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!
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.
Hey all, wanted to give you an update on the Coyote we have in the hospital. This little guy has made a lot of progress since mid-August and his condition has improved dramatically. He is recovering from a severe case of Sarcoptic Mange as well as a bacterial infection and malnutrition.
This coyote teen has been receiving a regiment of antibiotics and anti-parasitic drugs as well as nutritional support to help him get back to a healthy weight. As you can see from the picture his mange has mostly cleared and the fur on his face is re-growing nicely. He is much more active and alert and has regained his appetite.
He will be receiving his 3rd round of treatments this week and we are cautiously optimistic that he will be healthy enough to return to the wild by the middle of October. Thank you all for your concern and we will keep you posted on his progress.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
All images are courtesy of Ashley Kramer, Student Intern.
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.
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
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
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.
In this video, two young raccoons are exposed to live fish for the first time. With orphaned wildlife, its important to introduce them to a range of natural food which they can find in the wild. This teaches them what is suitable forage and helps to discourage their dependence on humans for food.
These two juvenile raccoons were brought in at the beginning of this summer as orphans. The “masked bandits” have been a symbol for the New England Wildlife Center, as they are the favorites of many children, volunteers and interns. They are so sneaky and curious that they were found venturing in the ceiling one night after figuring out how to push up the ceiling tiles. However, they must be taken care of with much caution because they can carry raccoon roundworm — a potentially dangerous parasite that if ingested can cause permanent neurological damage. This is why it is extremely important for these animals to be used for educating the public about staying away from raccoons despite their very “cute” social nature. These two raccoons have served as great mascots to our facility and are predicted to leave by the end of the summer! Thanks to everyone who has supported us with donations and time — if it weren’t for our generous community, we would not have the resources to care for our wonderful local wildlife.”
– Lana Fox, Student Intern
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
This Thursday, we released three young turkeys that we have been caring for over the past month. Turkeys are generally quite wary of people and do not have the best success rate at rehabilitation because they can become so stressed when they are in contact with people. These three will one day grow to be just under four feet tall, and while they live on the ground, they can be quite explosive flyers to get out of the reach of their predators. Turkeys eat both insects and plant matter when foraging on the ground. When we released our turkeys, two of them flew directly into the canopy, while this last one remained on the ground for a moment, just enough time to take a picture.
– Morgan Robinson, Student Intern
Two months ago, a female painted turtle came to our clinic with very severe traumatic wounds after being hit by a car. Female turtles are commonly victims of car strikes in the late spring and early summer as they are crossing roads to look for suitable habitat to lay their eggs. Unfortunately, she had to be euthanized, but shortly after she died we collected 6 eggs from inside of her.
Just yesterday they started to hatch! They are only the size of quarter when they are born and are very cute.
Remember to slow down and keep an eye out for crossing turtles in the summer months. If you find one on the road, move it off into the grass — but make sure you move it in the direction it was headed.
These Chimney Swifts came to us after falling down a chimney. Their name tells us where these guys live and nest. They like to climb up on the sides and hang vertically in huddles with their siblings. They’re not quite old enough to fly yet, though that doesn’t stop them from trying every chance they get. Swifts are really good fliers catching tiny insects in mid-flight. An interesting fact about them is that they can’t take off from the ground.
Elena Moser, Student Intern
One of the things that I love best about the New England Wildlife Center is that we are able to reach out to so many different people to educate them about wildlife. People come from all over, and everyone learns something every day. Interns are able to learn hands-on what wildlife medicine is, and every visitor to the Center is able to see everything happening first-hand.
In this photograph, Dr. Andrew Cartoceti is operating on a small bird while being assisted by several interns. In the background, a group of visitors is watching the procedure with Safari Steve from the Center’s hallway which allows visitors to view into all of the medical wards. This picture encompasses a lot of what the Center is trying to do: educate the public about wildlife while teaching future veterinarians about wildlife medicine, all while improving the lives of injured animals.”
– Sarah Wengert, Animal Caretaker