Learn more about the wild patients treated at PAWS Wildlife Center through this weekly feature.
January 16: Silver-haired Bat
The patient this week is a silver-haired Bat. He arrived at PAWS Wildlife Center with a wound on his abdomen. The vet team closed the wound with two sutures and treated him for a possible infection. Silver-haired bats are one of the few bat species that are active in the winter in Western Washington. Most bats are currently hibernating. If you find hibernating bats this time of year, please do not disturb them. They can starve to death if they are agitated too often in the winter. Learn more about living with bats from WDFW’s bat webpage.
This week’s patient is a male gadwall that was recently released. He arrived with a wound on his forehead (above his beak) and a fractured keel (extension of the breastbone in birds). The PAWS vet team applied six sutures to close the wound and he fully recovered during his 10 days of care. During the release, he swam over to a group of ducks and started foraging with them. Gadwalls spend over 60% of their days foraging in the winter. Have trouble identifying gadwalls or other ducks in your area? Check out WDFW’s waterfowl ID guide.
January 3: American Crow
The patient of the week is also the first patient of 2018. This American Crow had a rough start to the new year as he broke his ulna (bone in his wing) and was found hopping in a backyard. He arrived at PAWS very cold and weak. He currently has a wrapped left wing to ensure his ulna heals properly and is receiving care in our ward. We hope he will regain full use of his wing which is important for crows. They can fly more than 40 miles each day from where they forage to their night roosts. Learn more about crow movements in our region from this fascinating interview with Dr. John Marzluff.
December 26: Northern Pygmy Owl
This Northern Pygmy Owl arrived at PAWS Wildlife Center after flying into a window before Christmas. This species has a cool adaptation that helps prevent attacks from behind. They have “false eyes” in the feather pattern on the back of their head. Check out ebird’s species map to see where others have seen these owls around Washington.
December 19: Northern Flying Squirrel
Our patient of the week is this Northern Flying Squirrel that was attacked by a cat and carried into a house. We rarely see these little, wild neighbors as they are nocturnal. They don’t hibernate in the winter but they may group up in tree cavity nests to stay warm. A good way to support cavity-nesting animals like these squirrels is to promote and maintain snags. If you have a hazardous tree on your property, for instance, think about hiring an arborist to transform it into habitat rather than removing it. Read more about how cool snags are!
December 12: Bufflehead
This week’s patient is a male Bufflehead that literally wandered into the Everett Animal Control Shelter 10 days ago. He suffered a fractured right scapula and a fractured pubic bone from unknown causes. His prognosis looks good as his fractures are already healing. You may recognize this patient as many Buffleheads spend the winter in the bays and inlets of the Puget Sound. If you want to observe Buffleheads and other local wildlife with fellow bird nerds, check out Seattle Audubon’s Neighborhood Bird Walks.
December 5: Big Brown Bat
This Big Brown Bat arrived at PAWS Wildlife Center with a broken right radius in his wing. Our vet staff inserted a pin in the broken bone to help it heal correctly. The pin was removed last week and he is currently going through rounds of physical therapy. If his wing heals properly, we hope to release him this spring once nighttime temperatures warm up. Learn more about these amazing animals from our bat's page.
November 28: Harbor Seal
After 43 days of care, this Harbor Seal weaned pup is back in the Puget Sound! She arrived at PAWS Wildlife Center dehydrated with a fractured toe and multiple tissue wounds on her flipper from a dog attack. The wildlife care staff treated her infected wounds and cared for her until she reached a healthy weight. Harbor Seals spend about half their life on land. They “haul out” (move to land) to rest, warm up, digest food, or avoid predators. Please be mindful of our marine mammal friends on beaches and give them at least 100 yards of space, especially during the pupping season between April and October. Harbor Seals don’t move very fast on land and can’t always get away from curious or excited pets. Learn more about Harbor Seals from NOAA.
