New England Wildlife Center
Preserving New England's Wild Legacy
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By: Jack Banagis
Close up of Healed Goose. - Copy

canada goos

On August 1st 2013 the New England Wildlife Center’s hospital admitted a Canada Goose who was shot through the head with an archery arrow.  He was rescued and transported to the New England Wildlife Center by the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  The Canada Goose was alert and conscious, but he was malnourished and had no use of his jaw.  Dr. Mertz successfully removed the arrow and packed the wound with surgical padding to prevent further necrosis of the skin. Fortunately, the arrow did not damage any major nerves or muscles in his face and he retained full mobility of his head and jaw.   After three and a half weeks of rehabilitative care, medication and nutritional support he is healthy enough to be released back to the wild.

Close up of Healed Goose. - Copy

The release will take place at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at a pond near the Ellis Haven Camp Ground in Plymouth, MA .  Katrina Bergman, the Center’s executive director said “We are particularly excited that the Canada Goose will be released back to the pond where his mate and goslings are.  It is critical that we as a society protect the most vulnerable among us.   Providing medical care to wildlife caught in harm’s way is just the right thing to do.”

The Center receives no tax payer funds and relies solely on individual donations.  We are the only wildlife hospital and education center in the metro-Boston area.  Please visit our front page to make a donation today!  We need everyone’s help.

By: Katrina Bergman
canada goos

canada goos

Last Friday, New England Wildlife Center received a particularly bizarre case from Plymouth….

This Canada goose was admitted after he was found with an arrow protruding from his head. Our veterinarians were able to remove the arrow without causing further damage to the goose. Since his surgery he has been put on a regiment of antibiotics and pain medications to prevent infection and to keep him comfortable. The wound is being treated using a wet-to-dry procedure which involves filling the wound with a paste that clings to debris inside the wound as it dries.

The paste is then pulled out which cleans the wound and aids in preventing infection. We are currently in the process of removing the paste today to check on the goose’s progress. We will be continuing this treatment for a few weeks until the wound has completely healed. The goose is strong and active, he is eating well and is starting to look healthier. We are cautiously optimistic that he will be released back into the wild once his injuries fully heal.

This story has caught a lot of attention and has been printed in multiple newspapers and given a segment on local news. If you wish to read, hear or watch these stories we have links to some of the articles here;

By: Katrina Bergman

In honor of Raccoon Nation.  A salute…as they preparefor release back to the wild this week.  

By: Greg Mertz, DVM

Photo: Here he is, looks so much better doesn't he?  He is going into his eigth week with us and he is doing great. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>This young coyote is set for release next week, and will be undergoing his last round of treatments over the next few days.<br /><br /><br /><br /> As you can see, he has regrown all of the fur he lost on his face and back, and has become much more alert and attententive. </p><br /><br /><br /> <p>Veterinarians and vet staff are continuing to give him nutritional support so that he is at a healthy weight for his return to the wild. Tonight's menu? - a mixed fruit plate (coyotes are omnivores after all, and blueberries are his favorite) topped with some chickens and a savory baby mouse garnish, delicious no?


I wanted to let you all know that the adolescent Coyote we’ve been treating in the hospital was successfully released yesterday! After a two month recovery at the Center he was given a clean bill of health and was discharged back into the wild. The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife issued the Coyote an eartag to help them track  and better understand the biology and behavior of these amazing animals. Thanks to all the hardwork and support from the New England Wildlife Center community this guy is back at home tonight happy and healthy, Thank you all so much!



By: Katrina Bergman

Ready to Roll!

Hey all, I wanted to give you a progress update on the Cotote we have in the hospital. He is going into his eigth week with us and  he is doing great! He is set for release next week, and will be undergoing his last round of treatments over the next few days.

He has regrown all of the fur he lost on his face and back, and he has become much more alert and attententive. Veterinarians and vet staff are continuing to give him nutritional support so that he is at a healthy weight for his return to the wild.

Coyote with Sarcoptic Mange – 8 weeks ago

By: Katrina Bergman


Helping a Hawk Fly Free Again –

Dr. Adamski works with New England Wildlife Center technicians and student interns to repair a red-tailed hawk’s feathers.  This red-tail was admitted to the Center, unable to fly, with severely damaged feathers.  The procedure they are performing to help this hawk fly again is called imping.  Imping is the process of taking feathers from a deceased “donor bird” and epoxying them into the feather shafts of a live bird, who is in need of feather repair.  

In order to complete this procedure, our staff and interns bought a live bamboo plant and cut strips from the woody portion of the plant.  These strips were then dried over night and pressed between two pieces of construction paper with two heavy books placed on top.  During the procedure, it was these bamboo strips that were inserted into the shaft of the donor feather and then into the shaft of the patient.  

