« December 2011 | Main | February 2012 »

11 posts from January 2012


Like all things that come in small packages, Heath the Beagle has a big heart.  That's why the second graders in Miss Jennie Warmouth's class at Spruce Elementary chose to write him an adoption profile!  They found that they had much in common with Heath—both the students and this friendly pup love playing with toys, hanging out with friends, and eating treats!  And just like the students, Heath is always on his best behavior.

The students hope that their profile for Heath will find him a forever home and family. If you're looking for love and companionship, look no further than Heath! 


Meet Heath the Beagle

Heath is a LOVEBUG! He is adorable, playful and loving. What else can you ask for? Cuteness?

Well, HE HAS THAT TOO! Heath is such a good dog. When you watch TV he will just snuggle up with you!

If you love Beagles then Heath is the one for you, and if you like dogs then you will think Heath is the best ever!

Here is a rare chance to read Heath’s mind:

“Now what shall we play…Hmmmm…I know! Let’s go outside!!! Oh! Oh! Let’s play fetch!

Woof! Woof!"


Meet-PieMeet Pie!  Pie is the quintessential Labrador.  Goofy, energetic, and more limbs than he knows what to do with.  This three-year-old is sleek, handsome, trim and ADORES tennis balls.  If he could, he’d have three tennis balls all to himself and a non-stop tossing machine.  

This athletic boy is the perfect hiking, biking, running & outdoor companion – the more exercise he gets, the better he is!  As with all teenagers,  Pie would do well with some obedience training so he could smooth out those rough edges.  

This loving boy is eager to please and will do all he can to make you happy – can you find room in your heart and home for one more piece of Pie?



This week, Miss Jennie Warmouth's second grade class decided to write an adoption profile for not one special PAWS animal, but for two!  They chose bonded pair Belle and her friend Daphne, two kitty kindred spirits who would love to be adopted into a new home together. 

The students created this adorable profile for Belle and Daphne to encourage prospective adopters to take home these two best friends.  They even made a fun quiz, complete with an audio clip of the answers!  If you're looking for double the love, come meet Belle and Daphne at PAWS adoption partner Sunset Hill Vet in Ballard! 

Belle-DaphneDo you have TWO hands? Then perhaps you should have TWO cats to pet!

Belle and Daphne always want to be together! They love each other like sisters. True love should not be separated. These two best friends should be together always! These two are like MAGNETS! They just stick together!

Belle is a chatty catty, She loves attention. Then there is Daphne. Daphne is the quieter of the two. She is a sweet shy girl who follows her sister around! She is warm and loving, too!

Daphne is sweet as a Daffodil and Belle’s meow is musical like a bell! Both are nine years perfect.



Q1: Which kitty is the shy cat?

Q2: Which kitty looks like she has a white chest?

Q3: Which kitty loves to talk?

Q4: Which kitty loves attention?

Q5: Which kitty loves her sister?


Click below for the answers! Daphne and Belle by PAWS WA


The bill to establish humane limits and conditions for dog tethering, HB 1755, is scheduled for a hearing this Thursday January 19 at 10 A.M. before the House Judiciary Committee. 

We urgently encourage you to support this bill's passage by contacting your representative in support of HB 1755.

Email Tara Weaver, tara.weaver@leg.wa.gov and ask her to forward your written testimony to House Judiciary Committee members no later than 7 P.M. on Wednesday January 18.

Use this letter template to help formulate your message—pick 1-2 bullet points for your e-mail.

Please refer to the bill advocates' website for specific details on the hearing time and location, guidance for submitting testimony, and directions to the state capitol.

Let us know after you take action by forwarding a copy of your message to publicaffairs@paws.org!  With your help, we can be a voice for all dogs in Washington State. 

Thank you for your support!

Throughout the year, I send periodic emails called “Campus Updates” to PAWS staff and volunteers to keep them apprised of wildlife activity here on our campus in Lynnwood, WA.  I am always amazed at the diversity that can be found on our modest, 7-acre site.  During 2011 the Campus Updates featured 443 photos representing 39 bird, 2 mammal, 4 spider, 15 insect, 2 plant and 1 slime mold species.   

I went through all of the photos from the 2011 Campus Updates and pulled out my favorites to share with you.  The first shows the fruiting bodies of the Stemonitis slime mold that was growing on a downed tree in front of the wildlife center.  I think of them as nature’s Koosh® balls.

38 Stemonitis slime mold (6)

01 American Robin (1), PAWS Campus 040811 KM





I photographed many American Robins on PAWS's campus in 2011, but I focused a lot on a pair that had a successful nest attached to the wildlife center’s deer shed.  This is my favorite photo  of the male and his bright orange breast.