November 20: Spotted Towhee
This Spotted Towhee was a victim of another cat attack - the 14th patient to be attacked by a cat in the last 4 weeks. He suffered a fracture to his left radius, a wound to his right flank, and loss of all but three of his tail feathers. Tail feathers are important for most birds as they support precision steering during flight. The patient received antibiotics and care until he grew new tail feathers and his wing healed. If you allow your cat or kitten to roam free outdoors, please consider purchasing an outdoor cat enclosure. These enclosures prevent cat attacks on wildlife but also keep our cats safe from outdoor hazards. Read more about outdoor enclosures and where to buy them here.
November 13: Horned Grebe
A dirt biker discovered this Horned Grebe with an injured left eye. After eight days of care at PAWS Wildlife Center, the patient’s vision improved. Good vision is important for this species as they often dive to capture crustaceans and small fish. Horned Grebes usually migrate from fresh water nesting sites to spend the winter in bodies of salt water. With his full recovery, we were able to release him into Puget Sound a few days ago. This picture was taken right after he made a couple dives in the Sound.
November 6: Long-eared Owl
Our patient this week is a Long-eared Owl that arrived at PAWS after colliding into a window, just like last week’s patient. This species is rare to PAWS and to Western Washington in general. They are more common on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains. Long-eared Owls are named for their long ear tufts that are not associated with their actual ears. They do have interesting ears, however, that are asymmetrically situated (the left ear is higher than the right). This allows them to accurately locate prey in complete darkness. If you are curious about our rare visitor, learn more about Long-eared Owls in Washington State from Seattle Audubon Society’s BirdWeb page.
October 30: Northern Saw-whet Owl
Our Owloween patient of the week is a Northern Saw-whet Owl that arrived after flying into a window. Window collisions are a common cause of injury for many birds that arrive at PAWS Wildlife Center. Often birds get stunned due to the collision and are vulnerable to predator attacks, as was the case when a cat found this owl after the accident. Fortunately, this little patient is recovering quickly and flying well. Please read more about what you can do to prevent window collision at your home or office and how to avoid conflict with companion animals.
October 23: Cassin's Auklet
This Cassin’s Auklet arrived at PAWS after she caught a ride on a boat from Alaska. She had wounds on her feet which the wildlife care staff are currently treating. This is a rare visit, as we have only had 2 individuals of this species in the last 3 years. Cassin’s Auklets can be seen in the Puget Sound but are primarily found on islands along the coast or on the open ocean. Fun fact: Cassin’s Auklet can dive over 120 feet while foraging for small fish and crustaceans.
October 16: Mallard Duck
Our patient of the week is a Mallard that arrived at PAWS weak and dehydrated. The animal care team discovered and dislodged a mass of bread obstructing the patient’s throat. It can be tempting to feed the wildlife in our favorite parks and green spaces but we should remember that this action has negative consequences. Check out The Humane Society of the United States post describing the harmful effects of feeding waterfowl.
October 9: Young Mountain Beaver
This young Mountain Beaver was found trapped in a dumpster at an apartment complex and brought to PAWS. She is in good health except for a parasite that was removed and she was then released on Tuesday night. Mountain Beaver is a misnomer as they do not live at high elevation nor are they a beaver. You can learn more about Mountain Beavers here.
October 2: Glaucous-winged Gull
This Glaucous-winged Gull was found in a parking lot in Marysville covered in tar on the left side of his body, his tail and ends of his primaries. He is currently in stable condition and received an initial washing to remove most of the tar. He will receive a second washing later this week.
September 25: Western Pond Turtles
Our patients of the week are two of the 12 Western Pond Turtles we are treating for Ulcerative Shell Disease, which is likely caused by a fungus. PAWS staff veterinarians are surgically debriding lesions, and treating the turtles with anti-fungal and antibiotic medications, and providing supportive care. The turtles are housed in an outdoor enclosure we call “Turtle Town”. Western Pond Turtles are an endangered species in Washington and PAWS is collaborating with Woodland Park Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Sustainability in Prisons Project to help with their recovery.
September 18: Juvenile Eagle
A juvenile Bald Eagle who was in care for more than 190 days was returned to the wild on September 6. She was brought to PAWS in February and had sustained major injuries. She had a broken right wing and a fractured pelvis. After several surgeries, physical therapy and lots of healing time she was cleared for release.
