Cats kill birds. You may have ready about the latest study -- it's really a study of other studies, a crunching of data from 90 other surveys -- which cranked up the estimated death toll of birds from cats. The old number was about half a billion; but the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service now put it somewhere between 1.4 billion and 3.7 billion.
A lot of that killing is done by feral cats, but housecats allowed to roam outside kill from one to 34 birds per cat per year. There's a power law distribution at work here, according to one of our guests today. Some housecats are really good at killing birds and some are inept. But you, the owner, will probably never know which kind you have because, as you'll hear, outdoor cats have vast, complex, secret lives.
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