Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Update on Immature Seward Eagles

I was there when they herded one of the birds out of it's mew into another so they could clean it. It herded just fine kind of hopping along. It's foot looked as bad as last week. They were doing some foot soaking but stopped because the skin didn't look so well afterwards. They were applying medication in a jelly form to it though.

If this birds foot doesn't recover, under current U.S. Fish & Wildlife regulations the bird will have to be put down. Even though the bird could recover if the foot was amputated. Some things I don't agree with.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Do not feed the birds

This is a good reason not to feed the birds. These geese were at the State Fair. However they were not allowed admission because nobody would pay their way. They tried to follow a lot of people in, but the ticket taker said no. The State Troopers were called who in turn called Cheryl, one of our wildlife responders in the valley. She responded to the State Fair. There she found these guys just hanging around waiting to be feed. Seems they are already imprinted. They are not afraid of humans and are probably use to being fed by them. Chances are these guys are going to get placed somewhere where they can be protected and cared for.

Don't feed the wild birds. They can feed themselves. If you feed them, they probably won't migrate like they are suppose to. Every winter we get birds that should of migrated in the clinic with frost bite.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Exec Director position

Thanks to those of you who are responding to the Executive Director Position announcement. However, it says in the announcement to mail your cover letter and resume, not e-mail. You don't want me to pick the person for that position. There is a committee doing this job and they can be reached at the address in the announcement. Please, no e-mails on this.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Army spaced used for bird rehab

Birds are in the Army now. Sort of, anyway.
According to Barbara Doak, the Bird Treatment and Learning Center's rehabilitation director, the organization gets birds from a variety of sources and has a desire to help any bird in need of care and rehabilitation.
Injured or ill birds may require diagnostic measures to be taken at the Anchorage facility, Doak said. However, those in need of some time to recuperate, gain strength, and develop their flying skills before being reintroduced into the wild can stay for anywhere from two to six months at the Flight Center at Fort Richardson's Camp Carroll.
According to Doak, the Flight Center was established in 1988 from funds acquired as a result of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. Exxon provided the materials for the building, while the actual construction was performed by Bird TLC employees and volunteers in an effort to create a safe environment to prepare birds for a reintroduction in the wild.
"Sometimes we can place birds that we don't know whether are going to be released again. They often decide for us whether they fly for us or we see that they can't get going," Doak said. "If it's a bird we know is half of a nesting pair, we will return it if at all possible to where we know it originated. But if it's a bird that came in because it tried to hunt in someone's chicken yard and they shot it, we try to put it somewhere else."
The Flight Center is overseeing the recuperation of several bald eagles, but has had occasion to care for snowy owls before returning them to their home on the North Slope, Doak said. Last summer, the facility oversaw the raising of three sandhill crane chicks in one of its large penned flight areas.
"Besides the actual treatment of injured birds, we also have a component of educating people," Doak added. "We have our educational birds that are all nonreleasable and live in various volunteers' homes or in big outside cages which are taken to school presentations or public walk-bys."
Although the educational aspect of the program at times offers a minimal amount of financial support to the nonprofit organization, Doak said, the bigger reward comes from the experiences gained through interaction with the birds.
"I guess the thing that impacts you the most is getting to know a bird and watching it," Doak said. "I remember one eagle that came with a kind of infection we'd never managed to cure and usually makes it so they can't fly. But she began to fly and just about the time we were going to release her, something happened and she broke her wing.
"So, we took her back to mend the wing, and again, much to our amazement, she flew. She'd been with us four years when I took her out to Portage and released her," she added. "Something like that you just never forget. Somehow or another, this was a miracle bird that had won against all the odds. She was a fighter and was determined, too. They too have to have the will to keep going."
Doak said that some of the damage repaired by Bird TLC occurs as a direct result of the impact humanity has on the creatures.
"Humans aren't necessarily very nice to their surroundings," she said. "Programs like this help repair some of the damage people might inadvertently or intentionally cause. Certainly the educational component helps to make it so people understand the value of their co-inhabitants on this world."
In the end, tough, Doak said she gains far more from the experience than the birds she helps care for.
"If you're a bird type of person I don't think there is any way to express what it means to rehab a bird and let it go," she said. "It's difficult to find the words to even describe the feeling. There's none like it." I found this article in the Alaska Star from July, 2003. It's a newspaper on Ft. Richardson, AK.

