Wednesday, July 14th, 2004

Wild Again

Celebrating the wildlife releases of the PAWS Wildlife Center

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PAWS Mailing Address:
PO Box 1037
Lynnwood WA, 98046

PAWS Physical Address:
15305 44th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA 98037

Kevin Mack
Hungry Little Mouths
by Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist

In the July 30th, 2003 issue of Wild Again titled "Quantifying the Effort", I attempted to calculate how much time and effort had gone into caring for 17 baby birds that were treated and/or raised at the PAWS Wildlife Center. I calculated that the birds collectively had required nearly 10,000 hand feedings in the month leading up to their release. The number surprised me, but I have a feeling that the numerous Bird Nursery Caretaker volunteers that perform the bulk of the baby bird feedings here at PAWS might have thought the number I came up with was too low. Baby birds have seemingly endless appetites, and a Bird Nursery Caretaker's day consists of placing food in a never-ending series of hungry, gaping mouths. With the following series of photos, I have attempted to give you a look at several of our current avian patients as they are typically seen by a Bird Nursery Caretaker.

Western Tanager

Some of the young charges are fairly polite. This fledgling Western Tanager sat still and simply opened his mouth when food was offered.

Steller's Jay

This young Steller's Jay was a bit more insistent at feeding time.

American Crow

You really need sound to truly appreciate a hungry young crow. Not only do they vocalize to let you know they are hungry, they also make what can only be described as a "turkey-like" sound as they swallow the food.

American Robin

Young birds, such as this American Robin, use a combination of vocalization and body posture to grab their parent's attention at feeding time. The bright colors inside the mouth, and thickened "gape flanges" at the edge of the bill also help to stimulate adult birds to deposit food.

DE Junco

This Dark-eyed Junco's technique was very similar to that of the robin, but note the subtle difference in posture, and the marked difference in mouth color.

RW Blackbird

This Red-winged Blackbird placed himself in an even more dramatic pose than either the junco or the robin.

Bewick's Wren

This Bewick's Wren isn't shy at all about asking for a bite to eat.

BC Chickadee

This Black-capped Chickadee is a little more reluctant to come out into the open for his meal.

Western Kingbird

Less than two weeks ago, this Western Kingbird behaved in much the same way as the other birds featured in this issue. Now nearing the age of independence, he no longer gapes for food, and flies away if approached by humans. Soon he will be ready for release thanks to countless hours of care from the PAWS Bird Nursery Caretakers and other staff and volunteers.

Wildlife Release tally: June 23rd to July 5th, 2004

40 Mallards
1 Raccoon
18 Eastern Gray Squirrels
5 Canada Geeese
1 Townsend's Chipmunk
12 American Crows
2 Virginia Opossums
16 American Robins
5 Steller's Jay
7 Black-capped Chickadees
2 Band-tailed Pigeons
1 Barn Swallow
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
3 Bewick's Wrens

Wildlife Release tally: 2004
454 animals

All rights reserved. 2004 Progressive Animal Welfare Society