland wildcat is being eradicated by an alien invasive species: the domestic cat.'" (report quoted from 2 years ago, they are no-doubt extinct by now)

As well as killing off all their inland River Otters in England (and elsewhere) with their cats' parasites:

As well as cats' parasites killing off all rare and endangered marine mammals on all coastlines around the world (worse than any oil-spill that has ever existed or could even be imagined):

Plus these cat-licking "animal lover" psychopaths and sociopaths are also killing off all the Mountain Lions (Cougars, Puma, Endangered Florida Panther, etc.), and all other native cat species in North America:

But now these cat-lickers are even killing off rare whales and causing massive birth-defects in the indigenous Inuit people who depend on seal-meat for their very survival. Seals that were infected (and are also dying-off) from these cat-lickers' cats' parasites.

Cat parasite found in western Arctic Beluga deemed infectious

Let's thank these psychotic bible-home-schooled cat-lickers for all the fine work they do for being such fantastic "animal lovers", shall we? THEY JUST LOVE CATS SO MUCH! So caring! So thoughtful! So intelligent! So FULL of love for living things! So much so that they will even sacrifice whole races of humans to death-by-birth-defect to prove how much they love their cats.

I'd love to thank them all, each with a gift of a solitary-confinement prison-cell -- FOR LIFE. Better yet, for their VAST ecological crimes and sins against all of nature and all of humanity, hanged-until-dead would be a far more fitting "gift" for them AND the whole planet. That used to be the punishment for engaging in bio-warfare against the human population and all other animal life in any country. I say bring it back -- special, just for them.
Michael Broad said…
"Cats ARE human behavior"

Woody you have finally proved to conclusively that you are certifiably insane! What does that mean Woody?
Michael Broad said…
Woody are you going to admit that people are far better killers of wildlife that cats? You, yourself shoot wildlife in the thousands! You are so stupid Woody and frankly laughably insane.

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