Animals in Window Wells
To prevent animals from getting trapped in your window well, you can buy a window well cover. In the meantime, you can put items in the window well that could act as “steps” for an animal to use to get out of the window well should it get stuck. A plank covered with a towel can also be used as a ramp. You can also use a pet crate and scoop the creature up in it and then release them outside of the window well.
Fledgling birds (Young birds, fully feathered, hopping about):
These birds can be gently scooped up and placed outside of the window well. The parents will tend to them every few hours. They will NOT abandon the baby if it smells like you! Parents are not physically able to take their babies out of the window well themselves.
If you see a parent and the rest of the family nearby, put gloves on, gently take the baby out of the window well and let it go so that it can re-join its family. If you do not see a family nearby, please call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre (WILDNorth: 780-914-4118) for advice. Parents are not physically able to take their babies out of the window well themselves.
Baby hares are left alone all day long by their mother, this is how they are kept safe. If a baby hare falls into your window well: put on some gloves, wipe them in grass/dirt, and gently pick up the baby hare and take it out of the window well. You can now place the baby hare nearby – mom will return to it in the middle of the night! Parents are not physically able to take their babies out of the window well themselves.
Other baby mammals:
Advice in these cases may change depending on the situation. If you see the parent nearby, you can attempt to put a ramp in for the animal to climb up, or if it is safe/possible, you can scoop the baby up with gloved hands or in a box, and release it so that it can join its family. If there is no parent or family nearby, please call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre (WILDNorth: 780-914-4118). Parents are not physically able to take their babies out of the window well themselves.
Adult mammals (Striped skunks, muskrats, etc.):
Take a plank and wrap it in a towel (for grip), and place it in the window well so the mammal could use it like a ramp. You could also use items like bricks and set them up in a stair-like fashion. You can also use a pet carrier, rubbermaid container, laundry basket etc to scoop the animal up into and take it out of the window well. If you need help, call WILDNorth at 780-914-4118 and we can advise you further (messages are checked 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily)
Animals in Buildings
If given enough exits, animals are usually able to leave on their own if possible. The best course of action would be to block all sources of light except the exit. Please call our wildlife helpline for more details or advice at 780-914-4118. You can also call a wildlife control company, like Battle River Wildlife Management.
Birds in Chimneys
If the bird is near the bottom of the chimney it cannot fly up to get out. Clean out the fireplace then open the damper to allow the bird to come down into the fireplace. Have a sheet or pillowcase over the opening so it cannot fly into the room, or if possible shut the door to the room and then open any windows/doors allowing instant access to the outside.
European Starlings and House Sparrows are the most common birds to come into chimneys, but tree nesting ducks and small owls have been known to do so as well.
If the bird has been in the chimney for a few days, it should be transported to WILDNorth for rehydration and an examination. Please call our Wildlife Helpline for more details or advice at 780-914-4118.
Squirrels in Chimneys
This doesn’t happen very often, and usually they can get out on their own but if not a rope can be lowered from the top of the chimney and they will climb out. Please call our wildlife hotline for more details or advise at 780-914-4118. You can also call a wildlife control company, like Battle River Wildlife Management
Birds in vents
House Sparrows will sometimes choose to nest in a vent if it has not been properly sealed. If you have confirmed that it is House Sparrows nesting and not another bird species, and if there are no eggs laid in the nest, you may remove the nesting material. Be sure to then add a vent guard (caps, bird screens, etc.) to ensure birds do not nest in the vent in the future.
If there are eggs laid in the nest, please consider allowing the babies to hatch and leave the nest before taking action. If possible, stop using the appliance the vent is attached to. Most songbird species will incubate their eggs for approximately 2 weeks, then the babies will leave the nest after another 2 weeks.
If you are unsure of the species, please take photos and videos and send them to WILDNorth so we can try to identify the species. Call the Wildlife Helpline (780-914-4118) to arrange for the footage to be sent.
If this is a migratory bird species (i.e. American Robins) – it is against federal law to tamper with their nests. To get permission to remove the nest, you will need to contact the Canadian Wildlife Service.
If given enough exits, animals are usually able to leave on their own if possible. Please call our Wildlife Helpline for more details or advice at 780-914-4118.
If we are closed or cannot answer live, please leave a message. Then, research the issue you are noticing. If you cannot find the answer you are looking for in your research, please monitor the animal in question and WILDNorth will call you back as soon as possible.
I drove by and found a deer caught in a fence, who do I call?
Report A Poacher: 1-800-642-3800
Edmonton District Fish and Wildlife: 780-427-3574
For toll-free access within Alberta to most Alberta Government offices, call 310-0000