We were able to document a number of interesting patterns from
1) Not surprisingly, the non-urban predator community is more diverse
than the urban predator community.
2) Urban predation events were clearly dominated by house cats. Some of
these cats had collars and we can therefore conclude that they are
people's pets. Did you know that your cat is eating eggs and nestling
birds? All but one of our cat predation events occurred at night. Please,
at the very least, keep your cats indoors at night.
While mockingbird populations are successful despite these
levels of cat predation, there are numerous other species (e.g.,
that are struggling to survive in urban areas.
predation events are dominated by snakes and Cooper's Hawks. While we
never recorded Cooper's Hawks taking urban nests, we have documented
them at every one of our urban study sites...so, what's up with the
urban hawks? Cooper's Hawks are
predators and we think that in town they are eating large urban doves
that in non-urban areas are either rare (Eurasian Collared Doves) or not
concentrated around bird feeders (Mourning Doves). Thus, the urban
Cooper's Hawks appear to have undergone a dietary shift.
4) Despite the
high abundance of crows and grackles in urban areas, they were not
particularly common nest predators. Perhaps they too have undergone a
dietary shift and prefer french fries to mockingbird eggs and nestlings.