Saturday, August 26, 2006

Eagle Release @ Thompson Lake

Long time Bird TLC volunteer & eagle presenter Gloria Beckman sent me this video of one of the eagle releases at Thompson Lake last weekend with the Animal Planet crew. Dr. Todd Palmatier is releasing the eagle, Jeff Corwin is off to the right and I'm in the back moving in to take this picture picture.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Hand Up - Not A Hand Out

This past Friday, I had the priviledge of assisting long time Bird TLC volunteer Wayne Rush in an eagle release at the 2005 Veterans Stand Down at Camp Carrol. Bird TLC supports this excellent event every year with a release. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best for a big turn out, but none the less the event is always a success as long as one veteran gets on the right track.

STAND DOWN is a nationwide program that improves the delivery of services to homeless and near-homeless veterans by coordinating existing human services systems. By bringing together all public and private services in one place, STAND DOWN events provide information and assistance homeless veterans need to transition from the streets and shelters back into their community as full contributing members.

STAND DOWN provides access to basic health, legal, financial, housing, employment, training and social services. Information is readily available about veterans' benefits for which people might be eligible, and representatives from veterans' service organizations are on site. STAND DOWN is targeted to serve all veterans of the armed services and their families, regardless of their eligibility for specific veterans' benefits.

The veterans at STAND DOWN have been in extended combat - not only overseas, but in our social environment. They came for help with health care, housing, even a hot shower and a haircut.

Staff from the Anchorage Field Office have served on the STAND DOWN steering committee since the committee's inception in August 1993. HUD staff work with other local housing partners to provide information and access to housing resources in the community. There were several veterans filing applications for Section 8 Rental Assistance. Additionally, many veterans were provided lists of HUD-assisted rental projects and instruction on qualification and the application process for assistance.

STAND DOWN is not the ultimate solution for homelessness, but it is the critical first step for many homeless veterans. This event provides for the immediate needs of those veterans, while also providing access to more sustaining and permanent solutions to their needs. It will not solve all the problems, but it will provide some solutions. "A hand up - not a handout"!

Thanks to Britt Coon for the pictures! Also, young Henry Morse got to see his first eagle release at age 7 days.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We had visitors for the weekend

Bird TLC, the Bird TLC rehabilitation & education birds and some of the Bird TLC volunteers and staff had a visit from another planet. Discovery channels Jeff Corwin of Animal Planet did some filming for an up coming episode that will be shown in spring of 2007. Jeff did some hands on clinic work, rounded up a couple eagles at our flight center, released two eagles at Thompson Lake on Fort Richardson and did a few spots on the birds of Alaska using Bird TLC Education Birds.

Jeff does a fantastic job of getting the point across about our wild birds here in Alaska. He helps to build awareness for the wildlife and the ecology unique to our great state.

All of the Bird TLC volunteers and staff were excited to work with Jeff and his crew. We loved that a celebrity of his caliber was going to put out the word about our wild birds and the work done by the members of Bird TLC.

The weather was not the most cooperative. I haven't seen it rain so hard in the Anchorage area in a few years. Some areas were having flood conditions. Still, everyone stuck it out so the job would get down.

Two rehabilitated eagles were released and are now spending the night on Fort Richardson. This helps to show what Bird TLC does from the beginning when the bird arrives until the time it's rehabilitated and the finally released.

A couple stories were filmed using our education birds, both great gray owls, a snowy owl and a golden eagle. These stories will help educate people on that species living habits.

Thanks Jeff and crew for the experience and the fun. We hope to see you back soon.

A special thanks to Kelly Benedict, Gloria Beckman and Britt Coon for some of the pictures used in this post. More pictures will be added to the album to your right.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A crow with extra baggage

This nw crow came to us from the Kenai NWR. He had an older injury and was being cared for by a woman in the area. After some time with her, she noticed it didn't have full use of it's left wing and couldn't fly. Liz from the USNPS sent the crow to us to see what we could do.

After examination by Dr Todd Palmatier & Rehab Director Cindy Palmatier, it was found to have a huge mass of old dried up blood & tissue. It had harded and obstructed the crow from being able to move it's wing properly.

After they removed the mass, the bird was able to move it's wing like it's suppose to. It's still to soon to tell if the birds releasable. The wound needs to heal and the crow will be flight tested.

The woman who found the bird, her heart was in the right place. She did care for the bird and probably saved it's life. But without proper medical attention, the bird would never of had the chance for release and also be able to defend for it self.

Just a reminder....

Do not attempt to raise or keep wildlife yourself. Not only is it illegal, but wild creatures do not make good pets and captivity poses a constant stress to them. Young wild animals raised without contact with their own species fail to develop survival skills and fear of humans, virtually eliminating their chances of survival in the wild.

Check out these links on what to do if you find an injured bird.

Help, I found an injured bird (Raptors)

Help, I found an injured bird II (small birds)

Help, I found a baby bird

Just a few simple things you can do to avoid harming wildlife

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Breaking into prison

The Spring Creek Correctional Center is a maximum security, state operated adult correctional institution located in Seward, Alaska. The institution has a capacity of over 500 male inmates and employs more than 200 staff.

