Last week, several baby raccoons were dropped off at NEWC as orphans after being found in someone’s basement. This is a sad but not uncommon situation, as many raccoons show up to us orphaned every year. In this case though, there was a happier ending than normal. The homeowner actually set humane traps around her house looking for the mother raccoon, and she managed to find her! A few days after the babies came in, the mother was brought in as well. We were cautious at first, because we couldn’t be sure that this was their mother and not a totally different raccoon, but when she was introduced to the babies in a carefully controlled and supervised environment she immediately took them in and began nursing them. Now that they have been reunited, we are going to give them a day or two of rest and food and then we will be releasing them back to the wild as a family
This is a young Rock Dove (another name for pigeon) that we have at NEWC right now. The yellow tufts all over his body are what’s left of his juvenile plumage. When they first hatch, their bodies are almost entirely covered with these yellow tufts, and it’s only as they mature that their purple, blue, black and grey coloration comes in. This guy will be staying with us until he matures a bit more, when he will be ready for release.
This is a picture of one of the woodcocks that we are currently rehabilitating. As you can see, he has a bandage wrapped around his wing and body. It serves to help stabilize a fracture that he has while it heals. Every year we see quite a lot of woodcocks at the beginning of spring, as they migrate directly through Boston, and have a tendency to hit the tall buildings there. We often see concussions and broken bones. This guy will hopefully be all better within the next few weeks, giving him plenty of time to get back on track for migration.
This is a young painted turtle that we had come in over the winter. We have quite a few turtles at the moment that we have been keeping until it warms up outside, but now that it’s above freezing at night they’re almost ready to go Turtles, unlike mammals, hatch from eggs. Also unlike mammals, they spend no time unable to take care of themselves, and in fact naturally receive no guidance or help from their parents at all. As soon as they hatch they begin to fend for themselves in the wild. This is why, although he’s quite small, this turtle is quite ready for a natural life without human care.
We’ve admitted our first baby raccoon of the season! He was found alone, hungry, and dehydrated out in the open, but other than that unharmed. With some basic nutritional support and fluid therapy he should be feeling fine again, although we will keep him until he is old enough to survive on his own in the wild
This is a Northern Saw-whet Owl that we admitted recently. She has a mild concussion, which is keeping her from flying, but other than that she’s totally fine. Northern Saw-whet Owls are one of the most common owl species in North America, living throughout the United States and into the Southern edges of Canada. They often roost in thick vegetation both in and near the trunks of tall trees. Their main prey item is mice, although they will also eat other small mammals and birds. This little one is already looking better than when she came in, and should be ready for release within the next couple of weeks.
This Canada Goose came in after being exposed to an oil spill. We clean oil off our patients using a basic mixture of Dawn dishwashing liquid and water. It’s important to let any animal that has been exposed to oil rest and de-stress before giving them a bath, as overly stressed animals can actually die during the process. Likewise, instead of doing one long bath for as long as it takes to get the oil off, we do a short bath every day for an extended period of time. This lets us get the animal clean and healthy again without making them overly stressed, and while giving them plenty of time to rest quietly between procedures. This guy is almost done, and will soon be fully ready for release
This is an Eastern Screech Owl that recently came in with a bacterial infection. As is often the case with wildlife, he was also malnourished and dehydrated due to the infection making him weak and unable to hunt. He has been responding well to antibiotics however, and should be ready to be released soon. Eastern Screech Owls are interesting in part due to their color. As you can see in this photo, one variety is a tawny brownish-red, however they can also be a mottled grey and white color. Both genders can be both colors, and although they are very distinct, both colors are excellent at camouflaging against tree bark.
It’s almost Spring again, and just like last year we’re starting our wildlife rehabilitation class! It begins Monday, April 6th, and runs once a week for 10 straight Mondays, ending Monday June 8th. The class costs 300 dollars total, lasts from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm, and will be taught by our veterinary team led by Dr. Mertz. During this course you will be taught the basics of wildlife rehabilitation, including both information and hands-on techniques. To get more information, to sign up for the course, or to get on the wait-list if we fill up, you can call us at (781) 682-4878. We are open from 10 AM to 4 PM 7 days a week.
Today I would like to say a huge thank you to the students of Frederick C. Murphy Elementary and Weymouth High School. Both schools held fundraisers that raised a ton of money for us at NEWC, and we are incredibly grateful! It’s because of awesome people like you that we are able to keep treating injured and orphaned wild animals I wanted to include this photo of intern Emma Weitzhandler feeding a baby squirrel in our Quiet Baby ward, to show one example of the work that you’re helping us do. At the end of a harsh winter and the beginning of baby season, your gift is going to be amazingly helpful. Thank you so much for your generosity!
