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Heat Advisories & How You Can Help At Home

Today’s high temperature is forecasted at 107 degrees in St. Louis.  Most of the Midwest is currently under a heat advisory, and we are experiencing a bit of a drought as well.  We’ve received a very low amount of rainfall so far this summer and the heat combined with that makes for a dangerous scenario for our wildlife.  Raccoons that get stuck in a dumpster and can’t climb out, or are trapped in your garage ceiling, attic, or sheds are suffering immensely and need a way to get out.  Foxes that normally don’t get near people are willing to come closer in this heat just to get to a water source.  We even have a report this week of a bobcat (usually SEVERELY shy around people) drinking from under a window air conditioning unit on a house in a subdivision.  The critters are willing to break the usual rules in order to survive. 

You can help our birds, raptors, and mammals by putting out a water source for them.  If you have a bird bath or fountain, make sure it is filled each day with clean water for the wildlife to drink from.  If you do not have a bird bath or fountain outside, you can use a pie plate, a spare pet’s water dish, a catch plate from a flower pot (the dish that goes under a flower pot to catch the water when you water the plant), a Tupperware dish, or even a small plastic storage tote.  Just fill the dish that you use all the way to the brim with water so the animals do not have to get all the way IN the dish to get a drink.  Birds like to stand on the rim of a dish and take little drinks while bigger mammals will have no problem reach down into a dish to get a drink.  Make sure the dish is full enough for the birds to be able to reach the water from where they stand on the rim of the dish.  If you are using a larger dish you can place a large rock in it for the birds to perch on and for them to use to get in the water for bathing.  Many items can be used in the dish as a ‘platform’ of sorts for the birds and other critters to use.  Large Rocks, an upside down dish drying rack, an upside down bowl or cup, or even various children’s toys or pet toys that do not float.

You never know who might show up!

You’ll be amazed at all the critters and birds that visit you just to get a drink!  This time of year food is plentiful and it’s really water that the animals need.  Without spending a dime on food or feeders you can still experience all of the wildlife in your area visiting your porch for a much needed drink.  Remember to change the water every morning so the mosquitoes don’t get a chance to use it for breeding purposes.  Mosquitoes need stagnant, still water for breeding.  As long as the water is either kept moving (like in a fountain) or changed out at least once every 24 hours, they won’t get a chance to move in.  

Send us your photos of the critters coming over for a drink.  We will post them to our Facebook page to remind others to help the wildlife by putting out a water source of their own.  Email photos to  The staff at the Wildlife Hotline, as well as the backyard critters of the world thank you for your help!!

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