Cats pose a risk to garden birds year-round, but spring through early summer when they’re nesting is a particularly dangerous time. Flightless baby birds deliver easy prey, and the jingle of a collar or bell does little to protect the nestlings. Wrapping hard-to-climb material or a baffle across the trunk helps keep cats out, particularly if you make additional alterations to the region to dissuade the cats from tree.
Wrapping the trunk having a hard-to-grip material might offer temporary protection in the hunting cat. Wrap aluminum foil or plastic wrap across the trunk, starting a few inches in the floor and continuing to the initial pair of branches. Cats have trouble gripping the trunk through the foil and they do not like its texture on their feet, but if you don’t wrap enough of their trunk they could jump and grip above it. Foil does require frequent replacement because it will tear and wear. You can also make use of a sheet metal tree guard, but remove it following nesting season so it does not girdle or harm the tree trunk.
Baffles are cones of cable or metal made to match around trunks or rods. The baffle fits across the trunk with the large end of this cone aimed downward, where it prevents the cat from climbing past. Commercial versions are often sold for squirrel exclusion, but you may also make your own from chicken wire. Cut a circle in the chicken wire the diameter of the tree trunk plus 30 inches, slice through one side into the middle and cut a hole big enough to encircle the trunk. Wrap the baffle across the trunk 4 to 5 feet in the ground so the cat can not climb or jump past it, and secure the baffle in place with sturdy wire. Placing chicken wire on the ground around the tree keeps cats away, since they do not enjoy walking on the stuff.
Scare devices can frighten cats in the tree and finally condition them to stay away. Motion -activated sprinklers work nicely because most cats do not enjoy getting wet. When setting up a sprinkler, place it so it sprays the lower trunk or area around the trunk as the cat procedures, but be certain it doesn’t wet the bird nest. Sound and movement devices might not work as well because the cat becomes accustomed to them, and they might also disturb the nesting birds.
Cats can not climb narrow metallic poles in addition to tree trunks. Installing birdhouses on tall poles, with or without baffles, can encourage birds to nest indoors and keep them from the more accessible trees. In addition, it does little good to wrap or wrap one tree if there are neighboring trees or buildings that the cat may use to obtain the nesting tree. You might need to place baffles on trunks of neighboring trees in order that the cat can not climb it jump to its goal tree. If all else fails and the cat is a pet, keep it indoors until the baby birds have diminished.