The Painted Bunting’s Public Enemy Number One Has Been Captured

Stalker cat (via Brooklyn Bird Club)
Stalker cat (via Brooklyn Bird Club)

The magnificent painted bunting that showed up on November 29 in Prospect Park is the first of what was a never-before-seen public character: the celebrity bird. But now, Brooklyn’s beloved rainbow-coated creature has experienced the dark side of celebrity: death threats. Only these come in the form of a cat.

Since Sunday, at least, a black and white predatory feline was spotted being a real creeper around the celebrity bunting. Rather than displaying healthy adoration, the cat typified the kind of obsessive interest that can quickly turn violent and tragic when not addressed. After all, cats are a serious threat to birds! Birds have wings, you might say, can’t they just fly away? Well, no, it’s not that simple. First, cats are smarter than birds, even when that bird is a celebrity bunting. And they pounce: this feline predator was caught making a dash for the bird—a classic cat behavior. Word quickly spread about this alarming attack and a hunt for stalker cat ensued; a trap was set. Yesterday morning, finally, the cat hunt came to an end.

According to the New York Post, wildlife expert Marty Woess, who works with Prospect Park, reported “the cat look[ed] a little embarrassed,” but was not hurt in the least during its capture (two raccoons, however, were collateral-damage-caught). An animal rescue center received the stalker cat. It will be “rehabbed… if it needs some work” (though it does not appear to be feral), and put up for adoption.

So, painted bunting fans, you can rest easier tonight. Our local celebrity bird is safer today than it was yesterday. And he’s easy enough to spot in the park; we hear the bird’s gotten great at posing for pictures—we can’t blame him, it’s great to be adored. Until things turn stalky.


  1. Sensationalized for no reason. An abandoned cat used to human company but not trusting. Did anyone actually see the cat stalk the bird?? Doubt it but I’m glad the bird brought attention to the cat who may now have the opportunity for a better life.


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