Friday, December 29, 2006

Santa came to Bird TLC

Pet Stop, one of our favorite veterinarian clinics, is upgrading it's surgery room. Bird TLC is the lucky recipient of their older equipment that's being replaced. The equipment is in excellent condition and definitely comes at the right price.

The anesthesia machine came to us last week and got put to work on Christmas Day with our impaled Eagle. The exam table came on Tuesday and has yet to be set up and or used. We have some rearranging to do.

Thanks to Pet Stop, there's so much more we can do at the Bird TLC clinic, saving time, money and hopefully more birds.

The tall fellow is Cindy's son Brian. He was home on leave from the Air Force for Christmas. Needless to say, it wasn't boring for him. You'll also see him in a future story about a Snowy Owl that's at the clinic now (no, not Ghost). He's back at Minot AFB, SD and hopefully he stays out of harms way. Come back soon Brian so Mom can put you to work.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Christmas Eagle Story

I received this email and images from Gloria Beckman, one of our Bird TLC Eagle presenters and long time volunteer.

I received a call about noon Christmas Day just as I turned the oven on to prepare Christmas dinner. I was told there was a bald eagle hanging 80 feet above the ground from its wing. Tom and I grabbed Leucos carrier (Gloria's Bird TLC Education Eagle), turned off the oven and headed to Eagle River. Thought this would be easy as the tree was near the fire department; with their ladder truck we would be back home before anyone missed us. Did not bother with cold weather gear, after all the Fire Department would rescue the bird and hand her off to me. Right??? Wrong. We stood in snow up to our knees with temperatures in the teens trying to figure out how to get this bird out of the tree. The Fire Departments ladder was not long enough to offer assistance.

Here she is just after the rescue. Matanuska Electrical Association came through just after dark. These guys were awesome with there tree climbing gear and Husky chainsaw. They managed to use a ladder we had on-site to avoid the rough bark of the cotton wood tree and there climbing gear to get up to the eagle. They tied their tail line to the branch the big girl had impaled her wing on, cut the branch off the tree, and lowered her to the ground. As soon as she found her footing she started running into the woods. Carie Seifert (another Bird TLC Eagle Presenter) and I caught up with her as the deep snow slowed her escape. We transferred her to the carrier in the back of my truck and I transported her to Pet Emergency. They were ready for us and quickly administered antibiotics and pain meds. Upon examination, we were surprised to find no broken bones. Bird TLC picked her up the next morning and repaired her wing as much as possible given the trauma to the tissue from rubbing against the tree branch and picking by the Ravens and magpies.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Beauty Update

Beauty continues to progress in her new surroundings. She eats and bathes readily, and does not hesitate to express her attitude through body posturing and vocalization. Last week, I introduced her to the glove. She does not like "the training glove" as we say, as indicated by her strong raptor feet, which now require a triple leather gauntlet, due to her tremendous gripping power. She prefers captivity on her own terms and may take months to train to sit in the glove. Currently, she will only allow one foot to rest upon the glove, and is not shy to try to bite me; all very typical this early in the game of training an adult bird. In the meantime, we continue to build her medical implant team, and strategize over the best way to reconstruct her upper mandible. We have a model eagle skull from which to study the normal anatomy of the bald eagle mandible. From her first examination, we found the resultant damage and scar tissue from her injury may benefit Beauty and potentially serve as an anchor for her new prosthetic beak. The first surgical attempt will depend on the time required to train her. Our goal is to calm her on the fist, before all the new hardware is in place. In the meantime, we have scheduled her second examination and mold impression to be taken in mid January. Until then, I will keep you, your staff, and volunteers updated as her adventure continues here in North Idaho, where she is skillfully managed daily. We enjoy the challenge that her case brings and believe in her potential as an educator in the future. Thank you for providing us the opportunity to help this special eagle. Here's hoping in 2007, that Beauty may have the opportunity to preen and feed naturally once again......
Enjoy the images of Beauty taken today, as she vocalizes on morning rounds. I hope you can see her spirit remains strong and that her future looks bright!

Jane Fink Cantwell
Raptor Biologist
Birds of Prey NW

Sunday, December 24, 2006


I got a couple of ideas for you.

  1. Become a member of Bird TLC.
  2. Donate to Bird TLC.
  3. Buy "One Wing's Gift" for yourself or a loved one.
  4. Volunteer at Bird TLC.
Not only will you be giving yourself or a loved one a great gift, you'll also be helping out South-Central Alaska's Premiere Wild Bird Center. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations to Bird TLC are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.

You know what? We're a member, we just donated our end of year donation, we have several copies of "One Wing's Gift" and we volunteer at Bird TLC. Makes you wonder what we care about besides family and friends don't it?

Bird Treatment and Learning Center
6132 Nielson Way

Anchorage, Alaska 99518

To contact office:

9 AM - 5 PM Monday - Friday

Alaskan Standard time

Mastercard & Visa accepted

Friday, December 22, 2006


Let's see if I can get this straight without loosing you. Cindy was expecting a Bald Eagle in from Seward. They left about 2pm, it's usually about a 3 hour drive, it snowed a lot yesterday so the roads weren't in the best of shape. I got a call at 5 from her asking me to pick up a Pine Grosbeak that was sent in from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. No problem, just got off work.

