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Wednesday’s Wildlife: Big Babies

Updated: Jun 21

Baby season is described as the time of year where adults birth or lay offspring. With

offsprings being so delicate the warm weather gives them a better chance to survive, adapt, and learn in time before winter comes around.


Not all offspring are made equal, some are a lot larger than others. Also, not all offspring receive around the clock supervision from their parents. For example, fawns and fledglings.


Figure 1. Fawns located in the tall green grass.


Deers commonly leave their fawns in well hidden bushes and patches of grass. Since fawns do not have a scent and can’t keep up with the mother, it’s best for them to be tucked away. Oftentimes, people mistake a perfectly natural behaviour as an abandoned fawn. Fear not, as fawn hidden alone for hours is a completely normal behaviour and the mother will return at dusk and dawn to feed and forage with her babies.


How can you tell if a fawn needs help? 

If they are bleeding, have a visible wound, or broken limb

If they are covered in flies or fly eggs  

If another animal has attacked them

If the fawn is laying on its side

If they are continuously crying or wandering aimlessly

If they are on the side of a road


If any of these apply, it is time to call Calgary Wildlife at 403-214-1312, where expert advice will be given to help navigate each unique situation. 


Next up are fledglings! What is a fledgling you ask? These are juvenile birds who have left the nest, but still depended on multiple feedings throughout the day provided by their parents. A common myth you may have heard of is that a juvenile bird who has left the nest is fully capable of flying. This is not true. 


Figure 2. A fledgling on the ground.


After leaving the nest, fledglings take about 10-15 days to learn how to confidently fly. People may mistake this as a baby bird struggling on the ground, although that’s not the case. At this stage in their life they are almost the same size as adults and growing into their adult feathers.


How can you tell if a fledgling needs help? 

If there's blood or a visible wound

If they are shivering or wet

If they aren't moving

If another animal has attacked them

If any of these apply, it is time to call Calgary Wildlife at 403-214-1312, where expert advice will be given to help navigate each unique situation. 


How can you help? By giving offsprings their space. Make sure you don’t interrupt or disturb the natural transition from juvenile to adulthood. Pet cats and dogs should be on leash or inside during the baby's season and kept  far away from the offspring. Thank you for your participating efforts in creating a cohesive environment for everyone!





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