Wildlife displaced by storms

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

CAVE CREEK, Ariz -- Downed trees and debris were not the only casualties after the first big storm of the monsoon season. Some birds also took a beating.

"Heavy winds take the young birds out of their nests," said Bob Fox from Wild At Heart. "They don't have feathers well enough to fly. They end up on the ground or a limb breaks and the nest comes down."

Fox and his wife, Sam, founded Wild At Heart more than 20 years ago. It is a rescue, rehab, relocation and release center for birds of prey located in Cave Creek.

Fox said monsoon season is an especially busy time of year for them. In fact, after last week's storm they took in 17 birds, including a hawk whose leg was broken.

"Blown out during the storm, landed badly," Fox said.

Oftentimes, people are not really sure what to do when they see a distressed bird.

"The best thing to do when possible is to contain it, get it into a box with a towel underneath it so it doesn't slide all over, keep it warm, dark and quiet, and get a hold of a licensed rehab," Fox said.

Wild At Heart can be reached at 480-595-5047 or through its website.

If you do see a nest and the bird doesn't look injured, Fox said it is OK to put the bird back in the nest if the parents are still around.

On the flip side of that, Fox said you should never try to feed the bird because they have very specific diets and relying on Google to figure out how to take care of the bird is not a good idea.

"The Internet oftentimes is not our best friend as far as information goes," he said. "There's a lot of bad information out there."

Once the bird is brought to their wildlife center it is evaluated for injury or illness.

When treatment is complete, the birds are put in enclosures to build up their strength in order to be released, which is the ultimate goal.