Thursday, March 30, 2006


Meet Be 06-11. He came to Bird TLC last week from the Alaska Sealife Center in Seward. He was found not flying but no obvious injuries. He was very depressed for some reason we don't know. It could be from old age, death of a mate, lost a fight (no injuries though) or just about anything.

Don't be concerned over the cloudy eyes in the picture. It's that nictitating membrane again

So until he cheers up he gets a clean mew everyday, fresh water and salmon everyday, a vitamin shot once a week, a foot scrub every Sunday and a first class show of our volunteers scurring around because they are so busy right now.

IATB #20 is birdicious

Our bird friendly Nuthatch at Bootstrap Analysis has done a birdicious job on IATB 20. There are 30 entries from bird blogs around the world. Plenty of reading for all.

Next I & The Bird to appear on 13 April. Send your submissions to mike AT

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

18 and BUSY

The Bird TLC clinic has been busy. We're up to 18 eagles so far this year, one of them a golden. We've had birds shot, a car hit, crashed into a dead whale, dog attack, lost a fight with another eagle, sheesh, you can just about name it.

We're also are getting a few bohemian waxwings in, a gyrfalcon, northern goshawk. Cindy our rehab director has her hands full. As a matter of fact she's in surgury with one of the eagles right now, 6PM. Not sure which one and why.

Check out the eagles eye in this picture. You can see the nictitating membrane (inner or third eyelid). It blinks much more often than the other eyelids, protecting and keeping the eyes moist while allowing clear and steady vision.

Check out this site for more on Eagle Eyes.

I'll tell you

John at DC Birding figured it out. It is a very young gyrfalcon. Cindy Palmatier says it must be male because it landed exhausted on a fishing boat 30 miles off the coast of Kodiak, Alaska. She said it wouldn't stop and ask directions. The captain let it ride back to Kodiak and then called Fish & Wildlife.

After a good rest it should be ready for a map and then release.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sitka trip

Here's an email from a friend who went to Sitka this weekend. Sitka is 590 southeast of Anchorage in what we call the pan handle. The raptor center they donated to was the Alaska Raptor Center.

Hi Dave,

We went to Sitka this weekend to spend time with my Mom and were lucky enough to be there when the Herring were spawning. Thought I'd share this particular pic with you as it not only shows how the water turns to a milky green, but also this one has Eagles in it. Needless to say it was an awesome experience! Friday we went out in my Mom's boat and set out her spruce bows where the Herring were spawning. Then today went and gathered them and they are full of Herring eggs. Best my Mom has had in 7 years of doing this. It was so cool to be there and watch the commercial fishing boats go out for the openings. Doug got in some good fishing yesterday - brought in 2 Halibuts.

While I was there, I helped her clean out her freezers of stuff to go to their local Raptor center.

More later . . . it's late and am trying to wind down from all the weekend fun!

See ya Tuesday.

Britt :)

More on our friend below tomorrow. Been busy.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sunday, March 19, 2006

A Sunday Flight Center trip

Our Flight Center is located on Camp Carrol, an Alaska Army National Guard base. It was built right after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. It is the last step for large birds under rehabilitation before they are released or placed at another facility.

The Flight Center is very large. It's meant for the birds to practice their flying and hunting technique before they are released. It's the next best thing to being back in the wild. It's isolated, it's large, it has little human contact, lots of salmon (for eagles) and they get to hang out with other birds. It's just enclosed.

We had 3 eagles ready for transport to the flight center for about a week now. But because of my cold I was unable to transport any of them until today. Kristen, the Flight Center Manager, transported BE 06-02 on Friday.

The temperatures are going up. I think we reached 31°F today. I placed the two eagles in the pen Kristin wanted them in. I always go through the 3 pens there just to make sure everything is OK. The snowy owl is progressing great. I need to ask Cindy on Monday when it'll be released. I know it won't be too long off. Right now it's in a pen by itself.

