Thursday, March 31, 2005

It's Golden

Ruth and I picked up an eagle the other night from the airport. Another flight donated by PenAir from Valdez. When we got it back to Bird TLC, we were surprised when we pulled it out of the shipping kennel. It is a Golden Eagle. We don't get many of those at Bird TLC.

He had lost a battle with a car. A USF&W officer saw the accident happen. A car was coming down the road, the eagle had just caught a ptarmigan (Alaska's state bird) and was taking off with it. The eagle had not cleared the road or was high enough when the car came by and clipped it. The driver saw the eagle too late to do anything. The USF&W officer went back to his office and got a kennel to put the eagle in to send it to us.

During examination at Bird TLC, it was noticed that his left wing was fractured. Dr Todd and Cindy Palmatier were enroute to the airport to pick up another eagle. After they arrived at the clinic, we waited until they were finished with their bird and then we discussed the golden. Dr Todd said the break was clean and looked like a good candidate for pinning and a possible release after healing. So we wrapped the wing to it's body to prevent further injury, this bird is very feisty. He said he could operate tomorrow during lunch.

Yesterday during lunch, Dr Todd and Cindy did operate on the golden at The Pet Stop. They donated the operating room, x-ray, equipment and supplies needed. I was surprised that they let me take pictures. The operation took about 1 1/2 hours, but as far as we can tell now is that it was a success. A stainless stell pin was placed, but will be removed in about 3 weeks. It was an exciting experience for me.

Pictures of the operation are at your right in the photo album. Click on GE 05-20. Be advised, these pictures are of an eagle being operated on. Some are a little graphic.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Meet Beakman

Meet Beakman, BE 05-19. Cindy and I picked him up at the airport last night. He has come to us from Dutch Harbor on another flight provided by our friends at PenAir. We don't know how this injury happened, but it didn't happen recently. We didn't expect him to survive the night, however he did. He's a real fighter.

Dr. Scott examined him today. In his opinion this bird has a good chance of recovering. His beak will grow back in time, but only time will tell how well it does. This is a long term bird. He'll be with us at Bird TLC for at least a year. It's going to take a lot of time, tlc and funds. Keep your feathers crossed.

We picked up our 21st eagle of the year tonight. I tell you more about them later.

Bad Bird Catcher II

Cindy and I picked up an eagle from Dutch Haror last night. Another flight donated by PenAir. This bird I won't discuss much. He's in bad shape. We filled him up with fluids, he was really dehydrated. A good shot of baytril and flushed his wounds with saline. If he's alive this morning I'll be surprised. His wounds were old, but he's a fighter. Not sure how they were caused.

While at the clinic I took a call from a woman about a raven that wouldn't fly. She said she and her husband were walking their dogs at Bartlett High School and there was a raven in the parking lot. We got a good amount of snow yesteday, so the raven was in the tire tracks in the parking lot were the snow wasn't too deep. Their dogs headed towards it but they stopped them. The bird only ran away, so they called us. While talking to them they said for as close as they were to it they noticed no injuries. It had jumped a snow burm after several tries and went into the woods. I told them I would be there in 30-45 minutes.

I went home and picked up my wife Ruth. She had been out of town for about a week and I figured we needed to spend some quality bird chasing time together. We went to the area the couple had told us where the bird was last seen. We found his tracks leading into and then all over the wooded area, but we found no raven. The snow was deep, but we trudged around checking under trees and any area where an injured bird would hide, but no luck. We left because we were getting cold and it was getting dark. I hope whatever made him a runner had stopped and he had flown off.

My luck at catching injured birds this year is not too good. It's a good thing for Bird TLC that I'm a volunteer and not paid by the hour. I've only brought 2 birds back so far this year, but they were so injured they were unable to hide, even if they wanted to. It's a good thing for me that I don't get paid by the birds that I bring in or I'd be a skinny raven chaser.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Helpers needs help

Have you ever needed help from the American Red Cross. I hope not, but if you have in the past I bet you were glad they were there.

Alaskans are really neat people. If you think there's a melting pot of different people in the lower 48, check out Alaska. My family alone, lets see ... I was born in Maryland, my wife Ruth was born in Washington state, my son Nick was born in Florida, my son Ryan was born in Oklahoma, and my daughter Cassie was born here in Anchorage. And in that sense we're not unusual. All of us still live in Alaska. Why? Because it is unlike any place we have ever been. Besides the beauty and wonders of the state, it's also the uniqueness of it's people.

Alaska covers 570,373 miles of land and 45,000 square miles of water. According to the last US Census, Alaska's population is 626,932 people. Our population more than doubles during the summer with tourist from all over the world.

