Saturday, April 29, 2006

Most Beautiful Bird Meme

Clare at The House & other Arctic musings tagged me with a meme via Nuthatch, at the perpetually erudite and entertaining bootstrap analysis, via John at DC Birding Blog, the Most Beautiful Birds Meme. The rules are fairly simple...

Post a list of the 10 birds you consider most beautiful on your blog; you may limit the list to the ABA area (continental United States and Canada) or use a geographic area of your choice (Dave doesn't like that word continental). Mark birds you have seen with an asterisk. Tag 3 bloggers to keep it going.

1) Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosa) *
As my blogging friend Clare says "Nebulosa... nebulous in it's beauty. It conveys strength and silence, patience and power". Also known as the Great Grey Ghost, Bearded Owl, etc. I have the great pleasure of working with one at Bird TLC.

2) Raven (Corvus corax) *
Raven, there's much to be said about the beauty and intelligence of this bird. I've recovered many, have a lot of funny stories and can watch them playing in the thermals for hours.

3) American Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) *
Gorgeous, graceful, aggressive, powerful, curious, car stopper, heart stopper. What else can I say. About half of the world's 70,000 bald eagles live in Alaska. We get a lot at Bird TLC. Our 2 resident eagles, One Wing and Ol' Witch are my favorites.

4) Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) *
The golden eagle is a solitary bird, which can be found in remote areas. They do not congregate in large numbers during the winter. A great hunter, the golden eagle seldom eats carrion. We get a couple each year at Bird TLC. Check my photo's for pictures of a broken wing pinning operation.

5) Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia) *
Just an all round pretty bird. They are ravens in different bodies and a great birdality. Sorry, personality. They hop in and out of our outdoor mews stealing salmon bits as the eagles watch.

6) Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula)
A beautifully bright bird that I've never seen in person and I lived in Baltimore at one time. But I've been to Camden Yards.

7) Bohemian Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) *
Highly social, Bohemian Waxwings usually move about in tight formations, descending en mass on a clump of bushes and quickly stripping them of fruit. That must be why they wear mask. We get a lot of these this time of year.

8) Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandica) *
This gorgeous bird of prey lives in the tundra areas of North America and you'll find them just sitting waiting for something to happen. We've had 3 at Bird TLC this year. There's another one with broken wing operation pictures.

9) Stellar Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri) *
Only lives west of the Rocky Mountains. A gorgeous blue member of the corvid family. A friend of mine caretakes a non-releasable Jay. She gave it a very original name "Blue".

10) Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) *
Once an uncommon bird and many find it to be a pest. But it's a beautifully multi colored bird. It travels with it's family and mates for life. We have one at the clinic now. It flew into a fence.

This is the first meme that I've done that I didn't have trouble getting to the last number. I can go on and on. I know that I have a captive viewing of some of these birds. The only three on the list I haven't seen in the wild is the Great Gray Owl, Snowy Owl and Baltimore Oriole.

If you read this post, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

1st baby bird of the season

We got our 1st baby bird of the season yesterday and it has my hair. Any guesses to what species we have here?

I and The Bird #22 is up and running at Home Bird Notes. An excellent blog devoted to all things related to feeding and watching birds. Home Bird has done a fine job of putting this issue together so go on over and check out some of the best bird blog reading on the net.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

See you later GLENDA

If you ask anyone who knows Bird TLC, who at TLC do you know besides Dr. Scott. Their answer would be GLENDA. She has been the nucleus of our organization, our Office Manager Extraordinaire for more than 13 years. If you wanted to schedule a presentation, you called Glenda. If you wanted to know who fixed the plumbing, you called Glenda. If you were traveling to McGrath to do a presentation, Glenda scheduled it. If the world fell apart, Glenda knew who could put it back together or who to get another one from. Everything went through Glenda, and she accomplished this working only 3 days a week.

I feel that crowds should be surrounding the Bird TLC Clinic on Thursday, Glenda's last working day at TLC. They should be chanting "Stay, Stay, Stay". But, Glenda didn't schedule it, so it won't happen. I know that Bird TLC will go on. I know that wild birds will still be rehabilitated and released back to the wild. I know we'll still travel all over Alaska educating people about wild birds. I know the plumbing will get fixed. But I also know that none of it will get done without us thinking of Glenda.

See you later Glenda. We love you and we'll damn sure miss you!

Alaska Industrial Hardware does it again

Our friends at Alaska Industrial Hardware, Inc. did it again. They are helping us out this time with our 2006 Mew Yard Spring Clean Up. They donated a couple hundred dollars worth of new shovels, rakes, saws, garbage bags, etc. They fixed us up and they fixed us up good.

So, don't forget, May 6th at 9AM until we are done. And, shop your local AIH, Alaska Industrial Hardware.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I was baching it last week.

Ruth spent most of last week in bush Alaska presenting a Northern Hawk Owl from Bird TLC's Education Program to students, teachers and elders at schools in McGrath, Anvik, Grayling and Nikolai.

Bush Alaska is any wheres where the road system is not. You travel by boat, plane, snowmachine, atv or on foot. Her USF&W pilot Paul, took her from village to village. She then went from the airports to the schools by snowmachine / sled.

The weather is still winter. Similar to what we were having in Anchorage about a month ago. Ruth said she had a blast and enjoyed talking to all of the people in the villages.

