Springtime is here, which means that we will be starting to see more and more wildlife babies.
Each species cares for its young in a different manner. Sometimes in our eagerness to help a baby that appears stranded, we may do more harm than good. The general rule is unless an obvious injury is present, hands off is the best policy.
Squirrels are one of the most commonly encountered baby wildlife. They do occasionally fall out of nests, especially following high winds or severe storms. If you see a baby squirrel all alone, you can try to locate their nest. Using a towel or gloves, the squirrel can be placed back into the nest. If no nest is located, move the squirrel to a covered, protected area out of sunlight and hidden from predators. Watch for the parents to return to the nest. Squirrel parents visit their young frequently.
Baby bunnies are very different from squirrels. The parents only return to their young one to two times per day. If an unattended nest is found, that is not uncommon. You can help to protect them by camouflaging the nest with leaves and twigs.
Birds that have no feathers or soft fluffy down feathers can be returned to the nest using gloves or a towel. If the nest cannot be located, you can make a nest in a box with leaves, grass, etc., and place the box in a tree or elsewhere off the ground and secured from predators. A bird that is feathered should simply be moved out of harm’s way.
In the event an obvious injury is present, or with careful observation, no parent has returned, contact a veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitator. Our goal is always to protect our wildlife and allow them to live their lives as wild animals. Never bring one of these animals into your home and attempt to raise it as a pet.