Springtime Babies

Springtime Babies

By Margaret DiBenedetto

Springtime is a very busy season for wildlife rehabilitators. Birds and mammals are more plentiful and more active; fresh from winter slumbers or newly arrived from southern climes, they become occupied with territories and reproduction and are less observant of roads and cars, dogs and cats. While accidents and injuries increase at this time, calls about non-emergencies do too.

Here are some guidelines for determining a wildlife emergency:

  1. If you see an uninjured, unaccompanied fawn, leave it alone! Mom will usually retrieve it when you’re not looking. If, after 24 hours the fawn is still in the same location, and you are quite certain the mom has not been by to feed it, please call the state environmental protection office in your area. Call immediately if you know the mother is injured or dead, or if you know the fawn has been injured.
  2. If you find a baby bird that has fallen from its nest and you can safely do so, try to put it back. A common myth is that a mother bird will not accept a baby that has been handled by humans because of the scent. However, songbirds don’t seem to react to odors. This line of reasoning would apply better to mammals. The main goal is to reunite a baby with its best caregiver – Mom.
  3. If you find a mammal that seems injured, out of place, uncoordinated, or friendly, do not approach it. Immediately call your state environmental protection office. There can be many reasons for these conditions, and one of them is rabies.

We all want juvenile birds and animals to be well cared for and looked after. But much of the time, with just a little patience, Mom will come along and do just that.

To those of you who worry about the springtime babies, thank you for caring!