Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
Spring is here, and this is a good time to remind you what to do with the little creatures you find in your yard.
Spring is that time of the year when the calls start rolling in to the Johnson County Extension Service concerning abandoned baby wildlife. Birds and rabbits found “abandoned by their parents” make up a majority of the calls, extension officials say.
But just because you do not see the parents of the young animals in question, does not mean they are abandoned and in desperate need of your help.
Many times the parents could simply have been scared off with your arrival, and they are waiting out of sight to get back to taking care of their young.
They also could be gathering food for the young or simply taking a break from them.
Please remember, any animal removed from its natural environment has a diminished chance at survival.
Also, in many cases it is illegal to keep wild animals without the appropriate licenses/permits; these laws are for your safety and the safety of the animals.
If you find a baby bird on the ground it is best to either leave it alone or place it back in the nest if it can be found. The bird was probably learning how to fly or simply fell from the nest. If no nest can be found place the bird in a small bush or tree to protect it from hawks, dogs or cats. They will not be neglected. The parents will continue to take care of the youngster until it is able to fly consistently.
If you see baby animals on their own please fight the desire to help, and leave them alone. Your presence is often what scared away the parents. The sooner you exit the area, the quicker the parents will return to and care for their young.
This information is provided by the Johnson County Extension Service, 11811 S. Sunset Drive ,Suite 1500, Olathe, KS 66061; (913) 715-7000, (913) 715-7005.
If you should come across a small creature that is larger or more than your average Robin or bunny, Operation Wildlife in Linwood, Kan., is probably the people you need to speak too. This is what you should do and how to contact them. Here is their info.
• Keep pets and children away
• Do NOT feed or water.
• Call OWL immediately at  (785) 542-3625 or (913) 631-6566.
• Take the animal to one of OWL’s facilities.