Thursday, May 31, 2007

Alaska Native Heritage Center

On Monday night we went to the Alaska Native Heritage Center for the Welcome Reception for the International Whaling Commission. The main duty of the IWC is to keep under review and revise as necessary the measures laid down in the Schedule to the Convention which govern the conduct of whaling throughout the world

The ANHC is a great supporter of Bird TLC, so they invited us to present our birds for people from 76 different counties. Some of it was a challenge because they didn't speak English and we didn't speak their language. We all had a great time and I feel that our audience did also.

We had DeAnn Sabol with a Raven, Kerry Seifert with a Bald Eagle and myself with the Snowy Owl. For a lot of the people attending, it will be their only trip to Alaska. They got a good view of our Alaskan Native and bird heritages. A lot of them had their pictures taken with the birds, so they had a great souvenir to take back home.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Ducks Unlimited National Convention

Bird TLC had the pleasure of being part of the 2007 Ducks Unlimited National Convention here in Anchorage. We were represented by Kerry & a Bald Eagle, Ruth and a Northern Goshawk and myself and the Snowy Owl. We meet a lot of nice people from around the U.S. and were able to tell them about our birds.

DU is an awesome organization (I'm a member) that has supported Bird TLC in the past financially. They are great supporters of wetland conservation and associated habitats for North America's waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

The weather was great. We were joined by 4 time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser. He's a pleasure to have a round.

For more pic's, click here.

Picture's by Dave & Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ol' Witch not feeling well

We have two Bald Eagles that are permanent residents at our clinic since the Exxon Valdez Disaster in 1989. Ol' Witch is the female and she usually takes back seat in popularity to One Wing her long time companion and mew mate. I have written about them both a few times. They both have amazing stories and are quite the pair.

Ol' Witch was found in her mew the other day acting very uncoordinated. She was brought in and examined and found to be dehydrated. She was immediately given an IV and blood was drawn for testing. She was placed in an inside mew so she could be observed closed.

Here's an email to the clinic volunteers from Cindy Palmatier, Rehabilitation Director, on the blood results.....

Update: Ol' Witch

We got the blood work results back today. Based on these results and her
clinical signs it appears that she is either in kidney failure or has a mass
in her abdomen that has finally gotten large enough to cause a problem. I
spoke with Dr. Scott and he estimates that the bird is probably 35 or so
years old. She was a mature adult when she came in. This could simply be
the end of a long and pampered life for this old girl, but I'm not willing
to give up completely yet. If we can get her stabilized I will schedule
x-rays, but I don't want to add the stress right now. The vets feel that if
we can turn her around it will need to be in the next week, so here's the

She continues to be unstable on her feet, she is lethargic and not eating.
Due to the level of dehydration and lack of food intake we are now tube
feeding her. We will also be giving more IV fluids on Friday. Please
continue to offer small amounts of salmon or red meat to see if she will
begin eating on her own again.

Please tube feed 120ml of salmon slurry twice daily over the long weekend.
I know we are running one shift per day, but if you can tube when you first
get here, and once again before you leave that should be good. As usual,
plenty of water available if she decides to drink.

We are fortunate to have Katie here to keep an eye on things during the
evenings right now. :)

If you have any questions, please let me know. I will not be going out of
town for the weekend, so give a call if you need to.

My cell # is ***-****, as some of you know, I'm not always the best at
keeping it in reach, but I'll try.


Cindy Palmatier
Rehabilitation Director
Bird Treatment & Learning Center

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Memorial Day

I have mixed feelings for Memorial Day. I do enjoy the extra time off to work in my garden, ride the Coastal Trail on my bike, do a little birding and play with my new camera, or just taking it easy at home. We generally don't go out of town for the holiday. We let everyone else leave.

I do start thinking about the veterans in my family who are no longer with us. That list is getting bigger since the majority of them are or were WWII veterans and age is taking it's toll. My Mom's brother, my Uncle Len was the last one to pass away just two weeks ago. He was a proud WWII Navy veteran. All but one of the WWII Veterans in my immediate family has passed on. Uncle Joe is the youngest and he's still with us. My dad was Army. His desert training did him well going all over Europe in WWII. He's been gone almost 15 years now. I have a picture of him and his brother Buck on my desk. Both in uniform. I miss my Dad everyday.

The next big war (police action) was Vietnam. My two brothers were Navy and my brother in law Mike was Army. Mike was the only one to go to Vietnam. They are all still with us and doing well. I'm considered a Vietnam Era Veteran, but the war was officially over while I was still at Lackland AFB, Texas. I was lucky to stay out of harms way in my 20 year career.

Veterans are the ones that provide for what we cherish the most, freedom. Freedom to live, work, worship, disagree and so many other things. They protected us when we're awake and asleep. In my career I worked many holidays, birthdays, days and nights. I've been to places that were awesome and places I don't want to even think about again. My own safety was in the hands of others, white, black or yellow. Didn't matter. You watched out for them and they did for you, not thinking of your own safety over theirs.

I think it's right to remember these people with a long weekend enjoying whatever we want to do. They made it possible. Thanks Veterans!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Off to Moose Pass

We went to Moose Pass on Sunday for a presentation at Trail Lake Lodge. Ruth and I went there almost 2 years ago to the date. Check out the post. However, last time Ruth was presenting with a Rough-Legged Hawk. This time she played photographer.

Ghost did a fine job of allowing everyone to be informed of his species. I do belive he's accepting doing presentations well.

We meet a lot of birders from around North America. There were folks from Canada, Oklahoma, Long Island, Maryland, you name it in this group.

Paul has a first class operation at the Trail Lake Lodge. If you make it to Moose Pass, Alaska, you have to check it out.

Photo's by Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Friday, May 18, 2007

Homer trip, day 3

Sunday was the easy day for us, not that any of the other days were hard. We weren't presenting until 9 AM at Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. So we had plenty of time for a nice breakfast prepared for us by Karen. She had a couple friends staying over and we discussed everything over coffee. Ruth got up a little later than usual and missed out on the Stellar Jays but got to see a moose trotting threw the backyard. She also was hearing a couple Northern Hawk Owls doing their mating calls. She can point those out because she caretakes one.

We got to Islands and Oceans a few minutes early and was met by Alex who was giving us a hand again. We weren't the only ones that were early. The place was already hopping and the Birders Breakfast was starting at 9.

I got set up and got Ghost out. We attracted people right off the bat and we stayed busy until about 11:10 before I put Ghost away. We saw lots of people who took lots of pictures and a few doing drawings. Ghost had a long morning and was ready for a break, but it was fun.

Gloria and the Eagle and Kristen with the Great Gray Owl were there also. We were so busy that I didn't even get a chance to talk to them. No pictures of them either. We found out the battery limitations of the new camera.

A 3 hour drive later we were home again. Thanks Homer, we had a blast!

Photo's by Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Thursday, May 17, 2007

IATB #49

I and the Bird #49 is up and running at viva negativa. Enjoy stories of birds from around the world at one plave. Dave Bonta does a find job of bringing all of these stories to us. Go check it out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Homer trip day 2

We checked into our room at the Skyline Bed and Breakfast last night after we got back from having dinner at Don Jose'. Karen has a first class operation at Skyline. It has a gorgeous view of the Kachemak Bay and the mountains beyond. The home was large, clean and nicely decorated.

Ruth got up early Saturday and was having fun with feeding the Stellar Jay's peanuts. She called this one Peek-a-boo. I actually slept in for once. I got up at 7:30. The breakfast Karen prepared was well worth the trip to Homer. After eating I felt more like going back to bed. I had eaten my fair share and plus some.

I got Ghost out of his kennel to stretch his wings and practice my presentation on a few friends Karen had over for breakfast. It's a rare sight to see a Snowy in Homer. We had a good time and Ghost got his fill of being OOO'd and Ahhhed at. Then it was time to put him up until the presentation .

When we arrived at Homer High School, we were greeted by Alex. He's been helping Bird TLC presenters for at least the last 4 festivals. He was wearing a Rough Legged Hawk pin that Ruth had given him on our first trip down there.

We were doing two one hour presentations with three birds. We had Gloria and a Bald Eagle, Kristen and a Great Gray Owl and myself with Ghost, the Snowy Owl. We had a three birds out at the same time and we took turns about every 15 minutes telling about our birds species. It went very well. There were over 50 people in the audience for each presentation.

Afterwards we put Ghost up and we went and enjoyed the festival. There were exhibits from the Alaska Bird Observatory in Fairbanks, the Pratt Museum in Homer, the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward and many others.

That night we enjoyed a good seafood dinner at a new restaurant called Crabbie's. The place was very small, but the food was good, the place was clean, service was good and the waitress was pretty nice. Then it was time to go back to the B&B and settle down for the night.

Karen had coffee, tea. cookies and cake waiting on us. She had two more of her friends visiting. They were collage room mates long ago and now they are retired school teachers. One more time we'll show Ghost. He likes it and guess what. So do I.

To be continued .....

Photo's by Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Kachemak Selo, Homer trip day 1

Near Homer, Alaska is a unique community of expatriate Russians whose ancestors refused to conform to changes in their traditional Orthodox religion.

After almost 16 generations of seeking places to live where they could preserve their culture, they purchased land in Alaska and the first families arrived in 1968. They called their settlement Nikolaevsk. Alaskan neighbors refer to it as "Russian Village."

In 1975, the first group of these "Old Believers" became citizens of the United States in naturalization ceremonies at Anchor Point School.

Since then, religious and cultural concerns have prompted some families to leave Nikolaevsk to form new communities. Kachemak Selo and other small villages have sprung up at the head of Kachemak Bay.

Most Old Believer men are commercial fishermen and many of the women work in the fish processing plants. Villages also build boats for themselves and for non-Old Believers.

Women and girls wear full skirts and scarves, the men, embroidered shirts, cinched at the waist with woven belts. Russian is still spoken here.

Students of the middle / high school found an imature Bald Eagle in January with a broken wing. USF&W sent us the bird and it became our first eagle intake of 2007 (BE 07-1). The bird recovered well and Ruth and I returned it to Kachemak Selo to release it with the students.

Principal Randy Creamer picked Ruth and I up in Homer and took us on a 45 minute ride. We were joined by Adam from the Homer News. The last 4 miles the road was all dirt and gravel. Kachemak Selo is located on the beach near Fritz Creek. The road into the comunity was extremly step and winding requiring four wheel drive vehicles only. The road is not maintained by the state. During the winter Randy and other teachers use four wheelers to get to the school because the road is too icey for vehicles. Ruth, Adam, the Bald Eagle and I went on a heck of a ride.

Freedom as the bird had become known to them was welcomed back with large banners and about 50 students and their teachers. All were very excited for Freedoms return and soon to be release.

The release went off slow and then turned really exciting. Freedom jumped out of the kennel and just looked around. Ruth walked up with a blanket and he took off flying. He got the crowd even more excited when he did several turns to fly past the crowd a couple of times before he flew off.

Thanks to the students and teachers of Kachemak Selo for being so kind to Freedom and allowing us into the community to return Freedom to his home. Sorry the pic's are so light. Trying to get use to a new camera.

Link to origonal story.

Link to release video.

To be continued.........

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A little Psycho

Saturday Clinic Volunteer Daniel Folmar sent this picture of Dutch Overly and Psycho, a Northern Goshawk. Psycho was released this past Saturday at the Bird TLC property over looking Potter Marsh.

Ruth, Ghost & I are going away for the weekend. We are going to Homer for the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. We're also going to release an eagle. There will be many pictures taken with my new camera (Sony DSC-H9) upon our return.

If you are in Anchorage for the weekend, check out the Alaska Zoo's Migratory Bird Day events on Saturday.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, May 07, 2007

MYSCU 2007

Saturday was Bird TLC's 2nd annual Mew Yard Spring Clean Up and it was a success. We completed about 90% of our task list which included replacing the complete roof on a mew.

All mews were pressure washed inside and out, the gravel was cleaned and so were all perches. Mother nature is tough on our mew yard during the winter. We can't wash or hose anything down due to the extreme temperatures. What can't be brought inside has to wait until spring to be cleaned.

We had lots of help. We had volunteers from Alaska Military Youth Academy, McLaughlin Youth Center and of course Bird TLC. A lot of work was accomplished and the birds appreciate it.

I also would like to say thanks to our corporate sponsors. Alaska Industrial Hardware (AIH), they support us every year. Airport Equipment Rentals loaned us a skid steer and John Gomes, AER employee, volunteered to operate it for us. CPR Automotive loaned us their pressure washer again this year also.

Also, thanks to all of the Bird TLC Volunteers that donated their time and in some cases food or materials on a fairly nice weather Saturday. There are too many to name here, but they are sure appreciated.

Top 3 photo's by Britt Coon / Anchorage, AK and more here
Last one by me and more here.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Happy Students

Long time Bird TLC Eagle Presenter Gloria Beckman sent me this picture of an elementary school class in Wasilla that she did a presentation at. Looks like there was a lot of fun had there.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Volunteers and Friends

Last Saturday Bird TLC had it's Volunteer Appreciation Cookout. For what is an extremely busy time of year there was a very good turn out. The day was sunny but a little breezy and chilly, but there was plenty of fun to go around.

Steve Ross was the chef behind the grill, Bill Pargeter donated the food and the use of the grill. Rachel Morse, Bird TLC Executive Director handed out some atta boys and girls.

Towards the end Caryn Rae of ConocoPhillips presented Bird TLC with a check for $20,000. WOW! CP has been a supporter of Bird TLC and Alaskan communities for a long time. Thanks CP and Thanks to all of the volunteers!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

U R Invited

You are invited to “2007 Mew Yard Spring Clean Up” on May 5th at the Bird TLC clinic. It’s time to get ride of the winter-hidden trash, over grown bushes, leaves, etc. We might even get some repairs done.

We are expecting about 25 people. The time is from 9AM until we are done (4PM’ish). We also need assistance with food & refreshments.

If you can attend, come dressed for some extreme yard work. If you can’t attend, maybe you can drop by a side dish, chips, soda, bottled water, roll of $20’s, etc. Your assistance in any way is appreciated.

We hope to see you there!

Dave Dorsey Ruth Dorsey Cindy Palmatier

Britt Coon Greg McDonald Laura Magauan

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tundra Swan

We have a Tundra Swan in the clinic now. It was found a little north of Anchorage in Wasilla with a bloody left wing. Unfortunately it had to have the wing amputated at the elbow. After some rehab time, Cindy will be looking for a permenate home for this bird.