Spring is here and the birds are now thinking about setting up housekeeping for another season. Unfortunately, many of these birds choose eaves troughs, soffits, or almost any convenient hole or hiding place to build their nests. Often these nests aren’t in a good place for humans and human activity and so people tend to remove them when they are doing renovations or repairs. Each year, MARS receives several phone calls from people who have just found a nest, complete with babies, wondering what they should do now.

We would like to remind people that it is illegal disturb or interfere with nests, eggs, or to take and possess birds or mammals without a permit. We recommend that you clean eaves troughs in the Fall and plan repairs and renovations before or after the nesting season. Pruning of trees and shrubs should also be planned so that there is little disturbance of wildlife – this is their home, and they have given up a large part of their habitat for human habitation. Mammals, such as raccoons and river otters will look for nesting “dens” beneath houses, under porches, and in crawl spaces. Plan to board these up, and block their entry before these unwelcome visitors come to stay. Do not set traps for raccoons in the spring when they have kits, wait until they are old enough and then exclude them from re-entering your space.

MARS does not provide relocation services for unwanted, problem or nuisance wildlife. We will recommend that you contact one of the pest control businesses listed in the yellow pages. They will charge you for removal of these pests. Sometimes, their solution will be to destroy the problem animal(s). Ask them HOW they dispose of unwanted wildlife? Ask them WHERE they release them? You are paying for their service, so it is your right to know.

“If you love them leave them alone!” is our focus each year. We hope to reduce the impact of humans on nature and would like to encourage the public to call us before interfering. We recommend leaving them be, or putting back as close as possible to the nest location.