These feathers will help this red-tailed hawk fly again and will remain intact until she molts.  In this case, the “donor” red-tail hawk arrived dead at New England Wildlife Center after being shot. The hawk in the video is the patient who is receiving the donated feathers.  She is now doing very well and will be released.

By: Katrina Bergman
Definitely ready to go!

Today Mom Opossum and her 10 babies were released back into the wild after a difficult go of it. Mom was admitted in late July after being found stuck inside of the wall of a Braintree home. Fortunately for mom opossum, she got stuck in the right house. The homeowner was able and willing to help. The mother opossum was thin and distressed when she arrived at New England Wildlife Center for emergency care. Initially mom was admitted with a few nursing babies. Within a few days, a total of 10 babies joined her at the Center. Each time we thought all the babies were found, more kept coming! It is always a great day when they return to the wild.

Here’s some pictures chronicling her stay with us and a first hand look at our full immersion internship program.



By: Katrina Bergman
Group of Raccoons

Check out this video of baby raccoons just finishing a messy strawberry meal that Dr. Mertz filmed yesterday!

Who can’t help but fall in love? Native raccoons deserve our respect and admiration. Please share your raccoon stories with us, email us at

By: Greg Mertz, DVM



A pigeon is admitted after being scooped from the Charles River near Cambridge. He had reportedly been caught by a hawk, who accidentally dropped him into the water below. Luckily a good Samaritan at the Museum of Science saw the incident and fished him out before it was too late. When he arrived he was suffering from several puncture wounds and was quite disoriented to his surroundings. After about a week of cage rest and antibiotics he is ready to rejoin his friends and family in the wild, with instructions to avoid making any more friends with large talons.
Dr. Mertz believes the culprit to be one of the Peregrine Falcons who have made a home on the MIT campus this past year. They are among the fastest animals in the world and have an affinity for catching small birds, after all they did not receive the nickname “Pigeon Hawk” for nothing.

By: Katrina Bergman
Veterinary Technician examines Dove

Mouring Dove Escapes Vat

Vats of restaurant cooking oil can spell trouble for wildlife.  A beautiful mourning dove was rescued after falling into a vat of cooking oil outside of a restaurant on  Newbury Street in Boston. Our friends at the Animal Rescue League of Boston rescued the dove and brought her to the New England Wildlife Center where she was washed multiple times with full strength “Dawn” dish washing detergent. Cage rest and nutritional support were provided.  After about a week’s worth of washing sessions most of the oil was off her wings. She did very well and was just released back to the wild.  Pictured is a fledgling dove now in our hospital.  The beautiful photo was taken and donated to the Center by Eastman Photo at

By: Katrina Bergman

Christine is a student at Stone Hill College and just finished her internship at New England Wildlife Center.   When she was leaving, she presented us with this video that she made,   describing her learning and life experiences at the Center.

Wow!  It is inspiring to see the Center through the eyes of one of our students.  We are excited    to share her work with you.

Thank you Christine.    :)




By: Greg Mertz, DVM


This red-tailed hawk was brought in several weeks ago from Burlington, Mass.  Initial x-rays showed that he had a very swollen leg with several small scrapes the skin (presumably from rodent prey biting at his feet during capture).  He finished his course of antibiotics for a leg infection, and today we repeated x-rays to monitor the swelling.  The swelling has gone down, but we can now see evidence of a healing  fracture in the bone it that region.  It must have been a hairline fracture, too tiny to detect the first time around.  But the healing bone is much thicker and denser making it easier to spot.   The hawk still has a good prognosis, but now we know that he’ll need a little extra time to rest before we increase his activity level.  Can you spot the injury on the X-ray?


By: Greg Mertz, DVM
robin small

This American robin was successfully rehabilitated after breaking its shoulder blade.  In order to keep the bone stable and give it time to heal, the bird had its wing wrapped to its body for two weeks.  Just like a human would have a cast or sling.  But because bird’s have a much faster metabolism than mammals, the birds broken bone will heal in 1/4 the time it would take a human!Marco Venturoli, our senior technician, is shown here releasing the robin back into the woodlands behind our Center.


Photos courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.

By: NEWC Intern
Virginia Rail small

This Virginia rail was happy to be recently released back into the wild.

Rails and other migratory birds often become injured during the spring and fall migrations as they are passing through Boston on their way to warmer locations.  The brights lights and large glass windows of big cities confuse the birds and result in collisions with buildings and other man-made structures.  An estimated 100 millions birds die in collisions each year!  Luckily, this rail was only stunned and was able to make a full recovery.

