Predators that kill birds (blue jays, bluebirds, mourning doves)

Asked May 16, 2020, 4:31 PM EDT

I have a couple of feeded close to my house. About a week ago I found the entire wing of a mourning dove and lots of feathers under a nearby bush. This morning I found the wing of a bluejay, again feathers under the bush. Earlier in the year I found piles of feathers from a mourning dove in the front yard as well as, a wing from a bluebird and the carcass of a whole bluebird. My bluebird boxes are built to specification, so I don't believe the predator snatched it from inside the box. The mourning doves haven't surprised me, but the jay did because they are so quick. All attacks seem to have happened after dark. What could be killing them and what can I do to protect the birds? Thank you.

Virginia Beach Virginia

3 Responses


This sounds like a domestic cat. Unfortunately it happens all the time. I recommend talking to your neighbors and checking to see if they leave their cats out at night. And if so, ask them to keep their cats inside. You might also check city ordinances to see what the leash law is.

Good luck.

Thank you! I will follow up with neighbors. Could it possibly be a fox?


A fox is certainly a possibility. But given the information you describe, I think a cat is much more likely. Fox generally are not that effective at catching small birds.