Learn more about the wild patients treated at PAWS Wildlife Center through this weekly feature.
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.
June 27: Townsend's Chipmunk
Patient 16-2075 is one of three Townsend’s Chipmunk patients we are caring for in our small mammal nursery.
This young chipmunk was found in someone’s car in a nest with his two siblings.
There are three native species of chipmunks in Washington: The Least Chipmunk, Townsend’s Chipmunk, and the Yellow-pine Chipmunk. Unlike squirrels, chipmunks spend the majority of their time on the ground. They typically dig extensive burrow systems for raising young and caching food.
Learn more about chipmunks and squirrels in our Wildlife Resource Library.
June 20: Northern Garter Snake
Patient 16-1548 is a Northern Garter Snake who was hit by a lawn mower in someone’s yard.
He has a large laceration on his body and has had the tip of his tail amputated.
Garter snakes are great to have in your backyard habitat as they like to eat slugs, grubs and small rodents.
June 13: Western Scrub-Jay
Patient 16-1875 is a juvenile Western Scrub-Jay who was found alone and bleeding from his mouth.
He is almost fledgling age and too young to survive on his own. He is safe in our Baby Bird Nursery until he is old enough to be released.
June 6: Great Blue Herons
Patients 16-1375, 1435 and 1496 are three of the six Great Blue Heron fledglings we are currently caring for at PAWS. They were each found on the ground too young to fly and some have sustained injuries.
Great Blue Heron fledglings are starting to leave the safety of their nests and, like all birds, cannot fly very well at first. They can sometimes be found on the ground near their rookery.
Unless they have obvious signs of injury or are in imminent danger of being disturbed by humans and companion animals, they should be left alone.
May 30: Short-tailed Weasel
Patient 16-1106 was an orphaned Short-tailed Weasel whose mother was hit by a car while carrying her across the street.
On May 26, she was taken over 170 miles back to the Columbia River Basin to be released. She was the 141st wildlife patient released in May!
May 23: Barn Owlet
Patient 16-1306 is a roughly month-old Barn Owl who fell from his nest and due to a fractured wing was unable to be renested.
Did you know Barn Owls do not hoot the way most owls do? Instead, they make harsh screams that can sound quite alarming.
May 16: Hairy Woodpecker
Patient 16-1117 is an adult Hairy Woodpecker who sustained head trauma after hitting a window.
Hairy Woodpeckers are medium-sized, black and white woodpeckers. Males have a flash of red on the back of their head. They nest in tree cavities and eat insects.
May 9: River Otters
Patients 16-0764 & 0765 are orphaned sibling River Otter pups who were brought to PAWS on April 27.
Their eyes and ears were still closed upon arrival and they were estimated to be only a couple of weeks old.
River Otters are a special species; they are considered indicator species of wetlands with ample high-quality water and are used as a flagship species to save wetlands and other aquatic habitats. They can live in salt and fresh water habitats and primarily prey on fish. They communicate vocally and through their scent posts.
May 2: Bewick's Wrens
Patients 16-0707 through 0711 are five Bewick’s Wren youngsters whose nest box was accidentally knocked out of a tree.
With no mom in sight, these nestlings were brought to PAWS on April 23. They are now being cared for by volunteers in our Baby Bird Nursery, which officially opened this week.
Bewick’s Wrens are cavity nesting birds who eat insects and are in our area year round. Their striking eyebrow sets them apart from another year-round wren resident, the Pacific Wren.
April 25: Killdeer
Patient 16-0565 is a Killdeer chick brought to PAWS after being spotted running around with a frantic parent nearby.
It’s common to see young wild animals at this time of year. Unless they are obviously injured, the best thing to do is to walk away slowly and leave the parent to tend to their young. Even if they appear to be alone, their mother isn’t typically too far away.
Killdeer are ground-nesting shorebirds who typically use gravel or rocks for their nest substrate. If their nest is threatened, they perform a “broken wing” display to try and lure the intruder away from their chicks. In fact, they are considered to be among the best known practitioners of the broken wing display. They will also call loudly, bob their head and run away from the nest.
April 18: Raccoons
Patients 16-0509 and 0510 are our first raccoon babies of the year.
They are siblings who were brought to PAWS after a failed attempt to trap their mother which resulted in her abandoning them. Their eyes are still closed and they weigh just over five ounces. They are estimated to be only a few days old.
It is currently peak breeding season for Raccoons, who typically give birth between mid-March and June in Washington.
Though they are primarily nocturnal, they can sometimes be seen during the day. They have excellent night vision and hearing and an extremely sensitive sense of touch. Their highly developed nerves and advanced manipulation abilities in their forepaws helps them identify prey items.
Raccoons are commonly seen rolling their prey around in the water, but contrary to popular belief they do not wash their food before eating it. The moisture makes their paw pads even more sensitive, enhancing their ability to identify objects. Read more about Raccoons in our Wildlife Resource Library.