September 11: Pileated Woodpecker
This Pileated Woodpecker patient has been in care at PAWS Wildlife Center for 17 days and is currently being housed in our hospital ward with oxygen. He is suffering from respiratory distress because of parasites in his air sacs. Luckily, he is very active, drilling on his wood boards, and self-feeding.
September 7: Cedar Waxwings
These three Cedar Waxwings siblings who arrived at our Wildlife Center on August 30 hit the tail end of baby bird season at PAWS. Luckily for this trio, Cedar Waxwings stay in our area year-round so they don’t have worry about missing their migration.
August 29: Green Heron
This juvenile Green Heron came to PAWS after being observed without his mom for several days in Mukilteo. He spends time perching as still as possible in his enclosure trying to perfect his hunting skills. He is eating on his own and doing well.
August 22: Band-tailed Pigeon
This Band-tailed Pigeon was recently released back to the wild after 27 days in care. She was being attacked by crows when found, and sustained a fractured left clavicle and coracoid. Band-tailed Pigeons are the only pigeons native to Washington. They tend to stay out of sight, preferring conifer and mixed conifer forests over populated areas.
August 14: Great Blue Heron
This juvenile Great Blue Heron was seen in a backyard for several days before being rescued. She has a fractured right leg and underwent major surgery to repair it on August 1. Pins were inserted into her bones and an external device was affixed to her leg to stabilize the fracture. Although she still has a guarded prognosis, she has been moved to a larger enclosure outside and is now able to stand on both legs.
August 8: Pigeon Guillemot
This juvenile Pigeon Guillemot is a first for us here at PAWS. He was transferred in from West Sound Wildlife Shelter for further care after he was found near the beach. Other than being too young to survive on his own, he is alert, feisty, and eating on his own.
August 1: Striped Skunk
This orphaned Striped Skunk was brought to PAWS on July 29th for rehabilitation. Sadly, her mother was hit by a car and she was found alone on the side of the road. Upon arrival, she was cold and minimally responsive. She is slowly making improvements and being cared for by our rehabilitation staff.
July 26: Mountain Beaver
This female Mountain Beaver was brought to PAWS after she was caught by a dog and flung into the air. She has several small lesions on her feet and circles to the right when she tries to walk. Mountain Beavers or “boomers” are not actually a beaver and they do not live at high elevations. However, they are good swimmers and tree climbers and spend most of their time underground.
July 20: Anna's Hummingbird
This juvenile Anna’s Hummingbird was found on the street near Northgate mall. He has minor injuries to his keel, an area on the breastbone where flight muscles attach. He's being carefully cared for and monitored by our rehab and veterinarian staff.
July 13: Caspian Tern
This Caspian Tern chick, transferred to PAWS from Everett Animal Control, is currently being cared for in our sensitive species building for animals who are more susceptible to stress. This is the youngest Caspian Tern we've received at PAWS.
July 3: Harbor Seal
This orphaned Harbor Seal was returned to the wild after 71 days in care at PAWS. She came to us all the way from the Washington Coast and our team released her back to her home waters on June 28. She is now wearing a special tag on her rear flipper so she can be identified in the future.
June 26: Peregrine Falcons
These two juvenile Peregrine Falcons fledged from their nest a little early and were brought in for a short stay. The sisters will be at PAWS Wildlife Center until their flight feathers come in, and then be reunited with their parents and other siblings in the wild.
June 20: Bobcat
This young Bobcat was brought to PAWS on June 14 after being found alone near a residence. She is currently being housed separately from our other Bobcat kitten but we hope to introduce them soon. They will be raised as siblings here at PAWS until next spring.
May 1: Canada gosling
Our waterfowl nursery is starting to fill up with ducklings and goslings. This is one of three gosling siblings currently being cared for. The three goslings were found alone in Kirkland with no mother in site.
April 11: Anna’s Hummingbird
Baby season has officially begun at PAWS. This juvenile Anna’s Hummingbird was found on the ground too young to fly and was brought to PAWS for care on April 3. She is being housed in our sensitive species building and is currently being fed every hour.
March 27: American Black Bear
This male American Black Bear is one of our winter-over patients and arrived at PAWS on December 12. He is an orphaned cub who was found in an apple orchard in eastern Washington too young to be on his own. He will be in our care until his release later in the spring.
