Clinic Stories

Back To Nature

Particularly in springtime, a variety of backyard wildlife is dropped off because they have been injured or orphaned. It is quite a menagerie but rabbits, squirrels, turtles, snakes and birds are the most common. If they need extensive nursing care we give them primary treatment and send them to Wildlife Freedom in Wanaque. But many require only first aid and a safe place to rest before being released again. My children have been recruited to share their bedroom and hand feed several animals through their growing up.

Rainbow was a mourning dove who lived in my son’s bedroom for a month or so until his wing healed. After we released him he would came back regularly, perched on the window sill, peering in. The visits became less frequent and eventually ended.

A fledgling robin was dropped off at my house one night after being pulled from a swimming pool. After being dried up and warmed up he was fine so I took him back to where he was found the next day. He got loose from the box on the way and flew around my van while I was driving. After I arrived, he eluded me for several tries, flying to the front when I went to the back, then to the back when I tried to corral him in the front. By the time I caught him his mother was sitting on a nearby fence squawking loudly. When I released him they joined in flight and landed together in a tree. I imagine he received a stern lecture for coming home late and taking a ride from a stranger.

A hawk brought in after being hit by a car and was kept overnight. He responded quickly to treatment for a concussion and ate well. My daughter accompanied me the next morning when I let him loose in the garage to see how well he could fly. I shuddered when he landed directly on her head. As their talons are quite sharp, I first assured that she was alright and instructed her to stay perfectly still. I slowly approached and gently picked him up to avoid injury. We took him outside and he flew away as if nothing happened. My daughter has never had another hawk land on her head and likely he never landed on anyone else.

Back to Top