Re: "Thank you to city for controlling magpies, crows," June 29. It is wrong to project human ideas onto the nature or behavior of wildlife. Magpies and crows are not bad or evil, and most species of songbirds kill chicks of other species, just like these maligned corvids. Any bird will defend its territory and young, and if they feel a rival nest is too close to their own, they will take action.
The house sparrows brought up in the previous letter actually push out native species from nesting opportunities, often killing them in the process. Since they are an introduced presence to North America, they pose a threat to native songbirds. Another fact is that magpies and crows are actually classed as songbirds, and are indeed native to the continent. American crows are migratory.
To follow the letter of the law to “protect migratory songbirds,” one would have to include crows.
This is also an opportune time to expose the biggest threat to all songbirds, not only across North America, but the world: feral and outdoor cats. If you really want to protect songbirds, keep your pet cats indoors, and if they must go outside, install an outdoor cat enclosure or leash-train them. There are many tutorials out there on how to do both. This also keeps your pet safe from things like car strikes and wild predators, and keeps them from becoming ill.
Nothing in nature is a “good guy” or a “bad guy,” but human mismanagement and introduction of alien species has stacked the odds against all songbirds. It’s a bird-eat-bird world out there, and just because corvids wear black, it doesn’t make them “the bad guy.”
Ciara Fraser, St. Albert