A large part of Spring Creek's population is made up of what is considered the "hard-core" felon; those that have committed violent crimes such as murder and who will probably spend the rest of their life in prison.

Why this young owl wanted to break in is a mystery to us, but it found itself caught in the razor wire above the parameter fence. Prison officials contacted the Alaska Sealife Center who retrieved the bird and forwarded it to Bird TLC for treatment.

Now, the Alaska Sealife Center deals with sealife, (duh). So the rescuer misidentified the owls specific species three times before getting it right. What do you think it is? I'll give an answer in a few days.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Receptionist needed

This Job is For the Birds!

Join the team of Southcentral Alaska’s premiere wild bird facility as Office Assistant for the Bird Treatment and Learning Center. This is not your ordinary day job. You will handle calls concerning loons, geese, baby birds, raptors and more. Work on projects related to fundraising, education and clinic care. Participate in a partnership with other wildlife organizations, state and federal agencies and bird watching, trail hiking enthusiasts. Position is full-time non-exempt 40 hours/week. Schedule must be consistent, but hours can be flexible. Pay is $10-12/hour DOE. You must be able to work with MS Office and fundraising software, have great meet-and-greet people skills, be highly organized and able to work independently. For a full job description visit our website or contact by e-mail. Position is open until filled. We are looking for someone to start immediately!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Congradulations Rachel & Mike

Congradulations to Rachel and her husband Mike on having a 9 lb 8 oz little boy they are naming Henry. May all the best come to you all.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sad day for Alaska & the Iditarod

Four-time Iditarod champ Susan Butcher of Fairbanks lost her battle with leukemia treatment today about 2:30PM. Because of Susan, the slogan "Alaska, where men are men and women win the Iditarod" became popular. Butcher dominated the 1,100-mile sled dog race in the late 1980s.

In 1986, she became the second woman to win the grueling race from Anchorage to Nome. She added victories in 1987, 1988 and 1990 and finished in the top four through 1993.

"She has been known to walk in front of her team for 55 miles, with snow shoes, to lead them through snow storms, in non-racing situations, where she could have just as easily radioed for a plane to come and get her."

Susan Howlet Butcher was an animal lover, a business woman, a wife and a mother. She's also been called "the best competitive dog sled racer in the universe." There are many women who compete in sports, but not many who enter a race called the Iditarod, that takes her 1,152 miles across the Alaskan wilderness, enduring 100 m.p.h. winds, artic blizzards, snow blindness, wild animals, thin ice, sleep deprivation, avalanches, and whatever else mother nature feels like throwing at a person up in the land of the midnight sun -- and wins four times in a row.

Butcher has won this race, and others, so often that "Iditarod," as well as the sport of mushing, has become synonymous with her name.

In 1979, Butcher helped drive the first sled-dog team to the 20,320-foot summit of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America.

Butcher ran her last Iditarod in 1994 when she decided to have children. She has two daughters, Tekla and Chisana, with her husband, attorney and musher David Monson.

Three years ago, when she was considering a comeback, doctors found Butcher had polycythemia vera, a rare disease that causes the bone marrow to produce excess blood.

Susan Butcher was 51. A sad and dark cloud hangs over Alaska today.

Bye-Bye Birdie is coming

September 23rd is the day we're going to say bye-bye birdie again to the migratory birds that visit Alaska every year. Come visit us at 15500 Old Seward Hwy. There will be kids games, live wild bird presentations, birding tours of Potter Marsh, refreshments, an eagle release and more. Admission and parking is free. I'll have more info and a map posted as we get closer.

Bird TLC, Alaska Zoo, USF&W and ADFG are putting together a heck of an event. Bring the family or a friend. They will be fun for all. Check out last years event here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Loon of Taku/Campbell Lake

Last Friday I got a call from Chara at the clinic. She said there was a loon at the lake on the end of 76th that had fishing line stuck to it. Would I go see if there is anything I could do. Sure, why not.

I got there and had a lovely walk around the lake. The temps were around 70°F, there were swimmers in the lake, sun bathers on the side. It took about an hour before I found this guy. He was swimming along and doing some diving. The whole time he stayed about 10 feet from shore. Just far enough out of my reach.

The bobber was most visible. It was wrapped around it's left foot. The foot was unusable, but he pressed on. I couldn't see any fishing line, but it's designed to be invisible in the water.

Rick Sinnet from USF&W was able to recover the bird today and brought it into the Bird TLC clinic. He had a canoe and some help. Cindy took it straight to Pet Stop for x-rays after removing the bobber and the line and a hook. It had injested a different hook. We can just hope it passes (ouch) it.

I came by today and was told by Cindy to stay clear. This birds agressive and won't let me get close enough to get a good picture. OK, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

change over

The Bird TLC website and the Bird TLC emails are down right now. We are changing ISP's and though there is not suppose to be any service interuptions, there is. Please bear with us while we get this untangled.

UPDATE: 8/2/2006 The web site is back up at . Email is still a little screwie.

Update 8/3/2006 Email seems to be working.