Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Blessed Birds and Beast Store

There'll be a Bird TLC & Alaska Zoo Holiday Store at the Dimond Center on the second floor. Come to the store for all of your favorite Bird TLC or Alaska Zoo apparel and other great stuff. There will be lots of new Bird TLC stuff also.

Volunteers are needed to staff the store. To find out how to volunteer, go to the Bird TLC web site or call the Bird TLC Office at 562-4852.

A slow, cold winter day

Today started off kind of funny, but no one was laughing. People were complaining about how cold it is (-4°F) and it's not suppose to get much better. I made my little comments like "You'd think we lived in Alaska and it was November or something." They'd reply with just a look. At least that's all I heard.

My first two appointments canceled on me, so I went and got a mocha and a blueberry muffin. Then I headed down to Westchester Lagoon, one of my favorite places. It was about 9:30 AM, so figured I run into some ravens playing, or some skiers or joggers. Nope, not a one. I had the whole place to myself.

So, like a dummy I figured I make some sales calls via the ol' cell phone. Maybe I can stir something up and get the day moving. Don't worry, I hear you all out there. What are you doing? You got this beautiful place to yourself and your trying to drum up work? Your right, time for a walk. Leave the phone behind and take the hat and gloves.

It was so peaceful, with only a hint of noise from the boulevard a few blocks away. So peaceful, that boulevard seemed a hundred miles away. The city of Anchorage has a beautiful trail system around most of the city. It's being expanded all the time. During the winter, they groom it for cross country skiers. When the ice is thick enough, they groom out a nice ice rink. It's perfect for joggers,bicyclest and walks all the time.

It's the perfect place for birding during the summer. All along the trail and specially at the lagoon. You'll see the local birding tour companies all along the trail and a few loners also. The trail follows along Cook Inlet for a long ways, so you have mud flats, trapped pools, etc. The perfect setup for birds and birders.

But today I have it to myself. Myself and the frozen benches. Myself and the frozen trees and lamp post. Myself and the quiet beauty of the wilderness in the city. Along came two gentlemen senior citizens. As they got closer one says "Good morning." I reply "Yes it is. A beautiful morning." Their reply "Yes it is."

OK, I guess I need to get back and go to work. I guess I was lucky it was a slow, cold winter day. It's up to +10°F.

Friday, November 25, 2005

One Wing's Gift by James Scott DVM

One Wing's Gift
His grand body glistened and shown in the sun,
The sound was like magic, with tide on the run,
He ruffed and gave cry, echoing, defiant and clear,
His wilderness looked back, it's otter, it's deer.
A black blight followed the currents, and death crept in its sway.
A thousand creatures died on that very day.
His last flight started true, like an arrow he sped,
Plunged after a murre, all blackened, near dead.
Slight bother this blackness that covered his prey.
His face was all oiled, his tail all black-grey.
As he finished his feeding he was sick, he was slow,
Wings beat the air wildly, unable to go.
Bones cracked like a pistol as oiled he tried,
Pain seared through his body, he fought and he cried.
Now he is "One Wing", defiant he is still.
Never to fly skyward with consummate skill.
What good a one winged eagle, many may say?
But he fights for his brothers now - and today
Blood from his body to help weak eagles live,
"One Wing" is defiant, but he gives and he gives,
He can never sit quietly and view his vast home.
One wing he has only - he never will roam.
His spirit's still strong, it molds me with cries.
Then he gives to his brother - a brother who flies.

Dr James Scott founded Bird TLC in 1988. In 1989, One Wing came to Bird TLC due to the injuries he received from the oil spill of the Exxon Valdez disaster. Dr Scott is now retired and is on the Bird TLC Board. One Wing lives at Bird TLC in a mew built for him for an eagle scout project.

Isn't this interesting

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.
You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.
From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.
What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

I was visiting John at A DC Birding Blog and saw this link about what color your blog should be. So I went there and took the little quiz and this is the results. Pretty accurate, don't you think? Good thing I revamped a few weeks back.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a Safe & Happy Thanksgiving!

It's now avaiable, IATB #11

You'll find some great reading at I and the Bird #11 hosted by Clare of The House and Other Arctic Musings, one of my favorite places to visit. Visit and read of different bird stories from around the world and while your at it, pin his map and let him know where your from.

