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San Diego Humane Society

Five Ways to Be a Friend to Wild Animals

There are different ways you can be a good neighbor, so here are five tips based on common animals in the San Diego region.

  1. Trim Trees in Fall: When trees are dormant, that’s the best time for trimming. As the weather warms, local wildlife begin building their nests in trees, so trimming in spring and summer can lead to the destruction of bird’s nests and wildlife habitats. If a nest is actively in use, the US Fish & Game’s Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits disturbing nests and can levy fines if the regulation is disregarded.
  2. Don’t Use Rat Poison: Young raptors will often eat dead mice and other rodents and will become ill from the poison. Appreciate raptors for their natural ability to control rodents.
  3. Cover Reflective Windows: Use non-reflective cellophane, a screen or a similar material to prevent birds from crashing into them.
  4. Watch Your Pets: Accompany small pets outdoors, especially during the winter raptor migration months of September through April. Keep your pet cat indoors if you have finches in your yard. Due to their tiny size, finches are easy prey to an agile cat.
  5. Feed Birds: Most people enjoy watching songbirds. They are frequent visitors to bird feeders throughout the year, particularly if stocked with sunflower or nyjer seed, and will congregate at hanging nyjer sock feeders. Do not place finch feeders near a window, because they may fly to the feeder reflected in the window and injure themselves on the glass. Install only free-standing bird feeders in sites where squirrels cannot get access; keep them away from shrubs and overhanging tree limbs, and put the feeder on a metal pole at least 6 feet high.
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