They're at it again. Big crane, lots of chainsaws, falling branches; a neighbor's taking down a huge and glorious tree, no doubt with a nest or two along with it.
Before I go any further, one thing I will never understand is, if some are so compelled to "kill" their trees, why then don't they do the dirty deed in the dead of winter when the trees are basically leafless and not providing much shelter or food for the animals who call them home?
Anyway, because it is the season for many wild babies to enter this world, accidents do happen. So, if need be, we can help by returning the tiny, naked bird to its nest or leave the screaming infant squirrel alone till mommy races down the tree to retrieve it.
But what if there is no tree? No nest anymore, no home? What if this precious, innocent life is literally grounded for good?
Although I'll expound on this subject at a later date, right now I'm talking primarily about newborns that have literally lost their "tree house" due to man-made or natural causes. No matter the situation, it is imperative that you have the name and number of a qualified wildlife rehabilitator and/or sanctuary close at hand.
For don't even think about keeping a wild baby. Or feeding or watering it. Simply keep it warm and quiet. Then deliver it, as soon as possible, to someone who knows exactly what to do so that baby can survive, thrive and be returned to its natural world where it belongs.
In the meantime, if you hear the lonesome dove mourning, apologize to her for the traumatic havoc the human race seems hell-bent to wreak on the animal kingdom.
Rebecca Stroud is a freelance writer who has been actively involved with animal issues for over 30 years. E-mail comments/questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject: The Animal Advocate.