Spring Wildlife Tips
From the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre
"My husband was up on the ladder blocking off a hole
in our soffit that we had noticed a squirrel coming
from when I read your advice about wildlife and the
birthing season and visited the website Ė thank
goodness we were warned just in time".
The advice on
this website saves thousands of Ottawa residents money, frustration and heartache each year.
- The birthing season for wildlife is at its peak
between April and July. Females seek out covered
shelter in attics, chimneys and under steps as a
safe spot to have their young, away from predators,
when their newborn babies are most vulnerable.
- Remember, it is a TEMPORARY situation. The safest
and most humane option is to give a brief grace
period until the babies are weaned and coming out to
forage with mother, when they can all move to a
natural area, before undertaking your
- Orphans are created when people trap and relocate a
nursing mother, block her access to an attic or
soffit or remove her babies in the hope that she
will take them some place else.
- Think twice about using a wildlife removal company
or relocating an animal yourself. It is illegal,
under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Act, to relocate any wild animal beyond one
kilometer of the point of capture.
- Besides, with mother gone, abandoned hungry babies
in an attic are often in inaccessible areas and can
fall between walls requiring expensive drywall
removal or, if they are under steps, die and create
bad and long-lasting smells.
- Even those companies that say they offer a humane
service can give you no guarantee they wonít end up
creating orphans and, with little help available for
wildlife, it is wise not to take the risk.
- Research all your options before taking action. An
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure so
www.wildlifeinfo.ca for free, objective
- Before taking down a tree or removing
branches, check to make sure there arenít leaf nests
or cavities that would be home to babies that would
be too young to escape.
- If you find a nest of baby squirrels or raccoons
when cleaning out a shed or garage, put it back
intact exactly as youíve found it and give the
mother a few days to relocate her young. A nest of
baby rabbits in your garden should also be left
alone as the mother only returns during the night or
at dusk to feed her young.
- If your barbecue hasnít been used for
awhile, check it out thoroughly before lighting as
red squirrels and mice will sometimes have a nest of
babies under the grill.
- Fresh new shoots on ornamental shrubs
attract groundhogs and rabbits when their natural
vegetation is still not plentiful. Use plastic
garden mesh to protect plants and discourage
wildlife from the habit of coming to your garden.
There are also a number of taste and smell
deterrents noted on the website to help you keep
wildlife away from flower and vegetable gardens.
www.wildlifeinfo.ca for all your