Photo courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.

By: Greg Mertz, DVM
IMG_0195 small

This juvenile downy woodpecker was found by a good Samaritan in his backyard while it was being attacked by another bird.  The bird was rescued, but it had sustained serious wounds to its head that caused it to be uncoordinated and unable to fly.  When the bird first came to the hospital it was very disoriented and even had a hard time finding and eating the food in its cage.  With some care and patience, the woodpecker made a full recovery over the course of several weeks.  And after he began pecking wood again and acting like a normal woodpecker he was release back into the wild.


Photograph courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.

By: NEWC Intern
IMG_0172 small

This eastern grey squirrel was found in Boston Common with a huge abscess (pus filled pocket) under its chin.

After clipping and scrubbing the infected area, we are ready to lance (cut open) the abscess to allow it to drain.

Flushing the abscess helps to clean out debris and bacteria so that it can heal over faster.

This squirrel also had overgrown teeth that had to be trimmed back.

Several days after surgery, this squirrel is recovering nicely and is much more comfortable.

All images are courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.

By: NEWC Intern
red squirell 1

These juvenile red squirrels are recovering from a serious case of mange (mite infestation) in which they lost almost all of their fur.  The only fur that remained was on the their head, feet and tail making them look like a domestic cat with a lion-haircut.  Slowly, but surely, they are starting to regrow healthy fur coats to keep them warm in the colder months.

When these squirrels first arrived they were completely hairless on their bodies.

After just a few weeks you can see their new fur is just starting to show up.


By: Greg Mertz, DVM

Nigel, the eighteen year old Iguana.

Two Ball Pythons.

By: Greg Mertz, DVM
It's the box that worries me.

It’s the box that worries me.


 A blue footed bearded dragon.


By: Greg Mertz, DVM

This red-tailed hawk was hit on the right wing by a line drive golf ball. Fractured his ulna. Recovering after surgery.

By: Greg Mertz, DVM
RTH Small

The Red-Tailed Hark in this picture was admitted on May 30th as a young orphaned hawk. This hawk would not have been able to survive in the wild on its own.  Now it has gained a substantial amount of size and will soon be soft released.

The Red-Tailed Hawk scientific name “Buteo Jamaicensis” has a very wide range from Alaska and Canada throughout North America and occasionally found as far south as Panama. This species of hawk gets its name from the red feathers found on its tail which come in after they mature around the age of  3-4 years old.  These are one of the larger hawks from North America with a wingspan of 43-57 but also one of the most common raptors in North America. Red-Tailed Hawks display sexual dimorphism in size, with females averaging much larger. Due to their large population and that they can easily be trained to hunt the Red-Tailed hawks are often captured by falconers to be trained and hunted.

-Jackson Hoit, Student Intern

By: Jack Banagis

The three Herring Gulls in this video came to the New England Wildlife Center as young orphans. Most Herring Gulls that come to the center are under the ideal weight for the species, so an important part of their treatment is simply to feed them. We inject Vitamin B complex into the fish we provide them because it is an important nutrient that is only available in fresh fish. We also give them a daily swim in our kiddie pools to mimic the ocean! Currently, their plumage is brown and mottled, but after a couple more years they will start to look like the white and grey adult sea gulls seen in the wild. Sea gulls are natural scavengers so you may have seen these birds stealing food at the beach and flying around mall and McDonalds parking lots!

-Bennett King, Student Intern

Click here for a complete list of NEWC Videos

By: NEWC Intern
Eastern Screech Owl

The Eastern Screech Owl can be found in several different habitats all around the eastern half of the United States. Any decaying tree cavities found in forests, woodlands, urban, or suburban areas make great homes for this small owl. The species only reaches about nine inches tall!

As for their calls, these owls make a variety of noises. The most common is a trill used by males and females. This sound serves several purposes such as marking territory and courting. It is even used by the mother to encouraging the young to fledge from their nest. The screeching cry they are named after is often a verbal defense of their nest or territory.

The screech owl featured in the picture was admitted for head trauma. With treatment, the owl recovered quickly and was successfully released Tuesday, August 9th.

– Shauna McLeod, Student Intern.

By: NEWC Intern
Great Horned Owl

The future of this Great Horned Owl was up in the air after a civilian took him from the wild and tried to raise him as a pet.  Imprinted birds are always at risk for losing their fear of humans, and many people weren’t sure if this owl could ever go back to the woods of New England.  Luckily, here at NEWC we gave him just the right combination of solitude, medication and food.  With the help of the Massachusetts Audubon Society we will hopefully be  able to soft release him back into the wild in the coming weeks.


– Alexandria Hicks-Nelson, Student Intern