Sunday, July 29, 2007

Raptor Rap @ Alaska Zoo

I'm a couple weeks behind on some stories. Raptor Rap at the Alaska ZOO was almost 3 weeks ago. Todd and Petra were there and with the reports I got from people that attended, they both did an awesome job.

Todd was just checked off on presenting Petra a couple months ago after 6 months of training. Todd has been volunteering at Bird TLC for a while now as a clinic volunteer and else where's when needed.

Petra has been with Bird TLC about 10 years now. She was the eagle being caretaken by Leslie Lancaster. She is now housed at Bird TLC and caretaken by both Todd and Greg MacDonald.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Leg Bird

Last week we received an eagle in from Valdez with a leg injury we think might have been caused by a trap. The skin is gone from the right leg and it's unable to support itself with it. There is no bone breakage.

Everyday Cindy changes the bandages and applies nitrofurazone ointment. There's still blood circulation in its foot and there is no color change on any digits, so maybe......

Since it can't support itself, it lays down a lot. We have to be careful that all of its weight on its keel doesn't cause sores. So what is usually used as a neck brace on humans is used as a donut on this guy. The donut is placed on its underside and held in place with a body wrap. It's also placed in what was a baby carrier that's been specially modified. While in the carrier it can sort of stand with a little weight on the leg. I'll get some pictures of it the next time it's in it while I'm at the clinic.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


There will be a memorial for Leslie Lancaster on Thursday, July 26 at 9:15 AM at Providence Hospital's Memorial Garden. The garden is located just south of the parking garage. A plaque will be unveiled at the memorial.

Leslie and her daughter Morgan lost their life in a car accident on December 2, 2006. Full story

Another Baby Merlin update

Here are the latest Merlin photos! The kid is growing up.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Wizards and Wings

Friday night was our event "Wizards and Wings" done in partnership with The Imaginarium and Title Wave Books. A lot of Harry Potter fans attended both young and young at heart and there was a lot of fun going on. They came in costume or had costumes available to have their pictures taken with. You could feel the excitement in the air.

Bird TLC had 7 different species of owls there of the 13 species available in Alaska. We had an owl of a time. Check here for more pic's.

Photo credits; Gina Holloman / Bird TLC
Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Friday, July 20, 2007

update on baby Merlin

How do you think the baby Merlin is doing? Don't you think it looks a little different from the other day?

Photo Credit: Cindy Palmatier / Bird TLC

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Back to ANHC

We went back to the Alaska Native Heritage Center and this time I got to go as a spectator. Ruth had a presentaion with a Goshawk along with Kerry with a Bald Eagle and Steve with a Great Horned Owl.

The people were with FRED, the Foundation for Rural Education and Developement, an organization created by the Organization for the Promotion and Advancement of Small Telecommunications Companies.

They came by the bus loads. As you can tell by the pictures, there were plenty of people there who got to see the birds and reindeers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Third Blogiversary

Today is the third blogiversary of my first post. A lot has happened and a lot has changed since then. Why just in the past year there's been a lot of stuff going on. We won't talk about the ISP changeover. I've met a lot of cool people on the blog and I've learned a lot.

For starters, Jeff Corwin came for a visit and we spent the day with him. The series he was filming "Into Alaska with Jeff Corwin" comes on Tuesday nights on the Travel Channel. Check it out. I live in Alaska and I'm seeing things new to me.

Bird TLC Education Presenters did a lot of presentations at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art in conjunction with the "Hunters of the Sky" exhibit. That was a lot of fun and a really neat exhibit.

We had a very successful Bye - Bye Birdie. That's when we say goodbye to the migratory birds until the following year. The weather was a little chilly, but a fun time was had by all.

Rachel Morse, our Exec Director and her husband Mike had a baby boy and named him Henry.
My daughter Cassie and I went back east to Maryland and DC to visit family and act like the tourist do when they visit Alaska.

In October I found out I was getting to caretake a Snowy Owl and got to build my first mew from scratch. Since then Ghost and I have done presentations all over. I'm having a blast even though it's involved a few cuts and bruises.

We had a very successful Owl-O-ween. I even dressed up. Check the link for some awesome pic's. There were owls every where's.

