Sunday, July 30, 2006

2nd Blogiversary

We made it through another year. It's the second blogiversary for the Bird TLC blog. Boy did the last year fly by (no pun intended). We've had our ups and downs, but mainly it's been mostly ups.

Last year our total bird intake was down but our eagle intake was up. We took in 52 eagles in 2005 and in 2006 we're up to 36 so far. We've added another bald eagle to our education program. Sparkie will be making the rounds with Kristen Guinn as soon as all the training is complete.

We've had some volunteers leave and some newbies take their place. We have some great volunteers, but you've heard me brag about them before. And guess what, you probably will again. Without them, Bird TLC would be history.

We had our first venue on our property last year. Bye-Bye Birdie was a success even though Mother Nature tried her best. We all got to say goodbye to the migratory birds headed south for the winter and we will again this year on Sept 21st.

Cindy Palmaiter, our Rehab Director, has been a busy lady. I now know how she stays so slim. She's always going full power. Her professionalism really shows at the clinic. We had a successful 2006 Baby Bird Shower for a lot of expecting mom's. We're still getting them in. We had a great Mew Yard Spring Clean Up with the help of a few friends.

We had a Bird TLC store in partnership with the Alaska Zoo in the Dimond Center Mall for the Christmas Holidays. Lot's of fun was had there. We also did a lot of presentations on Saturdays at the Ship Creek Mall this past winter and spring. We're also at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art with Hunters From the Sky.

Alaska lost two of it's greatest citizens during this time. Former Governor Jay Hammond and Col. Norman Vaughn. Two people I was lucky to have meet. They made a difference in our world today.

Mt St Augustine kept us jumping for a while. She would blow her top, but just a little. She's been mostly quiet now.

The world looks to Alaska about H5N1 and it's still looking. No out break in Alaska or North America at this time.

My favorite plane, the C141 retired, my baby girl graduated from high school and like Jack Benny, I turned 49 again.

Here's looking to a great 3rd year. Thanks to all who helped make things happen and thanks to all that come visit us here at the Bird TLC blog.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Young Whipper Snapper

Not a great picture. We are keeping this eagle isolated to minimize imprinting. It came to us from Dutch Harbor, Alaska with a fractured left wing at the humerous.

Can you guess about what age this one is? Hints are, beak & eye color. Answer to come later.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Back by request

Anchorage is going through a big debate right now over public smoking. We at Bird TLC take no political sides. However, I felt this picture might say something. The mirror is there for the bird to feel as if it's not alone.

Cindy our Rehab Director asked for a picture of this guy in his wading pool. Well, when I got close he'd get out of it and not go near it. Hope this will do CP.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

This blog does not allow anonymous comments.

You can thank the fine people who like to post about financial investments and male enhancement. Why they think it's nessesary to post such things on a wild bird rehab site, I'll never know. I even had word verification turned on. As most of you know, I'm a salesman by trade. Please, if I ever stoop low enough to spam about such things, SHOOT ME!

If you would like to comment, you must register with blogger. Just follow the directions when you go to post. Don't worry, you won't become part of a Bird TLC mass mailing. If I want to hit you up for money, I'll do it in a post here and you'll know it's me. I won't hide behind anonymous or a webpage with no name. Something like...........

Hey, got to send someone a check and can't think of anyone?
Here's a hint....
Bird Treatment and Learning Center

6132 Nielson Way

Anchorage, Alaska 99518


We're a 501(c)3.

Tell them Dave from the blog sent you.

.......or something like that.

Friday, July 21, 2006

IATB #28

I and the Bird #28 is alive at bogbumper. Katie has gather some great writting from the four corners of the globe starting from her home in the UK.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Heavy clean up day at flight center

Kristen Guinn, Britt Coon, Robert Dowdy, Nick Dorsey and myself spent a rainy Saturday and part of Sunday doing some clean up and repairs at the Bird TLC Flight Center on Camp Carrol. Power washing the walls, indoor mews, recovering perches with astro turf and vacuuming and sweeping. We also placed tarps over the clean walls where the birds perch. The tarps can be easily washed off compared to the wooden walls.

During winter the Army turns off the water in the area to prevent freezing. So there's no major cleaning for 6 months of the year. Come summer there's lots that needs to be done.

