Bird Expert Convicted in Cat Poison Bid Researcher wrote on the feline menace to birds By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Nov 3, 2011 3:19 PM CDT 67 comments Comments A bird researcher has been found guilty of attempted cat poisoning. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – A Smithsonian bird researcher has been convicted of animal cruelty after she tried to poison the local cat population. Nico Dauphine, 38, was caught on a security tape standing in front of a bowl of cat food outside a DC apartment building, the Los Angeles Times reports. She said she was just getting rid of the food to keep strays away, but prosecutors said Dauphine—who has penned papers on cats’ threat to birds—was dropping rat poison into the food, which was never eaten. She has resigned from her Smithsonian job at the National Zoo and faces up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine.