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Possibly the COOLEST BIRD EVER! Today, I had the pleasure of seeing up close a bird I'd previously only seen in photos - a Common Poorwill (Phalaenoptilus nuttallii). Why is this species possibly the coolest of the Nighthawk/Nightjar family? Check THIS out... * It is the first known bird that can slow its metabolic rate and drop its body temperature to a hibernation-like state known as "torpor" for long periods of time. In cold weather, a poorwill can remain in torpor for several weeks - its body temperature may drop as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and its respiration can decrease up to 90%. * Their cryptic appearance allows poorwills to blend perfectly into their habitat, making them difficult to spot during the day. They are most commonly seen at night, when light from car headlights and headlamps are reflected red from their eyes. * They have stiff, face-forward whiskers...yes, WHISKERS, like an odd mustache on either side of their tiny beak. The whiskers' function is unclear, but many believe they help funnel food or protect their eyes while feeding. * Poorwills are nocturnal; they hide and sleep during the day, and at night they emerge to fly about, as silent as the moths they capture in their wide, gaping mouths. To see a poorwill hunting with its orange eyes glowing, click here: bit.ly/2cUod61. Are you a fan of the Common Poorwill now, too? :) - Cheryl M. McCormick
CAN YOU HELP US PREPARE FOR THE NEXT BABY SEASON? Linen donations are vital to the daily operation of our hospital and are used as bedding and visual barriers for our wildlife patients. To organize our linen, we need 12-gallon semi-transparent storage containers with attached lids, like the one pictured below. CAN YOU HELP? Containers need not be new, as long as they are not cracked or broken, and are no taller than 18" (to fit cozily under shelving units). If you have a container you can donate, please bring it to Lindsay's hospital (or our front desk) at 1931 First Avenue, Walnut Creek. On behalf of our wild patients and dedicated volunteers, THANK YOU!... for caring about wildlife <3