March 20: Mink
This adult female Mink was found near a road in Redmond in a bike lane and brought to PAWS on March 14. Upon arrival, she was near death and spent most of her first couple of days in care on oxygen support in a specialized enclosure. She is making small improvements every day yet still has a very guarded prognosis due to some neurological deficiencies and paresis in her left front leg.
March 13: Bald Eagle
Our patient of the week is a juvenile Bald Eagle who arrived at PAWS on February 24. She has multiple breaks in her pelvis and a broken right wing. It is possible she was struck by a train in Edmonds. She is currently spending a lot of time laying on the floor of a small outdoor enclosure and we are hopeful her pelvis will heal to full function although her prognosis is guarded.
March 6: Mallard duckling
Baby season has started a bit early this year with the arrival of our first Mallard duckling. He is very weak and being housed in an incubator in our nursery until he regains his strength.
February 27: Surf Scoter
Surf Scoters are seaducks and rare patients at PAWS; we have only received 9 in the past 10 years. Surf Scoters spend their winters along marine coasts and their summers inland in Alaska and Canada where they breed.
This male was transferred from another wildlife center for care. He was found in a drainage ditch and has a large neck wound. He is currently taking medication and is on supportive care in hopes his wound heals.
February 20: Great Blue Heron
This Great Blue Heron patient was brought to PAWS on February 10. It was being attacked by an eagle and crows in someone’s yard. When he arrived he had many puncture wounds, eye trauma, a bloody mouth and was unable to use his right foot. After wearing a specialized shoe on his right foot for several days he seems to have regained use but is still cautious when using it. We continue to monitor his progress and hope he regains proper usage of his right foot.
February 13: Red-tailed Hawk
This Red-tailed Hawk patient was brought to PAWS on February 2. She was actually going after someone’s chickens and ended up getting her wing caught in a fence. She was freed but then unable to fly. She is currently flying quite well in our Raptor Mews and is awaiting clearance for release.
February 6: Lesser Scaup
This Lesser Scaup patient was brought to PAWS by Edmonds Animal Control. He was found in a public storage facility unable to move very well. He has abrasions on his feet and a severe neck wound. He is currently on medication and we are keeping him dry to aid in his neck healing.
January 30: 19 Glaucous-winged Gulls
Our patients of the week are 19 Glaucous-winged Gulls and hybrids who were part of the mysterious gull die-off in Tacoma.
All of these patients are currently being tube fed and medicated several times a day by our rehabilitation staff with the help of our volunteers. We are still not sure what is causing their paralysis.
January 23: Harbor Seal
This Harbor Seal pup was brought to PAWS on January 12 after being spotted beached for several days by Seal Sitters. From afar she appeared to have several bloody spots on her coat which were indeed puncture wounds. After approval from NOAA the seal was brought to PAWS for rehabilitation.
Currently she is doing well spending time in an outdoor pool and eating fish on her own.
January 16: Bufflehead
This Bufflehead came to PAWS on January 15 after flying into a roof. He was very weak, was hemorrhaging from the mouth and wounded at intake. He is currently enjoying time in one of our basement pools.
January 9: Golden-crowned Kinglet
Our 24th patient of the year is a Golden-crowned Kinglet who was the victim of a cat attack and has a right wing droop. He is unable to fly and is currently recovering in our hospital.
January 1: Bobcats
Our first patients of the week of the new year are our bobcats who are wintering over at PAWS. They are both juveniles born in 2016, one in the spring and one in the summer. They are currently being housed together and raised as siblings. They will be released in the spring when food is more plentiful.
December 12: Red-breasted Sapsucker
This Red-breasted Sapsucker was found in someone’s yard trying to get away from crows unable to fly. He has some bruising over his right shoulder and is also unable to stand. We are unsure what caused his injuries.
December 12: Anna’s Hummingbird
We have received seven Anna’s Hummingbirds in the past 15 days, four of which we are currently treating. Our patient of the week is this beautiful male we received at the end of November. He was found under a window with a serious wing injury we think was caused by a window strike.
