“Ravens raised babies in that nest last year,” reported a Highlands Mobile Home Community resident in a recent call to Eastern Sierra Wildlife Care. “Our tree needs to come down but we’re afraid there are eggs or babies in the nest. It’s too high to see into.”
Concerned for the birds, and aware of the federal and state laws that forbid destruction of active bird nests, Director Cindy Kamler counseled Highlands management, residents, and Allen’s Tree Service to find a solution. Using a special lift, the tree-trimming crew was able to see into the nest and determine it was not in use. The tree and nest could be removed. “We were pleased to see how everyone worked together to resolve the situation,” said Kamler.
Tree-trimming and removal is best done in fall or winter before our native wild birds build or refurbish nests and lay eggs. “We send out mailings to remind folks to look carefully for nesting birds before pruning or removing limbs.” Kamler explained. “Most bird parents hide nests and camouflage them to keep their young safe from predators, and that makes it hard for us to see them. If a nest does come down, call us immediately for help.”
Along with tending to trees, hedges and shrubs, many homeowners have also begun work in their gardens. Trees attract birds looking for nesting sites; gardens attract birds and small mammals for many reasons. Turned earth draws in worm and insect-eating birds such as Robins, Kestrels and Blackbirds as well as worm gourmets such as skunks. Flowering plants bring in Hummingbirds, butterflies and Orioles; fruits and vegetables appeal to Cottontails and ground squirrels.
Wildlife can be helpful in the garden by pollinating some plants or eating insects that damage fruit or vegetables. Cindy recollects, “I’ll never forget watching a House Sparrow wrestling with a giant green tomato worm.”
Sometimes animals take a larger “share” of your harvest than you are willing to give.
“ESWC offers a free Living with Wildlife in the Garden handout and counsel on methods for excluding unwanted nibblers. There are many non-toxic, non-lethal ways to discourage wildlife from taking too much,” said Assistant Director Kelly Bahr. “Please don’t hesitate to give us a call for advice and assistance in making a “Garden of Eden” for you and your wild neighbors.”