Center for Wildlife in Cape Neddick, ME

When we can, we like to highlight non-profit organizations whose missions are compatible with ours. SB SM

Spring is in the air
Dear Center for Wildlife Friends,

Treehouse Builder and her masterpiece 

Though we’ve been enjoying the good snow pack and colder weather that suits our local ecosystem, we can definitely see the days getting longer and hear the slight change in local bird songs. This week we admitted 4 birds including a red-tailed hawk (more below), 2 mammals and 1 reptile bringing our 2021 admission total to 91 patients. Yesterday afternoon, we welcomed a creative bunch of kids for our first “kids teaching kids” workshop where we focused on creating play treehouses.  We spent some time outside foraging some natural materials and then they got to work creating some amazing masterpieces, inspired and instructed in part by 9 year old Molly.  This is the first of what we hope will be a regular feature moving forward so be sure to keep an eye on our website for future dates and join us! 

Winter Wildlife Tracking
Last Saturday we spent a beautiful morning outside in the sunshine with a full group for our Fully Fledged: An Adult Naturalist program on winter wildlife tracking.  First, we spent time with Henry, our North American porcupine ambassador and then headed out onto the trails behind our building with master tracker and naturalist, Dan Gardoqui of Lead with Nature searching for wildlife tracks and signs.  We had a blast being immersed in the winter wonderland, and heard barred owls calling, trailed coyote tracks and found a deer brunch spot. It was a perfect morning spent connecting in nature as a group. Our COVID conscious programming is kicking into full swing, and many of our small group sessions are filling up! Click here to view a full calendar of upcoming events and reserve your spot to join us today!

Henry is especially grateful for the gift cards
We are so grateful for the funding and supplies donated by hundreds of individuals to make our new spaces comfortable and safe.  Just yesterday we had a large donation of gloves arrive at our front door for the clinic staff. Your contributions to this space have been invaluable. This week we are once again focusing on gift cards for the clinic to be able to purchase items at local shops.  With almost weekly trips to Hannafords and Home Depot, we utilize these gift cards to buy things such as fresh produce for patients and ambassador platters, bleach to clean and sanitize clinic spaces and paper products.  If you are interested in purchasing gift cards, please visit the links below. Any amount helps and Henry says thank you for filling his platter!

We also set up a CLYNK account at Hannafords that will help to supplement our weekly grocery runs.  You can direct your CLYNK monies to the Center for Wildlife through our CLYNK to Give program or contact us so we can share our CLYNK bag tags with you!  Then you can simply bag your recyclables, tag them and drop them off at your local Hannaford Market.  

Host Your Party Here!
Did you know that we are booking birthday parties at Center for Wildlife? Gather together with family and friends to enjoy these milestones at a unique venue immersed in nature. Birthday party packages include a 2 hour party for up to 20 guests, a nature based activity and 30 minute wild animal presentation with our ambassadors. Perfect no matter your age, you can celebrate while supporting local wildlife! For more information, please visit our website!

Red-tail hawk patient
Now, let’s talk about the red-tailed hawk.  We don’t have a lot of background on our patient unfortunately, just that she was found in the rescuer’s yard. Upon exam, she was found to be quite emaciated but without fractures or other signs of trauma. Red-tailed hawks are large hawks with typical buteo proportions including broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. Large females seen at a distance have even been know to fool people into thinking they’re seeing an eagle. Red-tailed hawks are can vary quite a bit in color locally, but can be identified from afar as a rich brown from above and pale from below (this helps them camauflage in the forest and sky!), with a streaked belly and a dark bar between shoulder and wrist on the underside of their wing. 

The tail for which they are named is usually pale below and gorgeous cinnamon-red above, though in first year birds the tail is brown and banded. Red tails are considered the most common hawk in North America and are known to be birds of the open country which in our region includes meadows, fields, and unfortunately roadsides. Keep an eye out for them along fields, perched atop telephone poles or fenceposts.  

Taking flight and keeping an eye out
Mammals make up the bulk of most Red-tailed Hawk meals. Top prey include voles, mice, wood rats, rabbits, snowshoe hares, jackrabbits, and ground squirrels. However depending on the season or resource availability, they can also eat birds along with snakes and carrion. They are able to capture individual prey weighing anywhere from less than an ounce to more than 5 pounds. The red-tailed hawk does most of its’ hunting by watching from high atop a perch, swooping down to capture prey in its talons and also hunts by flying over fields, keeping watch for prey below.

Babies in the nest
Red-tailed hawks often mate for life. The pair makes a stick nest in a tree, high above the ground. Nests are tall piles of dry sticks up to 6.5 feet high and 3 feet across and lined with bark strips, fresh foliage, and dry vegetation. The mates will use the nest year after year, growing it bigger and bigger. The female hawk lays anywhere from one to five eggs-which are white with brown spots. The parents each take turns sitting on the eggs ensuring their warmth and safety. Baby red-tailed hawks are quite cute and covered with white, downy feathers. We always try to reunite nestling raptors that have fallen from their nests, but when that isn’t possible our wild animal ambassadors can act as foster parents for their species!

Pileated returns to the wild
We look forward to continue being the place you turn to for healing, learning and laughing in 2021 and beyond. And we continue to work towards our ultimate goal of returning patients back to the wild.  Remember that pileated woodpecker a few weeks back?  I’m happy to report that this week he was successfully returned back to his home in the wild with his mate.  The rescuer was so grateful and said he returned at dusk that day, foraging on a tree right in front of the window for a while as if to reassure her that he is happy and wild again!  

It is moments like these that make our hard work so worthwhile. We know that there are numerous worthwhile needs out there and we are truly grateful that you include us amongst your list of organizations to follow and support.  It is through your donations whether monetary or in-kind, or continued words of encouragement that we are able to keep going and providing the care and space for these special creatures to heal.  We have accepted animal admissions each day since the new year began, and continue to offer virtual and sliding scale programming in a Covid conscious way. Please know that when you contribute to Center for Wildlife our priority is to ensure that all monies are utilized to their fullest extent. 

Gifts come in many forms and sizes and each one truly makes a difference.  Your generosity is put to work immediately by our team where it is most needed! From our home to yours, warm wishes to you and yours for a wonderful final weekend!  

 Kristen Lamb

Executive Director  

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