Common Sense Precautions That All Citizens Should Practice
- Keep tree branches trimmed away from your home
- Seal openings to your crawl space, attic or roof
- Cover dryer, stove and exhaust vents
- Consider a chimney cover to prevent birds from nesting there
- Do not feed pets out of doors, or immediately remove food dishes after a pet has eaten
- Keep pet rabies vaccinations current at all times
- Keep pets confined to prevent contact with wildlife. Bring pets indoors at night.
- Secure pet doors at night.
- Do not feed wildlife; this will encourage them to return. It may also lead them to expect other humans, who might be fearful of wildlife, to feed them
- Keep garbage tightly secured
- Do not chase, corner or try to pet or touch wildlife
Sites with Techniques That Will Deter or Discourage Wildlife
Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators
- What does CASU do about wildlife?
Chesapeake Animal Services does not routinely pick up wild animals or provide traps for this purpose. Officers will respond if:
- A wild animal is inside the dwelling portion of a residence
- A wild animal is sick or injured
- A wild animal is an orphaned baby
- A wild animal that is a mammal has caused any type of exposure to a pet or human
- A wild animal is in the act of menacing or attacking a person or pet so as to pose a direct and immediate threat to public safety
- I am afraid my family or pets might be attacked by wildlife. What should I do?
Citizens may be concerned about perceived dangers from these animals. In reality, a person is 700 times more likely to be harmed by a dog or a cat than one of these animals. However, wildlife is naturally drawn to food sources. The best way to discourage wildlife from visiting your property is not to provide such a food source. This may include removing bird feeders at least temporarily. As for your pet, he or she is much more likely to attack wildlife than the other way around. If your pet is injured as a result, it may have to be quarantined. The best way to protect your pet is to keep them away from wildlife and make sure rabies vaccinations are current. (See What Should I Know About Rabies?)
- What about birds?
It is unlawful to disturb or destroy the nests of song birds or migratory birds.
CASU gets many calls during the spring and summer for "injured" birds. In reality, most of these are fledglings. These are baby birds that are just beginning to feather and have left the nest to learn to fly. They are still being fed by parents. How do you tell if a bird is a fledgling?
- Does this bird have short wing and tail feathers?
- Does it hop on the ground and maybe fly for very short distances?
- Does it call to its parents and open its mouth to be fed?
- Observe closely from a distance. Are the parents close by?
Fledglings are much better off if left alone so that the parents can care for them. They are experiencing an extremely important part of their development towards independence.
If you are really concerned that a cat or other predator may harm the fledgling, you may fashion a "nest" out of the bottom portion of a milk carton or 2 liter soda bottle. Thread the top portion of your "nest" with string or twine so that it can hang in a bush or tree, or nail it to a tree. Punch small holes in the bottom and put some bedding in your "nest" then place the fledgling inside. It will call to its parents, and they are probably close by in any case. It is NOT true that if you touch the bird, its parents will abandon it.