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Other Ways You Can Help Wildlife
Always keep dogs and cats under control. Don't let them roam. Cats can disturb, maim, or kill nesting birds as well as young birds just out of the nest during breeding season. The bacteria transmitted in a cat bite will quickly cause infection and become life threatening.
Before you cut down or prune trees and shrubs, check very carefully for nesting birds. You could unintentionally destroy a nest by trimming too closely or destroy the habitats provided in the tree. It is always best to leave dead trees or snags standing. They provide food and shelter for many birds throughout the year. As an added benefit, you can enjoy the wildlife attracted by snags!
Never feed wildlife. Natural diets are always more nutritious for wildlife than human food. Instead of bird feeders, plant native trees, grasses and shrubs for the birds. Bird feeders can be stocked with balanced mixes of different seed, appropriate for the birds in your area. Bird feeders, if used, must be in areas inaccessible to roaming cats, and should be taken down weekly, cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of disease. Old bakery goods do not supply nutritional levels for good health, especially when birds are preparing for migration or breeding.
Many birds depend on insects in and around our backyards. Don't use insecticides - and help protect the health of our wildlife and water resources too. Instead of using dangerous chemicals, contact local conservation groups to obtain ideas for environmentally safe alternatives.
If woodpeckers drum on your house it could mean several things: you may need to have your house inspected for termites, the bird is displaying territorial behavior and communicating with other woodpeckers or it is attempting to begin a nesting cavity. You can try supplying a nest box for them to use. Your local Audubon Society can provide you with instructions.
Reflections from windows can confuse birds. This may cause them to fly into the glass or repeatedly peck at what they see as their competition. Some simple remedies include breaking up the reflections with stickers, decals, or aluminum pie pans. Strips of colored plastic flapping in the wind or balloons with big eyes painted on them also break up the reflective pattern.
Never litter! All species of birds can become easily entangled in man-made products such as plastic, fishing line, cans, and bottles. Struggling to be free of such entrapments often results in serious injury or death. Help by disposing of litter properly, and recycle whatever you can.
If you take a bird to a wildlife rehabilitator, you can help by taking a donation of money, food, or volunteer your time and talents. Keep in mind that these organizations rely solely on donations from caring people like you. Your thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated.
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