The image below shows the female of the breeding pair on the nest.  I didn’t notice the beak sticking out from under her (indicated by the red arrow) until I uploaded the photo to my computer.  I found out later there were three babies in the nest.

02 American Robin on nest, PAWS Campus 071211 KM

I love the parent bird’s posture and the look on his face in the photo below.  I know I’m anthropomorphizing, but he looks a little taken aback by the demanding young in front of him.

03 American Robin feeding nestlings, PAWS Campus 071311 KM (3)

Another robin pair that built their nest in front of the wildlife center lost their eggs to crows before they hatched.  It was fascinating to watch the nest building process though.

04 American Robin building nest, PAWS Campus 042611 KM (2)

05 American Crow, PAWS Campus 072811 KM (29)





Speaking of crows, at least three pairs of them nested successfully on PAWS Campus in 2011.  In the late summer, I encountered this fledgling who appeared determined to clean every last berry off of our Elderberry bushes.





06 Anna's Hummingbird fledgling, PAWS Campus 041911 KM (2)




Although I did not find the location of any hummingbird nests this year, our local Anna’s Hummingbirds clearly had a successful nesting season.  I encountered this fledgling when she was feeding on Red Currant blossoms along the walkway that leads to the wildlife center.





07 Anna's Hummingbird fledgling, PAWS Campus 041911 KM (3)





Still young and naïve, the hummingbird was very tolerant of my presence.  She was also extremely focused on the blossoms in front of her.









08 Anna's Hummingbird fledgling, PAWS Campus 041911 KM (5)






Hopefully this bird will have a nest of her own on PAWS Campus next spring.











09 Bushtit at nest, PAWS Campus 071911 KM (20)





A Bushtit family successfully raised a brood in the salmonberry bushes along the wildlife center front walkway last summer.  The nest was right next to the path, but most people didn’t see it because it was so well camouflaged.








I was excited to see this fledgling Pileated Woodpecker on campus.  I was unable to find the nest this year, but this young female proved that our resident pair of pileateds had another successful year.  This is exciting because these woodpeckers are listed as a State Candidate species.  This means their populations have declined and they are being closely monitored to determine whether or not they require the protection of Threatened or Endangered status.  The yearly nesting success that these birds are experiencing here on our 7 acres can only help make their overall population situation brighter.

10 Pileated Woodpecker fledgling, PAWS Campus 062211 KM

11 Pileated Woodpecker, PAWS Campus 011911 KM (54)



My favorite Pileated Woodpecker encounter on PAWS Campus in 2011 was with the male of our breeding pair.  He was actively feeding on an alder snag, and he was putting quite a bit of force into each blow.





12 Pileated Woodpecker, PAWS Campus 011911 KM (33)





In fact, he was striking with so much force that the feathers of his crest flew forward every time his beak struck the tree.  I know these birds are well adapted for this, but all I could think was “ouch!”







The woodpecker also gave me a great view of his impressive tongue as he extracted insects from the holes he was making in the tree trunk.  Note that his crest is back in its normal position in this photo.

13 Pileated Woodpecker, PAWS Campus 011911 KM (47)

While the photo below is not technically all that great, it is still one of my favorites from 2011.  This is because it shows a female Hutton’s Vireo trying out her partially completed nest in the rhododendron bush right outside the wildlife center’s front door.  Ultimately the vireo pair decided not to use the nest, but it was exciting that they had even considered it since this species is a rare sight on campus.

14 Hutton's Vireo nest construction, PAWS Campus 043011 KM (13)

15 Bewick's Wren (1), PAWS Campus 040811 KM



Bewick’s Wrens appeared frequently in the 2011 Campus Updates.  This image of a wren on a spare tire is one of my favorites as it gives a good sense of the bird’s tiny size. 



16 Bewick's Wren (13), PAWS Campus 040911 KM





I like this Bewick’s Wren photo because the twigs behind the bird make it appear as if he has giant antennae.









17 Black-capped Chickadee, PAWS Campus 040211 (3) KM





Both Black-capped and Chestnut-backed Chickadees were common sights on PAWS Campus in 2011.  This bird was one of a mated pair of Black-capped Chickadees that successfully nested in a tree along the wildlife interpretive trail.  I loved the pose of the bird in this shot, but I also really liked the colorful buds surrounding him. 




18 Spotted Towhee, PAWS Campus 050711 KM (2)



As common as Spotted Towhees are on campus, they only occasionally appeared in the Campus Update in 2011.  This is both because they are wary, and because the tend to hang out in low bushes and shrubs where the shadows make it difficult to capture them in a photograph.  The photo of this male sitting in a Mountain Ash tree was the best one I got all year.