We lost our friend and long time volunteer Leslie Lancaster and her daughter Morgan to a terrible car accident. I like this picture of her and Petra. That's how I remember her. Here's a link to the whole story.

Christmas good gift wise. Pet Stop gave us an exam table and a knock out machine.

Long time Bald Eagle patient named Beauty was moved to Idaho for a possible new beak. It's a long process. Keep an eye out here for updates.

We had a very successful auction "For the Birds". Great entertainment by Mr. Whitekeys, great food by Chef Al and great deals for all who attended.

Again we had a very successful Mew Yard Spring Clean Up because we had all kinds of help. We did a massive clean up and totally rebuilt a mew thanks to the funds from Dr. Michael Riddle.
And that's just the highlites. We had 51 eagles go through the clinic last year along with over 700 other types of wildbirds. We currently have a 55% release rate which means we release more than half of what we take in. That's above the national average. That tells you how good the Rehab Staff headed by Cindy Palmatier is.

All this is done with just 3 GREAT staff members and a whole cadre of GREAT VOLUNTEERS! Wow, what a year it was and wow, what the past three have been also. I know there was a lot more releases, operations, rescues, and people. But there's only so much room.

Photo credits: Gloria Beckman, John Gomes, Scott Steinbright , Britt Coon and Dave Dorsey.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bye - Bye Magpie

Nicole and Ray Utter released a pair of Magpie's raised in the Bird TLC Baby Bird Program this past week. Magpie's are very popular corvids around Anchorage. They can be very challenging to raise because of the amount of feeding they require and the constant noise they make as they get older.

Photo credits: Chris Maack / Bird TLC

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Baby Merlin


Here's the photos & a quick 'story'.

Here's a cute little guy! He was found in a driveway in Eagle River with no sign of parents anywhere. The finders observed him most of the day and finally called Bird TLC for help.

Karen Ottenbreit retrieved the little guy and knew right away (it screamed!) that it was a merlin. The exam showed no sign of injuries so we've rehydrated the little guy and sent him off with an experienced foster mom to finish him out.

Let's keep our fingers crossed that he didn't get hurt too badly in the fall.


Cindy Palmatier
Rehabilitation Director
Bird Treatment & Learning Center

Photo Credits: Cindy Palmatier / Bird TLC

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beauty of an update

An update from Jannie Fink Cantwell on Beauty, our Bald Eagle who had her beak shot off a few years back. That's her origonal picture back in 2005 on the left. Back then his first name was Beakman and then we found out he was a she.

Hello Alaska!

Greetings from North Idaho where summer is in full swing!

Your friend "Beauty" is doing great, awaiting what will be just a few weeks until the fitting of her first prototype beak of polycarbonate and titanium screws. Her team of caretakers continues her daily care with delight, anticipating a positive outcome that her new beak will stay in place-long-term. We are only awaiting a date for her procedure, until we can coordinate the mechanical engineer, the dentist, the biologist and the veterinarian, who is on vacation until next week. I promise that you shall be among the very first to know the results! Her temperament has remained consistent. She is slow to trust and loves daily fresh water baths. She is hand-fed salmon daily and vocalizes to us frequently. She remains on a tethered training perch, in the pine forest, overlooking the lake. She has adjusted very well to her new surroundings.

Thanks you for your cheery inquiry!

Best Regards,
Jane Fink Cantwell
Raptor Biologist

Thanks for the update Jannie. We all have our feathers crossed for Beauty.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

We went to Title Wave Books

Ghost favorite bookstore and mine also is Title Wave Books. They are one of the sponsors of Wizard and Wings : A Science Adventure with Harry potter and All Things Owl on July 20th at The Imaginarium. Well be celebrating the release of the newest and last Harry Potter book and movie.

On Saturday we did a presentation during Children's Story Time. They say all ages are welcome and it's a good thing, because we had all ages viewing the presentation and asking questions.

Thanks Title Wave Books for having us and also for being a sponsor of Wizards and Wings.

