The man who rescued this Carolina Wren never intended for this to happen. He had a moth infestation so he called an exterminator, who put down glue traps all around the house. A few days later, he found the wren on the trap in distress.
It was simply attracted to all the bugs and became stuck! Thankfully no bones were broken (which usually happens to birds and mammals on glue traps), but it lost many primary feathers and was even degloved in a few places.
After a lengthy stay in rehab, the new feathers grew back in. The wren was released, along with seven mourning doves, on Halloween Day at the Enterprise South Wetlands. Thanks again to Volkswagen Chattanooga for giving us special access for the release.
Glue traps are extremely cruel and inhumane! No animal deserves to suffer injuries or slow death on these traps. Please don’t allow your exterminator to use glue/sticky traps for insects or pest!!
A bucket of water is quick and easy.
This year’s drought has caused many water sources to dry up, leaving wildlife looking for new ones. If you decide to leave some water out, make sure it is weighted at the bottom (a large stone will do the trick) and has a limb or branch in it. Placing these water sources at the base of trees or beside large shrubs allows animals to have plenty of hiding places and escape routes while they’re trying to get a drink.
Consider leaving leaf litter!
Another wildlife-friendly fall practice is letting the leaves stay where they fall, instead of raking them up and sending them to the landfill.
Here are a few of the many benefits:
Leaves add organic matter back to the soil.
They provide shelter and trap moisture for insects and amphibians that depend on leaf litter to survive the winter and reproduce.
Leaves also provide an ideal habitat for the microorganisms that are essential to healthy soil.
Birds and mammals rely on leaves for their nesting material, and having a warm, well-insulated nest is critical for surviving winter.
Fallen leaves provide temporary, miniature pools; squirrels, chipmunks and songbirds can grab a drink from a perfectly curled leaf after a rain event.
Leaves offer hiding places from both predators and the cool, dry air of fall.
Keep the leaves and your grass, too…
Many folks worry that an excess amount of leaves will smother their grass, leaving unsightly dead patches in their lawn. A thick layer of leaves can quickly be reduced by mowing them into smaller pieces. You don’t need a fancy mower to do this, simply mow over the leaves a couple times. This is enough to break down larger leaves to a fine, effective mulch that will decompose faster, adding organic matter back to the lawn.
If you’re considering raking up the leaves to keep your yard “tidy”, consider raking them into your compost pile or garden beds, where they can serve as a “natural mulch” by retaining moisture and releasing nutrients back into the soil as they decompose.
For more information on the benefits of leaf litter, you can visithttp://blog.nwf.org/2013/11/6-excuses-to-avoid-yard-work-this-fall/.
Halloween is over and you may be eyeing that pumpkin and wondering what to do with it. Consider several of the following ways you can use your pumpkin to benefit native wildlife.
REMEMBER: Whatever you do, keep your pumpkin away from the road. Wildlife may be lured to the area by the pumpkin smell, and wildlife and roads NEVER mix!
Make it “To-Go”
Cut the pumpkin into pieces and place them on a rock or stump. Many critters like to “grab-and-run” so they can eat their snack from a safer vantage point. Cutting your pumpkin into smaller pieces will make it ideal for them.
Cut your pumpkin into two halves, and hollow them out to make two “bowls”. Drill some holes for twine or wire and fill with birdseed. Hang this buffet on a nearby branch so you can watch songbirds, and squirrels, enjoy the fall treat.
Plant the seeds
Save those seeds and watch pumpkins grow next spring. Set aside the seeds and allow them to dry. Then place them in the freezer to ensure they stay dormant until you’re ready to plant them. Pumpkin flowers attract pollinators to your garden and enhance the benefits of native insects.
If you already have a compost pile, or perhaps you’re short on time, putting your pumpkin in the compost bin may be the easiest way to make sure it benefits the bacteria and other organisms that breakdown composted items. After a few months, the composted material will make an excellent addition to flower beds and vegetable gardens.