Democratic Club Engages with the Tucson Wildlife Center

The Democratic Club of Quail Creek was excited to hear a presentation by Hubert Parker, development coordinator for the Tucson Wildlife Center, on Saturday, July 16, at the Kino Center. The Tucson Wildlife Center has been rescuing sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife for 22 years. It is the only such facility in Southern Arizona and treats about 5,000 animals a year. The largely volunteer organization became a 501(c)(3) in 2000 and operates on donations.

About 60 people attended the presentation at the Kino Center. Most were interested in learning what to do if they encountered an injured animal. You can call the Wildlife Center for assistance at 520-290-9453.

Hubert talked about minimizing conflicts between wildlife and humans. If you are concerned, for example, about coyotes attacking your pets, it is best to keep cats indoors. Small dogs should be watched while outdoors. Coyotes are easily scared away with loud noises, such as banging pans together or loud music. They can also be scared away by spraying a garden hose on them. Bobcats generally leave pets alone. Coyotes are scavengers and can be harmed by consuming rats or other small rodents that have been poisoned. Many coyotes survive just fine with missing limbs. They are amazingly adaptive. But if you find one injured and it does not run away when you approach or clap your hands, then call the Wildlife Center for help.

Birds are another matter. If you find a bird has built a nest in your home, it’s best to leave it alone. It is against the law to remove a nest if it has eggs or babies in it. Baby birds grow up quickly and will soon be gone. Once the nest is abandoned, you can remove it and prevent them from building again, like using one of those plastic owls that are sold at hardware stores.

If you find a bird on the ground, if the baby has feathers and flutters its wings a little, then it can be left alone. The parents will feed it, even on the ground. If the baby has no feathers (only fluff), can’t walk, and eyes are not open, it should be placed back in the nest. If the nest is too high for you to reach, you can make a nest using a small plastic container with some grass or other soft material. Cut holes in the bottom of the container so that if it rains, the nest will drain and not fill with water. It is best then to place the container on a tree branch and secure it in place. Then watch from a safe distance for an hour and see if the adult returns.

It was a very informative presentation. You can learn more about the Tucson Wildlife Center and its activities on their website