IATB #12 will be hosted by David of Search and Serendipity, another place I like to visit. If you would like to join in, submite your story by 12/6 and be reading more of the best on 12/8. Email Dave or Mike of 10,000 Birds.

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's snowy

Last week I was in the clinic and things seemed a little quite. I asked Cindy what was new and exciting. She said that we have a snowy coming in with a broken wing. I responded with a wow and where's it coming in from? She responded "Soldotna". I asked "What the heck was it doing in Soldotna"? That's like a California Condor in Seattle. She said we don't know, but that's where it's coming in from.

Sure enough, he arrived in about an hour from Soldotna. He was removed from his travel kennel and immediately examined. He was in perfect health except for a compound fracture to his right midshaft. Cindy put him in a wing wrap and gave him an IV to keep him hydrated and trimmed his talons for our protection. He was scheduled the next day for an x-ray and then surgery if needed.

The next day Cindy took him to the Pet Stop for x-ray's. They were then examined by Dr Palmatier who volunteered his lunch hour (plus) for the operation. Stainless steel pin time. The operation went off with only minor hitches. Check out the photo's in the album at right (Photobucket), listed under Snowy Operation 2005. He'll be in a wing wrap for about two weeks. Then he'll get another x-ray and evaluated from there.

So far things are looking good. The operation went well and the snowy is acting just fine. He's placed in an outside mew so he'll be more comfortable with the low temperatures and with the little snow we've been getting. He's been eating just fine. If all goes well, he'll have the pin removed in a few weeks. After that it's physical therapy time. As long as he's 100%, he should be released by summer.

In the mean time, he's become a Bird TLC celebrity. Snowy's are uncommon this far south, though we have had them in the clinic before. We have one in our education program, but she's base in Niiskki. That's a three hour drive from Anchorage. She does make it to town here, but not too often. Hopefully this fellow is released as soon as possible, but his visit is a treat.

This is sort of a repeat story from last week. But I felt I needed to rewrite the story when not rushed.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Goodbye #73

I'm going to keep my opinion in check about the undiscovered misguided citizen in this story. The senseless and unlawful injury and or killing of harmless wildlife is very upsetting to me.

Thanks to the pizza delivery man, Erik Odegaard, who stopped and did the right thing. Also, thanks to Laura Kelly of Pet Emergency for posting a reward for the shooters capture.

The picture is from the Anchorage Daily News. Check this link for the full story of this senseless killing.

Shooting a raven violates the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act as well as state law, said Steve Oberholtzer, assistant special-agent-in-charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska. Someone found guilty could face a $10,000 fine and jail time.

If you have information regarding this, please call U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Law Enforcement at 786-3311, or the Dept of Public Safety, Alaska Bureau of Wildlife Enforcement at 907-269-5511, or call Alaska Fish and Wildlife Safeguard at 1-800-478-3377.

Red-Tailed Hawk vs Diomond Back Rattler

Here's a link to National Geographic with a video of an awesome battle between the Red-Tailed Hawk and a Diomondback Rattlesnake. Wanna bet who wins?

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Is it 11 already?

I and the Bird #11 is scheduled for release at The House and other Arctic musings on Wednesday the 23rd of November. Send your submissions in to Clare or Mike at I and the Bird by early Tuesday.

And be sure to wish Clare a Happy Birthday today!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Three gals and an eagle

Look at them smiles. I like this shot. Walk in with a camera and they have this "oh no, it's Dave" look on their face. Take aim and say "OK, everyone say boogers" and look at the smiles you get.

Anyhow, Cindy Palmatier is the petite blonde to your right. She came to Bird TLC (again) a year ago last week, but this time as our new Rehabilitation Director. That makes it her one year anniversary in that position. I don't know if we should say congratulations or Thanks! The board likes her so much that they changed her title to more define her duties. She is now the Director of Avian Care and Rehabilitation, with oversight of the health of educational birds as well as those under clinical care.

For a little gal she has a lot of responsibilities besides a big title. While handling her daily clinic operations, she has instituted an ongoing training program for all clinic volunteers. Mary Bethe Wright, Bird TLC Board President says "It has been well received and is improving the communications so important to proper care of the birds and compliance with our permits".

She also has made so many improvements to the clinic, like the Baby Bird Room renovation. Also, clinic drug inventory and control, or should I also say quality control. I visit the clinic about three times a week and when I see her she's always got something going on or in the works. She's also fun to work with. She'll take the time to explain what's going on and why. She'll answer your questions and if she doesn't have an answer, she'll get one. And to go along with all that, she's a nice person also.

