LYNNWOOD — As extraordinarily high temperatures smothered the region last week, some wildlife took desperate measures.
The PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood is caring for dozens of young birds that tried to escape the heat by jumping out of their nests — before they could fly.
Dozens of Caspian terns — shorebirds that resemble seagulls — tried to escape searing temperatures earlier this week and ended up being taken to the wildlife center.
The young terns, which were not yet able to fly, were part of a nesting colony at a building in South Seattle.
On Sunday and Monday, some of the birds got so hot that they jumped off the building, said Laura Follis, a PAWS spokeswoman.
Dozens of the young terns were brought to the PAWS wildlife center by volunteers with Emerald City Pet Rescue who spotted the injured birds on the pavement.
‘It was heartbreaking hearing the parents,” said Vivian Goldbloom, the rescue’s founder. ‘They were frantically trying to save the babies.”
The PAWS Wildlife Center is now caring for about 30 of the animals.
“These are fledgling Caspian terns and are still learning to fly. Apparently, the birds jumped off the roof to avoid the heat and some were injured,” PAWS said in a statement.
Each bird was given a full medical exam, emergency fluid treatment for dehydration and treatment and rehabilitation for any injuries.
On Tuesday, most of the terns at the wildlife center were in a guarded condition and were expected to recover.
“Those who are healthy will be immediately returned to the colony, so they can continue to be cared for by their parents,” PAWS said. “This is already in progress.”
PAWS received over 80 injured or distressed wildlife June 28, including the terns, Follis said.
How to help a wildlife animal in need
If you find a wild animal in distress, keep the animal in a quiet, dark space out of the sun and call a wildlife rehabilitator.
Call first before transporting an animal so the rehabilitator can provide additional instructions.
If PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood is the closest wildlife center, call 425-412-4040 and trained staff will provide assistance.