Springtime brings an abundance of wildlife. With a rise in temperature, many animals come out of winter hibernation. Here are three easy ways you can help and enjoy the wildlife in your backyard this season.
1. Leave Baby Animals Where You Find Them
Mother knows best! Baby animals are very difficult to care for and most wildlife rehablitators recommend that you leave wild animals where you find them. Most baby animals that appear to be abandoned, are in fact being cared for by their mothers. Deer commonly leave their fawns in wooded areas and only visit a few times a day. Rabbits only visit their nest two or three times a day. Another common myth is that if you touch a baby bird, their mother will smell your scent and abandon their nest. Aside from some large birds of prey, most wild birds actually don’t have much of a sense of smell! If you see a baby bird on the ground, you can place the baby back in the nest.
Of course, there may be a time when an animal does need your help. Some circumstances where you may need to intervene:
- If an animal appears injured or sick (i.e., obvious signs of injury, visible blood, or limping)
- If an animal is stuck or in an unsafe situation (i.e., trapped in a fence, stuck in the road)
- If you suspect a nest has been abandoned
- For rabbits, you can leave two sticks in the shape of an X over the nest. If it is not disturbed for over 12 hours, then it is best to call a wildlife rehabilitator.
If you find yourself in a position where you are concerned about the well-being of a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitation center. It is best to leave the care of wildlife to the professionals!
2. Provide Nesting Materials
Springtime is when most wild birds in North America begin to build nests in preparation for hatching young. You’d be surprised to find you have many household items that would work as nesting materials for birds! Yarn, cloth strips, wool, and even dog fur (that has not been treated with flee and tick prevention) are great options. You can also gather natural materials from your yard, such as grass clippings and twigs. Click here to read my tutorial on how to make a DIY nesting material craft.
3. Get a Birdhouse
Whether you choose to purchase a bird house or decide to make your own, bird houses provide a safe environment for birds to nest and raise their young. There are a few key things you can do to make your birdhouse habitable.
- Your birdhouse should be located in a quiet area of your yard that is unlikely to be disturbed.
- Make sure the hole is a small enough. A larger hole means potential predators can make their way in. About two inches in diameter should be the perfect size.
- The birdhouse should be raised off the ground at least five feet.
I hope you enjoyed these tips! For more information on how you can help wildlife in different seasons, check out the links below.