Celebrating the wildlife releases of the PAWS Wildlife Center
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by Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist
As I sit in my office writing this, I can hear squealing and chittering noises drifting down the hallway from the small mammal nursery-a familiar mix of both excitement and protest coming from baby raccoons at feeding time. If I leave my office and walk downstairs, I will hear the peeping of ducklings, and of nestling songbirds begging to be fed. A wide array of interesting sounds is emanating from a number of different cages. A few cages are silent, their young occupants sleeping away the hours (or in some cases minutes) until their next feeding. Spring has arrived, and the wild babies are here, and they are eagerly demonstrating that incredibly large voices can be created with relatively small bodies.
This format doesn't allow me to bring you the voices, but I am able to bring you photos of the young animals to whom the voices belong. The following pictures represent only a small number of the babies that are currently in care at the PAWS Wildlife Center. I hope you enjoy them!
Too much ambient light can be distracting while
you are trying to sleep. This young raccoon
demonstrates the proper way to correct the
problem. There are currently about 30 orphaned
raccoons in care at PAWS.
A young Band-tailed Pigeon waits for his next
meal. Band-taileds are native, woodland pigeons.
They are far more wary of humans than their
cousin the Rock Pigeon which inhabits cities in
A fledgling wren takes a break from his meal to
pose for the camera. Until he is completely self-
feeding, this bird and his cagemates must be
hand fed every 30 minutes.
A group of mallard ducklings goes for a swim.
PAWS currently has more than 70 mallards in care.
A photo of this same Short-tailed Weasel
appeared in the last issue of Wild Again (May 5th,
2004). He has grown quite quickly over the past 2
weeks. Not only are his eyes and ears now fully
opened, he has been completely weaned onto
solid food. In this photo he enjoys a good stretch.
A fledgling Steller's Jay shows
off his new flight and tail feathers.
He will soon be putting them to
good use as he learns to fly in
an outdoor aviary.
This fledgling Dark-Eyed Junco will be ready for
release in about a week. He is self-feeding and
his flight abilities have been improving on a daily
basis. In this photo, his cryptic coloration makes
him difficult to detect in his outdoor aviary.
This young Barred Owl fell, or was
knocked out of the nest by a sibling.
In the process he suffered a
fractured ulna, and thus could not
be returned to the nest. His injuries
will be treated at PAWS, and he will
likely be released in the late summer
or early fall.
Raccoons are weaned onto solid food slowly. The
first food that they are offered is a mix of formula
and solid food that we call "raccoon mush". As
these two raccoons clearly show, they like it, but
they sometimes get carried away. Bath time
immediately followed this photo.
Wildlife Release tally: May 5th to May 11th, 2004
Wildlife Release tally: 2004
All rights reserved. ©2004 Progressive Animal Welfare Society