Unfortunately, the injuries for this patient were too severe and he did not make it to release. He is a sad reminder of the dangers of windows to birds, but there are steps we can take to prevent these strikes from happening.
December 5: Great Blue Heron
This Great Blue Heron patient was rescued after getting entangled in fishing line that was being used to deter birds from hunting in a Koi pond.
Herons and other birds cannot see fishing line when strung above ponds. We recommend using other means to keep birds out of your pond, but if you decide to use fishing line please attach some reflective flaggery to the line so it can be seen by birds and prevent entanglement.
November 28: Raccoons
This is one of the five Raccoons that are spending the winter with us at PAWS playing with a donated pumpkin. These youngsters will be released in the spring.
November 21: Western Pond Turtle
This is one of five Western Pond Turtles we are currently treating at PAWS. This is her third time here and she is being treated for ulcerative shell disease.
She is part of the Western Pond Turtle recovery program which is a multi-organizational project to restore Western Pond Turtles who are endangered in Washington.
November 14: Sharp-shinned Hawk
This Sharp-shinned Hawk patient was brought to PAWS after hitting a window which lead to a ruptured crop.
He underwent surgery to repair the tear which was successful. He is now in an outdoor enclosure awaiting to be assessed for release.
November 7: North American Beaver
A North American Beaver was found lying at the edge of a pond on a golf course in Kenmore not moving very much.
Although alert upon capture he has multiple wounds, which appear to be bite wounds, on his body, matted hair and fleas. Matted hair is very unusual in beavers as they are constantly grooming to keep their coat clean so they stay warm while in the water. He is spending some time at our wildlife center while he recuperates.
October 31: Glaucous-winged Gull
We have two Glaucous-winged Gull patients currently in care; one adult and one sub-adult.
The adult was found outside of a school in Lynnwood, unable to fly and with multiple wounds and lameness in his right leg. The sub-adult was found sitting in the middle of a parking lot in Everett. He was very weak and unable to fly.
It’s not clear to us what caused these two gulls to be grounded, but they are currently spending time in one of our pool enclosures until they have regained their flying ability.
October 24: Black-tailed Deer
Five Black-tailed Deer were released today thanks to our friends at King County Parks. Each came to PAWS too young to survive on their own and have been in care for more than 130 days.
This is our biggest release of the season and we are happy they could be returned to the wild as healthy sub-adult deer.
October 17: Northern Goshawk
Patient 16-4202 is a juvenile Northern Goshawk who was transferred to us from Seattle Animal Shelter.
Unfortunately we do not know what happened to him but upon arrival at PAWS he was wet, dehydrated and very weak. He is being housed indoors in our indoors until further assessments are made by our vet team.
Northern Goshawks are very secretive and uncommon in most areas. Here in Washington, they are listed as a species of concern.
October 10: Cassin's Auklet
Patient 16-4167 is a Cassin’s Auklet who was discovered on a cargo container ship unable to fly.
He is thin but in overall good condition and his feathers are waterproof so far. We're giving him more time in the pool to further assess his condition and give him time to preen and regain strength.
October 3: Northern Alligator Lizard
Patient 16-4115 is a Northern Alligator Lizard who someone abandoned in a terrarium in front of a pet store in Bellevue. We do not know his history but he is shedding and has some soft tissue wounds.
September 26: Pileated Woodpecker
Patient 16-4028 is an adult Pileated Woodpecker who we received on September 22 from Redmond. Hit by a car, he was found on the ground, unable to fly, and with a broken beak.
This patient is a very special bird, as the population of Pileated Woodpeckers is being monitored by state biologists. They are a candidate to be listed as threatened, endangered or sensitive in Washington State.
September 19: Belted Kingfisher
Patient 16-3897 is an adult female Belted Kingfisher who has a spinal fracture and was transferred to us from Seattle Animal Shelter.
We are not sure what caused the injury and she currently has a guarded prognosis, but our expert team of wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators will do everything they possibly can to help her.
September 12: Bald Eagle
Patient 16-1452 is an adult Bald Eagle who was found in a river unable to get out. Upon arrival at PAWS wildlife staff found that the majority of the flight feathers on his left wing were tattered and broken, leaving him flightless.