At this time there are 20 eagles residing there. The flight center is their last step before either being released or placed in a permanent facility. It's also where we go to when we have to evacuate our primary facility if there's a major oil spill.

The center was built in 1989 with monies from Exxon during the oil spill recovery. The US Army allows us to use their property on Camp Carrol. It's operated by 5 volunteers who travel from Anchorage everyday to feed, water and check on the health and safety of the birds.

So thanks to everyone involved. The place looks great. Also, thanks to CPR Automotive for the loan of their pressure washer and all the crew for their hard work.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mr. Bonaparte

This species is named after a nephew of Napoleon, Charles Lucien Bonaparte, who was a leading ornithologist in the 1800s in America and Europe. Because they breed in the Far North, these beautiful gulls are most often seen on lakes and rivers during migration or along the coast in winter. They keep to themselves, seldom joining the larger gulls at dumps. They feed in tidal inlets and at sewage outlets, picking scraps of food from the water. During spring migration, they may often be seen flying northward along large rivers such as the Hudson and the Mississippi.

This fellow came to use with a non-repairable broken right wing at the wrist. The wing was amputated at the wrist, so this bird is non-releasable. Cindy is actively trying to find a licensed facility to place him.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Don't you hate it when

you have a feather stuck in your beak and no one tells you about it.

Sorry I've been slow posting. It's summer, my work is busy, it's summer, we're getting ready to do an auction in a couple months, it's summer, were doing a massive clean up at the flight center tomorrow, it's summer and oh, yeah, it's summer.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

26th National Veterans Wheelchair Games

The 26th National Veterans Wheelchair Games close today here in Anchorage. Bird TLC was a part of it this last Thursday. Anchorage Town Square and 5th Avenue were closed off for an athletes dinner and several presentations and music.

For those of you unfamiliar with the games, it is the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. Open to veterans with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities that require use of a wheelchair, the Games promote rehabilitation, wellness and camaraderie through intense athletic competition.

The presentations were a huge hit. Kent was there with a Great Horned Owl, Kerry was with a Bald Eagle (sorry, no pic's) and Ruthie was there with the Northern Goshawk. I can't guess at how many people who we talked to, took pictures with, etc. It was a very moving event.

Thanks to all the people who showed us a great time, who took the time to talk with us and have their picture taken with the birds. We really enjoyed ourselves and we hope you did also. Also, congratulations on a very successful game event.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

IATB #27

It's been one year since Mike at 10,000 Birds started I and the Bird and on this anniversary he has everyone writing about why they do what they do with birds and blogging. Here's your chance to read everyone's history on birding. Excellent job Mike! I'm ready for another year.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

There's lots of volunteers at Bird TLC

We have a lot of volunteers at Bird TLC. I wish that I could post pictures of them all here, but I think if your on dial up, you'd never get the page loaded. We have volunteers who work one day a week and some who work several days a week at the clinic. Some who walk, take a bus or ride a bike to get there. We have people who just drop by and help for an hour or so doing whatever their needed for.

We have people who have been with TLC since it started in 1988. There are business owners, veterinarians, nurses, military, USF&W, ADF&G, insurance people, mechanics, house wives, house husbands, salesmen (ahem), you name it. We have them from all walks of life. And it's all for one thing ......

With your support...

... "We will continue to provide primary medical care and rehabilitation for sick, injured, or orphaned wild birds; and to provide environmental education for the public through live wild bird programs."

Why do they do it? That's a good question. Some do it for school. Some do it to get out of the house. But when it comes down to it, they all do it for the birds. 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Sometimes it may sound like I do it all at the clinic. But there are many people behind the scenes. I'm on the website and the blog writing about what I see and or participate in. Then there's the presenters that are seen in public all the time. We're in the spot light so to say. But, we're just a drop in the bucket, and it's a big bucket.

We also have a staff that holds everything together. Rachel Morse is our Executive Director for about 1 1/2 years now. She handles the administration and fundraising end otherwise known as the thankless end. Cindy Palmatier is our Rehabilitation Director for almost 2 years now. She has brought the clinic up to a more professional level.

So, the next time you read a post, it might only have my name in it. But there will be a lot of names behind it. And lots of birds!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th

Happy 4th of July to everyone. I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday. I'll be spending it with my daughter Cassie. We're meeting for lunch and then a bike ride on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail. Ruthie will be working. The animal hospital she works at never closes.