The flighted pen has 6 eagles in it. And boy howdy, it has some fliers in it. They are not bashful about showing off their stuff either. They fly from one end to the other or they fly 3/4 of the way and grab a hold of the fish net ceiling and flip themselves around and continue on. I'm sure there will be some releases out of there as soon as spring pops out.

The last pen is for the non-fliers. They just came from the clinic and need to build their strength up. Or they are permanently injured and are awaiting placement at a permanent facility. They need the room to stretch and spend time with their own kind. There's group feedings. The salmon strips are placed around and they can come claim their own.

As I looked around the last pen, there was one eagle huddled into a corner and shivering. Being warmer than what it has been in a while, I decided to check her out a little closer. She didn't respond until I got within 3 feet and then she took a defensive stance. It wasn't real threatening, so I called Cindy on my cell. She works long enough hours as our rehab director as it is and I am bothering her at home, twice today. As I thought, she wanted BE 06-02 taken back to the clinic.

So I covered and blanketed 02 and placed her in a kennel and off we go back to the clinic. On the way to the flight center, the 2 eagles were raising Cain. Bouncing and jumping in their kennels, I don't think they liked my classic rock music. 02 is an immature female that was injured while feeding on a whale carcasse that had washed ashore. She was quiet on the way back though. I don't know if it was the Crosby, Stills and Nash, (I never liked when Neil Young played with them) or she just felt warm again.

I set her up in a inside mew with fresh water and a pan of salmon. She ran out of the kennel and perched right away. She gave me a look like "AH, this is much better".

Cindy will check 02 out real thorough tomorrow to find out what's going on. It might be that she just needs a little longer r&r. I'll keep you updated.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

On the Channel 2 News tonight

Bird organization talks about possible bird flu in Alaska
Saturday, March 18, 2006 - by Joy Mapaye

Anchorage, Alaska - The State of Alaska has released new recommendations for bird owners, just in case of the bird flu. The plan comes as other organizations try to prepare for a possible pandemic.

One of those organizations is the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. Every year the center takes care of about 1,000 wild birds.

Saturday afternoon, volunteers met to talk about the possibility of bird flu in Alaska and to go over preparation plans, just in case a highly pathogenic H5N1 strain is found in Alaska.

Cindy Palmatier says no one knows the specific threat level, but says the current thought process is that Alaska will likely see a case of bird flu this summer. She says it's predicted Alaska will be the first place in the U.S. to see H5N1 because birds migrate to the state from all over the world.

More than 25 volunteers took part in Saturday's meeting.

Palmatier says the time to prepare is now. She says, depending on the weather, we could see migratory birds start coming to Alaska in April.

“Just trying to be prepared for whatever is thrown at us and that i’s why we developed the three-stage plan, to cover however bad it may get,” said Palmatier (left), the Director of Avian Care at Bird Treatment Learning Center.

We want to be ready for it because we could be on the front stage of everything that’s going to be happening in the United States, said D.V.M. Todd Palmatier (below), who is also a volunteer at the Bird Treatment and Learning Center.

Palmatier says it's also important to take all of this into context. She says H5N1 is a possibility, not a probability.

So far, the state veterinarian says there have been no cases of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain in Alaska.

Health officials in the state maintain there is no reason for alarm, but preparation does help.

Other organizations are preparing also. The Alaska Zoo's veterinarian, Dr. Riley Wilson, says they're looking into plans right now. He says they don't have anything specific on paper, but will take very aggressive efforts, should there be an outbreak. Wilson says they're working closely with the state vet and with other agencies to come up with a plan.

Pictures missing thanks to blogger.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

IATB 19 is up at Science & Politics

I and the Bird #19 is up and running at Science & Politics. Bora has done an excellent job. WOW has the place grown!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The world looks to Alaska about H5N1

As it gets closer to spring and migratory bird season, more and more people are looking to Alaska to see how the future will be with the Bird Flu H5N1. There's a very good article written by Marie Gilbert of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks (UAF).

