People in Greater Victoria should refrain from decorating trees or shrubs in regional parks this winter, as it could pose a risk to the environment and wildlife, according to the Capital Regional District.
Although well-intentioned and festive, the district says holiday decorations left in parks can, quite quickly, become trash in high winds and bad weather.
“They can also pose risks to curious wildlife, who may consume them or use them as nesting material,” the CRD said in a Facebook post on Tuesday.
Birds, for example, could mistake ornaments for berries, Ann Nightingale, a volunteer with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory, told CHEK News.
“There are lots of sites that talk about using bird-friendly ornaments outside, like fruit, that they can eat. If someone puts something that looks like berries on a tree, a bird might try to eat them,” Nightingale said.
Still, she says the biggest danger for feathered friends is they become trapped in decorations, especially decorative holiday lights.
“The biggest risk is from entanglement, which seems to happen more from mesh lights over a bush or something like that. It’s possible that a larger bird could get stuck underneath it,” Nightingale added.
Along with ornaments, fake snow should also be a no-go outdoors as critters could become caught in the artificial material, particularly when it’s strewn on trees, bushes and windows, according to the BC SPCA.
“Unfortunately, birds and other animals getting stuck isn’t uncommon. Keep fake snow and spider webs inside where birds can’t get stuck. Or, get creative with other kinds of decorations!” the SPCA said.