Communicating with Wildlife

I am blessed to live in an environment with regular wildlife encounters. Just this morning I watched an elk cow and her newborn calf cautiously make their way around my house in front of my office windows, disappearing into the heavily wooded area to wait out the heat of the day. Not everyone lives with elk, deer, or fox as regular visitors; however wildlife is all around in the form of squirrels, birds, and butterflies, even in the busiest of city parks.

newborn elk calf

newborn elk calf

Is it possible to communicate with wildlife? Yes, of course, with caution. There are many valid reasons we may want to communicate with animals living in nature, and a couple communications that we shouldn’t make:

  • We can express our gratitude and appreciation for their presence. This morning I commended the momma elk for her nurturing skills and ability to guide her teeny weeny to safety; more generally I express my awe and appreciation for their magnificence.
  • I don’t ever communicate a desire for them to come closer or to trust humans more than they already do – this is not safe for them. I always appreciate and communicate at a distance and encourage them to remain at a distance as well.
  • momma elk and calf

    momma elk and calf

    It’s important we keep their instincts in mind. They need to eat, but are the potted flowers on or near our patio their only viable option? Usually not, so encouraging them to find excellent nourishment *which is meant for them to eat* is valid. As a counterpoint I explain that any plants very near a human dwelling has risk factors. Again though, I would only make this communication if I know there are other viable food options which are safe for them to find.

  • I’m always fearful when I see wildlife near heavily trafficked roadways. It’s so tempting to tell them to run away from the road, but I would feel terrible if that communication put them in some other harm’s way. Be aware of the surroundings and do your best to encourage them to move “up the hill” or “into the trees” – encourage them toward something safe but only if you know where safety is.
  • In the fall I send out a general communication to the birds as they fly to warmer climes letting them know they are welcome to return in the spring if they choose. Similarly, I tell other wildlife “have a good nap” as winter approaches. It probably doesn’t really do much for them, but I like feeling like I’m connected with nature in this way.
Black fox

Black fox

Communicating with wildlife is exciting and a great way to practice. Be clear what you are communicating and keep their instincts in mind. Enjoy!


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