« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

21 posts from January 2011

During 2010 a wide variety of wildlife met their needs for food, shelter, water and nest/den sites on our little island of habitat here at PAWS in Lynnwood (not counting the animals that are brought to us for care). There were at least 9 bird species with nests and/or young here on campus. I get to spend a very limited amount of time taking photos on campus, and I rarely venture away from the area around the wildlife center and outdoor wildlife caging, so I am sure that the nests and young that I see represent only a small fraction of what is out there.

For several years now, I have been keeping a running list of the bird species that are seen at PAWS. I only include birds that touch down on the property, not those that are only seen flying over it. Three new species were added to the list this year bringing the total to 63 species. The three species that were new for this year were the Golden-crowned Sparrow, Western Wood-Pewee and the Osprey.

I went through all of the photos I took at PAWS in 2010 and pulled out my favorites.

The first shows a resident Steller’s Jay clinging to the outside of one of our aviary cages. Inside the cage you can see the silhouette of one of our patients...another Steller’s Jay. The two jays seemed to have formed a bond despite the caging keeping them physically separated. When our patient was ready for release, we released him  onsite so the two birds could be together.


One of three new species added to the campus bird list this year, this Golden-crowned Sparrow was very photogenic.


Another new species, the Western Wood-Pewee, was a bit shier and less colorful than the Golden-crowned Sparrow. He was still a beautiful sight.


Among the birds raising young at PAWS in 2010 was this male Dark-eyed Junco. I had to divert the little fledgling that is begging him for food when she wandered too close to the parking lot by the wildlife interpretive trail.


One of my favorite encounters on campus in 2010 was with the Red-breasted Sapsucker below. When I first spotted him, he was sunning himself as seen in the left-hand image. Next, he relaxed, and lowered his head as seen on the right. It was nice to see he was a fellow tree-hugger.

Campus-2010-Year-in-Review-10  Campus-2010-Year-in-Review-11

The largest woodpecker species in the state (the Pileated Woodpecker, below left) once again shared PAWS campus in 2010 with the smallest woodpecker species in the state (the Downy Woodpecker, below right). If the two photos below showed the birds at actual size, the Downy Woodpecker would be about as long as the Pileated’s tail.

Campus-2010-Year-in-Review-12 Campus-2010-Year-in-Review-13

The Northern Flicker below was the male from the successful breeding pair on PAWS campus. He frequently hung out around our woodpecker cages to let the flickers that were our patients know that they were in his territory. He’s a gorgeous bird, and you have seen him more recently in black-and-white on the cover of PAWS Magazine.


A fall snowstorm created some challenges for humans and animals alike on PAWS Campus. This Ruby-crowned Kinglet was seen foraging in the new fallen snow.


Western Tanagers like the young male pictured below provided a welcome flash of color here at PAWS.


I don’t keep track of numbers of individuals of a species sighted, but it seemed to me like I encountered Hermit Thrushes more often on PAWS campus in 2010. This Hermit Thrush eating an Oregon Grape below was encountered in the fall.


As always, the crows were my allies in locating birds of prey on PAWS Campus in 2010. Their boisterous caws led me to the location of this Barred Owl along the dog walking trail. I like the way the maple leaf is resting on the owl’s head in the photo.


If you enjoy seeing the photos and reading about my encounters in this review of 2010, I encourage you to stop, look and listen whenever you are outside in 2011 so you can have some encounters of your own.

I don’t have any kind of magic that brings these animals close to me. They are always all around us. To see them all you have to do is look.

Cora. Pit Bull.

Pit Bulls get a bad rap for all the wrong reasons. This girl is as gentle as they come. When I sat next to her she handed me her little elephant toy you see there and put her head on my lap. (I gave the toy back when I left.)



Milley. Beagle/Daschund

At 2 years still something of a puppy. Shy at first, but opens up eventually.

Staff and volunteers at the new PAWS Cat City in the University District reported near-record traffic for last Thursday's grand opening. "Today was a doozie!" says staff member Nina Pruneda. "We had non-stop business and visitors all day."

Over the weekend, PAWS Cat City adopted out 20 cats and kittens. That's a huge number for January, and a testament to the new facility that features huge viewing windows, high-tech cat toys, and a play room for prospective adopters to "play around" with the cats.

A huge thanks goes out to Q13 meteorologist M.J. McDermott for featuring PAWS Cat City during her "Pet Walk" forecasts. MJ is a huge animal lover, and we're lucky to have her help getting the word out!


Baby (left) and Scooby (right) are a bonded pair of cats. Baby, a grey and white cat. Scooby, a grey Tabby cat. Last week, just before the grand opening of the new PAWS Cat City location in U District, I got the chance to preview the space. I was excited at how nice and roomy it was for the people visiting, and especially for the cats.

But I was even more excited when I met Scooby and Baby, a bonded pair of boys whose kitty love melted my usually cynical demeanor into a baby-talking mess.

Baby, grey with white patches, looks forward to getting petted, taking just a short time before he is comfortable and up on your lap asking for more. He is the shyer of the two boys, and tends to hide especially when children are around.

Scooby, a grey tabby, is the best friend you never knew you had. Approach him and he is in your lap, ready to get to know you and let you know he liked you the second he saw you. As soon as he saw me even glance in his direction, he was rolling on his side and purring at me. (That's my hand you see scritching at his chin in the photo below and right.)

Between these two there is never a dull moment or an empty lap. On top of that they enjoy each other's company. Because they're such great companions, they won't get lonely if they need to be left alone for a period of time (for work or school, for example). They've both lived with other cats and dogs, too.

