It has been a hot summer. During heat waves, we set up cooling shelters for people, but what about the wildlife? Here are some ways you can help wildlife in the summer:
1. Leave out bowls of water.
Dehydration is a concern for both humans and wildlife during heat waves. Help wildlife stay hydrated by providing them with water. Bowls of water and birds baths can also act as swimming pools for wildlife, providing them with a place to cool down. Leave fresh water out overnight for nocturnal animals.
Remember to regularly clean any bird baths or water bowls to prevent bacterial growth, the spread of disease, and mosquitoes from multiplying.
2. Provide shade for wildlife.
Plant trees and large bushes so that your wild neighbors can escape the direct sunlight. Native plants are best; they provide the proper food for native wildlife as well as shelter. And remember that plants need water to survive, too!
3. If you have a bird feeder, make sure to clean it regularly.
Bird food can mold quickly in the summer heat and humidity. Make sure that your bird feeders are always clean and that the food is replaced regularly. Hummingbird feeders should be cleaned every other day. Fresh food and clean surfaces will help prevent the spread of disease.