Thursday, November 20, 2008

Welcome to the Flight Center

Actually that's not right. The only people who are allowed there are Bird TLC Staff and Flight Center Volunteers. It's big and it has a very important role in the rehabilitation of raptors. But it can be very unforgiving.

The Flight Center (FC) was built on Camp Carroll ANG Base in 1990. The materials were paid for by money donated by Exxon after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Disaster. Labor was provided by volunteers. There is no phone service, there is weak cell phone service and no running water during the winter. You must have access to military bases to get to Camp Carroll.

We don't own the building where the Bird TLC Clinic is located. We sub lease it from IBRRC. Part of our agreement to use the facility is that if there's another oil spill disaster in Alaska, we have to evacuate the clinic in 48 hours. The Flight Center is where we would evacuate to.

Right now it's main priority is to house raptors before they are released back to the wild or placed at other facilities. There are 3 cells 30 feet wide, 20 feet tall and 90 feet long and the roof is fishing net. In one cell the non-flighted birds are placed, in another semi-flighted birds are placed and the third is where the flighted birds go.

We don't mix species. Mostly eagles are housed there, but if another species is to be housed there, we have to make some changes. That other species (like an owl or golden eagle) would get a cell all to themselves.

There are 4 volunteers that maintain the FC. They feed, exercise and water the birds on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, one person per day. Depending on how many birds are there depends on how long is takes, but on average it's about 1 1/2 hours. The rest of the time the birds run the place.

To be continued .......

1 comment:

Susan Gets Native said...

I can't wait to get to our new facility so we can build big, bad flight cages like you guys have!

Those volunteers must be dedicated. No running water when it's cold, weak cell phone service....