As winter hits, you may be wondering how you can go about feeding wildlife in the jungle forest.
Birds, deer and squirrels are easy to eat in summer when there are plenty of fruits, vegetables and leaves. But when winter rolls around, wildlife have a big challenge in finding food.
Here’s how and when – lend to help animals in your neighborhood.
Why feed the wildlife
There are many reasons to feed wildlife in winter. The primary reason is to help them survive the cold weather and stay healthy.
Since human development has destroyed the natural resources on which wildlife depends, feeding them is an attempt to correct a wrong.
Feeding wildlife in winter brings us joy and appreciation of the natural world. If you set up a feeding station for birds and squirrels outside a window, your family will get to see their antics as they navigate the idle weather.
In addition, it is a great learning opportunity for the younger members of your family.
When not to feed wildlife
There are reasons for not feeding wildlife. The most common is that you can encourage the habitual. This means that animals are habituated to people and they are no longer afraid.
An animal that gets accustomed can cause some safety issues. For example, a young reindeer, accustomed to getting treatment from his human friends, grows up with four hundred pounds of reindeer with growing hormones and a very flaccid attitude. At this point, he can be quite dangerous.
In a less serious case, you can feed a young raccoon, who later thinks that garbage diving under your house to get out the trash and maybe, is high game.
Always be careful when feeding wildlife that they do not depend or are familiar with you. This means keeping a safe distance and keeping your food in a place that does not encourage them to move around in your home or outside.
Keep studying to learn some natural methods, you can help wildlife in winter without feeding them.
Know your local laws
In addition to the township, some states have laws about feeding game animals such as deer and wild turkey. They have these laws to discourage cutting of wildlife.
Batting occurs when hunters take out foods to attract animals to a specific location and make them easier to shoot. It is illegal in many states.
Birds are probably the easiest animals, be it winter, summer, autumn, or spring. Installing a pair of bird feeders outside your windows can attract all types of birds and give you hours of enjoyment.
Know which species live in your area in winter and what they eat. Some birds eat seeds, some insects, and some, like sparrows, drink nectar. It is important to offer the right types of foods in feeders that are evaluable for the bird.
Try a small, cheap cage-like feeder designed to contain soot cakes. Birds like woodpeckers, cardinals, and flickers will grab cage cords by their feet and eat suits – often upside down.
It is important to find a good area for your bird feeders. You want to discourage window strikes. Window attacks occur when the bird becomes confused by an outside reflection on the glass, flies into the window, and is killed or injured.
To prevent window attacks, locate your bird feeder and bath close to home. Within three feet is best because then the birds are too close to cause death.
Alternatively, you can place your feeders in the yard at least 30 feet from the house. In this way birds are more likely to recognize those windows as a part of the house and not fly into them.
If you are feeding birds and other wildlife in winter, you are feeding squirrels! These are clearly rodent clever and persistent. Keeping them out of your bird feeder can be a challenge.
The squirrel does not hibernate in the winter, but experiences torpor. Torpor is more than a deep nap. The squirrel wakes up in winter and scrambles to collect food from its cache – and of course your feeders!
The answer is to give them their own easy feeding station with corn and big nuts. Then use a squirrel proof feeder for your birds.
Funny to see if the squirrel eats in the feeder or just catches and drives the food.
Squirrels eat nuts, seeds, corn, most vegetables and fruits and grains.
How to feed rabbits
Rabbits need a protected area to feel comfortable eating. A brush pile or landscaping can provide bushes a place for them such that they can hunk for food.
Keep small twigs and branches for them from trees like apple, hawthorn, ash, hazel, poplar, spruce and willow. Root crops such as carrots, beets and turnips are also good. If your winter is particularly snowy, you can add some grass to them.
Deer can be a pleasure to watch. However, if you feed deer, there are two important things to remember. First, feed them a suitable diet, and second, keep the food in a remote location.
There are many feed stores selling corn to feed deer, but corn and other grains are not ideal food for wildlife. They often eat the rash that causes bloat. It can cause severe stomach distress and even death.
Better foods for deer include apples, carrots, and turnips. If you are cutting tall trees, you can stack limbs with beech, birch and wild roses. Deer enjoy eating bark and leaves.
Deer also appreciate grass. Now take out some of the flakes and provide them with fiber and carbs to heat up.
Given their size, antlers and long legs, it is best to give deer plenty of space. Do not feed deer near your home or in your yard. Find a more remote area in a wild or overgrowth location that will be safe for you and deer.
As a wildlife rehabilitator, I often get calls from distressed residents that they have planted their child close to their home – even on the porch.
In reality, the claws are fine and give Mom 24 hours to move Junior. The deer have no objection to being more personal, but resist the temptation to have food for a child close to your home. Trust the mother to handle the situation.
Should I feed foxes and coyotes?
I do not recommend eating non-vegetarian food unless there is a health problem. Feeding foxes and coyotes puts them in close proximity with humans and can endanger both sides.
Having said that, it is common in our modern world to see both these species in urban areas.
You can see foxes or coyotes that are thin, look ill, or have a skin disease called mange. The best thing to do is to call a local wildlife rehabilitator. They can advise you on what to do to help the animal or check with a wildlife officer on them.
You can find a wildlife rehabilitator in the USA using the Animal Help Now app on your computer or phone.
Three Tips for a Backyard Wildlife Habitat
So you are helping wildlife by feeding some supplementary foods in winter. However, wildlife needs two more important things: water and shelter.
Food, water and shelter are considered essential things for all living species to survive.
Water, which is essential for wildlife, can be difficult to find at certain times of the year. In winter it freezes many and in summer it can all dry up.
When you plan your feeding station make sure you add a water feature. A bird can serve as a source of water and sanitation. If there is snow on the ground, your birds can dive for a bath. Cleaning their wings and heating them is really important to them.
A large flat bowl covered in ground that can provide water for mid-sized animals such as raccoons and ocum. Do not keep more than three inches deep so that it is safe for small animals.
You can place the dish on the ground or dig a small hole to place it in a better place. Earth will help insulate it. Rubber feeders found at farm shops are very good for this.
The rubber is flexible and will not crack in cold weather. We focus our attention on virtually removing dirty water or any ice.
Shelter is also important. One simple thing anyone can do is to hang the bird houses. You can find bird houses in many different shapes and styles, as well as bait houses for squirrels and cavity nests.
Along with feeders, your animal friends want specific homes. Know which bird you are helping and what style of home they like. Some species will use bird houses only during the nesting season.
If you live on a farm you may already have brush or wood areas that make a good shelter.
Remember to leave some old trees in your woodlot. These provide homes for many animal species. These are trees that grow edible mushrooms – a treat for you and wildlife.
Are you mowing bushes and trees to manage your landscape? Instead of sending those branches through the chaper, you can create a brush pile behind your property. A brush pike provides shelter for many small animals.
Plant native species
As a gardener, you enjoy planting things that feed your family. Planting native plant species can also be done for animals. The native varieties provide healthy natural foods to feed wildlife during the winter.
Plant flowers and trees that produce seeds, berries, and nuts. In my area oaks, hickory, pawpaw, sumek (tree is not weed), and blackberry are all common.
Idea Source: morningchores.com