Appeal to islanders to keep their cats home at night

RSPB Scotland is appealing for crofters and the general public to keep cats in at night while corncrakes are at their most vulnerable.

Our long-distance friends have just made it back for the summer and many gardens and crofts have returning adult corncrakes as well as young birds in them at this time year. Both can be easy pickings for cats.

When they arrive in Scotland, after their epic migration of thousands of miles, corncrakes seek out any long grass or other early-growing vegetation to hide in and to try to find a mate.

Gardens are often chosen by them as temporary locations and birds may be seen and heard in unusual places early in the season.

The limited availability of suitable areas of long vegetation in spring when it is critical for birds to find a mate makes it essential that we offer them as much protection as possible as they start to breed so that they can survive in Scotland over the longer term.

Crofters and the general public can help this rare bird by keeping cats in at night when the corncrakes are most active.

Unfortunately, there alread has been casualties.

This beautiful male corncrake had just arrived home from wintering in Africa only to be caught and killed by a cat.

Corncrakes are now so rare that every bird counts.

Please help them and other birds by taking this simple step and keep your cat in at night.

For more advice regarding cats and birds please visit the RSPB website: HERE

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