Oklahoma Heat Wave Baking Baby Birds

Wednesday, August 3rd 2011, 10:33 pm
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

NOBLE, Oklahoma -- Wildlife experts say the extreme heat is roasting baby birds perched high above the ground.

First, Edmond residents complained of adult Mississippi Kite hawks dive bombing them to protect their babies. Now, the babies are jumping ship in search of cooler temperatures.

News 9 is told the only birds that are affected are the Mississippi Kites and that is because they nest later in the year. They're native to Oklahoma, but can't seem get used to the state's record heat.

Just about everywhere you look at WildCare Foundation in Noble you will find panting birds, exhausted from the heat.

"They're panting just like a dog would be," said Rondi Large of the foundation. "These guys are incredibly hot."

The foundation says it's taking in record numbers of baby kites after they fall from their nests, desperately searching for shade.

"They're cooking up in the nest," said Large. "So, they're choice is to stay up there and continue to bake or leave the nest. Those animals need us, and we're here for them."

Large was nursing many of the birds back to health on Wednesday.

Thirty two birds have come to the foundation in the past two days. Earlier on Wednesday, the foundation had more than 60 kites, and that number would grow larger. Quite a few more birds were waiting at the OKC Animal Shelter.

The shelter says it usually sees, at most, 10 kites all summer. But, the triple digit temperature more than tripled its seasonal intake in just one day.

"These little kids [the bird] are having a real rough go of it," said Large.

Back at the foundation, Large nurses one little guy back to health by literally pumping fluid into its system, while the other hawks continue to ride out the summer day with the help of some needed shade.

The foundation says the birds will migrate to South America in September, but News 9 is told they might start migrating sooner because of the drought.

If you would like to donate to the WildCare Foundation, visit http://www.wildcareoklahoma.org/donations.html