Please visit our new website with the most up to date information at www.newildlife.org
During this time of year many injured turtles make their way into new England Wildlife Center. While on vacation in Pennsylvania, our very own Dr. Lisa Trout ran into one of her favorite species, the Wood turtle. The Wood turtle used to occur in eastern Massachusetts, but due to human encroachment they are now only found to the west and south. Partial to woodlands, the Wood turtle prefers to spend its time on land, and will not venture into the water. They are a hearty breed and frequently end up wandering around the woodland in search of food. Their major defense is, like most turtles, their shell (which is a fused version of a rib cage!!). They pair this defense with their spectacular patience, and are able to out-wait their would-be predators who will have to move along in order to find their next meal.
Turtles are an amazing species of animal. They have existed for over 210 million years, the time before dinosaurs. There are about 256 different species of turtle which considering the differentiation of other species, is a very small number. Their differentiation is so small in number because they have quite literally perfected the way in which they are able to survive in a multitude of habitats, from desert to ocean. Awesome!
This is a 4 week old squirrel who came into New England Wildlife Center yesterday. He was found after a cat carried him home to its owner. Thankfully there were no obvious lacerations, cuts or punctures on his body. Cat attacks can be dangerous due to the bacteria present in the cat’s saliva. For this reason he will be placed on antibiotics, in addition to the normal nutritional support given to these babies as they grow up here inside the wildlife center. This squirrel is part of the second wave of summer babies who have made their way through our doors.
This is a Sharp-Shinned Hawk that came into the New England Wildlife Center yesterday afternoon. He was brought to us after being hit by a car on the highway. X-rays revealed a humeral fracture, one of the bones found in the wing. He will receive nutritional support and fluids as his wing mends. The recovery rate for birds suffering broken bones is much shorter than mammals and reptiles. Normally only 2 to 3 weeks is necessary for a bone to heal completely, due to the fact that their bones are hollow.
Birds of prey prefer to hunt in open areas. For this reason they are very attracted to highways for their long lines of sight. Many are hit as they attempt to catch their prey, the predator’s tunnel vision works against them as they are unable to see the fast approaching vehicles.
These are two of 9 opossum siblings currently inside New England Wildlife Center’s quiet baby ward. These babies, currently around 40 days old, came into the Center after being found on a road in Rockland still gripping onto their mother who was hit by a car. They’ve been with us since they were only a few days old, and will stay here until they are approximately 130 days old. Healthy and strong, all 9 of these brothers and sisters should make it back out into the wild.
These Opossum are the only natural species of marsupial found in New England. As scavengers, they are quite adept at locating food sources and often venture into rural and urban areas. They are very well equipped for climbing, and spend most of their time aloft. Their prehensile (gripping) tail is considered an extra limb. They are also known to “play dead” in order to dissuade predators from continuing their pursuit, It normally confuses their would-be attacker and gives a great opportunity to run away.
This is a young Canadian goose very happy to be playing outside during daily enrichment. He came into New England Wildlife Center as an orphan 4 weeks ago. He needs more time, roughly 4 weeks, to develop his primary flight feathers and start looking like an adult, with the traditional black head. As he gets ready for release, we will be observing him to make sure he is able to eat on his own, swim, preen (waterproof) his feathers etc.
A fun fact about Canadian geese is that mother geese will readily foster babies of the same size as their own. Dr. Mertz recounted a time where 14 goslings followed mom in an orderly line as she led them to a local pond. A normal clutch for Canadian geese is 2 to 8 eggs, which means she had picked up quite a few orphans. Mom is able to care for so many babies because she isn’t responsible for feeding them directly, rather she teaches them how to find food. Canadian geese are not the only animal to do so, Barn owls, some species of hawk, and Mallard ducks are known to readily foster babies as well.
This is an orphaned American Robin that we have been raising at NEWC since shortly after he hatched. American Robins can be found across most of North America, as well as some of Central America. They inhabit a diverse set of ecosystems, ranging from both deciduous and pine forests to open grassy fields and pastures. Some Robins do migrate, however many Robins throughout the entire United States stay in their personal location year-round. Their primary food sources are insects and fruit. They tend to do most of their insect hunting in the morning, and then forage for fruit later on in the day. This guy is still young, but he’s growing fast, and he should be ready for release soon
Here are two of our orphaned Canada Geese enjoying the space in their new outdoor enclosure Now that they are big enough, they are ready to start getting used to normal outdoor weather. You can also see that although they are getting pretty big, they still have most of their juvenile coloration and feathers. There’s plenty of growing left for them to do before they’re ready to be released into the wild. In the meantime though, they can enjoy their new space and all the green plants to nibble on.
This is a Ruby-throated Hummingbird that came to us too weak to fly. She has been getting plenty of food and rest, and is already doing much better, although she’s not quite strong enough for release yet. This is by far the most common species of hummingbird that can be found in the New England area. The name comes from the bright red color of the neck in males, although this is a female so she lacks that distinctive marking.
I also wanted to let everyone know that we are officially registered with Amazon Smile! This means that if you shop on Amazon.com you can select New England Wildlife Center to receive a small percentage of the money you spend at no extra cost to yourself Also, if anyone has any extra copy paper, we have almost none left and need it for a lot of the medically necessary documentation that we do in our hospital. We use between 1 and 2 cases a month, so any that could be donated would be really helpful!
This is a Chinese Water Dragon that came into Odd Pet Vet recently. He came in for physical exam and check-up, and he’s in excellent health. Although he’s still quite young and small, by the time he’s older he could grow to almost a meter in length from head to tail Odd Pet Vet is our exotic pet veterinary service that is open seven days a week, and all proceeds go towards the work of New England Wildlife Center.
