Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Northern Hemisphere’s most abundant duck. Mallards are one of the marsh or dabbling ducks. They feed by dabbling the surface or by upending. Sometimes they feed on land.

Seven ducks showed up as small ducklings waddling up a driveway with no adult duck and no water in the vacinity. They were raised at the NPWRC center. Photo taken 8/6/00.

A full sized lake at last! The seven ducks were released at a private lake with plenty of vegetation for the them to eat. The ducks never had enough room to fly while at the center, but as a final good-bye, one of the ducks flew around the lake and landed beautifully on the water, just as though flying had always been part of its daily routine.

Posted in Blog by npwrc

Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)

These skunks dwell in deserts, woodlands, grassy plains, suburbs across most of the U.S. and southern Canada.

Photo taken 5/4/03.
This tiny skunk was found near a newly constructed home.

Photo taken 5/4/03.
The skunk is growing. It will soon be put in an outdoor enclosure.

Photo taken 5/18/03.
The skunk stomps its feet as a warning before it sprays.

Photo taken 5/18/03.
Photo taken 5/18/03.

Posted in Blog by npwrc


Desert Cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii)

Buff-brown above white below. Slightly larger, with longer hind legs and longer tail than a Brush Rabbit. It eats grasses, mesquite, other green plants, bark, twigs and cactus. It’s range is up to 15 acres for males and 9 acres for females. It can climb sloping trees. It does not usually rest in “forms” (shallow depressions in the ground), but, it sometimes rests in burrows of other animals when the vegetation is sparse.

Posted in Blog by npwrc


Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens)

Lives in a variety of brushy areas including chaparral, open woodlands and residential areas. There is some geographical variation in color patterns. The upperparts including wings and tail are blue, the back is grey or brownish depending on the area, and the underparts are grayish white with a blue incomplete necklace.
Photo taken 6/8/02.

Birds mature quickly. Look at the difference two weeks makes in this Scrub Jay. It was moved to an outdoor habitat where it learned how to fly and then the Scrub Jay was released.

Posted in Blog by npwrc


Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)


Small, stocky, short-billed, short-necked, and short-legged when compared to other herons, egrets and bitterns. Most active at night, roosts during the day. Occupies various wetland habitats including marshes, wooded swamps and forests along rivers and streams. The adult has a black cap and back, pale gray wings, whitish underparts and a red eye. Juveniles are gray-brown with spots and streaks.

This Black-crowned Night-Heron had a broken wing that was starting to mend incorrectly. After surgery and rehabilitation, it was released on private property where there is a stream that has plenty of fish and frogs for it to eat.



Posted in Blog by npwrc

House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus)

The male’s head, throat and eyebrows are orange to deep red that blends into a streaked buff-brown belly and flanks. The female is greyish-brown with darker streaking. House Finches are the most abundant birds living near humans in suburban areas of the West.

Photo taken 6/17/01.
There are 5 House Finches in this family. They are learning to eat seeds and to perch on twigs. Currently, they prefer to sit on each other or in their water dish.

Photo taken 6/17/01.
These House Finches were successfully released in the area where they were originally found.

Posted in Blog by npwrc

We care for the injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County


Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization that operates solely on funds from public donations and fundraisers. We get NO funds from any governmental origin. All the people working for the center are volunteers, with the exception of the Director of Animal Care, Meredith Day, who became the Director after Meredith Pipestem retired. The Director is responsible for the medical treatment and hands on care of the animals that come to the center. There are five other trained Animal Care technicians, all of whom are volunteer assistants and follow the prescribed treatments decided upon by Meredith and the attending Veterinarians.


The mission of NPWRC is:

  • REHABILITATE – to successfully rehabilitate injured wildlife and raise orphans, retaining their wild state
  • RELEASE – to return the animals to their natural habitats
  • EDUCATE – to teach the public in how to help prevent injury, preserve wildlife, and to appreciate the ecological value of every species


Rehabilitating wildlife is a very serious matter for us. We cannot release animals that will come up to people to beg for food. The animals need to be self-sufficient and live their lives in the wild with as little human contact as possible, or they risk getting injured or killed. Therefore, the animals in our care need to have as little contact with people as possible. We cannot run a petting zoo and expect to release animals into the wild that will fear and avoid humans.