Last year the American Red Cross responded to more than 67,000 disasters in the US. From house fires to tornados. They also feed the people who responded to those emergencies. When I was in the military, I told my family that if there was an emergency that required me to come home, contact the American Red Cross. They could get me home faster than Uncle Sam, and they did. During 20 years of service they got me home in time for funnerals and medical emergencies. One time they gave me a $500 grant to assist in a medical emergency while I was stationed in Oklahoma. That sure helped a young married couple in a desperate time of need.

Now they need our help. Because of the international relief efforts needed around the world, people are donating to them and not their local Red Cross. Not to say what they are donating is wrong or should they stop, but lets remember home also. Make a donation to your local Red Cross. Who knows, you or one of your friends, neighbors or family members might need their help tomorrow. Click on the picture above to go to the American Red Cross of Alaska's website.

Then while you still have your checkbook out, send one to the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. Help support the injured, sick & orphaned wild birds of Alaska.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Now in North Carolina

04-27 known as Tippy Toes is now a tar heel. He was placed at the Carolina Raptor Center last week. This is a first class operation located in the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve near Charlotte, NC. He's in good hands there. Check out their website for all of the neat work they do. Good luck Tippy and enjoy your new home.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Visiting Spritzer

My wife Ruth went outside to visit family in Oregon this week. (For those readers not from Alaska, going outside is leaving the state). She meet up with her dad Forrest who lives in Vancover, Washington. He took her to visit Spritzer in Hawk Haven which is located 3 miles east of Estacada, Oregon. Spritzer was placed outside in Hawk Haven in October, 2004.

Spritzer is doing good. He's now waiting for his new mew to be completed. His beak is still showing signs of his wound from a gun shot and probably always will. Ruth says " He still likes to talk". From the report from Ruth it seems that he is in good company down there.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


My daughter Cassie and I spent this past weekend in Seward, Alaska. She hadn't been there since she was a todler, so she didn't remember much of it. We got to visit with some old friends of mine and visit the sites. My favorite place to visit, is the Alaska SeaLife Center. I think it's her favorite now also.

ASLC is really neat. It's motto is "The Alaska SeaLife Center is dedicated to understanding and maintaining the integrity of the marine ecosystem of Alaska through research, rehabilitation and public Education". They caretake a lot of different mamals and sea and shore birds. They also educate the public on the birds, mamals and sealife they work with. Whenever they have a land based bird they transfer it to Bird TLC. Bird TLC sends all of the sea and shore birds to ASLC. It's a good relationship.

Steve Ross and Lisa Pajot were there presenting owls from Bird TLC. Steve presents a great horned owl and Lisa presents a boreal owl. Sorry Lisa, for some reason your picture didn't turn out. Both are well experienced presenters for Bird TLC and have extensive knowledge of the birds they present. They had a good size crowd listening to their presentation and asking lots of questions.

Cassie and I had a really good time and it looks like the owl watchers did also. I added some pictures from the trip to the photo album and will get the rest in there this week.

On another note, I'll be tied up at work for the next couple of days. Chances are there will be no new post until later this week.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

New Small Bird Room equipment donated

This bohemien wax wing is enjoying it's new rehab cage while it recovers from a window hit.

Bird TLC's small bird room is now more organized, clean and has lots more room. It will also make it easier to keep clean, freeing up volunteers time for other work.

Bird TLC was donated several small bird cages from "The Reef", formally known as "The House of Critters". It has changed it's business to dealing strictly with aquariums, fish and supplies. Having three aquariums myself, I was excited that a business I frequented was donating such needed and nice equipment.

Though the room is not finished being reorganized, it's well on it's way. Summer seems to be coming early to Alaska this year, so the timing of this donation was perfect.

Thanks to the fine people at The Reef!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Big City Bird

Everyone should of heard of Pale Male, a red tailed hawk by now. In December, the board of a co-op apartment building evicted him from his New York City apartment over looking Central Park. The board later bowed to public outrage and pressure from the city and environmentalists, and restored a row of anti-pigeon spikes that the hawks had used to anchor their nest. Pale Male and Lola immediately rebuilt their nest.

Now Pale Male and his mate Lola, have at least one egg in their nest according to the Pale web site run by Lincoln Karim. The male hawk has sired 23 chicks with four mates since he first set up housekeeping at 927 Fifth Ave. in 1993.

Volunteers use the Web site to record every detail of the hawks' lives.

"Lola appears to be turning the eggs every half hour or so. Pale Male had two sittings today between noon and sunset," said an entry posted Sunday.