Here at NEWC, we can always tell that Spring is on its way when we get our first baby squirrels, and this year’s baby squirrel day is today! These little guys came in this afternoon, a little dehydrated but otherwise doing fine. We warmed them up, gave them fluid and food, and now they’re settled in for the night. Squirrels have two main baby seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall. This is still a bit early, and it’s still quite cold, but soon there will be a whole bunch of young squirrels running around outside.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Rusty Hammond of Hammond Landscape Inc, who helped us clear out our parking lot after some of these terrible storms. Without the help of amazing people like him we wouldn’t be able to get to work to treat our patients He’s a fantastic guy with an amazing business, which we highly recommend. Thanks again Rusty!
This is a photo of Dr. Mertz administering medication to a Sulcata tortoise in Odd Pet Vet. This little guy tested positive for parasites on his fecal exam, so he is currently receiving Fenbendazole, which is an excellent anti-parasitic. It’s often difficult to make turtles take their medicine, so in order to make sure that he gets better Dr. Mertz has been tubing it down the esophagus, as you can see here. The issue is completely treatable, and he should be feeling much better soon.
This is a Canada Goose that was admitted to NEWC suffering from hypothermia and malnutrition, like many of the other animals with us at the moment. Fortunately this guy’s condition wasn’t awful, so with some time to rest, plenty of food, and constant warmth, he was ready for release. We found him a nice spot with open water and some other geese already in the area
Photo Credit Courtney Sepeck
Storm Update – The Merganser shown in this video made it back to the wild. He was joined by a Bufflehead Duck. Thanks for helping them! A lot of the sea birds did not fare as well – they were so emaciated. Our hospital is still full with owls, hawks, geese, swans and some of nature’s “fur kids” (a squirrel, a bat and a meadow vole). Come on by and see us, we bake chocolate chip cookies everyday. Please also check out the front page of today’s Boston Globe. Bella English wrote an article about wildlife in need of help this winter. The Center’s patients debut on the front page. The pictures are phenomenal. John Tlamuck is an amazing photographer. If you missed it, you can also see it online at the Boston Globe’s homepage.
Hi everyone, thank you again so so much for all the donations, supplies, and volunteer hours. You are all absolutely amazing smile emoticon I have another blizzard story for you today; this poor little guy was actually found stuck inside of a snow drift. He is very malnourished, suffers from a wing injury, hypothermia, and also a respiratory issue. Fortunately, we were able to stabilize him when he came in, and his condition is no longer critical. We used a combination of a splint for his wing, heat, fluids, and specially formulated emergency care diet for the malnutrition and hypothermia, and finally oxygen therapy for the respiratory issues. Oxygen therapy is the process that you can see in this photo, where the patient is put inside of a glass box and oxygen is pumped in to make an environment with a higher O2 percentage than normal, making it easier to breath. He’s still in rough shape, but he’s doing better, and we’re going to continue doing everything we can for him.
This is a Gray Catbird that was recently attacked by a cat. Catbirds get their name from their call, which has a wailing quality similar to a cat’s yowl. They can be found across almost the entirety of the United States, as well as through parts of South America. Their diet consists of mostly insects and berries. Cat bites are particularly problematic for birds due to the bacteria Pasteurella which is found in cat saliva. It is often lethal within just a few days of the injury. Fortunately, this guy got to us in time, and after being on a strong antibiotic for a week now we’re confident that he should be able to finish his course of medication and be released back to the wild soon. Here you can see him in the middle of receiving his morning treatment.
This is a Russian Tortoise that is one of a group of pet tortoises that were brought in for expert care from our veterinary team. They are suffering from a fairly severe parasitic infection, and are currently on de-worming medication, which has been helping them recover. In the meantime though, they are too lethargic to eat well on their own, so they are being assist fed specially formulated diets for malnourished herbivores, as you can see pictured here.
This Common Murre is a coastal seabird that was blown inland by the recent storm. He was dehydrated, malnourished, and generally lethargic. Common Murres spend most of their lives at sea, returning to the coast for breeding season each year. They are found on both the northeast and northwest coasts of North America. They are diving birds, able to swim effectively through the water and catch prey such as fish, shrimp, and squid. Fortunately this guy came to us before his condition became too critical, and with a solid regimen of warmth, nutritional support, and enrichment he is well on his way to being fit for release already.
Winter is always a tough time of year for local wildlife, and we are proud to have a dedicated, fully qualified veterinary staff able to give them expert medical attention every day. We are also glad to offer that same expert care to anyone who schedules an appointment with us for their pets, or uses our boarding service
This is a Big Brown Bat, native to North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. They are generally about 5 inches long, nocturnal, and eat a diet of flying insects. They hunt using a technique called echolocation, where they make noises that actually bounce off objects in front of them, and can then be used by the bats upon being reflected to make an image of their surroundings. Big Brown Bats also hibernate during the winter, which this guy had a problem with. He was found active in someone’s home, probably after beginning hibernation somewhere indoors and then being disturbed by all the activity. He’s healthy, and is just going to be staying with us until it warms up enough for him to be flying around outside again.
This is a Common Eider, a duck that lives off the coast of the upper half of North America. They feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates, such as sea urchins and mollusks. The females are less colorful than the males, with a general brown coloration and black banding. This guy came in weak and lethargic, but is already responding well to treatment, and should hopefully be releasable soon.