I would like to say thanks to a few, well many important and special people. I like to thank all veterans, past and present. That includes our allies who support our causes as we also support theirs. Thanks to the police and firemen who protect us at home everyday. I'm fortunate to live in a city that has a good mayor who makes sure we have a good police and fire department among other city services. They are the reason my family, friends and I enjoy life as it is.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Don't get me started

OK, don't get me started because someone else already did. Mike at 10000 Birds is hosting "I and the Bird #27". Of course he started it, but on the anniversary of the first IATB he wants to do a theme on why we do what we do about birds and how we got started. So I thought about it and looked through my old post and realized I haven't posted anything like that, only bits and pieces. So here it goes, with a little twist.

Why do I volunteer at Bird TLC (Instead of "Why do I bird?")

Five years ago my wife Ruth was going through a career change. Being stressed out and craby in the corporate world was no longer her cup of tea. So she started volunteering at Bird TLC's clinic a couple times a week. Four years ago in March we had a snow storm. I mean we had 36 inches of snow in a 24 hour time period. We got some snow! For my old Dodge, it was no issue, she's a tank. It goes through anything. I call her "Flo". So, I went to work as normal. It was another story for the Mercury Ruthie had at the time. She couldn't get out of the driveway. So I got the call "Can you give me a ride to the clinic? There's one volunteer there and she's swamped". Well, you know I said "OK".

When I got there she gave me the full tour of the place. Then it was time for her to get to work, but they needed help. So while they examined an eagle, I got to help restrain it. I GOT HOOKED. I also figured it was a good way to spend quality time with Ruth. I started by shoveling the porch. I got someone to volunteer doing the snow plowing. I started begging stores for supplies like garbage bags, sandwich bags, exam gloves, etc. I would go into businesses and they would say "Hey, it's the bird guy".

I took on the job as webmaster when no one else would or knew how. My first stop after that was Barnes and Nobles book store to buy a copy of "Webmastering for Dummies". My son Ryan helped bail me out also.

Then they were going to cancel the auction they had planned because the auction chair was getting stressed out. So I said "I'll do it". We rescheduled to a better date and with the help of an excellent committee and a great community, we raised $25K.

During this time, Ruth started presenting a rough-legged hawk for the Bird TLC Education Program. I'd go with her and help carry things in for her and stuff like that. Then I sort of became part of the presentation by promoting our organization and asking for donations. I'm a salesman by trade and it sort of fits in pretty good. Now I get loaned out to other girls for their presentations. Ruthie now presents three birds and caretakes for two.

We also go on injured bird hunts. People call in a injured bird and Ruthie and I or just myself go after it. Most recently we recovered a great horned owl near Portage. We go to the airport often to pick up injured birds that have been flown in from around the state. Cindy Palmatier became the Rehabilitation Director and is doing a heck of a job. I use to get queasy when the blood and guts stuff came about (that's from the long time in the military). But here came a day when it was just her and I and she needed help with an eagle. After that I started taking pictures during operations and stuff. Cindy knows she can call us for anything and has.

My daughter Cassie took in a couple baby American Robins last year. She was a baby bird mom. We have many baby birds that come through TLC every year. We all are signed up to be potential baby bird moms if things work out.

We had found an organization that we both like and really like its mission. Ruthie does presentations all over the state and I go and help out on some. I help with any fundraiser that comes along. We had a successful 2006 Mew Yard Spring Clean-Up. Our board president said it was the most successful event so far this year. I'll also help other presenters with whatever they need. The office knows it can call on us anytime for almost anything.

Now I'm chairing another auction committee. The auction will be on Oct. 21 and we are going to try something new. An online auction will coincide with the live and silent auction. I already have a good committee going. All are diehard TLC volunteers.

So that's how I got started. I blame it all on Ruthie. But it's not a bad thing. I enjoy it or I wouldn't be doing it.

Why do I blog for Bird TLC (Instead of "Why do I blog about birding")

I've meet a lot of people and blogged with people from around the world. Bird TLC has a lot of great volunteers and a great staff. The organization does a lot of great work and we help a lot of birds. See the picture at the left? That's why I do it and people need to know that Bird TLC is doing it also.