Q.How can I learn more about living with our local wildlife?

A.The SPCA Wildlife Center provides information to help. If the articles below don’t answer your question, please call us at 831-264-5427.

  1. Eight Good Reasons Why You Should Not Feed Wildlife
  2. What to do if You Find a Wild Animal iconPDF
  3. Living with Raccoons iconPDF
  4. Living With Deer iconPDF
  5. Living with Opossums iconPDF
  6. Living with Bats  iconPDF
  7. Do Our Pets Hurt Wildlife? iconPDF
  8. Setting Limits for the Safety of your Cat and Wildlife iconPDF
  9. What to do with an Injured or Orphaned Bird iconPDF
  10. Living with urban wildlife iconPDF

Q. What Should I Do If I Find a Baby Bird?

Follow this easy to use flow chart

A. If you find an uninjured baby bird on the ground and can see its nest, try placing him back. It is a myth that birds will reject their young if you touch them. Birds have a very limited sense of smell. Watch the baby from a distance to see if his parents come back to feed him. On average, baby birds need to be fed every half hour, so call The SPCA Wildlife Center if you do not see the parents return. Bird have very specialized diets, so do not attempt to feed the baby yourself.

If the bird has some downy feathers and is hopping on the ground but not flying, it is most likely a fledgling.

If the bird appears injured, please call the Wildlife Center at 831-264-5427 during regular business hours. For after-hours emergencies, call 831-646-5534. Learn more about baby birds here! iconPDF

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Q. What is a Fledgling?

A. Each spring The SPCA for Monterey County Wildlife Center is called upon to rescue and rehabilitate hundreds of orphaned birds. With the help of many dedicated volunteers, The SPCA Wildlife Center is very successful in raising these orphans and releasing them back into the wild. Unfortunately, each spring The SPCA also receives many “rescued” fledglings – young birds with their first feathers that are often seen on the ground unable to fly. The fledging stage is a normal part of development for many birds. Although the fledgling may sometimes appear to be an injured bird, downier feathers and parents tending to it signify that it is a healthy fledgling.

Fledglings are baby birds that are found on the ground, are already feathered, and are able to hop, but are not yet ready to fly. These young birds are sometimes mistaken for a bird with a broken wing. Fledglings can be as large as the parents and usually have some visible downier feathers.

If you see a bird that you think might be injured, take time to observe him. If it is a fledgling, you will soon see his parents tending to him. This is a very important time for the young birds to learn by observing their parents and it won’t be long until he is able to fly.

Found a fledgeling? Follow this easy to use flow chart to learn what to do!

Please contact The SPCA Wildlife Center before attempting to rescue any young bird not in immediate danger. We can be reached at 831-264-5427 during regular business hours. For after-hours emergencies, call 831-646-5534. Learn more about baby birds here! iconPDF

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Q. What Should I Do if I Find an Injured or Orphaned Wild Animal?

A.Call us at 831-264-5427 or learn more here: What to do if You Find a Wild Animal iconPDF

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Q. Is it OK to Feed Wildlife?

A.The SPCA does not recommend feeding wild animals. Learn why: Eight Good Reasons Why You Should Not Feed Wildlife

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Q. I Have Nuisance Wildlife on My Property, Can You Help?

A. Yes, please call us for assistance at 831-264-5427. We are here to help.

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Q. What do I need to know about driving during deer mating season? What should I do if I see a deer hit by a car?

A. The SPCA for Monterey County advises drivers to use extreme caution when driving to avoid hitting deer on area roadways during the Fall. September, October and November is deer mating season on the central coast and deer are much more likely to be on the move near and across roadways. Specifically The SPCA advises:

  • Be particularly careful at dawn and dusk when driving, especially where visibility is limited. Use of high beams when appropriate can provide a greater area of visibility.
  • Slow down and use extreme caution when approaching a deer standing near the side of a road. Be prepared for the deer to enter the roadway in front of the vehicle. If necessary, honk your horn and flash your lights to try to scare the deer off of the roadway.
  • Be alert for more deer than you may see at that moment. Where there’s one deer, there are often more nearby.
  • Use extra caution in areas where deer crossing signs are posted. These are areas where deer are known to cross roadways.
  • Be particularly cautious in wooded and agricultural areas.
  • Call The SPCA immediately if you see any injured or orphaned wildlife.

Locally, areas of greatest deer activity at night are Pebble Beach, Carmel Valley Road, the Highway 68 corridor, Holman Highway, River Road, and Highway 1 from Seaside to south of Carmel. This time of year The SPCA responds to an average of 20 to 30 hit-by-car deer calls a month in these areas, with almost all the deer involved either dead on arrival or needing to be humanely euthanized immediately. The average insurance claim for deer/vehicle collisions in the United States is $2,000 per incident.

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Help Wildlife


Wildlife Questions during Regular Hours

Wildlife Emergencies during Regular Hours

Wildlife Emergencies After Hours (SPCA Wildlife Staff on-call 24 hours a day)

Mountain Lions: (California Department of Fish & Wildlife) 

Injured or Orphaned Marine Mammals (Marine Mammal Center)

Live or Deceased Sea Otters (Monterey Bay Aquarium)