Celebrating the wildlife releases of the PAWS Wildlife Center
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See video of a Kingfisher receiving care at PAWS, and getting placed back with his siblings in his nest.
A young kingfisher rests at PAWS while waiting to be returned to his nest burrow.
Cheryl had discovered the baby kingfisher in the middle of a trail that ran along a stream. The bird was clearly too young to be out of the nest and appeared to be shivering. Cheryl picked him up and took him home, keeping him warm on the way. Once at home, Cheryl made several phone calls to try to find help for the little bird while Bea kept him warm and cared for him. Cheryl was eventually referred to the PAWS Wildlife Department and transported the bird (which they had named "Twinkie") to the center in Lynnwood.
Upon admittance, the kingfisher was found to be a healthy nestling and an attempt to return him to his burrow was planned for the next morning. In the meantime, the young bird was placed in a cage with an injured adult female kingfisher. The female quickly took to him and before long was brooding him to keep him warm and becoming very protective. The pairing seemed to have beneficial psychological effects for both birds and they were both eagerly swallowing fish that were provided by their human caregivers.
While at the wildlife center, the nestling kingfisher was housed with an adult female kingfisher. The pairing seemed to be beneficial to both of them.
With the nest site confirmed, Cheryl, Bea and I headed back to my truck to retrieve the box containing "Twinkie". Bea was kind enough to carry the box back down to the burrow for me. As I took the kingfisher out of the box and approached the burrow entrance, he became extremely active and vocal. I placed him inside the hole and he immediately ran down the tunnel and into the nest chamber. As I watched him go, my eyes began to adjust a bit to the darkness and I could make out what appeared the be the feathered head of an adult kingfisher at the back of the burrow. Apparently one of the parents had returned to the nest while we were retrieving the baby from the truck.
We left the family to enjoy their reunion in private. The next day, Cheryl reported via email that she had heard the chirping of the young kingfishers as she passed their burrow on her daily walk. Hopefully, the babies will decide to save any future exploring for a time when they are old enough to fly.
Many thanks to Cheryl and Bea Gruwell for helping to give this little kingfisher a second chance at life!
Wildlife Release tally: June 26 to July 9, 2002
Wildlife Release tally: 2002 Year to Date
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