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Director's Message

May 5, 2017

Greetings Wild Care Friends! Spring is finally here, and with the warm weather comes orphaned birds. Our first hatchling songbirds have arrived, slightly early this season. These 4 House Finches (pictured below) were found in a nest on a boat that was moved out of storage, and into Jesuit Harbor in Dennis. They are currently in our incubator being fed every 20 minutes by our caring Staff and Volunteers. Many of the spring migrants have recently arrived, and will begin nesting soon, while many local species have already begun nesting. If you find an orphaned bird on the ground, do not give it food or water. The best thing you can do is provide warmth and quiet, and call our Wildlife Helpline at 508-240-2255. In many cases, we can help you to get baby birds back into their nest, or back with their feathered parents. 
Want to learn more about what to do when you find and orphaned bird? Join me tomorrow for my "Wild Encounters" talk, May 6th at 11:00 AM at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Learn tips for what to do when you encounter wildlife in distress.

Sign up now, there's still space!

Can't make the talks? Check out our website for other upcoming events at

Please make a donation today , Help us to help wildlife!
Stephanie, Executive Director

DONATE TODAY - Spring is here!

Spring is finally here and you know what that means -- BABIES!  
Click here to donate.   Help us care for these orphaned babies.  We'll keep them warm, fed, happy and we'll help them get back into the wild!
Released! by Leo Seletsky
Least Bittern's Better Days
by Animal Care Coordinator, Jennifer Taylor

It is not too often that we take in endangered animals at Wild Care, but it does happen. Last month a Least Bittern was brought in by Deacon Crocker, a local Cape Resident who has helped supply Wild Care with live fish in winter for our seabird patients. Deacon was out on the Marsh at Barley Neck in East Orleans when he came upon the injured bird. The Least Bittern is listed as Endangered in Massachusetts. It is a tiny bird, the smallest heron in the world, weighing about the same as an American Robin.  Along with its injured foot, it was emaciated and extremely weak from its migration.

With any animal we intake that is listed by the government as Threatened or Endangered, we must report it to Massachusetts Fish and Wildlife, and follow their instructions. We received the approval to treat the bird. 
Yay! It always makes me feel proud when Wild Care is trusted to follow through with a protected species.

The pressure is on with such a fragile bird, but we do good work here!   With supportive care and as little stress as possible, the bittern gained weight well, & the wound on his foot healed nicely.

Click to watch "Feeding Time!" Video by Jennifer Taylor

It was fun to peek through the holes in the secluded marsh habitat enclosure that we set up for him in our Clinic, and observe him hunting. I knew he was ready for release when I got a good look at him clenching a perch with both feet and all of his toes, before he stabbed at a fish.
It is a privilege to work with birds that are rare and so elusive. We try to show them very little of ourselves so we can release them as unscathed by humans as possible.

Deacon and I released the bittern in suitable habitat in Orleans recommended by Bob Prescott, Executive Director of the Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Photo by Leo Seletsky
Truro Turtle Time
by Animal Care Coordinator, Jennifer Taylor

We have been wintering over several turtles at Wild Care. One of them is an Eastern Box Turtle that was brought to us from Truro.  (This species is listed as Special Concern status in Massachusetts, under the MA Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.)  She came in to us infested with Bot Fly larvae. The larvae show up as large lumps that look like abscesses. It is a pretty common problem for these turtles. Often the larvae complete their cycle without damaging the host, but this was not the case. This turtle was hurting...  
There were many infected areas within the turtle's hollows. Bot flies frequently cause tissue damage, along with mechanical interference (decreased mobility for the turtle). The fly lays its eggs on the skin surface. The larvae penetrate the surface and form their cyst-like home that includes an air tube! It is fascinating, but also pretty gross.  

