Squirrels and birds are having their babies and that means there are young ones in hidden nests in that tree you’re about to cut down or prune. Squirrels reproduce about three times a year so it’s safest to trim your trees in late fall and winter.
“But squirrels are pests,” you say, “and they eat all my bird food. I don’t want them around anyway.” Ok, I get it. To that I would first recommend learning to see the beauty, wonder and hilarity that are squirrels and to appreciate them just as much as the goldfinches, but I understand a lot of people are just not going to come around to that point of view. Still…
Babies. You must be able to at least admit that babies have done nothing to deserve being thrown from trees or more likely, hauled away with the tree and forever separated from mom. They’ll die unless someone finds them and gets them to a rehabber immediately, and even then it’s no guarantee. Helpless, innocent babies.
And the same goes for bird nests too! They are hard to see sometimes and you might not be aware they even exist.
In any case, spring is not the best time to trim your trees or cut them down. Wait until the snow flies, when the new birds have fledged and migrated, and the squirrels have slowed their reproductive pace to conserve energy. Not only will you be helping the newborn critters in the tree, you’ll be saving the rehabbers a lot of headache. So many of the young animals we admit are orphaned because of yard work. Did you know baby birds require feeding every 20 minutes without fail? That means someone has to be there all day and all night, feeding every 20 minutes.
Now I’m not complaining… well, kind of I am. It’s worth it for wildlife rehabbers to do that much work. Will we single-handedly impact the animal population by saving these babies? Nope. Not even a little. But to the one bird or one squirrel that we save by going the extra mile, it means the entire world.
Please help us out by waiting to trim your trees until winter.