Heat wave strikes robin

The weather report says – it’s way too hot out there! At least, that’s the case in Utah. And even the birds are feeling it. In fact, this little robin nearly died of heatstroke. But he came to Best Friends for help, and now he’s going to be just fine.

The little guy was found on somebody’s front porch, sitting still and panting. Never seen a robin pant before? That’s probably a good thing! Carmen Smith, the Best Friends wildlife rehabber, says if a robin is panting, there is definitely something wrong.

The temperature was over 100, and this robin is still growing. That means not all of his feathers have come in yet, which puts him at a disadvantage in regulating his body temperature. Feathers help a bird stay cool, and this fellow’s in his "awkward stage," when there are funny spikes of down mixed in with the feathers. He needed help!

The woman swept him up from her porch and brought him the short distance to Best Friends, where he was immediately filled up with fluids. "It was a severe case of heatstroke," said Carmen. But once he got filled up with liquids and had time to rest in the coolness, he started to perk up and hop around his cage. It looks like he’s going to be just fine!

As soon as he’s ready, he’ll be released back where he was found. Robins have generally learned well the lesson of the Prodigal Son and are eager to take back one who’s been missing. So with any luck, he can find his family again. And they’ll never believe the adventures he’s just had!

Article by Elizabeth Doyle. Photos by Troy Snow.

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