If you're a mother experiencing empty nest syndrome, here's a great gig for you. Just like every Spring, animal shelters experience an overwhelming influx of baby birds in need of a mother hen to guide them. You could be that mother hen.
This weekend, the Peninsula Humane Society is holding its first orientation for animal lovers interested in nursing newborn birds that have been dropped off by residents who already have enough mouths to feed.
It won't be anything like raising a teenager, but that's a good thing, right?
As a volunteer, you will also be asked to help educate residents about attempting to care for wildlife on their own; in other words, when to leave a bird alone and when to save it from the cruel world.
Here's a few tips the SPCA can offer now:
Annually, the SPCA gets some 4,000 to 4,500 live local wild animals from San Francisco through Northern Santa Clara County between March and August. Some are sick or injured, but the majority are very young, orphaned wildlife brought to the center by nice people who find them their yards. This inadvertent "kidnapping" could be orphaning a bird that is being watched by parents. Before rushing to help, watch the bird from 30 to 50 feet away.
The volunteer orientations for those interested in providing care for wildlife are: Saturday, April 13 (9 a.m. to 11a.m.); Thursday, April 25 (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.); Saturday, May 11 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m.); and Thursday, May 30 (6 p.m. to 8 p.m.). To sign-up, contact Brian Probst at 650/340-7022, ext. 328 or bprobst@PHS-SPCA.org.