Saturday, October 30, 2004

Rotary in Seward

On Tuesday Ruth did a presentation in Seward, AK with Jasper, a rough legged hawk. Her excited audience was the Seward Chapter of Rotary International at their weekly luncheon at the Harbor Dinner Club. Many questions were asked about both Jasper and Bird TLC. We also have some new members from the luncheon. It was a fun meeting and presentation.

Great support to the trip was given by several and I would like to thank them here. Matt Hall, DVM, "The Dog Doctor", of the Seward Animal Clinic made sure everything went smooth. He arranged our hotel stay which was donated by the Hotel Edgewater on the corner of 5th and Railroad. Nice clean hotel with a lot of things to do and with a very nice staff. Their espresso stand makes a good mocha! I recommend it anytime your in Seward. Christo's bought dinner, the best pizza in Seward. This is a restaurant I'll go back to every time I'm in town. Recently renovated after a fire, it's gorgeous. Thanks again to everyone involved.

On the way back to Anchorage, Ruth and I stopped outside of Hope Junction and released an northern goshawk. It's the same one I posted about a couple months ago under "What's in your Wallet?". After excellent care by the staff at Bird TLC, she was more than ready for release.

Also on the way back we saw over 30 tundra swans along the Seward Hwy outside of Portage. The are a bunch of small ponds and Portage Lake along the highway. It was raining and the wind was blowing like usual along Turnagain Arm. I guess they were taking refuge waiting the storm out until they moved on. We also saw several eagles, ravens, magpies and a lot of Canadian geese.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Under Repair

This juvenile goshawk was brought in with a left wing injury and a little bumble foot on his left foot. The wing injury required surgery and pins being inserted into the humorous to hold things together until all healed up. Dr. Scott examined the goshawk to make sure it's healing as we all would like. It's too soon to be able to tell if she's releasable after rehab. Notice the feet all taped up. That for safety reasons during the exam. These birds are very aggressive and don't like living indoors with lots of people around. The tape is removed when it's returned to it's mew. I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Wow! I mean WOW!

Alaska Airlines has donated Spritzers flight to Oregon thanks to the hard work of Dean Rickerson. This is a first for Bird TLC. We have 2 local small airlines that support us well, Penn Air & ERA Aviation. We've never had any support from a large airline. This is awesome. Thanks Dean and thank you Alaska Airlines!

The money donated from the Anchorage Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is being sent to Hawk Haven, minus the cost of a new kennel. Leslie can use the money towards Spritzers upkeep. He has some good friends in Alaska and I know he'll make some in Oregon.

Thanks again to all!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Spritzer is moving to Oregon

Long time rehab patient Spritzer is on the move. He's relocating Wednesday, Oct 20 to Hawk Haven in Estacada, Oregon. My wife Ruth and I are going to take him to the airport for a 8:15AM flight.

This has taken a long time to come about. Spritzer was brought to us almost 2 years ago. He was shot in the beak by a misguided citizen. The top beak was barely holding on. It has grown back quite a bit but as you see in the picture the wound still remains. He got the name Spritzer because his beak needed to be kept moist and he got water sprayed often during the day to keep it that way.

Bird TLC Rehab director Barbara Doak has been working with Leslie Rapacki of Hawk Haven for a while now to make this happen. Finances became an issue like with most non-profits. Neither of us have been able to get donated support from the large airlines that fly out of Alaska. Long time supporter of Bird TLC Dean Rickerson, introduced our Board President Mary Bethe Wright to the Anchorage Chapter of Ducks Unlimited at a banquet held on Oct 16. She informed them of the situation and being the fine people they are, dug deep into their pockets and paid for the airfare for Spritzer. Ain't that cool!

We're going to miss Spritzer. But he'll be able to teach people that visit him at Hawk Haven why you shouldn't shoot at birds for the sake of it. Bird TLC doesn't have a permanent facility yet, but it will some day. So, if you are in the neighborhood of Estacada, Oregon , stop in and say "Hi" to Spritzer. Also, THANKS ANCHORAGE CHAPTER OF DUCKS UNLIMITED!