Thunder & Lightning

We got a good thunder storm last night. Something that doesn't happen often in the Anchorage area. This is the bigest I can recall since I've lived here. Rain fall was only about 1/3 of a inch. The light show had the birds and animals wide awake. They had no idea what was going on. We did need the rain. Click on the link for a video.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Cozy Time

Cozy time. Leuco & Gloria taking it easy.

Leuco and his grayling

Read the following e-mail from Gloria Beckman, a Bird TLC presenter and volunteer.

Leuco and I

Leuco and I were in between presentations at the Kantishna Road House. He likes to sit outside as much as possible so I always travel with his outside perch. I decided to set his perch up by the stream that runs along side the lodge. I had hopes that he would bath in the water. I sat on a rock carving on a piece of cottonwood bark watching the big bird and answering questions while keeping the Japanese tourists at bay. They really were quite excited to see the immature eagle. He did not seem to mind the attention, especially when one of the guides decided to catch a grayling in the stream for him. Clifford even took great care to keep it alive until he could give it to Leuco. Leuco was excited and promptly killed the fish and devoured the front half of the fish. Because the tail end of the fish was full of sand at this point, he walked over to the stream and washed the sand from the fish before finishing his meal.
You will note that he is not attached to his perch at this point. He tried to get as far away from us as possible; in doing so he was at the end of his leash and could not grasp the fish with his talons. I disconnected his leash from the perch and walked him up stream until he reached a point where he was comfortable with the distance between himself and the tourists. He than ate his fish. The attached photo shows him coming up to me after finishing the fish. I am convinced he thought I would pull another fish from my pocket as he watched me intently. He quickly settled on sitting next to me, playing with pebbles and splashing about in the shallow stream.
This was a great experience for me as well as the guests at the lodge. I did another presentation yesterday at the Eagle River Camp Ground. The people on the bus were on their way to Kantishna and were delighted to hear the stories of our experiences there earlier this month. Their guide, also from Kantishna, had already heard the story of Clifford catching a fish for Leuco but was disappointed when he found out I left the day before he arrived at the road house. He was glad to finally meet the famous bird. From an e-mail by Gloria Beckman.

Update on Spike in Vermont

Spike's new home is in Vermont. He's origonally from Juneau. He at one time had asper and because of this he was unable to thrive on his own. He was shipped to the Vermont Institue of Natural Science (www.vinsweb.org) about a year ago for caretaking. Since then he has gained 600 grams.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Prudhoe Bay raven update

Prudhoe Bay raven is coming along. It's eating well. Doesn't have anything to say though. Unusual for a raven. See the band on it's foot.

Seward immature eagles

Update on the eagles from Seward. They were twisted in some fishing line that somehow got into their nest and they were hanging from it. It was wrapped around their feet. The one in the pictures left foot is infected. Notice the difference in color between them. 3 of 4 talons have come off and blood circulation is poor in one digit. Time will tell if any surgery will be required.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Real Survivors

One Wing & Old Witch are survivors of the Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster. They have been residents of Bird TLC since 1988. A special mew was built for them by an Eagle Scout last year. Though it's been 16 years, these are just a couple reminders of how fragile our environment can be.

Grunts needed

Sunday's crew is still short on volunteers. People are needed to clean mew's, prepare food, administer medication, etc. The birds don't take weekends off. If your over 16, live in the Anchorage area and have the free time to help out, call 562-4852. If Sunday's aren't good, other day crews have openings also. They would appreciate the help. All training is provided.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Flight Feather

A new issue of our quarterly paper is in the mail. I got mine yesterday and all members should have theirs soon. If not, contact the office @ 907-562-4852.

Chris Maack did a great job again putting this together. If you would like to contribute an article for the next one contact Chris @ 907-562-4852.

Empty Seats

2 people recently resigned from our board. Kelly Benedict who was vp resigned. She's still going to present the great gray owl she caretakes. She was the first to present a bird from Bird TLC out of the country. She went to the Yukon Territory last year in Canada. Melissa Wannamaker was in chage of fundraising. She did a great job with the recent membership drive. She also gave me a lot of ideas for last years auction besides getting a lot of donations for it. Both are moving on to pursue other priorities in their lives. Nice people. Thanks for the great jobs you did and good luck! Any Bird TLC member can apply to fill those empty seats. If your interested, contact the office @ 562-4852.

