May 6, 2013
This Mother's Day, Give Wild Moms a Hand
Make your backyard a safer place for wildlife families
Just like human moms, wildlife moms will do almost anything to help their young thrive. For wild moms, this means creating a safe nest or den, finding food, fending off predators, and teaching their young to find food and escape danger. It's no easy job, but we can help lighten their load.
Make your yard safer
Wild animals have plenty of natural hazards to deal with—don't add to their worries.
- Start by keeping cats indoors and keeping dogs away from nests.
- Help birds out by offering some nesting materials.
- Plant native wildflowers and grasses to provide some extra food.
- Place feeders and birdbaths where birds can quickly fly to safe cover. Make a brush pile to provide shelter, cover, and nesting materials.
- Be cautious when cleaning up your yard. Check grassy areas for rabbits and turtles before mowing, and check trees and bushes before trimming so you don’t down or expose a nest.
- Learn how to recognize when an animal needs help, and keep the phone number for a local wildlife rehabilitator or clinic handy.
Keep wild families out of your house
Wildlife moms looking for safe places to raise their young sometimes make unfortunate choices—like the opossum mom denning under your deck, the raccoon mom checking out your chimney, or the house sparrow mom nesting in your stove vent. Stop problems before they start by performing preventive maintenance.
Be patient with wildlife
If you find a wild family in a place they're unwelcome, remember they're just trying to find a safe place for their young. Whether she’s a chimney swift in your fireplace or a woodchuck in your garden, look for a safe, effective, and humane solution to the problem. If you need to call in a wildlife professional for help, choose carefully to prevent separation of moms and babies or other harm.