Officials with a Burlingame animal shelter are offering several tips so people can avoid unintentionally harming nesting mammals and birds this spring.
Officials with the Peninsula Humane Society & Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are asking residents to wait to trim or remove trees and bushes or make sure there are no birds or squirrel nests before doing the work.
Residents are encouraged to check for rabbit holes and birds’ nests before mowing the lawn.
Shelter officials also suggest residents avoid leaving pet food outside and to use trashcans with tight-fitting lids or metal trashcans to make it less likely animals will build nests or dens in basements or garages.
Shelter officials suggest securely closing crawl spaces and air vents and capping chimneys.
If a baby bird or squirrel is on the ground, shelter officials suggest trying to place it back in the nest if the situation doesn’t seem dangerous.
Otherwise, let the animal be because mothers will continue to feed the babies on the ground below the nests.
But if the baby appears to be in danger or abandoned, shelter officials encourage people to bring it to the shelter’s Wildlife Care Center or call the center.
Shelter officials suggest dog owners keep dogs on a leash to prevent them from finding a coyote or other animal den. Mothers protecting their babies may be aggressive with dogs.
If a mother chooses to have its babies in an area that’s not ideal for humans, shelter officials ask that residents leave the animals alone until the mother feels her babies are able to move.
The mother will probably move in a few weeks, according to shelter officials.
Locking the mother out or closing up the den may harm the babies. Anyone who wants more information can call the humane society’s Wildlife Care Center at (650) 340-7022, ext. 314.