I'm concerned that someone will read Mark's e-mail and believe that harming the 
cats is the best way to protect the buntings and other wildlife. He, 
himself, proposes a friendly solution - that the cats be taken to a new location 
- but the fact is that you can't really just release an animal on someone's 
property without permission. Plus, relocation may protect the buntings, but it 
won't protect the birds in the new location. I believe that the cats are 
unlikely to bother any birds as long as they have easy access to food from the 
restaurant dumpsters. However, if there's any indication that they are 
socialized and could potentially be adoptable, then I think that trapping them 
and taking them to the shelter provides the opportunity for a much better life.

Amy J. Hoffman
Jefferson City
Cole County

From: Mark Gutchen <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Sun, July 18, 2010 9:00:58 PM
Subject: Re: Painted Bunting -- Jefferson City

I went to visit the painted bunting family about 10:45 am this morning. I saw a 
mocking bird, two blue jays, a catbird and many house sparrows. I waited for 
about 30 minutes, but no painted buntings. Then I had to go to the office.

I was very concerned to have disturbed two cats who were climbing out of the 
dumpster. They appeared to be strays. One was a Siamese cat and the other a 
yellow cat. When they saw me they ran off into the bushes right where the 
bunting nest is thought to be. They are dangerous neighbors for the bunting 
family. Maybe someone who knows the management of the Steak & Shake may propose 
to set a have-a-heart trap to see if they can catch the cats and take them where 
the cats will be safe and the buntings protected.

Mark Gutchen
Columbia, MO

----- Original Message ----- From: "Tom Crabtree" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 4:39 PM
Subject: Painted Bunting -- Jefferson City

I spent parts of the past two days looking for the Painted Bunting at the
Steak and Shake in Jefferson City.  I found the female yesterday at 11:00
a.m.  She was in the tree just to the west of the trash enclosure at Steak &
Shake.  She was calling continuously for about three minutes.  At that time
I didn't find the male.

I went back this morning and arrived just as the monsoon struck.  I waited
it out and 45 minutes later (about 9:30) the male was on top of the tallest
tree near the order box at the restaurant.  It sang there for a couple of
minutes then flew to the south over the Wal-Mart parking lot to the row of
trees along the creek (Stone Creek?) separating Wal-Mart from the store
beyond it.  After about 10 minutes if flew back and was with the female in
the tree where the I saw the female the day before.  It hung around that
area moving to the chain link fence below and back to the tall trees before
flying over Steak & Shake and across Missouri Blvd. into the park.  Despite
remaining there for another 20 minutes neither bird appeared again.

The male obviously has a rather large territory.  If it isn't around the
Steak and Shake be patient, that seems to be the center of the territory and
I suspect the nest is either in the tree by the trash enclosure or very nearby.

Tom Crabtree
A visiting Oregon birder

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 24-26 at Camp Clover Point

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 24-26 at Camp Clover Point

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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