Since we field over 5,500 calls through our Wildlife Hotline, it is common that we get calls from quite a few people with similar concerns.
Here are some that we would like to address:
White-tailed Prairie Hares during the breeding season
White-tailed Prairie Hares (aka Jackrabbits) are born fully furred with their eyes open. Hares are born March through September. New-born hares are able to hop around shortly after birth; they do NOT grow up in a nest. Hares are more active at night. The female can find her young at night to nurse them and teach them survival skills.
Many people who find small hares alone during the day think they are orphaned. This is generally not the case. The mother hare leaves her babies alone so as not to attract predators to them. New-born hares stay very still when approached during the day. This is a normal survival strategy. At night, they become much more active and will run, jump and vocalize.
Do not pick it up!
Baby hares do not do well in captivity. They are prey species (an animal that is eaten by other animals) and are highly prone to stress when captured. It is always better for these babies to be left in their normal surroundings . If you find a baby hare, leave it right there!
If you have already collected the baby hare and are wondering what to do with it, please put it back where you found it. Gently rub the baby hare with some grass or leaves to mask the human scent you’ve left on it. Doing this will help protect the baby hare from predators such as cats and dogs that are attracted to human scent. The mother WILL NOT reject the baby if it smells like humans. Click here for more information about Wildlife Myths.
If you have found a baby hare that is truly orphaned or has an obvious and potentially life-threatening injury, please call our Wildlife Hotline at 780-914-4118.
Canada Geese during the breeding season
Canada Geese have adapted well to urban environments, and they are quite common within the City of Edmonton. Canada Geese begin scouting out nesting sites in March. They often nest far from water and will nest on the ground or in elevated nesting sites (tops of hay bales, man-made nesting structures, balconies or roof tops). Once they have selected a site, the female will lay one egg a day. They can lay up to 12 eggs. The mother goose will begin to incubate the eggs. It then takes about 25-30 days for the chicks to hatch. Once the chicks hatch, the mother will brood them for a day or two. After the first few days, the chicks will follow their parents on foot and leave the nest site. The adult geese know where a water source is, and will gradually lead the chicks to the water source. The adults protect their young with usually one adult in the lead and one adult behind the chicks. If the nest is above ground, the parents will fly down to the ground and begin calling to their goslings, encouraging them to jump down and join them.
Please note: Canada Geese have been known to nest in high up areas, away from predators. Goslings are very hardy creatures, and can withstand quite a long drop. Click here to see a video showing this amazing feat!
It is normal for Canada Geese to nest on or near construction sites, rooftops, balconies, parking lots, decks, yards, walkways, and other types of human built structures. Canada Geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Act, and it is illegal to tamper with a nest once it is made. The best way to avoid conflict with Canada Goose nests is to discourage geese from nesting in these areas. Once you notice a goose or pair of geese scouting out an inappropriate area, please call our Wildlife Hotline (780-914-4118) for advice on how to discourage them from nesting.