April 11: Common Goldeneye
Patient 16-0390 is a female Common Goldeneye who was found lying upside down on rocks on the coast of Shilshole Bay.
She was transported to PAWS form Seattle Animal Shelter on April 5 by one of our transport volunteers. Upon arrival she was dehydrated, weak, thin, and her feathers were not waterproof.
Common Goldeneyes spend the winter here in Washington but breed in Alaska and Canada.
Common Goldeneyes nest in tree cavities and, much like Wood Ducks, their young must jump from the nest to the ground a day after hatching; they can fall as far as 40 feet. They are diving ducks and eat aquatic invertebrates and small fish. Their eyes are actually gray-brown when they hatch and change color from purplish blue to green to yellow as they age.
April 4: Barred Owl
Patient 16-0237 is a male Barred Owl that was found sitting on the ground unable to fly and holding his head down.
He was brought to our wildlife hospital on March 20, where our expert staff found that he had some lameness in his right leg and was very stressed. He has been on supportive care since then, although he still appears to be weak. He will continue to spend time in an outdoor enclosure to build up his strength.
Barred Owls are typically very sedentary, not moving around very much within their home range. However, they have recently expanded their range into the Pacific Northwest. They prefer to live in mixed forests of large trees, often near water. They eat a variety of small animals and nest in natural tree cavities. Young Barred Owls climb trees by grasping the bark in their bill and talons, flapping their wings, and walking their way up the trunk.
March 28: Mallards
Patients 16-0275 through 0280 are six orphaned Mallard siblings whose mother was hit by a vehicle.
They were brought to PAWS on March 26, where they are being cared for in our waterfowl nursery until they are big enough to move outside.
Mallards are dabbling ducks—that is, they feed at the surface or tip their rear up to reach underwater—that can be found across North America.
They have adapted to living around humans and can be seen in most city parks.
Mallards can be found in Western Washington year round but they do migrate in some areas of the country. Migrating Mallard flocks have been recorded flying 55 mph, which is quite fast for a duck.
Did you know that male Mallards don’t quack? They actually make a quiet rasping sound, while females make a more typical quack.
March 21: Cedar Waxwing
Patient 16-0220 is an adult Cedar Waxwing who was found on a sidewalk unable to fly. She was brought to PAWS on March 16, where she was diagnosed with a scapula fracture. She is currently under cage rest to allow her injury to heal.
Cedar Waxwings eat mainly fruits year-round. They get their name from waxy red secretions found on the tips of their flight feathers, although the function of the wax is unknown.
March 14: American Crow
Patient 16-0186 is an adult crow transferred to us from Seattle Animal Shelter. He was captured on the UW Campus, unable to fly. He is suffering from several fractures on his left wing and right shoulder.
When he arrived at PAWS, our expert veterinary staff stabilized his wing and shoulder. He will need another surgery and cage rest to recover.
Crows are extremely intelligent and will sometimes make and use tools to warn off predators and to catch prey.
March 7: Bald Eagle
Patient 16-0176 is an adult Bald Eagle who arrived at PAWS on March 6. He was found on a beach unable to fly very well with an oily substance contaminating the feathers on his head. After being watched by the locals for several days he was captured and brought to PAWS for treatment. He is thin and has some lameness on his left leg.
Currently, Bald Eagles are nesting and defending their territories. This can be an exhausting time for both males and females as they build their nests, mate and rear their young.
February 29: Dark-eyed Junco
Patient 16-0140 is an adult Dark-eyed Junco who came to PAWS on February 24. He was stuck in a glue trap under a deck. He was safely removed from the glue trap, but his feathers were heavily contaminated with glue and he could not fly. He has already had one washing and his feather contamination is much improved. He will have to go through at least one more washing before it will be determined whether or not he can be released.
Glue traps are a commonly used to trap rodents; however, they are inhumane and indiscriminately catch other wildlife species. Many species of birds, specifically ground dwellers like the Dark-eyed Junco, and bats get caught in glue traps. Unfortunately, most of them cannot be saved. To humanely discourage and exclude rodents from your home and yard, refer to our mice and rats resource library page.
February 22: Muskrat
Patient 16-0127 is an adult muskrat who came to PAWS on February 20. He was found near the road, dragging his hind leg and trying to hide under a car. He is currently on eye medication and awaiting his full veterinary exam.
Muskrats are aquatic rodents who are mostly active at night. Their hind feet are webbed for swimming and their front claws are used for digging. Muskrats are a very important species that make valuable contributions to aquatic communities. They harvest plants for food and den sites, creating open water for ducks, geese, shorebirds, and other wildlife. A variety of other animals including snakes, turtles, frogs, ducks, and geese use their lodges and platforms to rest and nest.
February 15: Lesser Scaup
Patient 16-0044 is an adult female Lesser Scaup who came to PAWS after being transferred from Sarvey Widlife Care Center. She was found on January 14 with puncture wounds on both sides of her head unable to hold it up, she also had fluid in her lungs.
She is currently doing well, and she will be released once her wounds are fully healed.