Baby gulls from downtown Chicago. Photo by L.J. Bailey[/caption]
Earlier this week, I wrote about dozens of baby gulls who were found around one building in the South Loop. Today, I was privileged to be able to see them at the wildlife rehabilitation center where they are under excellent veterinary care. I cannot pick my gull out of the rest, but it felt good to know that I had made a difference for at least one living thing this week.
The theory as to why these birds were littering the ground has expanded to include hot weather as a direct culprit. Rather than attributing the baby gulls’ falls exclusively to confused adults, it is possible that the early heat — 95 degrees and up — made the roof blacktop so unbearable that the babies were leaping to their deaths to escape. While it is true that we have had many dangerously hot days in Chicago without mass gull deaths, it is also true that we do not typically have such scorching heat so early. I am thankful we have such dedicated people to rescue and rehabilitate birds.
The amount of work Willowbrook Wildlife Center does is heartening and impressive, especially when you look at the size of the Chicago metropolitan area. If you live in the area, please consider visiting and listening to the volunteers as they talk about wild animal protection and rescue. You could also stop by the Morton Arboretum and visit the trees, making for a wonderful nature-filled day.
In the meantime, I feel good that I was able to tour the place that took in the birds I found this season.