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A Cooper's hawk. Photo: Helen H. Richardson/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The extreme heat that arrested the Western United States and Canada last month has prompted scores of young baby hawks to launch themselves from their nests, and sparked a mass die-off of marine life, National Geographic reported Thursday.

The big picture: The historic heatwave coincided with the birds' nesting season, and the newly hatched hawks found themselves without any avenue of relief other than to throw themselves from their nests, National Geographic reported.

  • If the hawks had been able to fly they could have found a shadier spot, and if they had been older, their feathers would have helped regulate their body temperatures, per National Geographic.
  • About 50 baby Cooper’s and Swainson’s hawks have been rescued in the forests of Washington and Oregon and taken to rehabilitation centers. Many have made a full recovery.

Why it matters: Baby hawks aren't the only animals affected by the extreme heat this summer, which also killed an estimated 1 billion sea creatures.

  • National Geographic adds that salmon encountered a "double whammy" during the heatwave due to higher water temperatures and decreased oxygen because warmer water is less oxygen-rich.

State of play: Human-caused climate change is a major factor behind the severity, longevity and frequency of this summer's extreme heat events.

  • The compounding of these events — "drought, rising temperatures, bigger and more intense wildfires, and increasingly fragmented habitats" — creates multiple stress factors for wildlife, per National Geographic.

Go deeper

The next 30 years of extreme weather

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This year's extreme weather is a preview of even more turbulent times that will bedevil us for at least the span of a 30-year mortgage.

Why it matters: Extreme weather events are the clearest way we're feeling climate change in our daily lives, and they will reshape where and how we live, work and play.

33 mins ago - Health

Omicron hits American hospitals disproportionately hard

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

America is seeing more COVID hospitalizations than other wealthy countries during the Omicron surge, according to Our World in Data.

Why it matters: Vaccines keep the vast majority of COVID cases out of the hospital, but vaccination rates are also lower in the U.S. than these other countries.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker