Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Two kids running in the snow. We all need nature—and nature needs you. Together, we can protect the wildlife and wild lands of Massachusetts for generations to come. Make a tax-deductible donation today.
Man with a gray Mass Audubon shirt and blue glove holding a peregrine falcon.
Blue Hills Trailside Museum, Milton

Wildlife Care at Blue Hills Trailside Museum

None of the animals at the Blue Hills Trailside Museum could survive without human help. The animals are either orphans raised by humans, permanently disabled by injury, were born in captivity, or impossible to return to their exact habitat (which is critical for reptiles).

These animals, which represent some of the species that are native to Massachusetts, give visitors the opportunity to experience the rich variety of life found in this area.

Outdoor 

These animals are on permanent display in the outdoor enclosures. We’re frequently asked if we bring any of the animals in for the winter, but all of these animals naturally stay active through Massachusetts winters and therefore are not brought inside.  

AnimalBornAt MuseumDisability
River Otter (female) 2006 2006 Born in captivity
Snowy Owl (female)unknown2015Impaired flight
White-tailed Deer (female)20082008Orphaned
White-tailed Deer (female)20082008Orphaned
Red Tailed Hawk (male)c.19861987Missing left eye
Red-tailed Hawk (female)19981998Missing right eye
Turkey Vultureunknown2009Permanent wing injury
Black Vultureunknown2018Permanent wing injury
Bald Eagle20132013Nerve damage (lead poisoning)
Red Fox (male)20142014Orphaned
Red Fox (male)20172017Orphaned

Indoor

These smaller animals are on permanent display in the Museum’s indoor exhibit hall.

AnimalBornAt MuseumDisability
Eastern Screech Owl (red morph)20182018Orphaned
Great Horned Owl19991999Orphaned / blind in right eye
Timber Rattlesnake (black phase)unknown2007Habitat return impossible
Timber Rattlesnake (yellow phase)unknown2007Habitat return impossible
Eastern Copperhead19931993Habitat return impossible
Honeybeesconstantly2020 (queen)Domesticated animals

Seasonal

These reptiles are kept in the museum’s animal care facility during the colder months of the year.

SpeciesBornAt MuseumDisability
Blanding's Turtle (male) unknown1984Habitat return impossible
Eastern Box Turtle (male)unknownprior to 1974Habitat return impossible
Eastern Box Turtle (male)unknownprior to 1974Habitat return impossible
Eastern Box Turtle (female)unknownprior to 1974 Habitat return impossible
Eastern Box Turtle (female)unknown1980Surrendered pet
Musk Turtle20042004Habitat return impossible
Musk Turtle20042004Habitat return impossible
Painted Turtleunknown1979Surrendered pet
Spotted Turtleunknownprior to 1974Habitat return impossible
Spotted Turtleunknownprior to 1974Missing one foot
Wood Turtleunknown1992Habitat return impossible
Garter Snakeunknown2017Habitat return impossible

For Educational Programs

These "Animal Ambassadors" are only used for educational programs and are not usually on display at the Museum. They enrich our school programs and ignite the spark of curiosity and wonder for students, inspiring them to learn about and protect the natural world.

SpeciesBornAt MuseumDisability
Eastern Screech Owl (gray morph)20072007Orphaned
Eastern Screech Owl (brown morph)20192019Orphaned
Barred Owl (female)20082008Orphaned
Barn Owl20072007Orphaned
Great Horned Owl (female)20112011Orphaned
American Kestrel (female)20102011Orphaned
American Kestrel (male)20162017USFWS research animal
Peregrine Falcon (female)20112012Permanent wing injury
Broad-winged Hawk20162016Orphaned
Red-tailed Hawk20042004Orphaned
Saw-whet Owl (female)20172019Eye injury
Virginia Opossum (female)20192020Orphaned