I want to share some great information with the public to help educate them when it comes to baby wildlife. For instance,the cottontail rabbits. Did you know that the mom will only feed them at dawn and dusk? By the time they are 3 inches in size which is about 3 weeks old, they are old enough to be on their own. When people call in about possible orphaned bunnies we always tell them to put small twigs and grass cuttings on top of the nest and wait til the next morning to see if the nest has been disturbed. This is a great indication whether the mom has been there to feed them.
Raccoons are another popular call we get at our shelter. Again, just because the mom is not with them does not mean the mom is dead or left them. Their milk doesn’t come in by magic so she too has to go out and forage for food to keep up her milk supply and strength. And yes, they sometimes come out during the day. Did you know that it can take up to 4 days for a mom to transfer her babies to a different location if her nest has been disturbed?
Baby birds is probably the most called in concern from the public. We get calls saying “I see a bird in my back yard hopping around and I think it’s injured.” Most likely the baby bird is fine and is learning how to fly. Most of us think that they learn how to fly from their nest. Nope, wrong again. They learn how to fly from the ground and their mom is close by watching them very closely for predators.
People who let their cats roam outside should be ashamed of themselves! Cats are number one on the list as to why we get in so many injured baby birds and bunnies. They are easy prey for cats because they are so vulnerable when they are young. As per our city by law cats are not allowed to roam off their owner’s property. So keep them indoors!!
Next time you see one of these baby wildlife just ask yourself, are they really in need of assistance? I understand that mother nature can be cruel and we try to step in to help, but sometimes it makes things worse for the little ones. I truly believe in the saying Let Mother Nature take its course. Sometimes we just need to leave wildlife alone.
If you see any injured baby wildlife yes please call your local shelter but be prepared to provide us with all the details for the questions we may be asking you so we can properly assess the situation to see if they really need help.
I attached a picture of a robin’s nest with 3 eggs in it. The nest is just outside my house door.
Watch our website to find out about our animals and events. Come and spend the day with us on Saturday. It’s Dogfest, fun for you and your canine pal! HERE ARE SOME ANIMALS AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION NOW AT THE NIAGARA FALLS HUMANE SOCIETY……!
Why not come down for and meet your new furever friend! DETAILS: www.nfhs.ca
MORE ABOUT DOGFEST…
This week’s article written by: Jen Wanless RVT
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