Saturday, June 30, 2007

A look from above

Dave ~
A couple weeks ago I went out to Nelson Lagoon south of Port Heiden, north
of Cold Bay to photograph Walrus. It's the only place that's unregulated
that you can go be on the beach with them. We got some incredible
photographs of the Walrus, did some great hikes along the cliff above them
and along the beaches. Anyway, I came upon this eagle's nest on the cliff
BELOW me. I'd never been above one before. In the first photo you will see
her kittiwake snack to the left, 3 eggs in the rear, and a landing spot to
the right. Next you see her fly in, land and sit on the eggs. Mr. Eagle was
sitting on the ledge directly below me and then he did a fly by to see if
she needed anything. It was awesome!! I'm not sending the photos to you to
say put them on the blog. I don't care if you do, but that's not my reason
for sharing. I just thought it was really groovy!

Gina, They are groovy! I had to post them for all to see.


Friday, June 29, 2007

Yard Sale on Saturday

There's a yard sale at Bird TLC on Saturday 6/30 from 11 AM until 4 PM. Stop by and buy all the treasures you'll ever need at a low, low price. All proceeds go to the birds.

Bird Treatment and Learning Center
6132 Nielson Way
Anchorage, AK 99518

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sunday Eagle Release

On Sunday we had an immature Bald Eagle release at the Bird TLC property near Potters Marsh. BE 07-04 came to us at the end of January this year with sour crop. After a few months of R&R, good food and care, it was ready to be released.

When we had the "Benefit for the Birds" Auction back in March, we auctioned off the thrill of doing an eagle release. You just don't know when it will be because you don't know when a bird is available. Besides being exciting and a once in a lifetime opportunity, the funds raised helps Bird TLC to keep it's doors open. Last year, Bird TLC took in 51 eagles and over 700 other types of wild birds. We have a 55% release rate, which means we release over half of the birds we take in.

With great supporters like our eagle releasers, we are able to give the quality care these injured, sick and orphaned birds need.

Thanks to Gina Holloman for the pictures.

Friday, June 22, 2007

What's going on in the neighborhood

Anchorage is feeling the affects of wildfire. This morning, the city awoke to a smoky haze that turned the air an amber color. The smoke blew in from the massive fire on the Kenai Peninsula. And amber-colored air isn't the best to breathe, so the city health department issued a health advisory for Anchorage residents. Check out story on KTUU Channel 2. We can use some rain. Photo borrowed from Mike Nederbrock/KTUU-TV .

Ghost is doing awesome. He has been doing his mating calls for the past 2 months. He usually starts about 4:30 AM. The neighbors haven't complained. He's in a full molt right now also. I'm picking up feathers everyday. He's been doing a lot of presentations and he does a great job too. He loves an audience. He has also casted a pellet at 3 presentations now to the surprise of the audience. He doesn't know what all the fuss is about. July should be an easy month for him.

Baby Junco's and baby Magpie's are everywhere. No, we aren't throwing them away. Even though there's lots of noisey construction going on, they are all around.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The bald Bald Eagle got me

Yesterday Cindy and I went out to the flight center to pick up an eagle we were shipping back to King Salmon for release. BTW, thanks Ace Cargo and Small Package Service for donating the flight. While we were at the flight center we noticed a bald eagle there that was moulting more than what we thought was normal. Cindy said that we needed to come back tomorrow and bring that bird to the clinic and run some test.

So after much running around today, we did just that. Boy was this bird ticked off. He had a little extra energy. He didn't want to go with us to the clinic for test. We caught him once but weren't comfortable with the way we had him so we let him go to have another go at it.

On the next try Cindy got him. She had the blanket over him and one foot was secure. While we felt through the blanket for the other foot, he bite me twice and then the foot came out of the blanket. I took a look and Dave has 2 talons in his left hand. One is barely below the skin and the other is buried in my hand. Dave got taloned and the adrenaline is now flowing. Resisting the urge to pull my hand away, I was able to grab the foot to keep the bird from getting a better grip. While Cindy restrained the bird, I was able to pry the talons out.

After that, Cindy was able to take the bird and put it in a kennel for transport to the clinic. We then went into the flight center kitchen where Cindy cleaned my wounds with baytrile and put antibiotics on it. Then she wrapped it.

I tell you, I never want anyone in that situation, but I can also tell you I was glad that Cindy was there. She was awesome. She didn't panic. She was concerned for both mine and the birds safety, and handled the whole situation like the professional she is. She kept her cool and was looking for another way out while we were trying one. It's not the first time she patched me up if you remember.

We took the bird (Cindy calls it Fluffy) to the clinic. My wife Ruth escorted me to the hospital where I got the wound flushed and I was put on antibiotics. I was very lucky. The birds aim was off today. It missed all bones and tendons. But we had a good time trying to explain to the hospital folks exactly what happened.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Little Patients

They are coming in all sizes right now. From small swallows to bald eagles. Yesterday the clinic took in 28 baby birds. All were sent out with Baby Bird Mom's from our training classes. Some are naked baby birds with no feathers and some that are just one more flap away from flying on their own. Some are water fowl and some are songbirds. We take them all.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and dads out there. Like the old saying goes "Any guy can be a father, but not anyone can be a dad". That saying is so true. I know guys that almost act like they are scared of their kids. I don't know if they are afraid of growing older or what. Some of them don't even know their kids.