NYC Audubon Society

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Identifying Small Birds Class

April 2, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Bird Treatment & Learning Center
6132 Nielson Way

A bird in the hand is sometimes harder to identify than two in the
bush. Chris Maack will guide you through ways of narrowing it down.
Nestlings will be discussed. The training will be tailored for
rehabilitators who must make critical decisions regarding nutrition and housing. Free to members and volunteers. Call Bird TLC @ 562-4852 to register or sign up at the Bird TLC Clinic.

Some field guides will be available, but bring your own if possible.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

How sharp is it?

This Sharp Shinned Hawk flew into a window and shattered her left wing last year. Not much could be done, so we wrapped her wing and hoped for the best. We figured she would be an un-releasable education bird at best once she recovered.

Well, after a few accidental flight test, we might be considering releasing her this summer. The decission has not been made, but it's a possibility. To look at her x-ray you would think there's no way. But let her loose and she makes you think twice. We'll keep you updated on Sharpie.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Eagle Handler

New eagle handler and Wednesday's crew member Char transfers BE 05-17 from the exam table and back to his mew. This bird came to Bird TLC from Cordova. He had eaten some rotten food and feels real bad. He had to have his crop flushed.

Good job Shara! Keep it up!

Cindy, what's that look for?

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Besides eagles

Eagles aren't the only ones coming in now. This Pine Grosbeak flew into a window and a concerned young lady brought him in. Under examination it was discovered it also had scaly leg mites. It has recovered from the window hit, and now must wait for the mites to go away. Then it will be released.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Go getter needed

Bird TLC is a growing non-profit organization. We're headed into our Bird TLC 2005 Membership Drive in just a short time. We are in need of a energetic person to chair the Membership Committee.

1st requirement - Must be a member
2nd requirement - Must live in Anchorage, Alaska
3rd requirement - Call the Bird TLC Office @ 562-4852

The mew is mine!

I've written about One Wing before many times, but here's this to bring you up to date without going back through all the archives.One Wing has been with Bird TLC since the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. He lost a wing due to amputation, which is no longer allowed by law. He was oil covered and he beat his wing on the beach trying to take off. He was used for blood transfusions to help save many other eagles during that time. It's a miracle that he survived. He's one tough bird and everyone has a lot of respect for him, including myself.

I went in his mew last week to help Luz, a Bird TLC volunteer. Old Witch (not in picture), has been with him a long time. She was leary of my presence and wouldn't come from behind a tree stump. Though I talk to One Wing quite often, he didn't appreciate my visit that day because I was making Old Witch uncomfortable. He was letting me know very verbally and also by his actions. Needless to say I didn't stay long.

I hope he gets over it by summer time. His mew needs to be re-graveled, some roof repairs and a good pressure wash. We'll have some quality time.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Not bird related, so sue me

This picture was taken about 1 block from my house of our favorite Iditarod Musher Dee Dee Jonroe. She's a breast cancer survivor about 1 1/2 years ago. She's the woman in the blue mushers hat bent over talking to the woman in her sled basket. People from around the world pay big bucks to ride in that sled from Anchorage to Eagle River. From there to Nome the musher rides alone.

Notice the booties on the dogs feet to protect them from the coarse snow. These dogs love to run. Blue bandanas for the team colors. White "T" shirts on two dogs of every team to promote getting your kids immunization shots.

There's a link in the right column under the hit counter to Cabelos daily race coverage for those interested.

Best of luck to all of the mushers in Iditarod 2005!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Another from Dutch Harbor

This immature bald eagle (BE 05-16) suffered some severe head trauma while in Dutch Harbor. Dr Todd Palmatire and Cindy picked her up at the Anchorage Airport around 4:30 PM last night. Thanks again PenAir.

She's huge for he age. The primary feathers on her wings have quills at least 1/4 inch thick. She flew into something hard. She has some permanent damage to her right eye. She also gave USF&W a hard time. While she was avoiding capture, she jumped into the Bering Sea. They had to go fetch her. She was a little wet still and a little cold when she arrived.

She had that head trauma, head tic so we gave her a shot of dex. No other problems were noted in her exam. She weighed in at 5.18 KG with a full keel. Placed her in a warm mew with fresh water and some moose meat. Let's see how she is doing in the morning.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I feel much better thank you!

Lead Bottom (BE 05-01) is doing a lot better. He's on no special medical treatment now. We're monitoring his food and water. He's still drinking a lot and on his own. Had his blood drawn today, results tomorrow. His lungs sound clear (YEAH!). He still has a lack of movement in his left wing. It's kept wrapped up and out of the way so he doesn't damage it walking around. His left leg and foot is working, however he's not completely steady. He's also still being tung feed.