Spring has quickly moved into summer and baby birds are getting fed by their parents, the orb (and unfortunately black widow) spiders on our property are growing in size and we see other critters busy raising their young.
Some tips to help them make their transition as smooth as possible:
- For found baby birds: If the fledgling is learning to fly, its parents are watching it and will come feed it wherever it is. If it has fallen out, place them in the nest if you can locate it. It’s a myth that the parents won’t go feed them once humans touch them. Or place it nearby (we’ve taken one of those green baskets that strawberries come in and strapped it up in a tree or bush where we found them)
- For injured birds or larger animals, call the animal rescue in your town – or the local animal shelter which can provide advice or find the right place where trained people rehab animals for release (including staying up all night to feed young babies). Our local center here in Redlands is receiving a lot of calls lately about baby hawks and foxes.
- Hungry youngsters are more likely than rabies or other illnesses. At our San Diego home, a baby raccoon was making a crying sound outside our bedroom and walking in circles. Turns out it was not ill or rabid – just very hungry and the rehab people were able to release it several months later. Many baby raptors, and even crows also have a hard time getting food on their own.
- Keep cats inside and monitor your dogs. I feel compelled to say it again — do wildlife a favor and don’t let cats or dogs kill animals – they are not normal predators and cats especially wreak havoc on wildlife. See my prior post Save a Songbird: Keep Cats Inside.
- Put decals on windows for birds and relocate feeders. Birds hitting windows take a big toll. Here are some resources for making windows more visible to our bird brethren. Window Alert website or 877-733-2753. Also, place bird feeders closer than 3 feet or farther than 30 feet from your windows (See Audubon article Minimizing Window Collisons)
Keep birdbaths, and bird feeders clean. In hot weather it’s important to change water and hummingbird feeders every couple days. See Feeder Maintenance article