Where the Bluebird Sings

A Wildlife Journal for North Carolina

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Animals aren't toys

The calls start coming in a few days after Easter, harried parents trying to unload the bunnies and chicks their kids got for the holiday. Many of the animals, separated from their mothers too young so store owners can capitalize on the "cute" factor, don't survive long enough to find new homes. Many die from improper feeding or handling by children. Other parents don't bother to call. They dump the animals in the wild, where they're unlikely to survive.

To discourage people from buying them as pets, some farm centers will sell no fewer than 6 chicks to an individual. That's a start.

If your child wants a chick or rabbit for Easter, please say no.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Wildlife Hotline Quiz 2 -- The Answer

So how do you keep a starling from building a nest in a dryer vent? One writer suggested a nylon stocking. That will work, but because of the potential fire hazard if you forget to remove the lint, I would suggest heavy-gauge hardware cloth, which allows lint to disperse but keeps starlings out.

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Puppy Love?

I just took 252 photos of juvenile squirrels practicing mating behavior. Is that wrong?
Here's a question for you: How do I know they're juveniles.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wildlife Hotline Quiz 2 See if you can answer this: The starlings are trying to make a nest in my dryer vent. How can I stop them?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Humane wildlife control

In an earlier post, I mentioned companies that specialize in humane wildlife control. But just because a company calls itself "Humane" doesn't mean it lives up to its promise. Many companies that call themselves humane relocate animals to another area where they are likely to die or leave them too long in live traps where they die from capture myopathy. The Humane Society of the United States offers tips on choosing a reputable company.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wildlife Hotline Questions

During the next few weeks, I'll be posting the types of questions we handle on Wildlife Rehab Inc.'s hotline. Watch for the answers!

Question 1: A squirrel moved into a hole in the outside wall of my house and is trying to gnaw into the drywall inside the house. How can I get him to move out?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Biodiversity's a good thing
http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/02/as-biodiversity-declines-disease-flourishes/ This is one of the best articles I've read on biodiversity. In short, the less genetic diversity in a crop or herd, the greater the risk disease will decimate it. If nothing else, the article will give you a greater appreciation for the opossum. It turns out the opossum, reviled by many for its rat-like tail, plays a big role in controlling the ticks that spread Lyme Disease.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Call of the Wild
It's wildlife baby season. As the days grow warmer and people head outdoors, chances are they'll stumble across animals that may -- or may not -- need help. Before you move a baby animal or bird, call a wildlife rehabilitator to make sure the animal acutally needs rescued. If it does, please place it in a dark, quiet place away from children and pets until you can get it to a wildlife rehabilitator. Handle it as little as possible. And please don't feed it. The food we give our children and pets can harm wild animals. Questions? Call Wildlife Rehab Inc.'s hotline at 336-785-0912.