In this photo you can see an Eastern Screech Owl that is staying at NEWC right now with an eye infection. This is an example of the grey coloration that they can exhibit, as opposed to the tawny brownish-red colormorph that can be seen in others of this species. We are treating with a topical ophthalmic antibiotic, which means an antibiotic specifically made to be applied directly to the eye, as well as regularly applied lubricant to keep the eye from drying out. Hopefully once the treatment finishes he will be back to good health and ready for release
This is a young American Red Squirrel that we admitted last week to NEWC. Red squirrels are smaller than the closely related Eastern Gray Squirrels, and they have reddish tinted fur with a white underbelly. They like to live within coniferous forests, as the majority of their diet consists of pine seeds, although they will eat many other foods including nuts, fruits, and insects. Red squirrels will nest in a variety of places, including hollow spaces in trees, logs, and the ground.
I have some excellent news; the Great Horned Owl baby that I shared on our page a few weeks ago was successfully replaced into his original nest earlier this week We also have two new baby owls! This is a photo of one of them, a bit older than our first baby but definitely still a juvenile. This photo was taken as he was in the process of getting his morning medication, as he is unfortunately suffering from a small infection. He’s doing well though, and should be back to the wild soon along with the other owl we have at the moment. We will be finding them foster nests and parents, as we don’t have the locations for their original nests, and Great Horned Owl parents will adopt new babies placed into their nest with no trouble.
Big Brown Bats are one of the species of bat found in New England. They are nocturnal, and mostly live in forests or in structures such as barns and attics. They eat insects, and hunt using echolocation. This means that they produce ultrasonic sounds and then listen for how they bounce off their surroundings and return. This lets them construct a comprehensive image of their surroundings, including the tiny insects that they hunt. This guy came to us a little thin and malnourished, but we gave him plenty of food and rest, and he was just released a few days ago
This Cuban Anole was just in Odd Pet Vet for a check up. They are arboreal lizards, active during the daytime. When young they eat mostly insects, however as they age they start eating larger prey such as lizards, small mammals, and even birds. Although native to Cuba, they were introduced to South Florida in the 1950s. They spread rapidly, and are now a common sight.
Our little Great Horned Owl is doing well! He’s perfectly healthy now, and we’re in the process of placing him in a foster nest with a new owl family. This is a picture of him as we were about to feed him his dinner. He’s still a bit too young to eat on his own, so we have to hold him and help him with the food. Also, our raffle is still open until midnight tonight! Last day to get a chance at those wonderful concert tickets Anyone donating 10 dollars or more gets entered for a chance to win. Just head to our page at:
This is a Panther Chameleon that we saw recently in Odd Pet Vet with owner Richard. Panther Chameleons are native to certain sections of Madagascar, a tropical area. Males can get up to around 20 inches in length, and females grow generally to slightly more than half that. Like other Chameleons, they have specialized feet that are excellent at gripping tree branches, and can change their color depending on their mood and certain aspects of their environment like temperature.
This is a baby Great Horned Owl that we just admitted yesterday. He came in a little tired, dehydrated, and skinny, but otherwise fine.
I want to take the opportunity here to thank everyone who has already entered our raffle by donating! If you haven’t yet joined, the raffle is open for donations of 10 dollars and up until May 12th It’s incredibly helpful for us, as our baby season is in full swing, and it takes a lot of time and supplies to care for young animals like this guy.
He should be fine with fluids, time to rest, and plenty of food. Once he is completely healthy again, we will likely find a nest in this area that has owlets his age in it, as Great Horned Owl parents will readily foster babies even if they’re completely unrelated.
This is a juvenile wood duck that we just finished treating at NEWC Wood ducks live mostly in swampy, marshy, or heavily forested areas. Their nests can be found in trees either overlooking or in close proximity to a body of water. They mostly eat seeds, fruits, and insects, and while they primarily find food in the water, they will also sometimes go searching for acorns and nuts on land.
(Photo courtesy of Sue Cowan)
This is a spotted turtle that came in recently suffering from the inability to submerge. The most common cause for this is actually pneumonia, which creates debris in the lungs. This causes large bubbles of air to be trapped, making the turtle into something like a balloon. With these pockets of air making him float, this little guy then can’t swim down below the surface of the water. He got to us while he was still in decent shape though, so with some antibiotics and time to rest he should do fine
Happy Earth Day everyone! Today is a day to celebrate nature, wildlife, conservation, and really anything related to our green planet. In honor of Earth Day, I wanted to share one of New England Wildlife Center’s cool eco-friendly adaptations, our roof mounted solar panel array. We had it installed to help reduce our ecological footprint, and it helps provide us with the power we need to keep the lights on and the heating pads warm
We have a lot of awesome clients at Odd Pet Vet, but the two that travel the furthest distance to see Dr. Mertz have to be Debby and Ross Swiechowicz. They live in South Carolina and still travel up to Massachusetts to bring their reptiles for veterinary appointments. They have been coming to see Dr. Mertz for almost 10 years. Today Greg saw their lizards who were eating poorly and had dysecdysis, which is the medical term for when reptiles have problems shedding. They should be feeling better soon. The Odd Pet Vet is staffed by three veterinarians, which includes Dr. Lisa Trout and Dr. Rob Adamski, in addition to Dr. Mertz. We see patients 7 days a week. If you need an appointment for your exotic pets (rabbits, turtles, and lizards, among many others) please call us at 781 682 4878. We don’t see dogs or cats, but we do see pot belly pigs!