At this time of the year, phones at wildlife rehabilitators and nature centers alike light up with questions about baby animals, especially birds and rabbits. Most of the time, the call is coming from a concerned citizen, wondering what to do about seemingly orphaned wildlife. Did the mother abandon it? Will it make it on its own? Should I take it to a rehabber? Should I take care of it myself? All of these are valid concerns, and I thought I would use this week's discussion to answer a few of these most common questions.
Did the mother abandon it?
|This American robin fledgling is perfectly |
healthy and is waiting for its parents to
deliver its next meal.
|Even a rabbit this small |
can take care of itself!
Should I take the animal to a rehabber?
If the animal that you find does not seem to be doing well on its own as described above, I recommend that you first call the wildlife rehabilitation center before moving the animal. These professionals will ask you questions to gauge the status of the animal and will be able to then make the proper call of whether it would benefit from additional human help. Moving an animal unnecessarily may do more harm than good. Also, many wildlife rehabilitators are individuals operating out of their homes and may not be home if you show up without calling first.
Should I nurse the animal back to health myself?
|As cute as they may be, it's not a good idea |
to try to raise wild animals yourself.
This spring, enjoy watching all of the wildlife babies around you and appreciate the tireless efforts of their dedicated parents. And if you happen to meet a wildlife rehabber this spring, thank them for their tireless efforts as well!