As wildlife rehabilitators, it is not unusual for us to receive a species of bird for care that we have never handled in the past. We pull out the bird books, get a weight to help with identification and physical condition, and text pictures to all of our bird people. It can be an interesting challenge! Once we know what we have, we begin to investigate how to best contain the bird to reduce stress, what his natural diet might be and whether medical care is required. 

I received a picture and a text message late in the evening of January 13th from Bristol Animal Control Officer Gina Farrell. Bristol Police had responded to a call from Roger Williams University about a bird outside of a d...

December 31, 2017

We were fortunate to end the year on a high note. Last week we rescued and released a Common Loon, one of the most difficult sea birds to rehabilitate.

Common Loons (Gavia immer) are migratory birds in Rhode Island. This one was found near Misquamicut beach by one of the Environmental Police Officers who work for the Department of Environmental Management in RI. The Loon was unable to swim and transferred to us for care.

On intake exam, she was found to be in good weight. She had no obvious injuries other than she was unusually quiet and inactive.

We placed her in what we call a "sea bird net" so she could rest overnight. Loons are adapted for life in the water and cannot bear weight...

December 23, 2017

This rufous Eastern Screech-Owl (Megascops asio) was found at the Subway/Dunkin' Donuts plaza next door to the Wildlife Clinic in Saunderstown, RI.

As you can see from his feathers, he has a reddish brown color pattern. Eastern Screech-Owls can be gray or rufous, like this one.

The injured owl appeared to have flown into a window and to have hit his head; he looked stunned. The term we use is "window strike," which is similar to a concussion in humans.

Since it was after hours, the owl was taken to the Emergency Service at Ocean State Veterinary Specialists in East Greenwich. The techs and doctors there stabilized him and transferred him to us the next day. (We are very fortunate to have t...

Our first white-tailed deer rescue - a tiny spotted orphaned fawn - arrived about the same time as usual this year on May 15, right after Mother's Day. I knew I had a steep learning curve ahead of me: as of 2017, the care of these delicate gangly-legged creatures became my responsibility.  

As with any unfamiliar rehab, there is an initial adjustment period. I set up the first fawn, and the ones that followed, in my home, housed in toddler playpens. By early July, all of the fawns had outgrown the pens and were transferred to an outdoor enclosure built especially for them. 

Deer, in general, are high-strung animals whose main defense against predators is their ability to evade capture by...