Here are some ideas:
- Pick greens. Dandelions, clovers, plantain, and wide-blade grasses are important foods for cottontails and woodchucks. Just pick them into a plastic shopping bag and tie shut. Refrigerate until you can them to the Center. We can’t get enough dandelion greens for our hundreds of juvenile cottontails. It is their favorite food and helps cure diarrhea.
- Gather native seeds, nuts or berries the next time you go with your family on a hike. These are foods many of our patients are used to, making them feel safer and eat better. Be sure you identify the plant you are picking from before doing so, to avoid anything that may be poisonous! Stay off of private property as well. And most importantly, please remember to leave some for the wild neighbors who live in those areas as well!
- Grow food materials, even though it’s getting chilly you could still plant some greens or plan to plant sunflowers, greens or veggies next spring for our wild patients.
- The next time it rains, head out of doors and gather up some of the night crawlers and earthworms from the sidewalk. Birds of all kinds love to eat them including our patients! If you prefer not to gather living animals, put them back in the yard. They will help the soil and the local birds may catch them on their own later.
- If your family trims any trees such as elm, oak, willow and apple or thin raspberry and blackberry thickets, ask them if you can gather the branches. Squirrels and cottontails eat the leaves and bark and the branches are good for chewing exercise.
Be sure to check our website whenever you need information about your wild neighbors or the Wildlife In Need Center. And, although we may not be able to incorporate them all, if you have suggestions on how to make our site better we will always listen. Finally, for those “big kid” volunteers, be sure to check out our volunteer pages. They are still under construction, but I’m sure you’ll find more helpful information than you remember!