My father was a dad. We called him "Dad" but referred to him as "Big George". He was a big guy, he was a fireman and he was the head of the household. When I was 16, I thought he was the dumbest man in the world only to find out a few years later that I was the dumbest and he was the smartest.

His dad was a Baltimore City Fireman. He drove 10 Truck, a hook and ladder truck. He died at the young age of 33 from a heart attack. He left behind a wife and 5 kids, my dad was the oldest.

After my dad was discharged from the Army after WWII, he joined the BCFD and was assigned to 10 Truck. He started out as a tillerman. That's the guy who steered the back of the truck. He retired at a mandatory age of 55 Spending most of his career at 10 Truck.

When I was a kid he would take me to work with him on his off day when it was time to pick up his paycheck. He would put me behind the steering wheel of the reserve engine and I would play while he went and visited with his co-workers.

My dad was my hero. I miss him everyday. There's not a day that goes by the I don't think of him and he's been gone almost 15 years now. I was lucky to have a dad like him. I could go on for pages talking about him.

Happy Fathers Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Havens Studio

Ghost and I will be at Haven's Studio today from 5 - 6 PM. Artist James Haven and his wife Andi are generously donating lots of his prints for cash donations to Bird TLC. They are also doing a BBQ during that time.

Come on out and see us all at The Havens Studio and Gallery at 407 E. Nothernlight Blvd. Bring that extra roll of $20's and walk away with some really nice art prints.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Military Appreciation

Last week 2 eagles were released on Military Appreciation Day. One was on Ft. Richardson and the other was on Elmendorf AFB. The release on Ft. Richardson was assisted by two soldiers that were wounded in Iraq.

Thanks to Todd Boren for providing the pictures.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

It's a Great Gray Day

This Great Gray Owl came to us from Copper Center. He was found on the side of the road not flying. We speculate that it was hit by a car. After examination and an x-ray he was found to have a fractured right wing. It'll spend some time with us at Bird TLC. He should be releasable later this summer.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kenai River Festival

What a great time we had at the Kenai River Festival put on by the Kenai Watershed Forum. This year it was moved to the Soldotna Creek Park. What a great location overlooking the Kenai River.

On Saturday the rain had stopped, but it stayed cloudy until in the afternoon when the sun finally came out. That didn't stop a good size crowd from wandering through the festival for most of the day. Mia had a North Western Crow and I of course had the Snowy Owl.

On Sunday it was nice and warm and sunny right from the start. Todd drove down from Anchorage that morning and joined us with a Bald Eagle for a few hours. He had to leave early, because he had to work that night.

We all had a good time. We talked with lots of people of all ages that were interested in the birds and Bird TLC. The staff of the event were excellent and helped with every need. We look forward to going back next year.

A Special thnaks go out to Ken and Connie Tarbox for putting me and Ghost up for the evening. Also thanks to Chet for putting Mia and Kodie the NWC up. All were wonderful host and we deeply appreciated the great hospitality.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thanks Lynn Johnson

You did a awesome job of building us a custom stainless steel sink for the kitchen.

Ghost and I are going out of town for the weekend. You can catch us at the ....

June 9 & 10, 2007

at Soldotna Creek Park in downtown Soldotna, AK

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mew Renew for #3

Which mew looks a little more cheerful and brighter? Well they both are the same mew. In February, Dr Michael Riddle, DVM, paid $350 to have his own mew. Well for $350 we can't build a new mew, but we can rebuild an old mew. So that's what we did.

We started at the Mew Yard Spring Clean Up. With all of that help we were able to tear off all of the dungeon looking old material, remove and replace the old rotted roof and add a slant for snow run off, replace the door with a more friendly looking one and do a little painting.

However, the mew wasn't done. It still had places a talented bird could escape through. It had to wait a couple weeks. The weather wouldn't cooperate. Rain, what else. Then the other stuff, presentations, the paying job, etc. Finally I got off my duff and went in on Wednesdays to finish it off.

So, you tell me which one looks better. The old one or the new one? For $350 we got a nice clean updated mew that will last quite a few years longer. Thanks Dr Riddle.

Also, thanks to all of the talented volunteers who helped out during MYSCU.

Turn on the vacancy sign.

Photo's by Dave & Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Monday, June 04, 2007

Ol' Witch update

A lot of you have been asking about one of our long time resident bald eagles, Ol' Witch. Here's the latest from Rehab Director Cindy.

We got bloodwork back on Saturday and basically she is getting worse. Her kidney values are going higher and higher and her blood glucose is dropping.

We'll keep you updated.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Don't call me Norman

It's Norma.

Our education Lapland Longspur that's kept in our lobby for all to see, showed us. Didn't she? Her name is no longer Storming Norman.

Here's a video of a Great Horned Owl and her 2 chicks in their nest not far from the Bird TLC propertyat Potter Marsh. Click here.

Video credit: The video is courtesy of Todd Hardesty with Alaska Video Postcards and KTUU 2.