He has been in our care for more than 100 days and will continue to be housed here until his molt is complete and his new flight feathers have grown in.
September 5: Coyote
This is one of five coyote patients, all of whom were orphaned and brought to PAWS because they were too young to survive on their own.
Some were infected with severe mange while others were extremely skinny. They are all being raised together as siblings and will be in our care until early fall.
August 29: Virginia Rail
Patient 16-3725 is a Virginia Rail who was a stowaway on a cruise ship that had been docked in Seattle. She landed on the ship when they were at sea off the coast of Washington. Luckily the naturalist on board was able to care for her until they reached Juneau, AK where the Juneau Raptor Center took over.
The rail was flown back to Seattle on an Alaska Airlines cargo ship and arrived August 28. Virginia Rails are a secretive wetland birds that do not live in Alaska but are a year-round resident of Western Washington.
August 22: Northern Flying Squirrel
Patient 16-3416 is an orphaned Northern Flying Squirrel who was found on the ground with an injury on her left leg.
She is currently being cared for in our small mammal nursery.
August 15: American Goldfinch
Patient 16-3307 is a female American Goldfinch who was stuck in a glue trap. Her feathers had to be cut to remove her from the trap, which left her unable to fly. Sadly, and despite the best efforts of our wildlife rehabilitators, she passed away.
Glue traps are not only inhumane but are extremely dangerous to birds who can easily get trapped in them, sometimes rendering them flightless and susceptible to predators.
August 8: Bobcat
Patient 16-2982 is a roughly four-month-old male Bobcat kitten who predated on someone’s chickens.
At this age he would still be with his mother learning to hunt natural prey items. He will remain in care at our wildlife hospital through the winter.
August 1: Red-tailed Hawk
Patient 16-3031 is a Red-tailed Hawk recovering from surgery to remove a BB pellet that was lodged in his left carpus (wrist) inhibiting his flight.
Not only is it illegal to shoot Red-tailed Hawks, as they are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, but even something as small as a 4-millimeter BB can cause permanent damage and death in birds.
Because this hawk couldn’t fly, he was unable to catch prey which eventually would have led to starvation.
July 25: Douglas Squirrels
Five Douglas Squirrel patients were returned to the wild last week after spending a little over a month in care at our wildlife hospital.
They were all orphans who had fallen from their nests, and they were too young to survive on their own.
Douglas Squirrels are native to Washington and are only found along the Pacific coast.
July 18: Peregrine Falcon
Patient 16-2462, also known as 72U to researchers, is a female Peregrine Falcon who fledged on July 4.
She was too young to fly and ended up on the ground. A team member from the Falcon Research Group brought her to PAWS to give her time for her flight feathers to grow.
She was reunited with the rest of her family on July 14. She flew beautifully up to the bridge trusses, where she joined her two sisters and their mother, who was watching close by.
July 11: Cooper's Hawk
Patients 16-2517 is one of three juvenile Cooper’s Hawks we are currently treating.
Young hawks and owls are fledging from their nests this time of year. Those first few flights can be awkward and can result in them spending some time on the ground. In fact it can take several weeks for them to fly very well at all.
This patient was found entangled in a net by his foot and hanging in a tree, with his parents frantically flying around nearby. He’s making good progress so far, and will be in our care until he is stronger and can fly better. We hope to be able to reunite him with his parents.
If you find a young raptor that appears to be injured or can’t fly, call us at 425.412.4040 for information and guidance on what to do.
July 4: Harbor Seal
Patient 16-2216 is a male Harbor Seal pup who was found alone and being harassed by people.
Police intervened and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) granted approval for him to be taken into rehabilitation at our wildlife hospital, where he will spend the remainder of the summer.
Not only is it illegal to approach or handle marine mammals such as Harbor Seals, this activity causes mothers to abandon their pups, which can result in pups dying.
To report harassment of marine mammals by people or pets, call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 1.800.853.1964.
To report a seal or other marine mammal that appears to be abandoned or injured, call the NOAA Seal Hotline at 1.866.767.6114 or the West Coast Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1.866.767.6114.