CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As warmer weather approaches this spring, you can expect to see more wildlife in your yard, including fawn, baby birds and newborn bunnies.
If you happen to find one of these animals in your yard, experts recommend you leave it alone. Unless the animal shows clear signs of injury, they do not need your help. Sometimes even attempting to help these wildlife can do more harm than good.
MassWildlife says that finding a young animal alone does not mean they have been abandoned. Adults are usually nearby and will only visit when there are no predators around.
Most wild birds and mammals are protected by law, they can not be taken from wildlife and kept as pets. Young animals removed from nature deny them important natural learning experiences that help them survive on their own. Caring for a young animal can result in an attachment or reliance on that person and in return can cause the animal to be attacked by domestic animals or hit by a car.
What to do if you find a baby bird:
Baby birds may look helpless but they do not need any help unless you can identify a broken wing or other injury. If you find a hatchling or baby bird without any feathers outside their nest, you can help place it back in its nest. Parent birds will not reject the baby if you touch it.
If you find a fledging near a road, you can move it to a safer location. Unfortunately, young birds naturally have a low survival rate which helps keep their population low.
What to do if you find a fawn:
Young deer will be born in the coming months of May and June, In western Massachusetts, it can be common to see a fawn alone for several days in your yard. MassWildlife recommends you not interact with it. The fawn may seem motionless or vulnerable but these are normal behaviors for fawns.
Fawn are the safest when alone because they can remain undetected by predators through their camouflaging colors. A doe will visit infrequently to nurse the fawn. However, if humans repeatedly visit the fawn, it may prevent the doe from feeding them.
A fawn can not be cared for by wildlife rehabilitators. If you find a fawn visibly injured or near a dead doe, you can call MassWildlife at 508-389-6300.
What to do if you find bunnies or other young mammals:
Young mammals like baby bunnies are only visited a few times a day to prevent any predators from finding them. In most cases, it is best to leave them alone. These animals are safer alone because of their camouflaging colors and lack of scent.
If you do find a young animal in your yard, it is recommended to leash your pets until that animal is no longer there. This helps keep the young animals and your pets safe.