Gull Nesting Season

Every July and August, “Gull Season” occurs in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. Gulls like to nest on flat rooftops in Vancouver. To stay close to their main food source of fish, gulls will nest in areas near water. These rooftop sites are typically safe from predators – humans included!

Helping Wildlife During a Heatwave

How can I help wildlife during hot weather?

How do birds stay cool in this heat?

What impact does excessive heat have on wildlife?

How do I know when wildlife needs help?

How does Wildlife Rescue keep its patients cool?

How can I help wildlife during hot weather?

During hot weather events, you can help wildlife out by putting out a birdbath for them to cool off in and drink! Don’t have a birdbath? A shallow dish, such as a plant saucer, will suffice!

For their safety, please ensure that:

  • The dish is shallow enough that the smallest of birds won’t drown (1-2 inches of water is sufficient).
  • Refill the water as it evaporates quickly on hot days!
  • Clean and change the water daily, more frequently if you have lots of visitors using it!
  • Put it in a safe location, away from outdoor cats and other pets, and preferably in the shade!

Offer shade using what you have available:

  • Flattened cardboard boxes (secured so they don’t move in the wind and scare birds)
  • Pieces of plywood (affixed to ensure it doesn’t become a hazard)
  • Rearrange potted plants to provide shade on patios and balconies
  • Umbrellas, sheets, etc.


How do birds stay cool in this heat?

Did you know that birds lack the ability to sweat?! So how do they stay cool during these HOT summer days?

Birds have developed their own mechanisms for keeping cool, such as panting, puffing up their feathers, and fluttering their wings. They also like to do what we humans like to do – splash around in the water to cool down!

For wildlife in an urban setting, water and shade may be limited. Help wildlife stay cool by providing a safe, shallow, source of water. Keep an eye out for all types of wildlife seeking water bodies in unusual places, such as pools and water fountains, which can trap and potentially drown the animals.

What impact does excessive heat have on wildlife?

Very few animal species can sweat, so animals struggle to lose excess body heat during extreme weather events. Heat stress can cause animals to have difficulty breathing which may appear as panting, an increased respiration rate, loss of appetite, and drooling.


How do I know when wildlife needs help?

Signs of overheating in birds include panting, open-mouth breathing, fluffed-up, and lethargy. Some nestlings may jump from their nest due to overheating, and fledglings may wander away from their parents in search of water. Dehydration is a big concern during hot days. If you find a bird that is easily approachable (won’t fly off when approached), looks sleepy (lethargic), is fluffed up, or has any visible injuries or blood, please contact our Support Centre for assistance.

Signs of Heat Wave Induced Distress:

  • Open mouth breathing for extended periods
  • Gular fluttering (see video of Heron displaying gular flutter)
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken eyes (due to dehydration)
  • Adult birds abandoning nests in hot locations (e.g. exposed roofs)
  • Baby birds prematurely jumping from nests to escape heat i.e. nestling-aged birds that are still fully or partially downy and unable to stand and jump around on the ground (still hunker down on hocks)
  • Young birds perishing in the nest with no obvious signs of trauma

If you find wildlife in distress, please contact our Support Centre at (604) 526-7275. Please be aware that on busy days, our helpline staff and volunteers can have a backlog of calls exceeding two hours. If the situation is dire, follow instructions on this page on how to safely contained an injured animal.

How does Wildlife Rescue keep its patients cool?

Here at Wildlife Rescue, we work hard to keep all of our patients comfortable during these uncomfortably hot days by providing…

  • Splash pools for all patients housed outdoors to cool off in.
  • A sprinkler system set up in enclosures to provide automatic misting during the hottest hours of the day.
  • Manuel misting every feeding round for young patients.
  • Air conditioning and fans for our indoor patients.
  • Shade panels on enclosures to provide a reprieve from the sun!


Determining When Baby Crows Need Help

Finding a flightless baby crow is totally normal between late May and July. It does not imply that it has been abandoned or fallen out of the nest. If you come across a baby crow on the ground, stop, take a step back, and observe before intervening!

Help! I found a baby bird!

So you’ve found a baby bird… now what?

Is the bird hurt? Are there any visible injuries or blood? Is it cold, weak or lethargic? Has it been attacked by a predator? If so, call our Support Centre immediately at (604) 526-7275 for directions on how to safely bring the bird in.

If it is not obviously injured, assessing the age of the bird can help determine the next steps. 

Hummingbird FAQ

What are the best techniques for maintaining my hummingbird feeder in the winter? What exactly is torpor and how do I know when a hummingbird is in distress?

Canada Goose Nesting Season FAQ

Canada Geese mate for life and will return to the same location to nest year after year. The lack of available natural nesting sites has resulted in Canada Geese nesting on rooftops, even in busy urban environments. Here are some commonly asked questions regarding Canada Goose nesting season.

Salmonella Outbreak in Pine Siskins FAQ

Wildlife Rescue is currently admitting record-breaking numbers of Pine Siskins showing symptoms of Salmonella infection. Here are some commonly asked questions regarding this outbreak answered!

Give to Wildlife