NORTHERN MICHIGAN - Duck nests, particularly mallard nests, seem to pop up everywhere in the spring. Female mallards often build them in landscaping, gardens or other locations that people may find inappropriate, or at least inconvenient. If you spot one, it’s best to leave the nest alone and keep pets away from it, too. The hen will lead her young to water soon after they hatch.

Canada geese, which sometimes build nests near houses or in parks, also will quickly shepherd their chicks to water. Adult geese are very protective and may hiss and run or fly toward perceived intruders. Try to avoid nesting areas, but if that’s not possible, carry an umbrella and gently scare the bird away by opening and closing it.

On the rare occasion that you come across an animal that is injured or truly abandoned, please keep in mind that, in Michigan, it’s illegal to keep the animal unless you’re a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Under the current Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order, some wildlife rehabilitators may have had to suspend services; call ahead to see whether they are able to assist at this time.

Everyone can play a part in successfully sharing space with wildlife in our communities. Get additional tips and information on handling conflicts with wildlife and what to do if you find a baby animal at

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