Ah, Spring is in the air! Dark gloomy days are being broken up by bright warm days full of the fresh smell of dew. I am enjoying evening walks at dusk again, and the paths are guided by rows of daffodils. Let’s learn how can you help local wildlife in spring?
What’s happening to local wildlife in Spring?
We all learned in primary school that Spring is such an important time of year for animals. They welcome their newborns into the world and by doing so, ensure their dynasty continues, their genes are passed on and their species survives.
What animals are born in spring?
Here, in the UK, there are so many baby animals to keep a watchful eye out for, including:
- Fox cubs (March – May)
- Otter kits (March – May)
- Cygnets (May – June)
- Seal pups (February – April)
- Fawns (May – June)
How to help local wildlife in Spring?
1. Put a bell on your cat
This is one that I am certainly doing. Now the weather is warming up, and it’s not as wet, I’ve noticed our rescue cat Jynx is starting to go out on the prowl again. Sadly, there have already been a few victims, mice and birds alike, but that’s just part of life!
According to the RSPB, there isn’t any scientific evidence to say that cats are causing the UK bird population to decline. However, there are some species of bird, such as house sparrows and greenfinches, that are already struggling and could do without being hunted by pet cats.
One really simple way of reducing the number of victims cats bring in is to add a bell to their collar. It might sound like Christmas around the house, but at least one or two birds might get away! Jynx doesn’t seem to mind anyway.
2. Plant these to save the bees
Spring is a great time of the year to plant seeds. Pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, are critical to helping an ecosystem survive and thrive. We all know that the bee population is in decline, and one way to support the current population is to plant their favourite goodies: flowers.
3. Decorate your windows to stop bird-collisions
It’s estimated that one billion birds each year are killed by glass collisions in the United States. As humans, we use frames to anticipate glass, although I will be the first to admit I’ve run into a glass door more than once. Birds don’t understand this, instead, they perceive reflective glass as literal objects.
They see food, shelter or an escape route. Although many birds are simply shocked by the collision, many don’t survive it! To avoid collisions and bird-shaped dust prints on your windows, you need to break up the reflection, so birds know something’s in the way. This is super simple. Use stickers or get creative with a marker pen.
4. Help local wildlife in spring by checking before mowing
This next tip is one that you can do all year round. Many of us haven’t needed to cut the grass or trimming hedges or trees through the winter, so some animals may have taken shelter here. Before taking the mower or a pair of shears out, check for any local wildlife.
Better yet, leave a patch of grass to grow wild and don’t mow it all! This creates a wonderful natural habitat for garden wildlife, like insects and shrews, to flourish.
5. Know when baby animals need rescuing
This final tip is a very important one for Spring. With so many baby animals about, you might come across one that’s all alone and feel like it needs rescuing. Although this is very kind of you, the young animal might not need rescuing at all. In most cases with baby animals, the best thing for them is to stay with their parents rather than be taken to a shelter.
PETA has published a handy guide to determine whether an animal needs rescuing or not. For example, fawns are often mistaken for orphans because they found alone and very still. In fact, it’s just waiting for its mother to return.