Come and visit these outgoing cats at the new PAWS Cat City location. Their adoption fee is $135 for both of them. You won't be sorry you stopped by!

Silver-haired-Bat-110002-in-cage-web Silver-haired-Bat-110002-in-cage-web2 This Silver-haired Bat was found on the ground near a home in Everett, WA on January 2. The homeowner that discovered the bat reported that he found him lying on his back, barely moving.

At this time of year, Silver-haired Bats in Washington State are usually in hibernation. On the west side of the Cascade Mountains they may rouse briefly during periods of warmer weather during the winter, but they mostly remain dormant. It's likely that this bat was disturbed from his winter roost and ran into trouble when he was unable to quickly find alternate shelter.

He will spend the remaining winter months in care at the PAWS Wildlife Center. We are housing him in an unheated building so he will be able to continue his hibernation, but his enclosure contains food and water in case he chooses to rouse and feed on warmer days.

IMG_2940 Reese with foster mom Aggie After weeks of anticipation, the new Cat City is open for business!

For thirteen years the Greenwood neighborhood of Seattle was our happy home, but it was time to stretch our legs and move up to some roomier digs. The new location is at 5200 Roosevelt Way NE, Suite B. Behind the huge-windowed store front, you’ll find big sunny rooms where you can play with and get to know our cats. We’ll even match you up with the perfect feline with just a short survey. (You can get a head start by downloading the survey here.)

In the weeks before the move, cats were home-fostered by volunteers. Today, they roam their open cat “colonies,” and play for hours on end. They’ll miss their foster families a bit, so stop by and make their day!

Gibson in colony with toys 1 

Volunteer Dog Walker Christian Dobrick joins the PAWS Blog team today and will be regularly updating with photos of the dogs he interacts with.

Hi there! I have been volunteering at PAWS since PAWSwalk in September of 2010. I started because I used to have a fear of dogs. Now once a week and usually on holidays I am fortunate enough to spend time will all these little (and big!) guys. I enjoy every minute of it.


Frankie. Labrador Retriever/German Shepherd.

He's a big guy with lots of good energy.



Apple. Pit Bull.

Quiet, friendly girl. She's got cool diamond shaped patch of white on the back of her neck too.



Cole. German Shorthair Pointer.

My first encounter with a member of the pointer family. He's a great guy, comes right up and leans into you. I'd take him home myself if I could. (no treats were used in obtaining this photo)


Tommy2-web Tommy-web Tommy is a shy but sweet 10-year-old kitty who would really like to find a nice new home and leave the shelter behind.

His motto is "don't fence me in!" He doesn't much like his cage and gives a tough guy impression in there. But get him on your lap and you will never see a more affectionate cat. He loves to snuggle, hug, give kitty kisses and head butts. He's also fond of eating kitty snacks from your fingers.

Tommy is a quiet cat who enjoys his privacy, but once he's found his person he'll break down and become the love of your life.

Come in and visit him today at PAWS in Lynnwood, WA. His adoption fee is $90, which includes a great package of essentials: his initial vaccinations, a microchip, his neuter surgery (already completed), a carrier, and a free visit to a local veterinarian.

The Red-tailed Hawk, now strong and healthy again, soars as he is released back into the wild. A Crow flies after the Red-tailed Hawk and voices his anger, but he is no match for the hawk's strong flight. On December 5, a Red-tailed Hawk was brought to the PAWS Wildlife Center after a man found him sitting on the shoulder of I-405 near Bothell, WA. The hawk was weak and in shock, and he had blood on the inside of his beak.

It is common for Red-tailed Hawks to hunt along highways, drawn there by the mice and voles that they can easily spot in the mowed areas along the shoulders and median strips. It is also common for the hawks to become so focused on their prey that they fly right in front of oncoming traffic as they descend toward an intended meal. The signs of trauma exhibited by this hawk were consistent with having been struck by a vehicle. Fortunately the bird escaped without any broken bones or other, more serious injuries.

After a few days of supportive care, the Red-tailed Hawk began to regain his strength. He refused to eat on his own, as some of our wild patients do, but our wildlife staff assist-fed him daily and kept a close eye on his weight to make sure he was getting enough nutrition. He graduated to an outdoor flight enclosure for the final week of his stay at PAWS.

On December 21, a volunteer and I released the hawk at a quiet park in Bothell. At first he was hesitant to leave his carrier, but with some gentle encouragement he exited and took flight. He flew beautifully, gaining altitude and circling away to the west before coming to rest in a tall fir tree.

Although we were thrilled to see the hawk flying, several nearby crows and one Glaucous-winged Gull were not. The crows quickly organized a protest that consisted of squawking and dive-bombing the hawk, while the gull circled overhead adding her vocalized complaints to the effort.

Eventually the hawk took flight once again. He was last seen heading north with the crows still in pursuit, but the hawk’s strong, confident flight was unhindered by their harassment.

Chili-Frijole1 Chili-Frijole2 This cute little pair of Chihuahuas are seeking a dog savvy home together. They are very much a bonded pair and couldn't imagine life apart.

They are sweet and gentle, and would do best in a home with children over nine years of age. They are have been spayed/neutered, microchipped and are current on shots.

If you would like to meet this adorable pair, visit PAWS Companion Animal Shelter in Lynnwood to see if they would be a good match for you. Their adoption fee is $200, which includes a free visit to a local veterinarian.