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What the Cat Brought In

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Welcome to the ‘What the Cat Brought In’ website..!

This is a four year project to study the interactions between urban birds and cats. I will be looking in depth into the behaviour of cats by investigating what they do all day when we are not around. Not much is really known about birds in an urban environment, so I will begin by calculating bird densities and working out how birds are using their urban habitats.

How can you help? The specific areas we will be working in have been surveyed door-to-door to enlist cat owners to help in this study, so if you have not received a questionnaire then you are not in one of our intensive survey areas.

However, in addition to the owners in these specific areas, we are keen to enlist the help of other cat owners in the town and in the surrounding areas to also keep a record of the prey animals that their pet cat brings back to them.

If you feel like you would like to take part in this survey, or would like further details please feel free to email me.

Enlisting the help of cat owners can be problematic and can lead to sampling biases; therefore, we are keen to enlist the help of owners whose pet cat DO and DO NOT bring prey animals home.

Taking part is really easy, all we ask you to do is place any animals that your cat brings home into a bag, and then leave them by the front door. As soon as you contact me to let me know its there, and ill come and pick it up.

You can also take part in other ways. Please take a look at our Project News page for more information or our Contact Information page if you would like to contact us regarding any part of the project.

 

Latest News

January 2008

Two new students are about to join the team. Their names are Katy and John and they are both studying for an MSc in Wildlife Management and Conservation at the University of Reading.

Their research will be focusing on urban birds that live in Reading and they are planning a major ‘bird search’ in each of the project study areas. We hope that these surveys will help us to understand how these birds use their urban habitat and, importantly how they interact with the cats that they share their habitats with.

This summer, they will be getting up at dawn to listen to the birds as they sing to defend their territories during the breeding season. The students will also be monitoring the nests of some specific bird species, so if you have a nest in your garden that you don’t mind us monitoring then please let us know (the monitoring will not effect the breeding birds as we only need to visit the nest a few times).

To find out more about this and other elements of the project...Click Here

 

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