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Birding in Babylon

I'm sitting at home a little stuffed from a nice meat loaf I made for dinner. The dog is snoring in the living room, at least I hope that's the dog. My wife Ruth is watching Crossing Jordan on TV (maybe that's where the snoring is coming from). And there's this soldier birding in Iraq. Check out his blog at . It's some really interesting reading.

Stay safe J.

Swimming with Eagles

Did you know eagles could swim? I didn't. At least not until we released an eagle at Portage Glacier about 2 years ago. He went to fly over the glacier lake and couldn't get enough lift. I don't know if there was a down draft or what. He flew in small circles for a little while and then he landed in the water. I was new to Bird TLC, so I thought we might need to do a water rescue. Then I was informed that eagles could swim. I thought they were pulling my leg, but when I looked back at the eagle, he was swimming. Kind of looked like a breast stroke. He swam quite a distance to the shore, and then perched on a rock. He stayed there a long time drying out and then took off for the wooded area. As cold as that glacier water was, no person could have swam that distance.

The following was taken from the Bald Eagle Foundation website.

Eating Habits

Eagles feed mainly on fish, but water fowl, small mammals and carrion supplement their diet, especially when fish are in short supply. Eagles can fly up to 30 m.p.h. and can dive at speeds up to 100 m.p.h. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot fish at distances up to 1 mile. Eagles swoop down to seize a fish in their talons and carry it off, but can only lift about five pounds. Under certain circumstances, eagles have been known to drown trying to lift a fish that weighed too much.

Bald Eagles have also been known to swim to shore with a heavy fish using their strong wings as paddles.

Bald Eagles are more abundant in Alaska than anywhere else in the United States with an estimated 50,000 birds – one out of every two bald eagles in North America.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Avian Rehabilitation Program Director Position Open

Job Announcement

Avian Rehabilitation Program Director

The Bird Treatment and Learning Center (Bird TLC) a 501(c)(3) non-profit wild bird care and education organization in Anchorage Alaska is seeking an Avian Rehabilitation Program Director with experience in the treatment and care of sick, injured and orphaned wild birds and management and operation of a volunteer-based rehabilitation program and facility. Between 800 and 900 birds from most areas in Alaska are treated by Bird TLC annually, most being wild species that are indigenous to the state.

Visit for all of the information.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Bird TLC Day a HIT

Bird TLC Day @ Alaska Native Heritage Center was a hit. The eagle and raven releases were successful. There were presenters with an eagle, great horned owl, great gray owl, nw crow, northern hawk owl and more. We all had fun and here's hoping all of the attendee's did also.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Update to Update on Seward Eagles

Our Seward Eagles with the bum feet are back together again. The first one known as Sister has been at the Flight Center getting her strength back for about 2 months. The second one known as Stumpy joined her sister at the Flight Center today. She is awfully weak and it will take some time to be as strong as Sister. But we are all confident she will be strong again. If all goes well, both will be released by next summer. I wish I could have been there to see them reuniting.

To refresh your memory, these girls were found tangled in fishing line hanging from their nest outside of Seward, AK.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Bird TLC Day @ Alaska Native Heritage Center

Oct 9th is Bird TLC DAY @ the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. There will be lots of wild bird presentations from 10AM until 5PM. At 11:30AM until 11:45AM there will be a rehabilitated eagle and raven released back to the wild. All proceeds from that day go to Bird TLC. It will be a good day to take the family out and check out what's happening before the white stuff flies.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

one more wild raven

Bill Samualson, volunteer and Bird TLC supporter prepares to release a raven back to the wild. In Oct 2003 Bill bid on and won a raven release at our Benefit for the Birds live auction and fund raiser. Last weekend he finally got to release one at the CCSC Public Lands Day festivities. Great job Bill and thanks for all of your help!

Thanks Tom Lohman for the picture.