Filled up with cake and punch

Today was a first for me. I went to a baby shower. A baby bird shower that is. We had shower games like pin the worm on the baby bird, name that bird song, and all those favorites. Much needed supplies were donated by participants for the preparation of the arrival of the baby birds.

We were having fun and also getting prepared for the 200 - 300 baby birds that Bird TLC gets every year. Chickadee's. Swallows, magpies, robins, you name it. Our participants in the seminar after the shower will become our Baby Bird Mom's or Dad's this year.

All the support they need for the safety and health of the birds is provided to them. They also will be riders on Bird TLC's permits with USF&G and Alaska Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. The soon to be new mom's or dad's will provide the time and effort. For those of you who never raised baby birds, it's a full time commitment for three to six weeks or more. These birds will need feeding every fifteen minutes or so at first. They will need protection from things we take for granted everyday.

We also were treated to an excellent presentation by DeAnne with a raven she presents for the Bird TLC Education Program. Corvids are very popular in the Anchorage area and there's a good possibility that we'll be the foster parents of a few this spring. DeAnne shared her experiences with us making us more aware of what to expect.

Cindy Palmatier, Karen Cody and Laura McGowan also shared their experiences with us from songbirds to baby ducks. We're all better prepared now thanks to all of them.

Thanks to The Pet Stop and The Pet Warehouse for sponsoring the shower and seminar.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's getting closer

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

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.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

We got Snow...........................y's

Right now we have 3 snowy owls with us. 2 are at the clinic and the other is at the flight center. The first one pictured just came to us the other day from Izembek National Wildlife Refuge near Cold Harbor, Alaska. It has a badly fractured wing which is non-repairable. It will be amputated later this week and then it will be determined where it goes from here. It is a possible education bird at TLC or placement else where's.

The second one pictured is at the flight center being evaluated for release. That could happen very soon.

The third one pictured was at the flight center. He came to us with a broken wing (see operation to repair it in the photo album on photobucket to your right). However, he is having some issues flying so he was brought back to the clinic to see what's going on.

This is the most snowy's at one time at our clinic that I know of.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

2006 Mew Yard Spring Clean Up

Wow, we got a great committee together to ramrod the 2006 Mew Yard Spring Clean Up. Cindy Palmatier made the hit list out for what needs to be accomplished. Not bad, only 3 pages. Everything from roof repair to pulling weeds. Britt Coon has a free commercial dumpster lined up and some snacks and drinks. Elise Patkotak has an electrician lined up to repair some power outlets and undo my spaghetti wiring. I got $100 from Home Depot at Northway Mall for yard tools. Nice store manager also, Gan. We have a youth group from the Latter-Day Saints and the JROTC from Bartlett High School are going to help us out along with other Bird TLC volunteers and friends.

The more the merrier. May 6th at Bird TLC. Starts at 9AM. Come help us out with some extreme yard work and make a nice clean, safe and attractive place for our Education Birds and birds under rehabilitation.

Here's 2 before pictures.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

IATB #21

I and the Bird has reached the legal age of 21. Seth at Cup O' Books has poured IATB #21 into a frosted mug and gave us all a toast of some of the best bird writing around. I apologize for not submitting any of my own due to my lately busy schedule.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Owls of Alaska

Want to know more about the owls found in Alaska? Well todays Anchorage Daily News has a great article in the Outdoors section about "Predators of the night". The article includes Bird TLC's own Chris Maack, Steve & Debbie Ross and Kristen Guinn and the owls they caretake and present. If your not in Alaska this time of year, the article tells you what you are missing at least when it comes to owls. Just remember if your not here, your missing a lot more.

Melissa DeVaughn does a fantastic job with "Predators of the night" and follows it up with a listing and descriptions of the owls in Owls of Alaska.

If you are in the Anchorage area, you can catch some more of Bird TLC's Education Birds at the 2006 Great Alaskan Sportman's Show.

Photo's by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Experts tell Alaskans how to handle wildfowl most likely to carry avian flu virus

Very good article in todays Anchorage Daily News by ANN POTEMPA. Photo by SUBHANKAR BANERJEE / The Associated Press.

Bird biologists are targeting 28 species of waterfowl and shorebirds flying to Alaska this spring and summer in one of the country's largest projects looking for the H5N1 bird flu virus.

Their goal is to study about 15,000 eiders, geese and other wild birds once they arrive in Alaska. Many will be caught live, studied and let go. Others will be examined after they've been hunted and killed.

"It's going to be a challenge," said Tom Rothe, waterfowl coordinator for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "Nothing's been done on this scale before to capture so many live birds."

The 28 bird species given priority in Alaska were ranked according to their presence and population size in Asia and Alaska, their proximity to areas where H5N1 has been detected, habitats and likelihood of getting a representative sample through catching and testing the birds, said Bruce Woods, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. One of the main ways to test these birds for H5N1 is to swab their anal openings and test the specimen.

This work will be done by trained professionals, but government officials are asking all Alaskans to be on the lookout. People who see sick or dead birds that appear unusual in any way should call a new state hot line: 1-866-527-3358. They can call about suspicious birds of any species, not just the 28 given priority by biologists.

Read the rest of the article here.
Photo by BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News

Saturday, April 01, 2006