14. Cats - Case Study: Birds and Cats Cowbirds & Cats...

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1 Case Study: Birds and Cats Cowbirds & Cats An Important Reminder BIRDS ARE AWESOME . Brown-headed Cowbird • One of three brood-parasitic cowbirds breeding in N. America • Does not build its own nest • Lays eggs in host nests • Known to parasitize >220 host species • Range and numbers increased due to humans Cowbird Impacts • Reduce host reproduction Remove /damage host eggs – Reduce hatching/fledging success of host young • Monitor nests of hosts – Nest farming – Mafia effect Consequences to Biodiversity • Species lost in some areas • Population sinks in midwest • Presumed threat to bird biodiversity • Trapped heavily in many areas
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2 Cowbird Control Issues • Cowbirds are native species • Killing inhumane? • Cowbird removal is a short-term solution • Removal does not increase population size for all species • Removal is expensive! The female cowbird is an “...unchaste mother of a race gone wrong. .. a blight upon the flower of Progress.” Dawson Birds of California 1923 “Killer cowbirds are preying on the delicate warblers like crows stalking Tippi Hedren in ‘The Birds.” Mercury News, Oct. 1 1993 From “What Bird Is It?” (1945) The Cat Issue Pet cats in the U.S. • >60 million households
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2011 for the course ZOO 360 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Wisconsin.

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14. Cats - Case Study: Birds and Cats Cowbirds & Cats...

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