Anyways, Bird TLC is lucky to have her. Everyone can say congratulations on your first year. I'll say "thanks Cindy for you first year" and I know a lot of birds that will back me up on that.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New Photo Album

I'm usually at Bird TLC three times a week, sometimes more. I can count on one hand how many times I didn't take my camera. I take a lot of pictures. Thank goodness it's a digital word. I even take my camera when I'm going to do mew repairs. It doesn't make a good hammer.

Most are posted here at one time or another. Some are used for education purposes or just to tell that birds story or to get the news out. Want to see a specific photo or see if I got one of a specific species? Just ask, I'll be glad to show you. People send me pic's also. That's cool because I can't make it to all of the events. I stole the one below from John Gomes of the Alaska Zoo. He's a nice guy and doesn't hurt me much when I take his pic's. Check out his site, he's good.

In the column on the right there's now a little banner for Photobucket. Click on it and it will take you to our new photo album. Pick a sub album named after whatever event took place. Once there, the pic's are best seen by slideshow. There are no pop ups. There is advertising, I mean come on, it is free image hosting. But none of that annoying stuff. That's why I changed from Bravenet. They had so many pop ups that you just left the album. You were too ticked off to browse around. And that was with a pop up filter on. I did like their lay out and the different ways you could customize it. I guess nice and simple is a good thing sometimes.

I know, I know. If I pay for the premium version I wouldn't have all that. I've been doing the web site for Bird TLC over 2 1/2 years now and I have yet to go over my annual budget of $0.00 and I'm not going to start now. Besides, with places like Photobucket around, why should I pay when I can get a good product for free. And it's legal!

Check out the album. I got some gory operations, some events and other stuff. I'll be adding more when I can. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Snowy got pinned today

Here's our Snowy Owl's x-ray showing his right wing midshaft with a compound fracture. (Ignore my hand in the upper left corner. I was helping to restrain him for the pic's. It looks a lot thinner than in person.)

Dr Todd Palmatier of the Pet Stop volunteered his lunch hour (plus some) to install a stainless steel pin into the bone to hold it together while it heals. He was assisted by Cindy Palmatier, Bird TLC Rehab Director and I got in the way taking pictures.

Go to my album at photobucket to see the complete operation. Best way to view it is by slideshow.

It's too soon to know, but we have a good gut feeling about this one. He'll stay in a wing wrap for about two weeks. He'll then be x-rayed again to see how it's progressing. It will then be determined if and when the pin will be removed. After pin removal, there's physical therapy and all the other good stuff before it can be released.

We'll keep you updated. Great job Dr Todd!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Getting busy

BE 05-49 is here. He came to us from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge with a broken right wing at the elbow. Some amputation was done during intake and more probably after he settles down.

05-599 is a Snowy Owl that came to us from Soldotna. What he was doing there is a mystery to us. That's way off of his normal stomping' grounds. He has a compound fracture of the right midshaft. He's scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I might be able to attend and if so......

More pictures!!!!!!!!!

By the way, BE 05-48 is dong good. He's going through physical therapy. The wing is freeing up and he has more movement.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

One good eagle recipe

The Bird TLC 2005 Volunteer Pot Luck was a hit and so was Cindy's eagle head treats. It's OK, don't call Fish and Wildlife. She made them from scratch with no real eagle parts.

A good time was had by all. If anyone went home hungry, it was their own fault. Thanks Cindy for putting it all together and all the volunteers for their contributions.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Happy Veterans Day

Here's for a SAFE & HAPPY Veterans Day today to all of our veterans out there. I appreciate your service past and present, and I know many, many others do also. There's over 72,000 veterans in the state of Alaska.

I'm taking today off from work. I'll be spending it with my daughter Cassie at the University of Alaska at Anchorage. They are having an open house for potential students and their parents. She'll graduate from high school in May and then attend UAA after summer vacation.

It's 21° and snowing. We're suppose to get 3-4 inches. We need that blanket of snow on the ground. Pipes have started freezing and busting around town. Temps have been below freezing for the past 2 weeks.

Also, Happy Birthday to my main (and only) squeeze, Ruth. Love Ya!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

L & G's, IATB 10 is here

The 10th Edition of I and the Bird, the bi-weekly carnival of the best in bird blogging, is now up at Thomasburg Walks. Pamela does an excellent job of putting things together.

