Cape Wildlife Center’s prototype hydrotherapy unit is now operational! The sea birds and waterfowl the Center rehabilitates all depend on adequate waterproofing for survival. The Center’s team of staff and volunteers designed the new unit to allow these birds constant access to an over flow water system which helps remove oils and other pollutants which hamper the restoration of their feathers’ waterproofing. Having waterproof feathers protects the birds from hypothermia which could kill them. The unit also has a pull-out heated zone. The birds rest and recover and receive intensive rehabilitative care here, before being moved to a larger, outdoor habitat prior to release. The Center cares for hundreds of seabirds annually; its full patient load nears 2,000 animals every year, representing about 135 species of birds, mammals and reptiles. These are photos of a red-necked grebe, a migratory bird not often seen in Massachusetts.