With families spending more time at home and out and about in their neighborhoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, they may notice the abundance of wildlife and birds with which Louisiana is blessed.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind the public that the best practice is to leave wildlife and birds alone and undisturbed even if you suspect them to be injured or orphaned.

The presence of juvenile wildlife is common during these seasons as young wildlife begins to explore their environment, learn to forage/hunt and defend themselves.

Young birds are also beginning the normal fledgling process. They can be found hopping on the ground or in shrubs, fluttering their wings and may appear to be in distress. In reality, the young bird is continuing to be fed by its parents and is simply practicing for flight. If left undisturbed, adult birds will call and wait for a response.

Individuals who encounter what appears to be orphaned wildlife or birds should leave them alone and immediately leave the area, allowing the parents to return and continue to care for their offspring.

Individuals who believe they have encountered injured wildlife or bird species, should likewise leave the animal alone and contact a LDWF biologist at the nearest LDWF Regional Office (https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/contact-us).

For more information on injured or orphaned wildlife and birds, visit  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov//page/injured-orphaned-wildlife. It provides valuable information on suspected injured or orphaned wildlife as well as a listing for licensed wildlife rehabilitators who you may also contact. Remember-IF YOU CARE, LEAVE IT THERE!

Anyone interested in LDWF’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Program should contact Melissa Collins at mcollins@wlf.la.gov.