Can I Remove a Bird’s Nest?

Every year, tens of thousands of birds across the United States are illegally killed. It happens when apartment maintenance crews pressure-wash barn swallow nests from building sides. It happens when home owners “clean up” nests on their porches. It happens when store owners clear out the nests on their signs. Make no mistake: no matterContinue reading “Can I Remove a Bird’s Nest?”

How to Coexist with Black Bears

No animal exemplifies the spirit of Tennessee’s wilderness quite like the black bear. But, as these beautiful animals’ populations increase, they may occasionally be seen in town. A black bear seen in the suburbs does not need to be killed or removed, unless it is showing signs that it has become acclimated to humans. IfContinue reading “How to Coexist with Black Bears”

Killing Foxes Won’t Save Chickens

Killing a fox to protect your chickens is not only ineffective— it often makes matters worse. Foxes are territorial and will exist in any suitable habitat. When you kill a big, mature, chicken-eating fox, his territory will almost immediately be filled by two or three younger foxes. Even if you kill them too— even ifContinue reading “Killing Foxes Won’t Save Chickens”

Who You Callin’ Chicken Hawk?

In our area, many people still use the old term “chicken hawk” to refer to redtailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and sharp-shinned hawks. This term is a misnomer. Although these birds will occasionally opportunistically prey on chickens that aren’t properly secured, chickens comprise only a tiny portion of their diets and are generally larger than theirContinue reading “Who You Callin’ Chicken Hawk?”

What Happens When You Feed a Bear?

This story happens every year here in Tennessee, particularly in tourist-heavy areas like Gatlinburg. Bears— often nursing moms who are desperate for the extra food— will accept an offer of pet food from curious people who want to see them up close. The bear quickly realizes that pet food is a good snack, so sheContinue reading “What Happens When You Feed a Bear?”

Foxes: Not a Danger to Kids or Pets

An adult fox weighs, on average, five to twenty pounds— the same size range as a domestic cat. Foxes eat small, easy prey like mice, rats, voles, moles, and rabbits. A fox will never attempt to prey on another carnivore, especially one that is larger than itself. Essentially all cases of non-rabid foxes “attacking” cats,Continue reading “Foxes: Not a Danger to Kids or Pets”

Don’t Relocate Raccoons!

In nearly all cases, a raccoon that has gotten too familiar with a human home— hanging out on the deck or moving into the attic, for example— will leave after after the home owners use humane harassment techniques to scare them away. You can try loud music, bright or flashing lights, stomping or clapping, strongContinue reading “Don’t Relocate Raccoons!”

Killing Opossums to Prevent EPM?

Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, also known as EPM, is a dreaded fear for many horse owners— and understandably so. This condition is very serious and can be difficult and expensive to treat. Opossums are short-term hosts for the parasite that causes EPM, and horses contract it when an opossum poops in its feed. A lot ofContinue reading “Killing Opossums to Prevent EPM?”