Wildlife Babies in Spring
With the onset of spring, temperatures rise and so does wildlife activity as fur and feathers busy themselves for breeding season, nest building and young rearing. This activity is a joyous time after the dull days of winter, however for many homeowners this brings with it its own set of problems.
Your Home: Their Home
Expecting parents and mothers in particular seeking out refuge away from predators will explore people's homes and structures to nest and birth their young. Depending on the species, various structural nooks and crannies may be used as potential residential options.
Here are some considerations when it comes to sharing your home with a growing wildlife family.
- Heightened wildlife activity can either be seen or heard especially during the nest preparation stage and when babies become mobile.
- Should you suspect wildlife in your home, call a wildlife professional - not only will they be equipped to identify the species but also provide the best approach for both you the homeowner and the wildlife tenants, as some mothers will attack if they feel that their babies are being threatened.
- Ensure that the wildlife and pest control professional is reputable and humane in dealing with babies. If they are removing PINK HAIRLESS BABIES, it is inhumane and unacceptable!
- It is important to identify whether young are present and if so, their developmental stage, before any remedial action is taken to remove and exclude the individuals.
- If a mother is excluded out of a structure without her babies, this poses the risk of her young being abandoned and die from lack of heat or dehydration, alternatively she may frantically try to re-enter which can result in extensive structural damage to your home.
- If babies are mobile and able to walk themselves to a new nesting site or be carried by their mother without the risk of exposure/body heat loss/dehydration; then exclusion and removal with a pest-proofing, a one-way door and a reuniting box can be successfully used.
- If babies are immobile, especially during the early stages of development when they are hairless, blind and deaf; it is inhumane to exclude the mother and physically remove the young at such a vulnerable stage in their lives. Providing the young family with a 2 week window period before removing, will allow the babies a fighting chance of survival.
- As soon as the family has departed, it is essential that all access holes and possible structural flaws be addressed as wildlife will return to the same nesting space year after year unless prevented from doing so.
So Who Can I Expect?
Preferred home: Apt climbers - attics (insulation included) and chimneys; spaces below additions - sheds, decks, garages and porches
Babies: Mothers give birth to 2-5 babies once a year during late spring: March/April. However if this litter doesn't survive, she is able to reproduce a second litter. Known as kits, raccoon young are born with their eyes closed but are capable of loud vocalization often mistaken for bird chattering. Dependent on their mothers for at least 12 weeks, the young will stay with their mothers up to a year before moving away.
Preferred home: Spaces below additions - sheds, decks, garages and porches
Babies: Breeding once a year, a female skunk will produce between 4-6 babies, known as kits between April - September. Born blind with their striped patterns visible through their skin; kits are only able to spray out of defense at three weeks old. After weaning at 4 weeks, mother skunks will venture outside the den with her young between six and eight weeks old.
Preferred home: Attics, walls and chimneys
Babies: Litters of up to 9 young, squirrels will give birth twice a year: March/April and July/August. Arriving pink, blind and hairless; the young are dependent on their mothers until around 10 weeks of age when they are weaned and leave the den site with their mother a month thereafter.
Preferred home: Attics, walls, sheds and decks
Babies: A pair of rats/mice can reproduce up to 2000 offspring per annum! Litters can be produced every few weeks up to 17 per year with an average of 5 - 10 pups per litters. Born pink, blind and hairless; baby rodents will open their eyes after 2 weeks and start to be weaned from their mother at 4 weeks of age.
Preferred home: Different birds have specific nesting habits and preferences. While some are cavity nesters, others just require a relatively flat-surface. Keep a look out for any holes, eaves, overhangs, balconies, attics, roof soffits angles, chimneys, vents or outlets as they may provide the ideal habitat for breeding.
Chicks: Depending on the species and respective breeding seasons, eggs are laid at differing times of the year with the majority of birds breeding during spring and summer to provide young with enough of a chance before the colder months arrive.
Pigeons: Breeding year-round, weather dependent. Pigeons lay 2 eggs, which once hatched take 4 weeks until the chicks are fledged. A pair can produce up to 6 broods per year.
Starlings: Breeding season between February - July. Nesting in cavities, females lay 4-6 eggs which after hatching, the chicks require three weeks until fledging.
Seagulls: A protected species. During the breeding season between May - August, seagulls lay and raise up to 3 eggs. Chicks are very active and may fall from nests. As seagulls may reuse the same nest site year after year, old nests should be removed prior to the new breeding season to deter their presence.
Woodpeckers: A protected species. Breeding season between March - June. Females will lay 2-5 white eggs within their excavated cavity nest, incubated by both parents, the chicks will fledge approximately 1 month after hatching.
Wildlife In Your Home: We Can Help
Should you suspect wildlife to be living and raising a family in your home, contact us today - our team at Humane Solutions are experienced in species identification and species-specific management. We are professional and considerate of the animals' well-being while ensuring your concern is addressed and problem is solved.
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