New England Wildlife Center
Preserving New England's Wild Legacy
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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: Jack Banagis
By: NEWC Staff
interns examining a bat

Dr. Cartoceti and interns are examining a brown bat.

Students from all over the world come to the Center to work and study.  Students come to the Center to gain valuable first hand experience in veterinary medical technology, medicine and natural history.  Our internship program specializes in full-immersion apprentice-style job training to high school and undergraduate students.  Over a hundred, out of eight-hundred, of our interns have gone on to veterinary school and graduate training.  Many gained their first exposure to the field of veterinary medicine  at the Center as volunteers who then went on to be interns at the Center.  Students have come to us from schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Boston University, Boston College, Mt. Ida College, Becker College, Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Colby, and the Universities of Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, and so forth. Students who have interned at the Center have represented all-in-all about a hundred colleges and universities.

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By: Greg Mertz, DVM

Many of our student volunteers and interns want to become professionals in the field of veterinary medicine.  Many of our students already have. Becoming a veterinarian or veterinary technician is a complicated process.  The central quality of students on this career path is an unflagging curiosity about animals.  What kinds of animals are you most curious about? What is it about these kinds of animals that you most like?




By: Greg Mertz, DVM
Ex-ray of a duck that has swallowed nails and oher metal objects

Ex-ray of a duck showing several swallowed nails and other sharp metal objects

What Is Wrong With This Patient?

Cryer Gardener the Muscovy duck came into the Wildlife Center for an Odd Pet Vet appointment after his owners noticed that he was having trouble waddling. There was some suspicion that he had been eating “hardware” from around the inside of his pen and had possibly ingested something a little screwy. Waterfowl will often times eat small stones and pebbles to aid with digestion and the thought was that Cryer had just gotten a little overzealous. After further examination Dr. Mertz and the Gardener’s decided to proceed with some x-rays in an attempt to locate the problem.  The x-ray of Cryer (pictured…) revealed that he had swallowed an array of different objects.  What do you see on this x-ray and how many can you count?

Cryer was diagnosed with a classic case of “hardware disease” and because of the amount of sharp material that he had eaten Dr. Mertz decided to perform on the spot surgery to remove the objects. The procedure was a success and Cryer recovered at home with his family: Another happy end to a fowl situation.