Even with all the precautions that rehabilitators took with the California Condors, you probably have heard how the condors in the Grand Canyon are not afraid of humans . One man shot and killed a condor that got too close to his campsite. Park officials are looking for ways to keep the birds from swooping down looking for handouts. They will try to train the condors to fear humans.

That is what we are striving for–to release wild animals that fear humans. If not, our deer will approach the hunter, our raccoons, opossums and skunks will become pests in your yard. We are serious about helping wild animals to be wild and free. For this reason, we cannot be open to the public. But do visit the animals on this website, where you will see the current residents as well as the ones that we have successfully released.

click to enter

click to enter

click to enter

Posted in Blog by npwrc


The Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is looking for a new site to house our facility.

We would like to thank Granite Rock for providing our facility since 1991, and to thank all of you for your support to help maintain that facility, but, in a recent and sudden turn of events, the site of our facility has been sold. We now find ourselves preparing for an unexpected move. This is the second time a relocation of this nature has occurred since our incorporation in 1980 and due to the magnitude of the task we need to find a permanent home.

The Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been providing medical care to the sick, injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County for over thirty-two years. Those three plus decades have been funded only through fundraisers and private donations, or to put it plainly, we exist only because of the kindness of our community and volunteers. We have been proud to serve our community and glad to help in the ways we are able; to provide animal care, wildlife conflict tips and advice, and offer wildlife information in general when the opportunity arises.

We are looking for a parcel between five and ten acres to meet our habitat space requirements. The main regulation we have to be mindful of is that our animal enclosures must be a distance of 100ft from where domestic animals have access. Ideally the site should include a dwelling for animal security purposes and because this vocation doesn’t keep regular 9am-5pm workdays. A barn is an especially significant source of utility to our cause. Outbuildings for our office and diet prep area would be beneficial, but if not available, we can build.

At this moment in time we are no longer able to accept new patients and the clock is ticking down to our imminent departure from our current location. Each animal that needs our care is being transferred outside of our county so its needs can be met. Our gratitude to the dedicated hands they are being received by is immeasurable, but not all wildlife can be transferred across county lines due to regulations.

We have a place in our county’s history because the community values the magnificence of the wildlife in this breathtaking place we are all lucky enough to steward. We believe it’s not just the beauty of the land that inspires our citizens to love it here, but the majesty of the creatures we meet upon it. It has been the work of many people together that has seen our cause through the decades. We are hopeful together we can ensure that the tradition of caring for our wild neighbors endures for future generations.

If you have property that you would like to donate or would like to make a contribution to our fund to purchase a suitable property, please contact the center at 831-628-3400 or by e-mail to [email protected]

A temporary fund has been established with the Community Foundation for San Benito County. If you would like to make a donation, make your check payable to the “Wildlife Center Relocation Fund” and mail to Community Foundation for San Benito County, 829 San Benito St., Suite 200, Hollister, CA 95023.


Posted in Blog by npwrc


This website will continue it’s growth process. Check out what we have done so far, and come back often. We will be adding more photos and stories as well as more animated pictures and who knows what kind of surprises are in store….(the webmaster knows that’s who).
This site last updated on 09/02/12.
Some of the “Success Stories” pages now have .mpg movie files. See and hear some of the animals at the center!

Please click on one of the following for more information:
SUCCESS STORIES (photos and descriptions)

Wildlife Center email: [email protected]


Posted in Blog by npwrc




Most wild babies are born in the spring. As the weather warms, the birds begin to nest. Some nest on the ground or in buildings. Many nest in trees or shrubs. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to cut trees and prune shrubs before spring. In the unsettled weather of spring, many song bird nests are blown out of their trees. If the nest is only slightly damaged and the young birds are unharmed, the nest can be replaced in its tree and secured with strong twine. As long as the new nest location is near the original site, the parents should return to care for their young. A severely damaged nest can often be tucked into a strawberry basket and then returned to the tree and secured. Songbird parents, with their poor sense of smell, will be none the wiser that you’ve handled their babies.


