Trim hedges, shrubs ahead of nesting season

Campbell River homeowners and landscapers are being warned to complete tree and shrub pruning before nesting season begins

Homeowners and landscapers should complete tree and shrub pruning before nesting season begins.

“During nesting season birds are susceptible to disturbance,” said Warren Warttig, MARS Wildlife Rescue President, a registered professional biologist.

The return of plentiful food triggers the annual courtship, mating and nest building season. The herring spawn feeds hungry bald eagles, great blue herons, kingfishers, various ducks and seagulls. Insects are emerging, adding to the spring menu for smaller birds.

“Many birds will start nesting in early March, so it is important to get work completed, especially around trees, standing deadwood, shrubs and hedges,” said Reg Westcott, wildlife care supervisor. “We receive dozens of song birds, small owls and occasionally fledgling eagles because nests have been disturbed.”

The nesting season runs from March to September with much of the activity occurring in March and April.

Commercial operators should be aware of the legal requirements to protect nesting birds and nests.

MARS, a licensed and regulated facility, has provided rescues, rehabilitation, recovery and release for injured and orphaned wildlife in central and northern Vancouver Island since 1995. With 600 cases in 2016, this volunteer-powered, donor-funded organization is building a new, larger hospital and recovery centre in the Comox Valley.