The turtle was soaked daily in warm water baths.  Our wildlife rehabbers Leah, Amy and Niki worked really hard, gently removing all of these parasites over the next few weeks. The turtle needed a shot of vitamin B to stimulate her appetite, and has healed very well.
Eastern Box Turtle goes back to the Seashore

The turtle's home is in the Cape Cod National Seashore.  She is a decades-old turtle and has been notched, which is a term used to refer to the marking of a turtle's shell for future identification and research. Because the turtle was from the National Seashore, I reported her to Bob Cook who is a herpetologist there. Bob has been working with these turtles for many years. This month, Bob is going to release her back in Truro, and hopefully tell us a little about her history in the National Seashore!

Wild Passion: Caring for the Cape's Injured Animals 
at Wild Care

Wild Care's Executive Director, Stephanie Ellis
We are delighted to announce that Wild Care is featured in the May Edition of the Cape and Plymouth Business Magazine!

Cape and Plymouth Business is distributed to over  8,500 businesses from the South Shore to Provincetown, and over 4,000 homes. It is the only local, business-related magazine.

We have posted the full article on our website.  Please give it a read!

Join us for a 3-Course Dinner & Wine Pairing, Graciously Hosted by Karoo!
  • Enjoy the taste of South Africa with Karoo owner and Chef, Sanette Groenewald
  • Live presentation and debut with "Nickerson" Wild Care's educational E. Screech Owl
  • Silent auction to benefit Wild Care
  • Ticket cost includes appetizers/entrees/dessert and respective wine pairings
  • Additional beverages available for purchase
  • Menu includes vegan, vegetarian & gluten free versions of traditional recipes
Tickets $100 per person.  Purchase tickets on  EventBrite .   RSVP required by May 8th. 
Email for more info. 

Don't miss this very special event.
A portion of the proceeds go to Wild Care!

Karoo is located on 3 Main St., Unit 32B. Eastham
Visit Karoo  |  508.255.8288
June 10th - SAVE THE DATE!

Wild Care's 23rd Annual Wild Care Yard Sale!
Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 9 AM - 1 PM
Harwich Community Center, 100 Oak St., Harwich

Spring is here! You may have already started a big  clean-out of y our garage and attic. When you discover treasures you are willing to part  with, p ut them aside for Wild Care's Yard Sale!

We are accepting Yard Sale donations of usable, clean, and priced items on Friday, June 9th from 1-6 PM at the Harwich Community Ctr. 

Click here to see examples of item donations that we are accepting!

Seeking new treasures? You'd better come to our Sale on June 10th, we've got hundreds of items to choose from!

Check out our website or contact Jan Raffaele, Yard Sale Coordinator, at, 774-237-0797 for more information, and to learn about  
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES for this popular and fun annual event.
Wild Care Extern, Monica Hartford feeds an orphaned E. Screech Owl.
Volunteer Spotlight

Wild Care is so grateful for our volunteers! Meet Monica Hartford. She is the first student participating in Wild Care's recent collaboration with Bristol Community College in our "Extern Program". Monica is enrolled in BCC's Veterinary Health Care Program in Fall River and is receiving college credit for her 10-week externship at Wild Care. Sadly, Monica's last day at Wild Care is Tuesday, May 9th. She will be missed!

We have loved having Monica at Wild Care. Her enthusiasm, great stories, and her love of animals make her a real treat to be around. She is hard-working and dedicated, contributing 20 hours a week to Wild Care, driving from New Bedford and Fall River!

Monica, we are sad to see you leave, but excited to follow your next adventures and career. Thank you from all of us at Wild Care- the staff and the animals!

Wild Care
10 Smith Lane
Eastham, Massachusetts 02642
About Wild Care
Since 1994, Wild Care has treated injured, ill and orphaned native wildlife for release back into the wild capable of independent survival, prevented wildlife casualties through public education and counseling, and engaged the community in conservation services through volunteerism.
Wild Care does not charge the public for our services. We accept wildlife regardless of a rescuer's ability to make a donation; and we never compromise quality of care or the dignity of an animal's life for fundraising purposes.
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