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October 14, 2008  
Photo of Kevin Mack.

Fall Admissions
by Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist

Outside the walls of the PAWS Wildlife Center the arrival of fall is heralded by the changing color of leaves, a change in the weather and changes in the wild community with which we share our wooded campus. In recent weeks the PAWS Campus has played host to Winter Wrens, Varied Thrushes, Golden-crowned Kinglets and a number of other species that were absent during the summer months. Inside the center, there are changes as well. Animals who arrived as orphaned babies earlier in the summer reach the age of independence and are released. The number of patients we take in each day decreases, and there is a shift from mainly young animals to mostly adults. We have experienced this shift over the past few weeks, but we have certainly had no shortage of interesting patients. The following photos will introduce you to a few of our recent arrivals.


On October 8, PAWS Wildlife Center received a Leach's Storm-Petrel who had been found on the roof of North Seattle Community College. These tiny seabirds are nocturnal, and they are often confused by and drawn to bright lights. It is likely that the storm-petrel was disoriented by a light on top of the college and flew headfirst into it.

Storm-Petrels have tube-like nostrils on top of their beaks and, unlike most bird species, have an excellent sense of smell. Fortunately, this storm-petrel was not badly injured. After recuperating in a net-bottomed cage for a day, he was moved to a large pool, where he spent a few days. He preened regularly and restored his feathers' water repellency. He was released back to Puget Sound at dusk on October 13.

On October 7, a Red-naped Sapsucker was brought to the wildlife center after striking the window of a Bellevue home. She had suffered head trauma but had no apparent bone fractures. Birds are confused by the reflective quality of glass. If light hits a window at such an angle that it reflects an image of the surrounding trees and vegetation, a bird cannot tell the difference between the reflected vegetation and the real thing. You can reduce the chances that a bird will strike your window by blocking or eliminating these reflections. Learn more by reading the Songbirds Fact Sheet.

PAWS regularly receives Red-breasted Sapsuckers, and occasionally receives Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. This is the first Red-naped Sapsucker that PAWS has received in at least the past 13 years. In this photo you can see the distinctive red patch on the back of the bird's neck. The sapsucker spent several days recovering from her impact with the window and was then moved to an outdoor flight pen. At the time of this writing she was flying well and awaiting her release.

This female American Robin was brought to PAWS Wildlife Center on October 12 after she was attacked by a cat. She suffered some damage to her right wing during the attack and was awaiting an X-ray when this photo was taken. Close to 15% of the wild animals that PAWS receives annually are brought to us after being attacked by domestic cats. It will be safer for both your cat and wildlife if you do not allow him to roam free and unsupervised. Enclosures, leashes and many other options are available to keep your cat safe and happy while still allowing him to get some fresh air and sunshine. Read more in the PAWS magazine article, "A Safe Cat is a Happy Cat."

Like the sapsucker, this Golden-crowned Kinglet flew headfirst into a window. He suffered head trauma and a wing injury in the process.

In this photo the kinglet had recovered to the point where he regained his appetite.

This adult Coyote was found on October 12. He was struggling to stand in the middle of Hwy. 101 after having been struck by a car in Cosmopolis, WA near Aberdeen. A concerned citizen stopped and scooped him up, and then drove him over 100 miles to PAWS.

The Coyote is recovering from a fractured leg and seems to be healing well.

This young Bobcat was found emaciated and wounded in Clear Lake on October 1. Now at PAWS, she is slowly recovering. Judging from her wounds, it is likely that the Bobcat was separated from her mother when she was struck by a car.

Yet another window-related casualty, this Varied Thrush was brought to PAWS on October 15. Varied Thrushes spend the summer in the foothills and mountains, and migrate to lower altitudes in the fall. Many of them fall victim to the cars, cats, windows and other human created dangers that exist in the heavily developed lowlands.

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