This edition includes 28 posts from four continents: posts describing bird identification, migration events, unlikely birding, lucky (and unlucky) birding, endangered birds, birds in recovery, and more.


The next edition will be hosted by The House and Other Arctic Musings on November 24. Deadline for submissions, November 22. Send them to Clare at The House or Mike, founder of I and the Bird, at 10,000 Birds.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Good overrides evil

Here's proof that the results of good people stand out and above bad people. I believe that there are many more good people than there are bad ones. It took the results of one misguided citizen to bring this eagle to Bird TLC. However, it took many good citizens for this bird to survive this long and hopefully much longer.

This bald eagle came to us on 3/29/05 from Dutch Harbor with a gun shot wound and was logged in as BE 05-19. At the time I called it Beakman, but I was soon overrode by the girls at Bird TLC. The bird was from then on called Beauty. I do think it was a good change because this bird has enough challenges. A positive name could only be helpful.

Beauty has become very popular around Bird TLC and Anchorage. She has made it in the newspaper and on TV. She has brought out the good in a lot of people from all walks of life. Here's hoping that it also stops anyone from doing this type of harm to another bird.

In the first picture you see her as when she arrived. In the second picture you see her as she is today. Please keep in mind that she is still going through a molt. Because of someone's thoughtless act, this beauty of an eagle will never be released back to the wild. It will never be able to fly the skies over Alaska again. It will never again be chased by angry seagulls or ravens. She has to be hand feed for the rest of her life.

With the hard work of Cindy Palmatier, Bird TLC Rehab Director, USF&W has decided to allow us to place her in a permanent facility. As of yet, it has not been decided when and where, but it will have to be a special place. This eagle needs personal attention several times a day. Cindy and USF&W will go over all request with a fine toothed comb. They are always very selective when placing any bird, but they are going to be very picky over this one.

It was hoped that Beauty's beak would grow back. It's made of the same material as your finger nails. Unfortunately there was too much damage already done and there has been no significant re-growth. Cindy has talked and emailed many professional people about using a prosthetic, but as of yet no decisions have been made. Even with a prosthetic, she still could not be released.

Even after this eagle leaves Bird TLC, people will be talking about her. She has a really neat personality (or is it birdality ?). When she is being feed, she loves the attention. When she is done eating she lets out a cawlk meaning "why are you still here". People at Bird TLC ask to feed her. They know this eagle is special and enjoy the interaction.

This is not the end of the story but a continuation of a long one. One that will go on for the rest of Beauty's life.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Makeover @ Potter Marsh

An excellent article in today's Anchorage Daily News about the proposed makeover of Potter Marsh. Check it out!

Lady's & Gentlemen, GE 05-32 has left the building

It might have been a cold and foggy day, but I know one bird that thinks it's the best day it's ever seen. Golden Eagle GE 05-32 was released last month after 5 months of rehabilitation. He's back home near Denali (Mt McKinley for you non - Alaskans).

This bird came to us on May 31 with severe head trauma and eye trauma. To help it's eye heal, it was sewed shut for a few weeks. Except for it's memories of Bird TLC everything else is history.

A full recovery and a release. The type of story we like. Thanks to Kristin Guinn for taking it to the release site. Also, thanks to the young lady who sent me the pictures. I apologize for I don't recall the name. Email me at webmasteratbirdtlc.net and I'll give proper credit where it's due.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Who's out there?

Let me know who's visiting Bird TLC online.

A visit by a sooty

This is one of the most abundant birds in the world. Sooty Shearwaters seen off our West Coast breed mainly on islands in the cool southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. They raise their single chicks there and then migrate northward to spend the Southern Hemisphere winter on the warm seas of the North. Most that appear off the East Coast breed around Tierra del Fuego. After breeding, they begin a great circular migration around the Atlantic Ocean, arriving off the East Coast of North America in May, continuing on to Europe, then down the west coast of Africa, and returning to their nesting islands in November. Near shore and at the edge of the continental shelf, flocks of hundreds of thousands may be found at good feeding places. These flocks are worth inspecting closely because they often contain other, less common shearwaters.

This fellow was sent to us from the USF&W in Kodiak. It only had a short stop over before it was sent to the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward.

Now, everyone go to WoodSong and wish Cindy a Happy 50th Birthday.