Born to Be Wild Nature Center · Wildlife Rehabilitation in Rhode Island

Born to Be Wild Nature Center is also a sanctuary for raptors unable to return to the wild because of injury. Meet some of our resident animal ambassadors who inspire us to educate the public on ways to protect wildlife. Our mission is to provide quality care to injured, sick and orphaned wildlife for the primary purpose of returning them to their natural habitat. We also strive to educate the public on the importance of maintaining these habitats for existing wildlife.

Wink is a Barred Owl who came to us after being struck by a car. His left eye was badly damaged and although he received treatment for six weeks, under the supervision of two ophthalmologists, it was determined that he would lose that eye. It was during the surgery to remove his eye, that his Vets gave him the name "Wink". Barred Owls have the distinctive hoot, "who cooks for you?" and can sometimes be heard and seen during the daytime. Unlike most owls which have piercing, yellow eyes, Barreds have soulful, dark brown eyes. They get their name from the horizontal, brown bars under their chin. Wink has a calm and easy-going demeanor, which makes him one of our best educational ambassadors.

Dusti, a grey phase Eastern Screech Owl, shares an outdoor aviary with Gretchen. Unlike Gretchen, Dusti is feisty and assertive. You know that small dog that thinks it's a big dog? Dusti thinks she is a Great Horned Owl! Unfortunately, she was hit by a car and is now blind in her right eye. In the wild, Screech Owls live wherever there are trees. Evergreen, deciduous, rural, urban - it doesn't matter. As long as they can find a cavity to live in and hunt for prey items that are on their lengthy menu. These small, stocky owls are true survivors, weighing just a quarter of a pound.

Montecor, a Great Horned Owl, was placed with us from an out-of-state raptor rehabilitation center. They had been caring for him after he had fallen 80 feet from his nest in a tall pine tree. "Monte" had broken several bones and after healing, it was determined that he was not releasable. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service granted permission to use Montecor as an educational ambassador. He is a magnificent example of Rhode Island's largest resident owl and his participation in our educational programs is always a favorite among the audience.

Our oldest educational raptor is a female Red Tailed Hawk named Matrix. She had been hit in the head by a golf ball, while flying over a golf course. Knocked unconscious, she was taken to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Ma. It was there that she was given the name "Matrix". After 6 weeks of rehab, they determined she had recovered so she was banded and set free. Three weeks later, she was found on the ground, starving. When we received her, we checked the numbers on her leg band and soon learned the details of her initial injury. In order to evaluate why Matrix was not hunting, we used falconry techniques to train her to fly to the glove. We then took her on hunting trips to chase squirrels and rabbits. It soon became evident that Matrix has a brain injury that prevents her from catching prey. But as an educational ambassador, Matrix has gone into many classrooms over the years, teaching children about the important role raptors play in nature.

Born to Be Wild Nature Center · Wildlife Rehabilitation in Rhode Island
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