Studies in Godwit

Marbled Godwit Wings in San Francisco

Every so often, I get a request for ‘derivative works’ permission — usually from a wildlife artist who wants to use a photo as the foundation for a painting or print. I particularly love it when the work is used to benefit an animal cause … like this painting of a Brown Pelican I photographed […]

A Closer Look … for Birds in Trouble

Caspian Tern with Salmon Smolt in Seattle

This post contains one image of a long-deceased gull, just FYI. You’d think I would have learned my lesson last year, with the dead gull I found wrapped around a deterrent wire on a nearby warehouse … or the gulls we untangled last fall from a fish-pen net. But, in fairness, this location was difficult […]

The Turkeys I’ve [Almost] Known

The Face - ©ingridtaylar

This post is a tribute to the wild turkeys who walk among us. Every year, Hugh and I Adopt a Turkey from Farm Sanctuary. And every year, I try to somehow commemorate the awesomeness of the wild turkeys I’ve been privileged to be among and photograph. The timing of this new episode from Nature on […]

Derelict Nets & Entangled Birds

Gull Tangled in Net

Note: All gulls pictured in this post, and other trapped birds were freed from the netting. Follow Up on 10/21/11: I phoned today and learned that an official went out to this net, confirmed what we saw in terms of bird entanglement, and holes in the net have apparently been fixed as a temporary measure, […]

The One I Couldn’t Help

Gull Caught in Wire

It was one of those precious sunny days in the midst of Seattle downpours. A Flickr friend of mine told me about a tugboat race on Elliott Bay, so I thought I’d walk the Terminal 91 bike path to the water. The “path” is an industrial slog — a cement slough leading to Puget Sound, […]

Watch for Towhees, Flying Low

Spotted Towhee on Fence

Spotted Towhees were the elusive ground foragers I never saw enough of in the Bay Area. I’d catch a glimpse as they scuttled under the scrub. Or, occasionally, snapped a photo of one heralding the morning light in the thickets of Tilden Park. My best Spotted Towhee sighting was the trusting bird who let me […]

The Making of a Civilian Rehabber


I wasn’t sure how I would adapt to a world where the animals are terrified by us and want no part of this association. But there’s a type of bond that forms with an animal who wants no reciprocal bond with you. On the surface, you’re not getting anything back. But as the rehabbing ethos saturates your cells, you realize that the fulfillment you derive in caring for these animals has no relation to personal acquisition. You’re actually working toward the express purpose of letting go and not having. And more often than not, you have no physical connection, ever again, with the animal who’s released.

Lancelot-Guinevere: The Case of the Castle Pigeon

Lancelot-Guinevere - ©hughgrew

Lancelot (no, Guinevere) — lost himself (no, herself) — along the coast of Scotland, where Picts and Druids and Earls and Scots laid claim to the medieval stones of her landing. Just north of these stones lie the crags and cliffs that offer sanctuary for pelagic birds, the calls of whom may have drawn her […]

Noah the Pigeon

Noah Pigeon and the Bunnies

When you work in any facet of animal rescue, you hear stories. Often, the worst stories — one-act plays with bad endings. You wonder why on earth this storyteller decided you were the person who needed to hear it. I’ve learned that if an anecdote opens with, “Have I got a raccoon story for you […]

No Room at the Inn: A Quail’s Tale

Japanese Quail Transport - ©ingridtaylar

Japanese Quail are known for shooting upward like missiles, and they can even kill themselves by hitting their noggins on hard surfaces. A Japanese Quail can shoot up and out through a space in the bag that’s narrower than my arm . . .

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A Turkey-Friendly Thanksgiving

Our Adopt-a-Turkey Hawthorn

Several years ago, Hugh and I started our new Thanksgiving tradition of adopting a turkey from Farm Sanctuary. We’ve always been urban dwellers, so actual adoption beyond our one beautiful kitty isn’t an option. But, Farm Sanctuary offers remote adoptions of their rescued turkey folk. Although Farm Sanctuary has a reasonably high profile through their […]

When to “Rescue” Baby Cottontails


It’s the end of nesting season for many animals, but cottontails breed year-round. Cottontail babies are often rescued mistakenly. It’s important to assess the situation before you take the babies anywhere. Cottontail mothers leave their offspring for most of the day, feeding them only in the morning and at night. Like fawns and fledgling birds, the babies have not been abandoned in these cases.

Learning From a Racing Pigeon

Chauncey the Racing Pigeon - ©ingridtaylar

I think the pigeon people are trying to tell me something. Late last year, I took a rambunctious fledgling pigeon to a nearby hospital. In April, I drove two [very] baby pigeons to the same hospital. I’m always snapping pigeon photos even when other photographers sweep their lenses right over the pigeon landscape. So, it […]

Things to Know (and Love) About a Japanese Quail

Mikiko's Dust Bath

He was misidentified but not forgotten — this lone Japanese Quail who fluttered his way into a wildlife hospital and then, into our hands and hearts. We gave him an appropriately Japanese name: “Mikiko” which, loosely translated, means “child of the tree.” A fellow volunteer pointed out that he is not, in fact, a child […]

The Case of the Misidentified Quail

Japanese Quail (Coturnix) Male

He handed over the box: “A rescued quail.” We volunteer at a wildlife hospital, so a safe assumption might be California Quail. But assumptions are frivolous in a world where volunteers — well, mostly us newer ones — sometimes miss on species identification. He clearly wasn’t a California Quail. Their markings are distinct and easy […]

The “Three U” Rule of Hazardous Materials

Oiled American Coot - ©ingridtaylar

Hugh and I just got our initial Hazwoper certification — a Federal OSHA requirement if we want to assist with bird rescue in oil spill areas. That, combined with a wildlife rescue training course we took back in March, will at least put us on the call list during catastrophic wildlife events. During the Cosco […]