Nestling Barn Owls, almost ready to fledge: Just one of the many bird species received at wildlife clinics every year. Photo: chdwckvnstrsslhm, Wikipedia

Nestling Barn Owls, almost ready to fledge: Just one of the many bird species received at wildlife clinics every year. Photo: chdwckvnstrsslhm, Wikipedia

Ah, summer: a few short months full of camping, swimming, barbecues, family vacations, and baby wildlife. Wait…baby wildlife? Yes, and plenty of it.

Summer is usually the busiest season for wildlife rehabilitators because of orphaned — or thought to be orphaned — birds and other wild animals. Rehabbers take in many baby birds, squirrels, raccoons, deer, and more at this time of the year.

If you found an injured or orphaned bird or mammal, would you know what to do with it or who to take it to? Because wildlife rehabilitators can be difficult to find online, and because time is of the essence when dealing with nestlings, orphans, or injured critters, I’ve created a convenient resource for you that lists many of these wonderful people and organizations in one place.

To cover as wide an area of the Pacific Northwest as possible, the rehabilitation clinics and individuals listed cover Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Western Montana, and Northern California. I hope to cover more of Montana and California soon, and even include other western states.

Check out these listings by clicking the tab for injured wildlife above or going here: Injured or Orphaned Wildlife? or by going directly to the page for each area (the tab above also features a drop-down menu featuring each of these):

Alaska Wildlife Rehabilitators

British Columbia Wildlife Rehabilitators

Idaho Wildlife Rehabilitators

Northern California Wildlife Rehabilitators

Oregon Wildlife Rehabilitators

Washington Wildlife Rehabilitators

Western Montana Wildlife Rehabilitators

The lists are intended to be ever-growing and ever-changing. If you know of a clinic or licensed individual to add to any of the lists, or if a correction needs to be made, please email me using the link available on each page.

Further reading:

What To Do With a Baby Bird (via Audubon.org)

Handling Injured Birds (via Eastside Audubon)

Help! I Found a Baby Bird — What Do I Do? (via Infinite Spider)

Finally, please consider supporting a wildlife rehabilitator near you. Many need volunteers and donations, so do help out if you’re able.


Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram!

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler. Photo by Dominic Sherony. Graphic by Pacific Northwest Birds.

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler. Photo by Dominic Sherony. Graphic by Pacific Northwest Birds.

The Black-throated Gray Warbler is a fairly tame bird. It isn’t going to come up and land on your shoulder, but if you are lucky enough to spy one as it searches for insects among the branches, it won’t be too easily scared off. Despite its reputation of being easy to watch, the American Ornithologists’ Union says there still isn’t much research to be found on this small songbird. We know it migrates to the Pacific Northwest to breed, and then returns to Mexico in the fall. We also know that it eats insects in the summer and will add fruit to its diet in the fall and winter. Sadly, that seems to be the extent of any information gleaned about this black, white, and gray warbler.

This also means that while we can be pretty sure these warblers have about four eggs at a time, on average, we don’t know how many broods (sets of eggs) it has per year, so that information will be missing in the write-up below. Nevertheless, the Black-throated Gray Warbler is still a fascinating bird, which I hope you’ll enjoy learning about. Here we go!

Scientific name: Setophaga nigrescens (formerly Dendroica nigrescens)
Family: PARULIDAE

Size and markings: The Black-throated Gray Warbler is 4.5 to 5” in length. The male has a white face, white underparts, gray back, and a black mask and crown. The female is more of a slate-gray where the male is black, with a white throat. Juvenile is even lighter than the female. All have white wing bars, gray striping on the chest, and a yellow spot in the lores (just in front of each eye).

Learn more about warblers in The Warbler Guide.

Food: The main diet of the Black-throated Gray is insects and caterpillars, though, like other warblers, it may also eat fruit in the fall and winter months.

Habitat/nesting/behavior: Because it hangs out at a lower altitude and will spend time in lower branches and shrubs searching for food, you are more likely to see this warbler than the Townsend’s or Hermit Warblers. The Black-throated Gray prefers pine forests and pine/mixed forests, especially when oak is present. This monogamous warbler builds a soft cup-shaped nest. The length of the incubation and nestling periods is not certain.

Number of broods per year: Unknown
Number of eggs per brood: 4

Migratory pattern: This warbler is seen in the Pacific Northwest during breeding months only, from northern California, west to southern Idaho, and north to Victoria Island and southern British Columbia. In Washington state and Oregon, it is mainly seen west of the Cascades.

Months usually seen at backyard feeders: Not a feeder bird.

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Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram!

