There is a pair of ducks that have been visiting our yard for four or five years now every summer. (They are not the same ducks in the above photo, which was taken over a decade ago. I’ll try to get a new photo up soon.) The ducks use our pool, which has basically been converted into a large, artificial pond. What’s interesting is that they arrived earlier this week, which is almost two months ahead of schedule!
I’ve also noticed that the forsythia are already in full bloom, which is about a month ahead of schedule. I hope to write more about the ducks later, but the reason for this post, which is my first of the year, is to share an important message about what you can do to help the wildlife in your yard and to let you know about a great organization and resource for wildlife based here on Long Island called Volunteers for Wildlife.
Because of the unseasonably warm weather, many of us are getting a head start on yard work — cleaning the garden beds and pruning trees and shrubs. But it’s important to be cognizant that this is also a delicate and stressful time of year for wildlife. Food is scarce and many young are taking their first steps out into the world.
Volunteers for Wildlife is currently getting many calls from people who are finding distressed wildlife in their yards. The latest edition of their newsletter has tips for what you can do to minimize the chances of inadvertently hurting wildlife:
– Conduct tree trimming or removal only in the late fall & winter
(mid-October through early February)
– Be exceptionally vigilant when driving! Squirrels are busy building & maintaining nests and finding extra food
– Supervise pets when outdoors. Juvenile squirrels beginning to explore outside of the nest commonly fall victim to our pets
Although the above tips specifically reference squirrels, they apply just as well for birds.