Those best qualified to raise baby birds are parent birds. Song bird babies are naked and helpless at hatching time. They must be kept warm and fed often by their parents. Young birds have very special diets. Some eat seed, some eat insects, some eat a mixture of both. Whatever the baby bird eats has been predigested to some extent by the parent birds. Song bird babies are ready to leave the nest at only 3 weeks of age. At this stage, they are called fledglings. Their bodies are covered with feathers although their tail feathers are very short. Some still have down on their heads. The parents now begin to teach their youngsters how to avoid the many dangers of today’s world. The fledglings are clumsy and easily distracted, as are all young things. They may not fly well yet, but they learn quickly or they do not survive. The parents continue to feed their young until they learn where to find their own food.


Fledgling birds should be left alone to allow their survival lessons to proceed without interruption. A fledgling found sitting in the street can be tucked away in a nearby shrub; the parents are always close by. If you have cats and dogs, lock them up for a few hours. You should sit and watch the young birds and do so from a distance for about an hour. You will be rewarded by learning first hand some of mother nature’s secrets. If you do not see the parent birds, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


Baby birds that hatch out covered with feathery fuzz, and able to run and peck at their food immediately, are called precocial birds. They are herded along by the mother and covered (brooded) until they are able to control their own body heat. These youngsters are taught survival and foraging skills by their parents. Ducks, quail, pheasant and killdeer are some of the species that are precocial. Young precocial birds who may seem to be lost and alone usually are not. If left alone, their cries for attention soon bring the worried parent who will hurriedly escort her youngster to safety. Remember to stay back, mother birds know about and fear humans. Again, if the parent bird is not seen for an hour, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


The downy babies of hawks and owls need their parents too. Predatory birds feed on rodents and other small prey. Only the parent bird knows which morsels of a mouse are best for their rapidly growing infants. Even a young bird of prey can be dangerous, their feet and beaks are used as weapons when necessary. Young hawks and owls sometimes fall from their nests. It is not a good idea to try to replace them in the nest; the parent bird may misunderstand your intentions and attack. Call your wildlife center for help!


Mammals are warm blooded creatures capable of transmitting rabies. Furry mammal infants need specialized care too. Food you have in your kitchen will cause serious and often deadly problems for any wild thing. Young helpless mammals found away from their denning sites should be left alone. If they are still in the same spot an hour later, call your wildlife center for help. Mother deer often leave their fawns bedded down in a quiet spot while they are off feeding. If you happen to discover the hiding place of a tiny fawn leave it alone! The mother will return for it and it understands that fact. Do not touch the youngster. Learning to trust humans is not a safe thing for a wild animal. Mammal parents have a very good sense of smell.


Nearly all wild birds and mammals are protected under the law. They may not be taken from the wild and kept as pets or patients of an inexperienced person. When a wild animal is truly in need of assistance, it should be taken to a wildlife care facility holding permits through the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Interior. Wildlife rehabilitators have received extensive training on the care and feeding of native wildlife. The process of rehabilitation and eventual release is more complicated than diet and includes many steps beyond daily care.

Unless you are an experienced rehaber, there is great danger in offering any food or water to a young wild bird. Each species has different dietary requirements which must be met in order to insure survival. A drink of water can drown a young bird. Cow’s milk can cause intestinal problems in wild birds and mammals.


Call a wildlife center. If you are in an unfamiliar area, call a local veterinarian, Sheriff, Police Department or the Department of Fish and Game and ask for the phone number of the nearest wildlife center. Call first to alert the staff and allow them to make necessary preparations.

REMEMBER: Your wildlife center has a staff of people who are knowledgeable in the field of wildlife rehabilitation. They are dedicated and trained to raise a young wild creature so it can be given its freedom and make a successful release into the wilds.

A power greater than our understanding has created the wealth and beauty of nature as we perceive it. Let us all treat wildlife with the awe and reverence it deserves.

Posted in Blog by npwrc