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11 Birds That Chase Cats (Photos & Facts)

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Most people expect to see a cat chasing a bird; it is typical animal behavior. Many would be surprised to know that several birds chase cats. There are two main reasons for this uncharacteristic behavior.


Birds That Chase Cats

Some birds of prey will chase cats for food, while others chase cats to protect their territory. Here are a few birds that have no fear regarding our feline friends.

1. Red-Winged Blackbirds

A beautiful Red-Winged Blackbird standing on a wooden board.

These blackbirds will be found near cattail marshes and any area with standing water, and they are fiercely protective of their nests. They will attack any perceived threat. They will join other flocks of blackbirds and starlings, which can make their communities number in the millions. Perhaps the courage to attack cats comes from the strength of their numbers.

2. Great-horned Owls

A beautiful Great-horned Owl perched on a wooden log.

Great-horned owls are notoriously aggressive hunters that hunt at night. They eat mammals and birds. When great-horned owls attack a cat, they are most likely hunting for food. These predators will perch very high in trees, watch for their prey, and dive down and capture their mark in their talons.

3. Northern Goshawks

A beautiful Northern Goshawk perched on an old wooden log.

The Northern Goshawks are predators often found in the northern and mountain woods. These birds hunt in the forest or close to the edge. They will perch in a tree until they have identified their prey and attack with a short burst of speed. Cats wandering too close to the treed might find themselves unlucky prey.

4. Red-tailed Hawks

A beautiful Red-tailed Hawks standing on the ground.

The Red-tailed hawk is the most popular in North America. These birds of prey have a varied diet which consists of mammals, reptiles, insects, and other birds. They will perch in a tree and wait for their target to appear. They will attack by diving down and grabbing their prey with their talons. These hawks are notorious for attacking cats.

5. Falcons

A beautiful Falcon perched on a big rock.

Falcons are swift and aggressive hunters. Falcons will eat just about anything that they can hunt. They are believed to pursue several thousand different kinds of species of food. Since they have no discriminating tastes, a feline feast is not out of the question if the falcon happens to spot one.

6. Crows

A beautiful Crow perched on a tree.

Crows have been known to attack cats if they get too close to their nest. They are very protective of their young, so they will continue to attack until the threat is gone. Crows are extremely intelligent and travel in large groups called a murder. They may gather in your backyard because of an attractive food source that can be dangerous for your cat or other small pets.

7. Seagulls

A beautiful Seagull perched on a wooden log.

Seagulls are another bird that is very protective of its young. They will attack any threat, such as a cat. Their diet typically consists of small prey such as rodents, but they have been known to hunt small cats and kittens for food. Seagulls may also attack kittens if they are sick or injured and unable to hunt for their usual prey.

8. Magpies

A beautiful Magpie standing on the ground.

Magpies will attack cats during their nesting period. They will come together as a group, squawk at any predator, and work together to chase away any danger. These birds are omnivores, so they eat only invertebrates and plants. Magpies will dive down to scare cats away, but they don’t usually physically attack.

9. Mockingbirds

An adorable Mockingbird perched on a moos-covered branch.

Mockingbirds have earned their names because of their distinct personalities. These birds sing beautiful songs while they tease and harass other birds and small animals. When their chicks are about twelve days old, they will begin to explore their surroundings. The parent mockingbirds will attack anything that threatens them.

10. Eagles

A flying majestic brown eagle.

Bald eagles are birds of prey, so they are meat eaters. They hunt and kill small animals. They usually target squirrels, rabbits, or fish, but they will certainly attack if they see a cat in an open space. Some believe a bald eagle can pick up a small pet and fly away, which is incredibly rare.

Bald eagles are mighty but can only carry about four to five pounds while flying. They could manage a tiny kitten but not your average adult-sized cat.

11. Blue Jays

A beautiful Blue Jay perched on the edge of a bird feeder.

You may be surprised to learn that blue jays are also notorious for being backyard bullies. They will torment and attack humans and cats, and dogs if they have a nest in the vicinity. Once their babies have left the nest, they will return to being passive backyard visitors.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers about why birds may attack cats.

Will birds attack a cat?

Yes, a bird will attack a cat if they are defending its territory or if the bird is nesting nearby. Some birds are fiercely protecting their young. There are also birds of prey that see cats and other small animals as food sources.

Do birds hate cats?

Birds do not necessarily hate cats but see them encroaching on their territory. They can be incredibly aggressive when they are protecting a nest that they have nearby. They perceive cats as a threat to their babies and will do anything they can to protect them.

Are birds scared of cats?

Cats are known for being hunters. When a bird flies by, its instinct is to attack its prey, and birds are wary of cats who stalk and pounce. They have learned to recognize cats as predators.

Why do seagulls attack cats?

The most common reason a seagull will attack a cat is that it is nesting time, and the seagull will attack anything that threatens its young. Cats are a perceived threat, so a seagull will continually dive-bomb a cat until it leaves the area. They will sometimes attack cats if they cannot hunt their usual prey.

Final Thoughts

You will find that most mother birds are protective of their young and will attack anything threatening their well-being, including dogs and cats. If you suspect a bird’s nest nearby, you must be vigilant when you allow your pet dog or cat outdoors.

The other threat to your cat would be from birds of prey. They consider your pet cat a food source, so you should be vigilant when you allow your cat outdoors.

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