Just thought I would toss out there some information about bird declines near development. I have done a lot of review of the scientific literature on this subject (one of the things I get to do for work), and while cats are a big issue, other predators are also attracted to our homes - raccoons, opossums, chipmunks, skunks and mice. They like our garbage and our bird seed. The concentration of predators increases the likelihood that nearby nesting birds will loose their eggs and young to predation. Mice and chipmunks are actually really hard on ground nesting birds with small eggs. Researchers actually use small clay eggs in fake nests to test for predation. They match the tooth markings on the eggs to suspected predators. More recently researchers are actually monitoring individual nests over time to gauge success and sources of failure such as predators. I guess the lesson here is if we want to increase the success of nesting birds in our residential landscapes, particularly those nesting on or near the ground, we need to make our homes unattractive to the many potenial egg predators out there. PS. The song sparrow that nested in my tall grass this year (which I unwittingly mowed), is still around and probably nesting in a low bush. Bob Siegfried You are subscribed to VA-Richmond-General. To unsubscribe, send email to va-richmond-general-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with 'unsubscribe' in the Subject field. To adjust other settings (vacation, digest, etc.) please visit, //www.freelists.org/list/va-richmond-general.