Traffic was a little heavy due to it being 5PM and Friday before the big holiday. I picked up the PG and took it to the clinic where there was bizzzzy Cindy and no Eagle from Seward. She said " I'm suppose to be at Pet Stop so we can operate on yesterdays Eagle (BE 06-44 at left), but our Seward Eagle hasn't shown yet. No telling how long it's going to be and I have no way to contact them." OK, load Eagle in my truck and off to Pet Stop 44 and I go.

I arrive at Pet Stop where Dr Todd Palmatier, Greg & Laura is expecting Cindy with an Eagle, I open the door, stick my head in and in my usual smart way, I asked "Anyone order an Eagle?" Greg and I take the Eagle inside, I get 44 from his kennel and we prep him for his operation. With 4 of us there it's a little crowded, so I decide to leave. I call Cindy,who btw, is learning to hate cell phones. The Eagle from Seward arrived, she put it away in a mew and is taking off for Pet Stop. She said she would be back there later to water and feed when they bring 44 back.

I figured I help out so I returned to Bird TLC, examined the PG and put it away in a cage in the Baby Bird Room with ample food and water. Then I returned to BE 06-45 and got him watered and a plate of fresh salmon. No exam, that takes more than one person. Cindy had did a small exam earlier but would do a more in depth one when she and Todd returned to the clinic after 44's operation. I prepared a mew for 44's return and then it was time to go home. All Cindy and Todd had left was to put 44 away in a mew, examine 45, check on the PG and then go home.

My night got busy fast, Cindy and Todds night got long, but not as long as it could have been and Greg and Laura got to see and assist an operation on 44. Did I loose you any where's?


The students at Golden View Middle School raised $3000 for Bird TLC. For each dollar raised, the student was given a raffle ticket to enter them in a drawing to throw a pie in their teachers face. 8 Teachers participated in the pie-a-thon. Yeah students!

Thursday, December 21, 2006


We got over 8 inches of snow last night and it's still coming down. The wind has picked up also. It's +20°F with 15 mph winds making a +6° windchill. I think we are going to have an Alaskan winter this year. That's something we haven't had in a few years. Christmas is definitely going to be white also.

I've been busy at the job that keeps the peanut butter & jelly sandwiches on the table. I haven't had time to check out things at the clinic. Cindy tells me things are a little quiet.

Ghost is back to eating, however he doesn't like the winds tonight. We have also resumed our training. I'm coming along well but he has a little catching up to do. He'll get me for that one.

Check out "Tundra". I stole his comic strip from the other week.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sad news

We lost BE 06- 41 to a bone infection. The repair done in November wasn't healing and the bone above the break was extremly brittle. There was no telling how far the infection had spread.

We know we can't save them all, but there should be a special rule for the young ones.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bald Eagle #43 arrived

BE 06-43 arrived from Cordova the other day. It also was found caught in a snare trap, but its injuries are minor compared to BE 06-42. I wouldn't be surprised if it's not released after the first of the year as long as no surprises jump out at us.

BTW, BE 06-42 is improving. It's still a little depressed, but as soon as it's strong enough we can move it to a larger outdoor mew. That will help the depression. He'll see other eagles in rehab and will have more room to move around more.

This time last year we had 51 eagles come through the Bird TLC clinic. We have had over 650 other types of wild birds so far this year. We have a 55% release rate (releasing them back to the wild) which is above the national average. Our release rate improves every year (knock on wood).

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It's been a while since I participated with IATB. But when Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog asked me to submit a story because he was hosting, I knew I had to. Being hosted by him alone was going to make it awsome. Even though they are having issues with wild fires at this time, he pulled off one awesome carnival. Even though he spells center wrong. (Just joshing).

Visit Duncan for stories of birds from around the world at IATB #38.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Beauty Update

I received an email from mine & Bird TLC's friends in Idaho where "Beauty" now lives. Here it is......

"Beauty" adapting to her new training perch, with "Liberty" to help her through the transition. Beauty arrived at her new Idaho home this week, where, after a time of training to calm her, she will begin the process of being fitted for a prosthetic beak. Until then, she will be cared for by the staff at Birds Of Prey NW . Many thanks to the staff and volunteers of Anchorage Bird TLC who gently and skillfully managed her care. They are to be commended...


What nice people. I'm excited about this new journey for "Beauty". I believe she's in the right hands. If anyone can help her move on, I think these folks are it. Thanks for the update Janie.

Janie & I at Bird TLC.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Ghost update

Training has been a little slow with Ghost the Snowy Owl. Starting Wednesday this past week he decided not to eat for 2 days. Friday and Saturday he ate only 3 mice and wouldn't eat from hand. Cindy says that he did this once before and to just wait it out and no training until he puts the feed bag back on.

Tomorrow he gets to sit in his kennel for a little, while I do some modifications to his perch and hide box.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Big Bird Discovery

Space Shuttle Discovery and a crew of seven astronauts lifted off from Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39B at 8:47 p.m. EST, kicking off the most complicated and challenging mission to the International Space Station to date.