Bird TLC is looking for an Executive Director. A full job description is on the website. Basicly it's someone who will be in charge of everything except the rehab part. This will be a special person. They will be developing this job from scratch. I don't know if we've ever had a ed. Whoever it is will have a full plate. But if they like challenges like I do, they will definetly have one. This is what our organization needs though. One person in charge who is always there. If your interested, go to www.birdtlc.net/news.html and check out the qualifications. Then mail your coversheet & resume to the address posted.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Ding Bat Itise

The Bird Center was hopping when I went by today. There are 2 immature eagles in from Seward. Some how some fishing line got near their nest and they got tangled in it pretty bad. They are going to recover, but with a little help and some time.

I forgot to take my camera. What a........... nevermind. I'll be back on Monday to take some pics.


Help me Mr Wizard

Help is needed for the Open House on Sept 12th. Donations of food, silverware, plates, etc are needed. If you can help out or know that special person at that special company, let Glenda or Kathleen know at the Bird TLC office @ 562-4852.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Cotton picking work

My real job has really gotten in the way of me visiting the Bird Center. This summer has been awesome as far as weather and business. Tourism had to hit a high mark since 9/11. I'll try to get by there tomorrow. I understand there are 2 immature eagles from Seward visiting.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Open House

Bird Seeds

Bird TLC is having a open house on Sept 12 from 1-3PM. If you signed up as a new member during our membership drive, come on down and get your membership pin. It's not to late to sign up. Check out the Bird Seeds page for more info.

Prudhoe Bay Raven

Ruth and I went to the airport to pick up a raven from Prudhoe Bay, AK. For those of you that don't know where that is, look at the top of the Alaska state map. It came down on a BP contracted plan sent by Fish & Wild Life. He had a white band with the letters wy on it. He seemed in fair condition. We fixed him a place to stay at Bird TLC. As soon as we put him in a mew he started eating. That's always a good sign.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Anchorage Daily News | Stand Down this weekend

Anchorage Daily News Stand Down this weekend

Stand Down this weekend

Daily News staff

(Published: August 12, 2004)


The 12th annual Veteran's Stand Down will be Friday and Saturday at Camp Carroll on Fort Richardson.

Stand Down is for veterans in need of support and includes information, activities and free food. Free clothing will be issued, service providers will be on hand to offer assistance and there will be a talking circle Friday evening.

"We're able to assist veterans with information on housing, providing clothing, food, job training, shelter, legal help, counseling, Social Security, potential employment and many other worthwhile things," said Charlie Huggins, this year's chairman.

All veterans and their families and friends are invited to this event.

A valid VA identification card is required for bus transportation. Drivers must have proof of insurance, driver's license and current tags; You can ride a shuttle bus from the Northway Mall or enter by vehicle via the Fort Richardson gate, off the Glenn Highway, in the vicinity of Arctic Valley and follow signs.

Sponsors include the Departments of Defense Veterans Affairs, the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska National Guard, Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Salvation Army and many others. Stand Down is a drug-free, alcohol-free event. For more information, call 428-6031.

Here's the schedule:


8 a.m.-4:45 p.m., registration; service providers on hand to assist veterans

8-9 a.m., continental breakfast

11 a.m., opening ceremony

11:30-12:30 a.m., lunch

2-4:30 p.m., clothing issue

5 p.m., retreat ceremony

6 p.m., eagle release

6:30-7:30 p.m., dinner

8 p.m., last bus of the day departs

8 p.m., Talking Circle


8 a.m.-11 a.m., registration; service providers on hand to assist veterans

8-10 a.m., SOS breakfast for all veterans and volunteers

9-11 a.m., clothing issue, noon, last bus of the day departs.

What a picture!

Thanks to Brent Miller.
What a picture!

On vacation

Sorry, I've been on vacation. It's been so long since I've posted I forgot my password. I have some new pictures e-mailed to me from Brent a volunteer. I'll try to get some posted on the site and one or two here in the next day or so. The weather has been so nice it's hard to stay inside. 80 + degrees and thats hot for Anchorage.