Thanks to Katie Hecker, Events and Promotions Director, Title Wave books for taking the pictures and sending them to me.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eagle update

Fluffy went to visit an avian dermatologist. She said she's never seen anything like it before and had no idea what was going on. She took a biopsy and sent it off to the lab. We'll keep you updated.

Jimmy Dean, our sausage eating eagle finally passed the sausages. His neck is now going down to the proper size. His wound on it's right wing where the abscess was is draining and seems to be healing.

Thanks to
Diane Preziosi, DVM
Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist
Alaska Veterinary Specialists
For donating her valuable time to exam Fluffy.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

An interesting eagle

BE 07 - 30 came to us this afternoon from Cordova. Cindy's son Brian is home on leave from the Air Force. He and Dr. Todd Palmatier picked up #30 at the airport this afternoon. He wasn't flying and was very skinny.

A well meaning citizen was feeding this young eagle baby sausages. #30 loved them. Only problem was it couldn't digest them. It probably ate too many at one time. You can't see it too well in the first photo, but there is a bulge about the size of a tennis ball between his lower neck and his keel.

Upon a more thorough examination, there was found to be a huge abscess on it left wing near its elbow. This possible could be the no fly problem. Cindy and Dr Todd decided it was time to remove it. I'll post the removal on PhotoBucket tomorrow. This was almost the size of a ping pong ball. Look at the picture with the ink pen. The abscess was one piece but was cut during removal. A drain will be left in the wound for a few days.

After that it was decided to feed the bird liquids for a few days to see if the mass of baby sausages would start to digest. If not we'll have to back up and regroup.

This bird brought a lot of attention from within the clinic. Cindy called me in during my real work hours to take pictures. Volunteers came in on their regular off time just to see a sausage neck eagel. It'll be Mr. Popular for a while. It was suggested by a friend of mine to name it Jimmy Dean.

In a writting funk

I didn't miss the 4th of July. I just didn't have my head together to write an appropriate post. I did have a good time though. We had a neighborhood bbq. We haven't had one since the summer before last. It was way overdue. We also had some new neighbors joining us. Nice couple, but I'm not sure what he thinks of me. I keep screwing his name up.

After the bbq I fell asleep on the couch for a while. I woke up at the time I usually go to bed, so needless to say I'm wide awake. I'm also hungry but still stuffed from the bbq. I answered a few emails and then I started reading post I did on the blog from this time last year. Man, what a difference. I got into reading them. I can't say I can with what I've been writing lately. The information is good, just not the writing.

So what to do? Maybe a brain enema. There's a bunch of stuff up there that needs to be cleaned out for sure. My heads innards have been through a lot in the past year. I won't get into telling everything, but it needs a overhaul.

I've been putting in extra time at TLC. When I'm there, any and all other issues take a back seat. Actually I forget about them all for the time I'm there. A good bird rescue or exam or even a good paint job or mew repair makes the brain cramps go away. I enjoy the work and the people at TLC, so it's a good trade off.

The blog is also a part of my work for Bird TLC. I put out what I consider valuable information. The more people that know what we do at TLC the better the support we get. Also, hopefully the information I put out helps educate people. Maybe it will help them change things that cause birds to get hurt. Maybe they'll also learn about different species of birds. So, I need to make that information more interesting to our readers. I'm not meant to be an answer for sleep deprivation.

So look out and be prepared. Also, let me know if you see a difference or I've slide back into my funk.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scotish Highland Games

Bird TLC was well represented at the Scottish Highland Games in Eagle River this past Sunday. We had Suzanne with a Northern Hawk Owl, Ellen with a Rough-Legged Hawk, Lisa with a Great Horned Owl and myself with the Snowy Owl. Sorry, no pic's of Ghost and I, we were taking the pic's. The weather was good and the crowd was even better.

Monday, July 02, 2007

In the Anchorage Daily News

On Monday

There's no link or article online, but in todays ADN there's a picture of Bird TLC Volunteer Dr. Mike Riddle and Gary Bullock, AFD Battalion Chief and new Bird TLC Board Member releasing an eagle at the Eagle River Nature Center. You'll have to buy the paper for that one.

On Sunday

The Evolution of Potter Marsh (click for story)
Silting alters avian population even as managers plan new visitor facilities