Fur flies in an angry cat attack as a willy wagtail plucks its nesting material from an indifferent cat sitting below the bird’s nest.
It’s not just windows and mirrors that some birds attack. People, dogs, cats and even other birds can be targets. It’s usually done as a warning to scare potential threats from their nests during the spring. It was just the other day that I was walking across a field and was swooped by a magpie.
Willy Wagtails are notoriously vocal and fierce when it comes to defending their nests. They screech very loudly and swoop at animals many times their size. I’ve not known them to swoop at people, but they do make a lot of noise to warn of their disapproval.
Many years ago a willy wagtail had nest a just outside the kitchen window. A cat would sit below the nest just to annoy the bird. It triggered a cat attack of chatter, screeches and an aerial assault that would result in loss of fur. Being a typical cat, it couldn’t really care less and continued to sit there until something better got its attention and it walked off.
Further to this, the willy wagtail would take the newly acquired fur and line its nest with it, so the cat was actually contributing to the nest construction. Then, each year, the wagtail would return, add an extension level to the nest and reuse it.
The cat attack illustrated above was inspired by this occurrence, though the bald patches are a little embellishment.