As spring births new life, it is important for residents to be mindful of our furry and feathered neighbours.
Wild ARC and the BC SPCA have been sharing tips on how to keep wildlife safe while tidying up our yards and gardens for spring.
“Now that baby season has started, birds and mammals could be stealthily nesting and denning around your home as we speak,” states the BC SPCA website. Wild ARC says to keep a careful eye out when trimming trees or clearing brush, as they can shelter nests of birds and small mammals such as mink and shrews.
“Take care not to disturb any bird nests that could be hidden among the branches. It takes a sharp eye to spot these nests sometimes — hummingbird nests, for instance, can be as tiny as a toonie,” the BC SPCA website adds.
Another tip noted homeowners should take a walk around the property before you mow or weed whack your lawn, as eastern cottontail rabbits build their nests in shallow grooves in the ground, using a mixture of fur and dry grass.
“The mothers do not remain on or near the nest, they leave the bunnies hidden, returning briefly at dusk and dawn to nurse them,” states a Wild ARC Facebook post. “We receive many calls where nests are disturbed while someone is mowing their lawn. Taking these extra steps can prevent the disturbance of the bunny nest and keep the bunnies out in the wild with their mom where they belong.”
Before doing repairs on your roof, keep in mind that raccoons, squirrels and birds often enjoy taking up residency in weak fascia, gutters, loose boards or holes, or in outdoor dryer vents. Wild ARC suggests taking action on repairs early in the spring, before the areas are scoped out for nest sites, or else doing the maintenance late in the fall.
“The smoke shelf in an unused chimney is a typical den site for raccoons. If the damper is closed, this area is the most common space for birds or squirrels to become trapped,” said Wild ARC. “Please consider installing a sturdy, wildlife-proof chimney cap to prevent wild animals from entering the chimney and becoming stuck. Prevention is the best way to stop human-wildlife conflicts.”
Raccoons also tend to roll up turf to access grubs below, and Wild ARC asks that people use non-toxic grub removal products.
“This will not only help your grass, but will prevent poisoning the raccoons with toxic grub removal products,” stated Wild ARC.
Wild ARC has had a successful start to the year, as the organization recently raised over $25,000 through their spring raffle. For more helpful information on how to keep your yard wildlife-friendly, please visit www.spca.bc.ca.
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