Extreme heat triggers mass die-offs and stress for wildlife in the West
Sweltering baby hawks threw themselves out of nests, and mussels baked to death in their shells as record heat brought crisis to the Pacific Northwest.
As the Pacific Northwest baked in 115 degree heat last month, fuzzy baby hawks sat sweltering in their nests, 50 feet off the ground. Unable to fly, the young raptors dealt with the heat in the only way they could: One by one, they threw themselves out.
Nearly 50 baby Cooper’s and Swainson’s hawks were rescued from the ground beneath towering pines in Washington and Oregon and brought to Blue Mountain Wildlife, a rehabilitation organization in Pendleton, Oregon, which specializes in treating birds of prey. More still were brought to Portland Audubon and other rehabilitation facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The historic heat wave coincided with nesting season, says Lynn Tompkins, director of Blue Mountain Wildlife. If the