Have you heard? Coloring books are all the rage with adults now. Not kids’ coloring books necessarily, but coloring books illustrated and published with adults in mind, too. From Zentangle to books featuring mandalas, grown-ups everywhere are finding coloring to be an old-hobby-made-new-again. For many, it’s a way to unwind and even be meditative. Personally, I enjoy listening to audio books or podcasts when I’m able to find time to color or do some other hands-on type of hobby or craft.

And what’s better than relaxing while coloring and feeling like a kid again? Not much, unless you throw in being able to learn something at the same time…like bird identification.

Peterson Field Guides Color-In Books: Birds

Peterson Field Guides Color-In Books: Birds

I was so pleased to discover Birds recently, part of the Peterson Field Guide Color-In Books series. Written by Peter Alden and John Sill and using illustrations based on Roger Tory Peterson‘s famous drawings and watercolors, this fun book can be used by anyone who wants to learn more about our North American birds.

Over 230 numbered bird stickers are included, which can be placed inside the book next to the bird you’ll be coloring. Each bird in the book is represented by a black and white drawing and a short paragraph that describes the bird and tells you a tidbit about it that you might not have already known. For example, did you know that the Great Blue Heron, number 7 in the book, is sometimes mistakenly called a “Blue Crane”?

Use whichever medium you like best with this book. Pencils and paints are recommended on the cover, but it seems to me like paints would seep through. Markers (again, there’s the possibility of the ink seeping through), colored pencils, or even crayons can also be used. I use a pack of 50 colored pencils that I purchased from Amazon, and they’ve been working very well for coloring the birds. Having at least 50 colors at my disposal gives me more choices for colors, of course, and the kid in me just thinks it’s cool to have so many. (You should have heard my giddy laugh when they arrived in the mail.) Colored pencils or crayons, in my opinion, make it easier to blend colors — a trick I learned from an artist friend of my mom’s when I was very young.

The first birds I tackled in the book were bluebirds: Mountain, Eastern, and Western. From there, I moved on to a Chestnut-backed Chickadee and then a Yellow Warbler and I’m still coloring away. You can see them all, below. What do you think? Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

Eastern, Western, and Mountain Bluebirds in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

Yellow Warbler in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

Yellow Warbler in the Peterson "Birds" color-in field guide.

If I can do this, so can you! Placing the stickers next to the birds really does help when it comes to matching colors and getting the markings correct. Coloring these birds — which uses not only visual but also kinesthetic (hands on) learning — has really helped solidify their appearance in my mind…almost on a new level. And if that’s what it did for birds I already know well, I can’t wait to tackle other birds in the book.

It isn’t just song birds that are covered in this color-in field guide. You’ll find raptors, waterfowl, woodpeckers, and more. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Links to purchase:

Peterson Field Guide Color-In Books: Birds by Peter Alden and John Sill

Crayola Colored Pencils, pack of 50

You might also like:

Nature’s Mandalas

Adult Coloring Books: A Collection of Coloring Books for Adults; Featuring Mandalas, Flowers, and Geometric Designs by Coloring Books for Adults

Creative Coloring Inspirations: Art Activity Pages to Relax and Enjoy by Valentina Harper

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Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram!

A Yellow Warbler. This image is ready for sharing on Twitter, Instagram (via mobile), and Pinterest.

Some time back, I’d decided that this month…June…would be Warbler Month here at Pacific Northwest Birds. Over the past few weeks, however, I found myself with very little time to write and knew I would need to rethink my plans. So I thought about it and soon realized my late start on Warbler Month might not be such a bad thing. Why, after all, should we limit talking about warblers to just one month? And so Warbler Month has happily become Warbler Summer: For as long as these little darlings are in the Pacific Northwest, we’ll be learning about them. (We’ll be talking about other Northwest birds, too.)

If you’re following us on Instagram at pacificnorthwestbirds, you’ve already seen a couple of the fun graphics that have been posted. The latest one, left, features the Yellow Warbler, who is also our Bird of the Week.

Though a number of warblers with yellow plumage are sometimes confused with American Goldfinches, the Yellow Warbler is probably mistaken for them more than any other. This is the warbler that is most uniformly yellow, and if someone spots it who doesn’t know their birds as well as they’d like to (and we’ve all been at there at some point as birders), it is often assumed to be a goldfinch. If you’re one of those who’s confused the two (no shame), here’s a handy side-by-side of two males to help you out:

Left: Yellow Warbler (male). Photo: Mdf (Creative Commons) | Right: American Goldfinch (male). Photo: Sally Dinius/Pacific Northwest Birds

Left: Yellow Warbler (male). Photo: Mdf (Creative Commons) | Right: American Goldfinch (male). Photo: Sally Dinius/Pacific Northwest Birds

Read on to learn more about the Yellow Warbler.

