Living with our wild neighbors

I have always relished the opportunity to see wild animals in their natural environments.  To me it is more exciting and to be able to witness them here than at a zoo.  Just last year we had a family a Bard Owls residing in the woods near my parents house.  It was so exciting to watch the babies grow up and see them learn to fly and hunt.  We were able to get pretty close to these birds, close enough to get some really great photos, but still maintaining a safe distance knowing these owls are wild predators.
I hope they return this summer so that I can have another opportunity to see them living freely.
Below are some tips, courtesy of the Animal Rescue League of Boston, on living in harmony with our wild neighbors.
  1. Keep cats indoors to prevent them from being injured and to protect birds.
  2. Cap your chimneys to prevent birds and small mammals from becoming trapped.
  3. To prevent animals from returning to attics, eaves and crawl spaces, place ammonia-soaked rags near nesting areas, or place a radio turned to a high volume in the area.
  4. Keep tree branches trimmed to prevent wildlife from accessing your roof.
  5. Keep garage and shed doors shut at night. If an animal goes into a garage or shed, simply leave the door open for a few hours after dark and the animal will eventually leave.
  6. Tamper-proof your garbage cans.
  7. If a mother and her young are living on your property, they will only stay a few weeks so wait until after they have left to prevent other animals from coming so as not to interfere with the mother caring for her young.
  8. If you are having pest control remove an animal, make sure they thoroughly check for its offspring since often times they are left behind.

Following these simpler tips will help keep you, your home, and your wild neighbors safe and happy this summer!