Saturday, 7 April 2018

Nature can be so cruel.

Out in the big, wide world Nature is such a cruel force.   For the third time this week it has been a  pouring wet day here.   Passing fields this afternoon on my way to see a friend, I noticed little lambs in the fields - tiny little things couldn't have been more than two or three days old - they looked wet through and perished.   I know that all they need to survive, within reason, is a really good helping of mother's milk, so let's hope they were all getting it.

Sitting at my friends, watching the birds on her feeders,  listening to the blackbirds singing and looking at birds in the holly tree opposite her window, we suddenly noticed a cat shooting up the trunk of the holly tree, almost to the top.   A little later the cat came down, a young bird in its mouth.  After eating the baby bird it was immediately shinning up the trunk again intent on bringing down baby bird number two for eating.
In my friend's garden a couple of wood pigeons (or they could have been stock doves, I am not sure of the difference) searched for food.   It was almost certain that they were the parents - as I say, Nature can be so cruel.

A male blackbird is spending most of his day standing on the hedge in my back garden and singing his beak off - presumably looking for a mate.   Later on today he seems to have been joined by Miss Blackbird - so, hopefully Mr and Mrs Blackbird will shortly be building a neat little home in my hedge.   I just hope they have enough sense to get into a cat-proof position. 

15 comments:

Sue in Suffolk said...

Mr and Mrs Mallard have arrived on the wide ditch near us, and I bet, just like last year the moorhens will eventually take the young ducklings. And we have a pair of magpies down the field so they'll be after the baby birds.....it's a wonder anything survives.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

My folks used to have a lot of birds nesting in the garden, next doors cats drove them all out

Librarian said...

If it wasn't for the sheer number of young birds, lambs, rabbits and other animals, no species would manage to survive more than a generation or two. The most cruel of all is of course man; we kill millions of pigs, hens, cows etc. not because we would starve otherwise, and we do not even allow them to live their short lives as good as possible. Nature is not cruel. It just is.
Having said that, I understand what you mean and the thought of the little lambs makes me want to run to the field and bring them into the warm.

justjill said...

But they do survive. Yes nature is cruel. Little lambs have their Mums to snuggle up to and the Mums in Nature are not daft. I am watching calves, lambs being born and protected by Mum and of course the owners of. Birds are now beginning to nest. As we do bird counts for the BTO and the RSPB we know that the birds are not daft either.

jinxxxygirl said...

Survival of the fittest Pat.. and the smartest birds who put their nests in a good location..

Granny Sue said...

When it's cold and raining, the cruelty seems magnified. I am always amazed at cows who stand complacently munching in a downpour, and horses that look soaked through calmly grazing. I know we should not intervene, but I will do all I can to keep my cats from the birds. I know it's their nature, but it's my nature to protect the birds if I can.

Marion said...

We had about 12 hours of severe storms & the temp is supposed to be near freezing tonight. Unheard of after Good Friday, but I used my intuition & put off my little container garden because once it's there, it's there for summer. I have 3 Bluebird families in my Bluebird houses & the Hummingbirds are back late this year & that's my secret on the weather. They were back at the feeders in late February last year, but not till late March this year. Nature's little fighting clocks. They're very territorial & mean as hell!

My cats only eat snakes & lizards mostly & the occasional frog & vole. In 25 years living here, I've only had one cat who chased the birds & he suddenly became a total house cat because of it. He was Siamese. I hope it dries out soon for y'all. At least you don't have hurricanes half the year!

Cro Magnon said...

Fred's only wild food are Mice and Voles; I've not seen him go for baby birds. Nature is hard and often violent, but it's nature.

Derek Faulkner said...

It's a well known fact that cats kill millions of songbirds or their young each year but unlike many other pest species such as the crow family, that also prey on the eggs or young of birds, and can be legally culled, cats have the full protection of the law. Too many owners allow their cats to roam free outside the home, day and night, inflicting untold damage to wildlife numbers, when as well-fed animals they have no need to.

Alphie Soup said...

Yes Weaver Pat,surviving in the sometimes Not-So-Great Outdoors is tough. Cats allowed to roam wherever are a huge threat to bird life and other small animals. Better stop there or I will be on the way to a ten thousand word essay.
Lambs who survive the cold snap will go on to be sturdy sheep, able to withstand another freezing Yorkshire winter.
Alphie

Jules said...

It is sad isn't it. Mog rarely returns with a bird, although mice and voles are a regular occurrence. X

Heather said...

Blackbirds set up quite a din if a nest gets raided. That happened fairly often in our garden and magpies or cats were the culprits. The frantic noise made by the blackbirds went on for ages and I felt compelled to go out and clap my hands loudly to help chase off the marauder.

thelma said...

Collared doves build very untidy nests which fall apart in the wind, but it is always a sad sight to see cats take young birds.

Tom Stephenson said...

It's hard not to get involved isn't it? When the animal rights people freed all the mink from fur farms, they almost eradicated the British vole population. Ratty from Wind in the Willows is almost extinct.

Anonymous said...

Poor old birds, they get it from all angles now- non-native predators, chemical agriculture, habitat loss. The dogs keep next door's cats out of our garden (more or less) and our bird population is good because I also feed them year round and we have a good, thick hedge where they can nest. There is a very real and present need to look after wildlife better than we so far have, for self-preservation if for no other reason: if we lose our wildlife, we won't be far behind.