A beloved bird species Icelanders associate with the coming of spring – the plover – is being targeted by capital area house cats.
MBL reports that the greater Reykjavík area has been the setting of many more plovers than normal, in large part because colder weather has led them to the warmer capital area. While the plover is a treasured bird species in Iceland – they are associated with the coming of spring in much the same way the robin is in North America – this has led to unexpected consequences.
Numerous Icelanders are reporting seeing house cats chasing, toying with, killing and eating the plovers, at times even bringing the birds home to their families. While it certainly is not unusual for cats to hunt birds, veterinarian Berglind Bergsdóttir told reporters that it is uncommon for cats to go after plovers – they are much more fond of starlings and blackbirds, as they are much smaller than plovers.
Despite the mass hunting, plovers are not an endangered species, and it is highly unlikely their numbers are in any immediate danger from Reykjavík’s cats.