Alaska is at the overlap of the Asian and North American flyways for migratory birds. Scientists say that could provide an opportunity for exchange of bird flu viruses which could then infect humans.

Check out Marie's article "Bird flu clues may lurk in Alaska wildfowl".

Sorry I haven't been posting more. My yearly winter cold has been kicking my butt.

Friday, March 10, 2006

9 and counting

BE 06-08 & BE 06-09 were admitted yesterday. One has a broken wing and the other is having a toxic reation to something that we don't know what yet. It's also very dehydrated. As you can see in the photo's, the girls are trying to get some fluids in this eagle. As in some humans, the veins are not being cooperative. They can be hard to hold and easy to poke through, all the way.

When they got some fluids in, they then tried to tube feed to get more nutrients into it. Unfortunately it wouldn't stay down. We'll be doing IV's everyday and tube feeding until it eats on its own.

Take a look at the eagles feet in the picture below. Notice how they look thin, dry and lacking color. They are because of a lack of fluid. Chances are because it can't hold anthing down. This one they will be keeping a close eye on for sure.

The crews are hopping and baby bird season is right around the corner.

In the top picture, clockwise starting from the left; Carol Lambert (red hat), great artist, great volunteer and big Bird TLC supporter, Chris Maack, Bird TLC Board President, volunteers in clinic 2 days a week, avid birder, Cindy Palmatier, Rehab Director, back bone of the medical & rehab side of Bird TLC.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Iditarod Saturday

Saturday was the cerimonial start for the 34th Iditarod sled dog race. 1150 miles to Nome. Downtown Anchorage was packed. It was a perfect time for our Saturday presentations at the Ship Creek Center. It was full of race fans, tourist, carnival goers and just people checking things out. The weather was a little warm, about +31°F and the sun was out the whole time.

Ruth presented the northern hawk owl she also caretakes. The crowd was large and constant for about 3 hours. We meet people from all over. They had lots of questions and took lots of pictures.

If you want to follow the Iditarod, visit the Anchorage Daily News for daily updates.

KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage has an excellent website set up to follow the race.

I've been there

Borrowing an idea from John @ DC Birding and TG @ Science and Sarcasm, these are the states that I have made it through. It helped spending 20 years in the Air Force and 3 years driving truck cross country. I'll make it to Hawaii when they build a bridge I guess. I like how they put in the square with Alaska,"not to scale". Let me translate, it's about 1/4 scale.

There's still a few more countries I need to make it to.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

They're Having Babies!

It's almost Spring! That means lots of baby birds for
Bird Treatment and Learning Center!

Please join us for a Baby Shower hosted by
Pet Stop Veterinary Clinic

We'd love to see you there!
Contact person: Cindy Palmatier

Date : April 22, 2006
Time: 11:00 - 1:00 PM
(Baby Bird Seminar to follow)

Location: Anchorage Animal Control Center
Off Tudor at Bragaw

Bird TLC is registered at
Animal Food Warehouse
Join us there on 3/11/06
See the Bird TLC web site for the registry list and other details.

The Baby Bird Class will take place directly after this Baby Shower. The Baby Bird Class teaches human foster parents how to care for and successfully raise baby birds. Foster parenthood requires lots of time, special supplies and, of course, TLC! If your interested in becoming a Baby Bird Foster Parent, Please Contact Bird TLC at 562-4852.

Friday, March 03, 2006

I and the Bird 18

I and the Bird 18 is out at Birdchaser and Rob is looking back from the future. Lots of great post from around the world. Check it out!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

2006 Mew Yard Spring Clean Up

OK, the date is set for May 6th. We figure most of the snow and ice should be gone by then. There's a sign up sheet at the Bird TLC clinic. Come on by and sign up or call 562-4852.

I don't know why you guys and gals who live thousands of miles away don't consider this to be a vacation trip to remember. You can help the volunteers of Bird TLC remove what winter was hiding. There will be food, refreshments and plenty of work to go around.

Just kidding our out of town supporters. We know you would help if you could.