Golden-crowned Kinglets were plentiful on PAWS Campus during the fall and winter months of 2011.  This was my favorite kinglet image.  The brilliant yellow on the kinglet’s crown looks like it has been painted on.

19 Golden-crowned Kinglet, PAWS Campus 120111 KM (2)

Many Yellow-rumped Warblers visited the PAWS Campus in late winter and early spring.  I took this silhouette shot as one of the warblers was hovering and gleaning insects from the blossoms on a maple tree.  I like how you can faintly see the splotch of yellow on the bird’s chin and the stripes on the wings near the body.

20 Yellow-rumped Warbler, PAWS Campus 050711 KM (14)

21 Downy Woodpecker, PAWS Campus 041911 KM (8) silhouette



Another favorite silhouette shot from 2011 was this one.  Can you guess what the bird is?




22 Downy Woodpecker, PAWS Campus 122111 KM (2)





If you guessed that the silhouette belonged to a Downy Woodpecker, you were correct.  Here’s another shot of the same species from 2011 showing the bird’s namesake downy feathers on his back.










Almost every spring, a male Black-headed Grosbeak arrives on PAWS Campus.  I usually hear him singing for several weeks, and occasionally catch glimpses of him, high in the trees by the retention pond.  This year though, he flew down and began foraging in the Indian Plum bushes next to me as I was walking along the driveway.  It was a treat to see him so close, although he seemed a bit suspicious of me.
24 Black-headed Grosbeak, PAWS Campus 052711 KM (9)

25 Band-tailed Pigeon, PAWS Campus 072211 KM (16)



The summer of 2011 was very disappointing weather-wise.  The temperatures rarely approached anything that I would consider warm.  On one of the rare sunny days in July, I noticed this Band-tailed Pigeon sitting high in a tree behind the wildlife center preening himself.  He looked as happy to see and feel the sun as I was that day.





26 Barred Owl, PAWS Campus 082411 KM (5)




The local crows served as my assistants in finding birds of prey on the PAWS Campus in 2011.  They were especially vocal about this visiting Barred Owl that stopped by in August.  The owl had clearly been mobbed by crows in the past though, because he knew how to choose a perch that provided him excellent protection from being dive-bombed. 







27 Cooper's Hawk, PAWS Campus 081611 KM (1)




This young Cooper’s Hawk caused a bit of a stir over the summer when he took an interest in the birds in the wildlife center’s songbird aviaries.  This photo was taken as he was sitting on top of an aviary trying to sort out how to get at the birds on the other side of the wire.








28 Cooper's Hawk, PAWS Campus 081611 KM (12)




The hawk was very persistent, and we eventually had to cover the top of the aviary with a tarp so he could no longer see the birds.  He seemed very confused by the whole situation, but he moved on after the tarp was put in place.








31 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (37)


One of the funniest wildlife encounters I had on PAWS Campus in 2011 involved a young Eastern Gray Squirrel that was apparently confused about which things were edible and which were not.  As she was burying what appeared to be a piece of bark, she realized that I was watching her. 




32 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (61)



She then moved her burying spot slightly, so it was obscured from my view behind the tree, but she still thought I might want to steal her prize.  She plopped down in front of the spot where she had buried the bark and gave me an “I am on to you!” look as she munched away on what looked like a clump of dirt.








In April I had a close encounter with this Raccoon along the PAWS dog walking trail.  A color version of this photo was included in the Campus Update at the time, but I like it much better converted to black-and-white.

33 Raccoon, PAWS Campus 041511 KM (1)

One of my favorite insect photos from the 2011 Campus Updates was this one showing a bumblebee, flecked with pollen, visiting a Fireweed blossom.

34 Bumble Bee, PAWS Campus 081011 KM

35 Green Shield Bug, PAWS Campus 091711 KM (2)




I wasn’t sure that this Green Shield Bug (aka Green Stink Bug) was even aware of my presence until he assumed his defensive posture and started exuding this drop of smelly liquid.






36 Unidentified Insect, PAWS Campus 082711 KM (2)





Another favorite insect encounter in 2011 was with this charismatic individual.  I still have not properly identified him/her.










Last but not least, we have a photo that fascinated some people and gave others nightmares.  I encountered this pair of dome web spiders in late August as they were going through their courtship and mating.  Looking through my macro lens, I could see the male spider’s hematadocha (indicated by red arrow below) expanding and deflating.  It was a fascinating process to observe, and I was thrilled that I actually managed to capture it in a photo.  It’s a good reminder that the tiny wild creatures around us are every bit as complex and interesting as the much larger furred and feathered varieties.

37 Spiders mating, PAWS Campus 082711 KM (8)

Make a point to watch and listen for wild animals whenever you are out and about.  The more you tune in to your surroundings, the more amazing things you will discover.  Also, do what you can to protect, improve and restore the wildlife habitat around you.  As the abundance of wildlife that benefits from the habitat here on PAWS's Campus can attest, every single square foot counts!