Anchorage hometown boy, Pilot William Oefelein (check out his blog) is the first Alaskan in space.

Best of luck on a safe and successful mission.

You have to enlarge this image. It's awesome!!!! Credit goes to NASA.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No Beauty at Bird TLC

BE 05-19 was was taken to the airport this morning and is being sent to Birds of Prey, Northwest in St Maries, Idaho. While there, they are going to try and fit her with a prosthetic device to use as a upper beak. Bird TLC had the pleasure of having Jane Fink Cantwell, Raptor Biologist, and Linda visiting for most of this week to get use to her and learning how we feed her, treat her, etc.

These ladies saw the love the volunteers at Bird TLC have for this bird and I believe they have that love also. We at Bird TLC went as far as we could with her rehabilitation. In Idaho they have more resources to pull from to do this kind of work. We wish them the best of luck that this great bird and these fine people deserve. I hope to see them at an education presentation sometime in the future.

There were a lot of wet eyes at Bird TLC when everyone said goodbye to "Beauty", but they were tears of joy.

Also, long time volunteer Char's (on right) last day at the clinic was today. She's moving to New Zealand in a few weeks. Her nice personality and sense of humor will be missed. Isn't she cute? Your welcome Char.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Memorial Service

There will be a memorial service for Leslie & Morgan Lancaster at Providence Hospital on Monday December 11 @ 4 PM. Check in at the information desk.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Goodbye Leslie & Morgan

Sadness has hit Bird TLC. We lost our long time member, volunteer, Eagle presenter, Snowy Owl presenter, and friend Leslie Lancaster and her daughter Morgan in a car accident outside of Girdwood this past Saturday.

Leslie Lancaster was the 48-year-old single mom who met with families or prescribed interventions when a student needed behavioral help, clothing or a shower at school, friends and colleagues said. She also was a fixture at bird festivals and schools around the western Kenai Peninsula, where she gave frequent presentations about the live bald eagle and snowy owl she kept at home.

Morgan was the little girl in pink and purple who always had a spare pencil and some mathematical insights for her classmates. She was a day short of her seventh birthday when she died.

Lancaster had a lifelong love of animals. Three dogs perished with her and her daughter in the car, and she kept a bald eagle and snowy owl that had been rehabilitated through the Anchorage-based Bird Treatment and Learning Center.

Center executive director Rachel Morse said Lancaster previously served as board president, and was trained and licensed to keep the injured birds. As a bird education presenter, she was required to make 12 educational appearances with each bird annually, so school kids up and down the Peninsula knew her as the eagle lady or the owl lady.

"She was probably one of those tomboys running around and coming home with a fistful of frogs and baby birds," Morse said. "She was very kind."

Morse said she believed Lancaster moved to Anchor Point to raise Morgan in true Alaska style.

"She was extremely devoted to her daughter," she said. "She really got into the type of life that Alaska can let you have. You can be a free thinker and a single mom and have wild birds in your backyard and have that kind of quintessential Alaska life."

Leslie was a very friendly woman I always saw with a smile. Morgan was also a happy child. You can tell her and her mom got along well. They both will be missed for a long time.

Links to the different news stories.

Tickets are now available

On January 15th we'll start our online auction "FOR THE BIRDS". And then on Feb 3rd we are having our "FOR THE BIRDS" Silent & Live Auction at the ConocoPhillips Atrium here in Anchorage.

Entertainment will be by "Mr Whitekeys" of the "Fly by Night" fame. Dinner & non-alcoholic drinks are included and a no host bar provided. Lots of the Bird TLC Education Birds will be there from Bald Eagles to Crows.

Tickets ar $50 each

Contact the Bird TLC Office to purchase tickets at 907-561-4721

Saturday, December 02, 2006

One Wing's Gift

One Wing's Gift
by Joan Harris

In the cleanup following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, workers rescued hundreds of wild birds from the shores of Prince William Sound. One bald eagle, poisoned by oily prey, came to the rescue center with a wing so mangled it had to be amputated. No one expected the bird to survive. But even after vets repeatedly took the eagle's blood for transfusions to other eagles, "One Wing" clung to life, an unexpected survivor.

ONE WING'S GIFT tells the heartwarming stories of this special bird and a dozen others rescued by the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage, Alaska. From the majestic bald eagle to the common raven, from the great horned owl to the tiny black-capped chickadee, Bird TLC has been rescuing and rehabilitating Alaska's diseased and injured wild birds since 1988.

Joan Harris's exquisitely detailed graphite portraits of each bird complement her touching tales. Harris spent more than four years working on the intricate illustrations, delicately hand-coloring these pencil drawings of some of the most inspiring birds from the rescue center. This uplifting book will appeal to bird lovers of all ages. Harris will donate a portion of her royalties to Bird TLC.

If you would like a copy, contact Dan @ 1-907-562-4852 or . The price is $17.95 & $5.00 shipping & handling.

Or send a check to
Bird TLC
6132 Nielson Way
Anchorage, Alaska 99518

Eagle Updates

Both eagles are alive and making improvements. They are getting great care from our clinic volunteers. We are a little concerned about depression now.