Scientific name: Setophaga petechia
Family: Parulidae

Size and markings: 5″ long. Yellow with olive coloring from crown to rump. The male is more vibrant in color than the female and has rufous streaks on his chest and belly.

Food: The Yellow Warbler eats mainly insects and is especially fond of caterpillars.

Habitat/nesting/behavior: This warbler can be found nesting in riparian woodlands (wooded areas found close to rivers, streams, and lakes) and even shade trees in residential yards and parks. They are particularly fond of cottonwoods, alders, willows, and dense underbrush. The male is first to arrive in the spring, followed up to two weeks later by the female, who then builds the nest.

Number of broods per year: 1-2
Number of eggs per brood: 2-7

Migratory pattern: The breeding range of the Yellow Warbler covers most of North America, from Mexico to Alaska and northern Canada. Winters for this long-distance flyer are spent in Central America and northern South America.

Months usually seen at backyard feeders: Not typically seen at feeders.

Learn more about warblers in The Warbler Guide by Tom Stevenson and Scott Whittle and Stokes Field Guide to Warblers by Don and Lillian Stokes.

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Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram!

Friday, May 29, 2015. 4:30 p.m.

It was bound to happen, but I’d hoped it never would…or that at least I wouldn’t know about it: My neighbor’s cat got a hold of one of our hummingbirds. My daughter is the one who found her, and I truly believe she interrupted the attack, scaring the cat away as she approached.

She ran into the house to get me, and I followed her to the old sport court in the lower part of our back yard. Lemon cypress trees planted on the ledge above the court had low, overhanging branches and had been dropping plenty of needles. It was on top of these needles that I saw her: a female Rufous Hummingbird, buzzing one wing and hopping frantically, trying to make the other wing, broken and uncooperative, carry her up, up to safety.

I told Bethany to get a small box so we could take her to a wildlife care center. Mind you, Rucy (so named by Bethany…a cross between Lucy and Rufous) was our first injured bird besides the many who’ve hit our picture window. I’ve had plenty of practice – more than I wish – to care for Pine Siskins, Dark-eyed Juncos, and even a Wilson’s Warbler after window strikes, but have never dealt with the after-effects of a cat attack. Rucy would most likely have been done for, I told Bethany, if she hadn’t decided to play in that part of our yard that day.

What a great birdsitter! Rucy was safe and not jostled at all on the way to South Sound Critter Care.


As I was saying, this was our first injured bird that would need to be transported elsewhere for care. My first concern was getting her the heck out of here and over to South Sound Critter Care, the only licensed general wildlife center located in Washington state’s King County, before she went into shock and/or became dehydrated. I didn’t even think to add a soft cloth to the bottom of the box. I did pour some nectar into a bottle cap and placed that in the box with her, hoping she would understand what it was. She didn’t touch it, but it also didn’t spill, except for a couple of drops. I’ll be buying a small animal carrier, a soft cloth, and a single hummingbird feeder to keep on hand should this ever happen again (God forbid).

Bethany will make a wonderful animal rehabilitator someday. (She probably has other aspirations, but at least she’s getting good practice.) At SSCC, it was explained that a splint would be too heavy for Rucy’s wing, but I’m sure they’ve taken care of hummers before and know what to do. (Other rehabilitators I’ve read about online used paper tape to help those tiny wings heal.) I requested that I be contacted to come get her when she’s better, so I’m really hoping her injuries weren’t worse and that she’s made it this far. I’m going to call today to get an update.

Recommended: You’ll be amazed by over 170 color photographs in Hummingbirds by Ronald Orenstein (with photography by Michael and Patricia Fogden).

Wouldn’t it be amazing to get to bring her home and release her into the yard she knows? If that happens, I’ll be sure to record a video of it and post it here on the blog.

Here are a few photos of our little Rucy:

Rucy, a female Rufous Hummingbird. She'd just been injured by a neighbor's cat, ending up with a broken wing and a few missing tail feathers.

Rucy was bright-eyed and very alert. Good signs.

Rucy in her box. The cap was full of nectar, which miraculously didn't spill on the way to SSCC. I really wish I'd put a soft cloth in the box for Rucy.

I’ll be ordering these to have on hand for future emergencies (that I hope will never happen). Stay tuned for more about Rucy!

If you’re in the South Puget Sound area and find an injured or abandoned bird or animal, call South Sound Critter Care at (360) 886-8917. Visit their website, too, to find out how you can help SSCC to continue doing what they do best in caring for these animals: South Sound Critter Care.

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Learn more about your backyard birds in Birds of the Pacific Northwest: How to Identify 25 of the Most Popular Backyard Birds. Get it for your Kindle (which you can also read on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet with this free reading app), Nook, on Smashwords, or in the iTunes bookstore.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Instagram!

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