Thursday, January 9. 2020
Mom On A Mission!
Mothers of all species care deeply about their offspring. My 34 year experience has taught me that the older the babies get, the stronger the mother raccoon’s maternal instinct is.
It is also my experience that raccoons are as individualistic as humans. Some are shy, some are indifferent, and some are down right aggressive when it comes to protecting their offspring.
Unfortunately for us, we never know what personality trait we are up against until we are face to face with the raccoon, knee deep in insulation and trying to balance on the ceiling joists.
In this particular case, the mother raccoon was determined to protect her young at all costs. But lucky for us while she was distracted, we took the opportunity to rush in and scoop up the six babies and got out of the attic before she knew what happened. Upon taking them onto the roof to place in our heated release box, the mother heard their chittering and came out of her entry hole like a locomotive. Forced to give her some space, we watched her relocate her babies one by one to an alternate den site in the neighbourhood.
Wednesday, January 8. 2020
As much as we may dislike working in the snow, freshly fallen snow has its advantages. Animal tracks can show us what species and how many animals we are dealing with. They show the direction of travel, how they are getting on the roof and whether or not the animals have passed by recently. Most importantly, seeing tracks on the roof after we have installed our one way door, indicates to us that the animals have exited the attic and are now on the outside.
These tracks are Raccoon tracks!
A fun outside activity in the winter is to go for a walking the woods and try to identify the tracks you see. Searching animal tracks on Google can help you see what animals have passed by.
Tuesday, January 7. 2020
Going To Great Lengths!
This past Spring, AAA Wildlife Control, was called out to investigate a bird nesting on top of a fire sprinkler head on the back porch of a townhouse complex. Exterior fire sprinklers have been proven to work - wet houses don’t burn! - but with a nest sitting on top, the owner was concerned that the sprinkler had been compromised. Another concern the owner had was that there were feather mites entering his apartment through the window below the nest, which are very common within a bird nest.
AAA Wildlife Control President Randy had to get innovative with this job! Our main goal was to ensure that the mother bird could continue to feed her babies until they were old enough to leave the nest. He proceeded to cut the very well built mud nest off of the top of the sprinkler head and created a temporary holder for the nest. At first, he tried moving the nest about a foot away from the sprinkler head but the mother bird was confused as she couldn’t find her babies. After noticing this wasn’t going to work, he decided to place our temporary holder with the nest directly beside the sprinkler head.
It was a success! Within minutes the mother bird was back feeding her babies. Day after day, Randy had to train this mother bird by moving her nest ever so slightly away from the sprinkler. The reason he had to keep moving the nest further away from the original nesting site was due to the feather mites that were falling down into the window below. As per the homeowners request, he continues to move the nest each day. This process continued on for about 10 days until the nest was far away from the sprinkler head (and no longer on top of the window). He placed a screen box around the sprinkler so that it could still function but will also prevent the mother bird from nesting on top of it next season.
Upon his final visit, he discovered an empty nest! All the baby birds had fledged and had permanently left the nest.
Monday, January 6. 2020
Screams of Love?
Have you heard the sounds of blood curdling screams emanating from your backyard or attic lately? Thoughts of an animal being aggressively attacked might come to mind.
When male raccoons become amorous their primary focus is to locate a female and follow her until she is willing to accept his advances. In some cases he may have to invest a few weeks of his time to get her in the mood. During the time leading up to the act of mating she can become quite agitated by his relentless efforts, often lashing out with bared teeth and sharp claws. Her brief attacks on the male raccoon are combined with extremely loud and unsettling screams of disapproval. Our customers have recounted being startled awake by what they initially thought was someone being murdered.
In the name of love, the male raccoon often sustains considerable injuries while trying to get close to the female. Over the years we have witnessed torn bloodied ears, serious bite marks on all parts of the body, missing fur and even injured eyes. As far as I can tell, the male raccoons drive to procreate cannot be deterred, even in the face of sustaining life altering injuries. And if mating with one female wasn’t hard enough, male raccoons are polygamous, meaning they will not hesitate to mate with multiple females during the breeding season. It is possible that the phrase “tough love” originated as a result of the male raccoons mating behaviour.
By Randy Celinski
Randy Celinski is the president of AAA Wildlife Control.
Friday, January 3. 2020
A Post From Our Toronto Office:
Wile E Coyote... Not!
The modern day coyote is nothing like how Looney Tunes portrayed the Wile E Coyote as an unsuccessful predator!
While walking my dogs in the ravine over the holidays I looked down into the valley below and saw a beautiful healthy coyote travelling on a well established walking path about 50 meters away. Upon quietly announcing the coyote sighting to my wife, it stopped in its tracks and looked directly at us. The coyote quickly ascertained that we were not a threat and simply carried on its way. When on the prowl for food, coyotes are constantly using their highly developed hearing and sense of smell to detect either danger or prey.
Having had the opportunity to witness this dominant predator in its natural habitat I began to ponder what its life would be like. I have a hard time understanding that an animal the size of a large dog can catch enough prey on a regular basis to sustain itself, especially at night and in the winter. They would have to be hugely successful at locating and apprehending prey. I do believe that they benefit from their light brown and grayish camouflage, how else could they possibly get close enough to catch a fleeing meal. If you think about it, we provide our domestic dogs 1 or 2 cans of highly nutritious food every day, how is it possible that a coyote can find and chase down that amount of food through a forest full of obstacles. Personally I am in awe.
Hoping to catch another glimpse of this amazing creature I tracked the coyote for about one kilometre. As the coyote tracks approached the creeks edge they doubled back on themselves and then simply disappeared. Perhaps the coyote knew I was in pursuit and managed to throw me off the trail. This maybe a sign of how it outsmarts its prey.
I love how intriguing and mysterious wildlife can be. Go for a hike in the woods, especially after a fresh snow fall, and follow an animals tracks. Simply getting outdoors is good for the mind and the soul.
Thursday, January 2. 2020
The following post is in response to concerns raised about why we don’t just leave the animals alone. While I fully understand the concerns surrounding why we choose to remove the animals, I would like to take this opportunity to present our position.
In the province of British Columbia, the wildlife removal industry is not licensed and therefore anyone can start a wildlife control company with little or no training. We currently have approximately 90 competitors in our service area that have varying degrees of practical experience. Unfortunately most companies gain their training through trial and error. As result, the animals being controlled are either intentionally or unintentionally being exposed to inhumane practices. To name just a few examples, wildlife are locked into attics to starve to death, mother animals are relocated away from their dependent babies and barbaric methods and devices are being used.
It is for these reasons that each time we are presented with the opportunity to be hired to remove wildlife, we are motivated to get that job because we know we will do everything within our power to ensure that the animals are treated humanely and the family unit will stay intact. Very few of our competitors hold the lives of the animals to this high standard.
There are certain situations when we will attempt to convince our customers to delay the removal process until conditions are more ideal. While most homeowners are concerned about continued damage, sleep deprivation and family safety there are some that are willing to wait.
Wildlife control is a profession and a field of study. It requires a great breadth of knowledge and extensive experience to truly master and understand. If you need convincing of this consider the variety of species, their unique biology / behaviours and the complexity of situations in which wildlife comes in conflict with human interests.
As a socially responsible company I welcome all comments and concerns regarding our company’s policies and procedures. We consider ourselves a progressive organization that is continuously learning and all input from our followers is a valuable resource that we are extremely fortunate to have.
By Randy Celinski
Randy Celinski is the president of AAA Wildlife Control.
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