Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Flock of Pelicans © Pete Price

"Hey Guys! Wait for Me!"
"A rather large flock of pelicans has been gathering at the far end of Okee Bay on Lake Wisconsin during the warm months of summer the past few years," Price writes. "When I stepped out from behind a tree to get a clear shot, a number of the pelicans took to the air which provided the opportunity to catch them in flight."
© Pete Price

June 2014

Focus on Wildlife

Take pictures, but please don't touch.

Brooke Lewis

Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Focus on Wildlife photo contest benefitting Dane County Humane Society's Four Lakes Wildlife Center.

Four Lakes Wildlife Center (FLWC), the wild side of Dane County Humane Society, has experienced unprecedented growth. While we are grateful to be part of a community that is looking out for wildlife welfare, due to space and resource limitations, we are unable to accommodate the increasing number of animals coming in for rehabilitation.

Fawn in Lupines © Sandra Prebeg
"Fawn Hiding in Lupines"
"I stopped at the wayside just into Marquette County to see all the beautiful lupines in bloom. As I looked around, just a few feet in front of me a very young fawn thought it was hiding in these flowers and did not know I was able to see him/her," Prebeg writes. "I was able to get one or two photos before the fawn realized I was taking photos and jumped up running."
© Sandra Prebeg

Far too often, well-meaning individuals bring in healthy baby animals that simply do not need our help and we need to keep healthy babies with their families so that we are able to keep space open for animals that truly need assistance. Please call before removing an animal from its home. We can help assess the situation to decide if intervening is in the best interest of the animal.

Facts about baby wildlife:

  • It's a myth that human scent on a wild baby animal will make their parents abandon them.
  • Young birds normally spend up to a week on the ground before learning to fly. The parents will still feed and protect the baby while it is on the ground.
  • Baby birds and squirrels that fall out of the nest are not necessarily orphaned. If they are uninjured, they should be reunited with their parent.
  • It is normal for nocturnal animals such as raccoons or opossum to be seen during the day when they have young. They need to spend extra time foraging for food when supporting babies.
  • If you have an animal that has made a nest in your attic or crawl space, there are humane ways to encourage it to take its babies and relocate them. Live trapping and relocating mothers creates many orphans.

Rock Cave at Wyalusing State Park covered with snow and ice. © Beth Rodgers
"Mom's Work is Never Done"
Rodgers writes, "Mother swallow feeds her brood."
© Beth Rodgers

How do you know when an animal needs help?

  • It's bleeding or obviously injured. Don't assume that a fledgling bird has an injured wing because it cannot fly. A bird with an injured wing will often hold the injured wing differently than the uninjured one.
  • It's heavily parasitized. Mother animals tend to keep their babies free of parasites so animals that have a large number of fleas or ticks or are swarming with flies, have fly eggs (look like tiny grains of rice) or maggots on their fur or feathers should be brought in.
  • Its mother is known to be dead or relocated.
  • It had confirmed contact with a predator, especially domestic cats.

A list of licensed Wisconsin wildlife rehabilitators is available at DNR Wildlife rehabilitation directory . In the Madison area, call FLWC at (608) 287–3235.

Brooke Lewis is the wildlife rehabilitation supervisor for Dane County Humane Society's Four Lakes Wildlife Center.