Things That Kids Can Do To Help
***DO SOMETHING NICE FOR THE WILD ANIMALS
OUTSIDE YOUR HOME***
More and more
wild open spaces are being lost each year as people spread out and develop the land.
Shopping malls and housing developments are taking away land that was used by all
kinds of wild animals. Some of these animals cant adjust and disappear, but
some animals have learned to survive. You can help them by making your yard a
mini-nature preserve. You might not realize it, but plenty of wild animals visit
your backyard. Some of them come out at night, some live underground, and some are
very tiny. Heres how you can help them:
First, keep your cat indoors, unless she is on a leash and
harness and you are there to supervise.
Put bells on your dogs and cats collars so wild
animals can hear them coming.
Let part of your backyard grow wild with weeds and brush and
tall grass. Animals love to hide and build houses in wild brush and grass.
Plant a tree in your backyard with your parents. One
tree can provide a home for lots of animals like birds, raccoons, squirrels and bats.
Put some dead wood, like old tree stumps and branches in your
yard. More than 150 species of birds and other animals can live in dead trees and
logs and feed off the insects there.
Plant some raspberry, blueberry and blackberry patches for
Leave mole hills, ant hills and bee nests alone. Never
carelessly turn over logs or rocks. There is a whole universe living there.
out a bird feeder. You can even make one using pine cones and peanut butter.
Spread peanut butter all over the pine cones, then dip the pine cones in birdseed
and hang them on trees with some yarn. Just remember that if you start feeding the
birds they will begin to expect food. If you forget to feed them during the winter
they will get very hungry. They need to eat a lot of food often in the cold weather,
so keep the feeders full.
You can also build a birdbath using a big rubber or plastic
dish like the top of a plastic garbage can. Place the rubber dish outside where you
can see it and dig a small area in which the dish can sit securely. The water
shouldnt be more than two inches deep because small animals can fall in and drown.
If dogs or cats are in the area, youll have to put the dish up high where the
birds will be safe. Fill the dish with clean water every day. In the winter,
use warm water so it wont freeze as quickly.
For free plans on building a bird house, write to The Kindness Club, 65
Brunswick Street, Frederickton, New Brunswick, E3B 1G5 Canada.
If you have a swimming pool, drape a towel into the pool so
that animals who accidentally fall in can climb out. You can even order a Froglog from here to help frogs and other small
animals who might fall in.
Break ice on puddles in the winter so animals can get a drink.
If you see a baby bird who has fallen out of his nest, get an
adult to help you put him back right away. If you cant reach the nest, you can
make a temporary one out of a shoebox lined
with soft grass and wedged in the crook of a tree. Look carefully at the bird
though. The young birds, called fledglings, are learning how to fly and they
dont belong in their nest anymore. Their parents are close by watching them so
they dont need your help. Fledglings have lots of feathers and are almost as
big as their parents.
Nest-building birds might like some of the soft hair that you
get from combing your dog, so put it under the trees and give baby birds a soft mattress.
If you have sliding glass doors on your house, stick cut-outs
of big birds like owls, hawks and eagles on the glass. The cutouts will warn other
birds not to fly into the glass doors.
Get a copy of Attracting Backyard Wildlife by Bill
Merilees. It has lots of tips and diagrams that help you give food, shelter and
water to lots of birds, insects, small reptiles and mammals.