October 5th, 2005
by Kevin Mack, PAWS Wildlife Naturalist
The end of the summer brings a shift in the patient caseload here at
the PAWS Wildlife
Rehabilitation Center. Just a few months ago, infant and juvenile
animals were coming through our doors in a steady stream. Over the past
several weeks, that stream has reversed as many of these same animals
achieved the age of independence and were sent back out into the world
to live the wild lives they deserve. But there is plenty of work yet to
be done. We have many young animals that are still in the process of
developing the skills they will need to survive, and we continue to
receive adult and sub-adult animals that need a helping hand. The
following photos will show you a sampling of some of these unique
individuals that have recently been in our care.
Western Grebe 05-2655 ran into a little trouble in the town of
Sumner during his fall migration. As many water birds do, he
mistook a paved area for a body of water and came in for a landing.
Grebes are highly specialized for an aquatic life, and their legs
are situated very far back on their bodies. They also have small
wings relative to their body size, so they need to run on water
for quite a distance before they gain enough speed to take flight.
Since their legs are situated so far back, they can barely even
stand on dry land, let alone run. Once grebe 052655 hit the
ground, he was stranded. Luckily humans intervened and brought
him to PAWS.
Grebe 05-2655 was fortunate in that he did not suffer any injuries
in his crash landing. When he arrived at PAWS on September
28th, he was a little dehydrated, and a bit dirty, but otherwise
healthy. He spent the night in a large pool, preening, drinking
and eating all the smelt he desired. He was released the next
Wounded and bleeding, Harbor Seal 05-2332 was found on Myrtle
Edwards Beach in Seattle on August 23rd. She was sent to PAWS
for treatment with permission from the National Marine Fisheries
Service. PAWS wildlife staff treated the seal for multiple
lacerations, and she quickly healed. She has now more than
doubled in weight and is ready to return home to Puget Sound.
Red-tailed Hawk 05-2599 was found injured in Olympia on September
21st. He was taken to a rehabilitator in the Chehalis area who
then transferred him to PAWS. He is currently in PAWS' care
recovering from a fractured right radius and ulna, injuries
that were likely suffered in a collision with a car.
Red-tailed Hawk 05-1189 arrived at PAWS on June 14th. Like
hawk 05-2599, he had multiple fractures in his wing, likely
from being struck by a car. He was also suffering from a
chronic fungal infection. His wing has now fully healed, but
treatment of his infection is ongoing.
Cooper's Hawk 05-2478 was brought to PAWS on September 4th.
She was suffering from a fractured coracoid bone, which is often
the result of collision with a window. The bone has healed and
the bird is now being housed in an aviary to assess her flight
Red-breasted Sapsucker 05-2594 was struck by a car on
September 20th. His examination at PAWS revealed bruising
on his chest, but no broken bones. After several days of cage
rest, he was moved to an outdoor aviary to condition himself
This side view of sapsucker 05-2594 shows the importance of
the bird's stiff tail feathers. Like other members of the
woodpecker family, the sapsucker uses its tail both for support
and for leverage against the tree trunk while pecking.
Band-tailed Pigeon 05-2577 was found on the ground in Seattle
on September 17th. When she arrived at PAWS, she was unable
to stand, but after receiving supportive care she quickly gained
strength. When this picture was taken, she was perching normally
in a quiet cage inside the center. She will soon be moved to
outdoor caging to strengthen her flight muscles.
Northern Flying Squirrel 05-2505 was found in an Edmonds
backyard on September 8th. Dehydrated and believed to be an
orphan, he was brought to the PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitation
Center. This photo shows him asleep in his cage in the baby
Northern Flying Squirrel 05-2173 has been in care at PAWS
since August 12th. She too was an orphan. Now nearly full
grown, she is being housed in an outdoor pre-release cage.
Here she tentatively peeks out of her nest box to assess
the naturalist that was attempting to assess how much longer
she would have to wait for release.
If you are a regular Wild Again reader, you may remember
Coyote 05-1390 from the July 13th issue of this e-newsletter.
She had been found alongside a highway, curled up next to the
body of her dead mother. In the past few months she has
transformed from a snarling pup to the sleek, agile form you see
in this photo. As I write this, she is on her way back home to
eastern Washington. Her ordeal that began alongside the highway
is nearly over. Tonight she will be free.
Wild animals released between September 20th and October 3rd, 2005:
All rights reserved. ©2005 Progressive Animal Welfare Society
1 Evening Grosbeak
2 Barn Owl
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
1 American Crow
1 Great Blue Heron
9 Cedar Waxing
1 Band-tailed Pigeon
2 Swainson's Thrush
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Western Grebe
1 Virginia Opossum
1 American Robin
1 Red-breasted Sapsucker
519 wild animals have been released since the beginning of 2005.
Thanks to all of you for helping to make these releases possible!
A Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967,
the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelters homeless
animals, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers
people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily