picture: This newborn is a newlywed so his mom hasn’t had time to hide it yet.
April to September are the busiest months for wildlife moms and babies. Warm weather arrived and wooded areas and backyards were filled with newborns – deer, birds, rabbits, squirrels and raccoons. Chances are, you might find a wild child all alone, seemingly helpless, and you’ll want to save them. please do not.
It’s hard to resist a little fallen bird or a little rabbit, nest out of them, or a fawn looking lost and lonely, almost out of sight. What kind-hearted person wouldn’t want to help lovable creatures?
If you think they need your help, please stop. Leave the area. The children are fine, and their mother has deliberately left to find food for her so that she can feed her young. She did not abandon her children, but if she carried them or took them far from where their mother had left them, she would kidnap and endanger them, and very likely shorten their life.
But . . . This kid looked like he needed help! Maybe not. Here are some guidelines that wildlife professionals recommend.
For the first few weeks of their lives, elk do not try to escape predators. Instead, they stand still to avoid being seen. An antelope cannot be in two places at once, so it hides its fawn – often twins in separate locations – from predators in secluded areas such as a flower bed, garden, or even a roadside ditch.
The hidden antelope has almost no smell, so it is difficult for predators to find it. A hare is usually nearby and tends to fawn four to six times a day for the first few weeks of her life, and less frequently as she gets older. If the antelope is lying quietly, leave it alone, and leave the area. He does not refuse their costume if the human scent is nearby, but it is bad to touch the shade or stay in the zone. If you do, you’ve added a layer of human scent and could invite a curious wolf or dog or investigate, jeopardizing the fake.
If you find a fawn walking around or crying, he is afraid. Is it close to the side of the road? Is there a wounded or dead doe nearby? Now is the time to step in by calling in a wildlife rehabilitation specialist. Use your cell phone to search for “wildlife rehabilitation professionals near me” and ask for help.
Equally important: Don’t try to feed the antelope. Keep other people and pets away from the deer until help arrives.
It is not unusual in the spring and early summer to find a small bird on the ground. Many birds hatch and often leave or fall from their nests before they can fly. If the bird does not have feathers, return it to the nest.
If you can’t find the nest, place it on a branch or out of reach of cats and dogs. If the bird has feathers, leave it alone. If it hops on the ground, it is not an infant, but a newborn, and very close to making its first flight. If the bird is not in danger, leave it where you find it. The mother bird will find it and feed it to the ground.
Do not feed young birds or chick. Birds have very specific diets and feeding them something that is not part of their diet can kill them.
You may find a bird’s nest in an unusual location, perhaps inside a garland installed on your front door or in the eaves of your home. Do not move nests if they contain eggs or young birds. It may seem annoying, but wait until the young birds have left the nest before removing the nest from its inconvenient location.
Also, if you plan to prune shrubs, always take a good look at the inner branches to see if there are birds nesting inside.
Hares hide their nests in plain sight, often in the middle or in the middle of the lawn, in tall grass or brush pile. If you find a disturbed nest, restore it and protect it from cats and dogs. Mama’s bunny may not be easily seen, but she is right around the corner. Female rabbits, also known as dolls, return to their nests at night to call and feed their babies.
Do not try to save a nest of hares. According to the House Rabbit Society, the truth is that less than 10% of the “orphaned” rabbits people try to “rescue” will survive for a week. The best thing you can do is cover the nest with grass or twigs and keep the dog or cat away. Also, do not attempt to feed or move the hares.
If you have a pet cat, be gentle with young wild animals and keep your cat indoors. Your sweet cat is a predator of wildlife, and domesticated cats have killed millions of birds as well as other baby mammals. Cats that live indoors also live longer and healthier lives.
State and federal laws protect and regulate wildlife, and the role of trained and licensed wildlife rehabilitators is usually limited to owning or caring for local wildlife. Laws in place benefit humans and wild animals alike.
Resources — Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Domestic Rabbit Society, Cornell Ornithological Laboratory.