She Wants Your Old Christmas Trees
EASTHAM — Old Christmas trees are the pariahs of January, drying ghosts that lurk in yards and behind sheds, awaiting a date with the dump, shedding needles like tears.
But now these lonely pines and firs can help feathered friends. Wild Care Cape Cod is seeking the holiday leftovers to use as perches and flying obstacles in its aviary.
“One man’s garbage is another wildlife sanctuary’s treasure,” joked Alexandra Mueller, wildlife rehabilitator at Wild Care Cape Cod.
Raptors on the mend will rejoice, said Mueller, or at least benefit from a more realistic environment in the aviary. Veering around cushiony conifers is a good way to build up flight skills needed in the wild.
“If we know they can see with both eyes and avoid a tree,” said Mueller, “then we know they are ready for release.”
Saint Aubin Nurseries in Eastham recently donated several sizable Christmas trees to the aviary, and Mueller is hoping to pry another 10 or so from the public. Trees should be tinsel- and decoration-free.
If enough trees are received, Mueller can retire the vintage 2011 Christmas tree still in use in the aviary. The tree is so old and dry that it appears to have turned from brown to red, perhaps in indignation at working so long.
Mueller said the first patient in the decked-out aviary may be a red-tailed hawk recovering from a broken wing.
“He’s kind of lopsided,” she said.
If you’d like to donate your Christmas tree to Wild Care, call 508-240-2255.
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Wild Care has a state-of-the-art seabird therapy pool, which allows seabirds and waterfowl to exercise on running water. This will help our bird friends recover more quickly so they can get back to their watery habitats!