Birds and other wild animals

Last updated June 6, 2022

Montréal is home to a variety of birds, rodents and wild mammals. How can you prevent squirrels from getting into your garbage bins? What should you do if you see a pigeon that is injured or a dead skunk? Learn more about what to do in these situations.

The following wild animals are found in urban environments:

  • Squirrels
  • Groundhogs
  • Skunks
  • Raccoons
  • Wild turkey
  • Ducks
  • Bats
  • Deer
  • Seagulls
  • Pigeons
  • Crows
  • Geese
  • Chickadees and other birds
  • Coyotes

In Montréal, feeding wild animals is strictly prohibited so that they don’t become accustomed to humans and lose their independence. Some animals can bite, transmit diseases such as rabies, or cause a nuisance.

How to behave with wild animals

  • It is strictly prohibited to feed wild animals, except stray cats under the TNRM program.
  • Never approach wild animals or baby birds, even if they are injured or very young.
  • Avoid feeding pets outdoors.
  • Keep your household garbage in animal-resistant bins.
  • Keep your dog on a leash and only walk on marked trails.
  • Keep your cat indoors, particularly at night.
  • Pick up fruit that has fallen from trees, as it is a food source for wild animals.
  • Block access to your property, balcony, shed and garden.

If a wild animal causes damage to your property, you can identify the animal on the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs Web site (in French). If you still cannot identify the animal, the Web site also provides useful tips and photos of each animal species.

It is prohibited to capture, relocate or kill wild animals, which are protected under the “Act respecting the conservation and development of wildlife”.

Use caution under all circumstances, especially with respect to protecting endangered species, such as the bat, the chimney swift or the barn swallow.

If you see an animal injured or in danger, please report it to us.

Guidelines specific to wild birds

In addition to adopting appropriate behaviours in the presence of wild animals, there are also specific guidelines to follow for birds.

  • While it is prohibited to feed wild animals, bird feeders are authorized on private property. But keep them out of reach of squirrels and pick up the food that falls on the ground.
  • Clean feeders and bird baths on a regular basis to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Close off any openings that might allow birds to nest inside the feeder.

What to do if you find a dead animal

Hygiene tips:

  • Never touch a dead animal with your bare hands: use disposable gloves.
  • Immediately wash your hands afterwards, even if you used disposable gloves.
  • Disinfect or dispose of any material that may have come into contact with the dead animal.

The procedure for reporting a dead animal is different if the animal is on your property or if it is on city property (street, alley, park, etc.). Check out how to do this below.

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