Regarding the argument disputing the correlation between the predation habits of stray cats and declining avian populations: At one time there was a sizable population of doves visiting my backyard birdbath. Though well-fenced, my yard was frequently entered by my neighbor’s free-roaming Siamese.
One after another the doves were found dead, which was not an accident and very distressing. Then, I surprised this cat, which had just attacked a mourning dove. The cat dropped the dove and ran off, but too late — the bird died in my hand.
I informed my neighbors of these incidents, yet it seemed that they, too, felt their cat was exercising its “natural instinct to hunt,” and they didn’t apologize for it.
But why be so concerned about some mourning doves? Birds aren’t being depleted more than they would be by environmental factors — the Smithsonian study must be wrong! I suppose climate change is a scientific hoax as well.