5 ways to help wildlife in spring
With spring just around the corner, it's time for many animals to emerge from their winter hideouts and getaways. It's a challenging time of the year for wildlife as they strive to adapt to a changing environment. Routines like finding food and shelter become difficult as resources have become scarce throughout the winter.
By Julian Victor, wildlife filmmaker
Here are some ways to help local wildlife bounce back into spring!
1. Help Migrating Birds
Many bird species will return north from their winter retreats towards the end of March. You can welcome them by ensuring your property is safe for them. Every year millions of birds are killed by colliding with home and office windows. Reflecting glass can appear as trees or the sky. You can help to make your windows safer by applying visual markers to the outside of the glass.
Turn off the lights
Many birds fly at night, and lights from your windows can disorient them, throw them off course, and cause them to get trapped.
Top up and clean bird feeders
In early spring, nights are still cold, and food is scarce. Readily available food can help restore bird health, which helps with breeding and raising chicks. Be careful though. Bird feeders can spread diseases like Salmonella. Make sure they're correctly cleaned by taking apart your feeder and running it through your dishwasher or hand washing it with soap regularly. Keep them maintained by checking for moldy seeds and droppings to minimize the risk of spreading anything.
2. Careful Spring Cleaning
As spring begins, we're all eager to get outside to spruce up the lawn and garden. However, trimming trees or filling holes in the ground may disrupt crucial spots where wildlife may have taken shelter for the winter. Before cutting, clearing, or mowing, carefully check your yard for any hidden wildlife to prevent injuring or orphaning them.
3. Plant for Pollinators
Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators are essential to our ecosystems and food production. Many of these species, unfortunately, are declining due to habitat loss and pesticide use, so having your gardens cater to pollinators will help their numbers increase. Planting native species that produce seeds also help birds.
4. Keep Cats Indoors
Please keep cats indoors. They kill millions of birds and small mammals each year, so leashes and constant supervision are always required when enjoying the outdoors with your feline.
5. Mindful Exploration
When hiking and enjoying nature this spring, you can help wildlife by sticking to pathways, throwing out litter properly, and keeping dogs on leashes.
By following these tips, you can help support wildlife on their return for spring as they continue to play an essential part in preserving our local ecosystems.
Wildlife is everywhere; let's keep it there!
Julian Victor is a wildlife filmmaker from Toronto. He's worked on projects for National Geographic, Smithsonian and currently he works for Canada’s top morning show Breakfast Television, where he produces content on wildlife conservation and hosts a monthly segment called On the Wild Side.
Julian's mission is to educate people from all walks of life about our planet, its inhabitants, and how to preserve them. He's always on the lookout for diverse conservation stories to raise awareness for our natural world and is particularly fond of wildlife thriving in our bustling urban environments. From the large colonies of double-crested cormorants nesting along Toronto's waterfront to turkey vultures perching on a building just below a busy downtown intersection, he believes wildlife is everywhere, you just have to look.
Check out more of Julian’s amazing wildlife photography on Instagram (@jv_wild).