CatCity_1Bramble lets out a friendly warbling meow as he slowly stretches his hind legs. Pacing in front of the large window, he gazes at the birds while inviting passersby to stop and say hello. This handsome black and white gentleman is one of the many cats in residence at the PAWS Cat City facility in the University District, which today celebrates its one-year anniversary in this new space.

On January 11 of last year, PAWS moved its Cat City facilities from a small, cramped office space in Greenwood to this bright, state-of-the art facility on Roosevelt Way. The new-and-improved Cat City features three separate cat colony rooms where kitties like Bramble can lounge on cushioned bedding, socialize with others cats and roam freely without being confined to a cage. It also features a fully separate visiting room, a station for washing dishes, and a bright and inviting common area for staff and volunteers to greet and counsel prospective adopters.

“Functionally, we have a lot more workspace,” says Cat City Supervisor Steph Renaud. “In the old place, we literally had a sink in the bathroom that functioned as a place to wash hands AND cat food dishes. Now we have space to exercise the animals and give them even more one-on-one attention.”

CatCity_2With its meet-and-greet rooms and large windows, the new facility is designed to showcase Cat City’s eligible four-legged felines, and encourage visitors. So far, it’s a huge success. In the first year of operation, Renaud says they have seen a leap in adoptions. Despite having 42 fewer kittens than average in the past year, Cat City saw a 31% increase in adult adoptions (including bonded pairs and senior cats aged 7 and up). And most importantly, says Renaud, “It’s that many more cats that are living in a colony setting rather than in a cage.”

The new facility also boasts a large retail section to meet the needs of pet-owners and their furry friends alike.

“We have lots of toys, brushes, beds, catnip—basically anything you’d need to get started” says Renaud. Cat City even sells starter kits for first-time adopters, which includes necessities like a litter box and cat bed, plus other toys and goodies that cats will love.

It was a long journey getting to the new facility, but Renaud says that in the end it was worth the wait. “The animals are happier, the staff and volunteers are happier, and that’s the best of both worlds.”


During the first week in January, the PAWS Wildlife Center admitted two new patients that had something in common- they had both been deceived by a trick of light.  The first patient was a Red-breasted Sapsucker from Bothell, WA who arrived on January 2.  Likely seeing a reflection and believing he was flying toward the trunk of a tree, the bird had instead collided hard with a window and suffered a broken wing.


The second patient, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, arrived on January 6.  After flying headfirst into a window pane, the hawk was found sitting stunned in the nearby bushes.


As of this writing, the hawk was bright and alert, but she was awaiting X-rays to determine the cause of her drooping wings.  As eye injuries are common with window collisions, especially in larger-eyed birds of prey, the hawk was examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist.  Fortunately, both of her eyes appeared to be undamaged.


As these two birds, and dozens of others that PAWS will receive this year demonstrate, windows can pose an extreme hazard to our feathered neighbors.  If you would like more information on avoding bird window strikes on your property, please visit the Common Problems page in the wildlife section of the PAWS website.     


When the second graders in Miss Jennie Warmouth's class at Spruce Elementary saw this photo of our sweet but long-time resident Gwen, they were struck by two things:  her captivating eyes, and her playful personality!  They wrote this adorable adoption profile to help Gwen find a home where she can take long naps in the sun to her heart's content. If you're looking for someone to keep your lap warm and your heart full of love, look no further.  Come meet Gwen at PAWS in Lynnwood today!



I see the eyes of a cutie cat! 

Toys over here, feathers over there. Gwen is playing everywhere!

This little girl is SO playful she even imagines that the BROOM is a gigantic back scratcher!

Little Gwen sees the fun in every moment. Gwen is an ENTERTAINER!She will light up your life with her sweet imagination.

Gwen is the most warmhearted and playful cat ever!




On January 1, at 9:30 am, we received our first wild patient of 2012 here at the PAWS Wildlife Center.  This year's first arrival was a Northern Saw-whet Owl that was hit by a car along Washington's Highway 2.  Fortunately, a passing driver spotted the diminutive raptor sitting on the shoulder of the road and stopped to rescue him.  By the time the bird arrived at PAWS, he was in a deep state of shock due to head trauma he sustained during his earlier collision. 


As of this writing, the owl's condition has improved, but he is still exhibiting the after-effects of his traumatic impact.  Meanwhile, more animals in need are arriving every day.  The circumstances that bring them to PAWS vary widely, but they all share one thing in common;  they will all be given the highest quality of care that we can provide in the hope that they will once again slither, run, climb, jump, swim and fly free.