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Painted Bunting and the Murder-Minded Kitty: Behind Bars in NYC

Dec 10, 2015 02:01 PM EST
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Painted Bunting
Although painted buntings don't normally travel north of Arkansas, a male has come to vacation at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, N.Y.
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons )

A very bright and lovely painted bunting--with vivid green, blue and orange details--has spent the last two weeks in New York's Prospect Park. It's a native of warmer climates and is only the 10th of its species to be seen in New York. The bird has attracted many spectators and birders, as well as a few cats. (Scroll down to read further...)

Photo of black-and-white cat at Prospect Park, Brooklyn, N.Y.
(Photo : Brooklyn Bird Club)
A male painted bunting, a bird that is rare in New York and many cool climates, has been hanging out in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for two weeks. It has had spectators, including the black-and-white cat pictured. The cat made a run for the bird and was subsequently trapped. It was unharmed and will be adopted out.

A black-and-white kitty that had been hanging out near the bird and made a run for it was recently trapped by Marty Woess, a wildlife expert with the organization that partners with the city to support the park, the Prospect Park Alliance.

"The cat looks a little embarrassed that it got caught, but it wasn't harmed at all," Rob Bate, the president of the Brooklyn Bird Club, according to an article in the New York Post.

After Bate had alerted park officials of the hang-about cat, they gave the OK to trap the prowler earlier this week.
The trap first caught two raccoons, but eventually landed the tuxedo cat, said the Post piece.

The cat will be rehabbed at Sean Casey Animal Rescue, then put up for adoption. "The cat doesn't look feral so we're hoping that it'll just be friendly enough that we can just put it up for adoption," Sean Casey said to the Post. "But if it needs some work, we'll help it out."

If temperatures remain mild in the city, the bunting could hang around for much of the winter. Either that or he will continue south to Florida or near the United States-Mexico border.

Feral cats are considered a huge threat to birds, amphibians and other small creatures. In the United States, free-ranging domestic cats kill 1.3-4.0 billion birds annually, according to the analysis in a 2013 study led by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and published in the journal Nature. The study found that the majority of the cats doing the damage are stray or feral.

If you have an outdoor cat and would like to equip it with a belled collar or a special collar like the one in this study, that can help deter the cat from bringing home small prey.

For more great nature science stories and general news, please visit our sister site, Headlines and Global News (HNGN).

-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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