Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The sky is falling!

The first picture was taken at the Bird TLC Flight Center in Januray this year. The second one was taken on this past Sunday. I got a call from Linda Tidwell, one of the caretakers at the flight center. She was telling me how the snow was weighing the netting down and asking if I could come help out. I grabed Ruth and off we went. We met up with Linda and her dad Warren and we had 3 hours of hard work knocking the snow down.

The problem was how wet the snow was. It attached to the netting like a magnet. That in itself weighed the netting down, but as the snow melted it got heavier and heavier. The snow wouldn't fall by itself, it needed some coaxing, and coaxing it got.

We used brooms, nets, just about anything that was light enough to hold in the air for a while. It took about one hour per cell. The snow was so thick it was blocking out the light. We all were soaked by the time we finished. If Linda didn't catch it when she did, the netting probably would have given way by the same time on Monday.

There was some damage done. We'll take care of it when the weather allows. The place needs to thaw out real good first.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Golden Eagle release

I'm a little behind on posting some Bird TLC news. The Golden Eagle that was visiting with us for about a month was released on 4/20 during Hawk Watch. I was told the he looked out of the release box, took off and partially circled, saw some other Golden's and headed that direction never looking back.

Thanks to Chris Maack for the pictures!

Friday, April 25, 2008

#54 Bald Eagle arrived Thursday

We average 50 Bald Eagles a year. Our record was 52 which we've hit twice. Last Friday from Kenai, we got #53 in for the year. Unfortunately he arrived at the clinic already passed on.

Yesterday we got in #54 from Kodiak. It was found on the ground with a broken wing. Well, it's wing was so mangled, it was almost a self amputation. Unfortunately the wing couldn't be saved. The amputation was completed just below the elbow.

There is no way #54 would survive in the wild. He would have starved to death, like he almost did until he was found by U.S.F.&W. If you look closely at the picture, he was on the ground for a while. It's feathers are worn, he's filthy and very thin.

If #54 recovers, he'll become an education bird somewheres. He'll place easily in another program outside of Alaska. First he needs to get his health and strength back. That we'll help him with.

I don't ask this in my post much, but so far this has been a tough year. We have been getting excellent support from the local community for food supplies for the birds. Unfortunately it takes more than just food. The amount of birds we have been getting in this year has taken a toll on some of our equipment and supplies. Money is what it's all about. With it we can buy more supplies and repair our equipment. If you can find it in your heart to help out, it would be appreciated to no end. Just tell them Dave on the blog asked for it.

Send your checks to:

Bird TLC
6132 Nielson Way
Anchorage, AK 99518
or call with your credit card to:
M - F
9:30 - 5:00 AST

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Did you see us in the news?

A closer look at eagle rehabilitation

Maria Downey and photojournalist Zac Gooch take a closer look at the Bird TLC eagle rehabilitation program. (Zac Gooch/KTUU-TV)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


52 is the record for the number of eagles that have come through Bird TLC in a years time. Yesterday I picked up #52 at the airport. It was sent by USF&W from Dutch Harbor.

He was found on a crab boat. Don't ask the name, I don't know. (I took the title from the TV show The Deadliest Catch on the Discovery Channel). The crew saw him on the boat, which isn't unusual in Kodiak. The next day it was still there, so they called the State Troopers figuring something was wrong with it. When they went to catch it it ran, but not well. They kenneled it up and sent it to Bird TLC.

During his examination, Cindy found a large abscess on its right foot and it's crop was full and a little hard. She drained the abscess and figured she let nature take its coarse with the crop. It did. She said it threw up last night and it stunk to high heaven.

It'll get another exam tomorrow when Dr. Todd Palmatier does his rounds. Cindy said he'll probably get his foot abscess drained again. He looks like an older eagle. We'll see how things go, but right now they aren't going too bad.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Captain Hook was found by U.S.F.& W. in Homer with a halibut hook in its upper beak. If not found and the hook removed, he definitely would have starved. It would hurt too much to eat. Thanks to U.S.F.& W. in Homer for the pix.

I took him out to the flight center yesterday and he was glad to have some more room to move around. I went back today to check on another bird and Hook looked like he was ready to be released. He's flying well and showing off a little.

A few more weeks of observation and if all is well, you'll be able to say goodbye to Captain Hook.

Friday, April 11, 2008


And that's a good thing. BE 08-48 was the eagle from the last post. When we left him Wednesday night, I expected him to be found dead the next morning. He wasn't standing at all. The only response we were getting was a little blinking and very short breaths.

This picture was taken today at lunch time. I'm glad I was wrong. Those of you who spoke with the eagle gods, well it worked.

BE 08-49 I picked up yesterday with a little less fan fare. He was found at the Soldotna dump. U.S.F. & W. was on a call and drove past him. They saw him on his back and thought he was dead. They took care of their call and came back to pick up the body, and it moved. Then they shipped him to us.

Both birds were toxic. They ate something they shouldn't have and it tried to kill them. 48 Smelled of turpentine. Usually by the time we get a toxic bird it's too late. I'm glad that wasn't so with these 2.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Cindy asked me earlier today if I would mind picking up an eagle at 4:30 today. U.S.F.& W. was sending a toxic bird in via ERA Aviation. They wanted to send it last night, but weather wouldn't permit it. I have never told Cindy no before and she knew I wouldn't today. Chances are it would have been routine. Pick up bird, bring bird to clinic, examine bird, pump full of fluids and bed it down for the night. In and out in about an hour.

I arrived at Alaska Air Cargo right at 4:30. They handle
all freight for ERA when it comes through Anchorage. I have been there many times and know a lot of the girls who work they. Nice people! As I was checking in with a girl I've not seen before, one of the ladies I have dealt with before said "come with me, it's in the back and it's loose".

I followed her to the back and she pointed up. I looked up and there was a bald eagle
hanging upside down from a radiant heater. As I made it clear who I was the supervisors made their way over and were very helpful. I told them I needed something to get me up there. I ran to my truck and got a blanket. When I returned, the airport police and a couple guys from U.S. F. & W. showed up.

I took the F&W guy over to the forklift that was going to take us up to the bird and briefed him and the forklift operator on what we were going to do. The Alaska Air manager placed a strap around us and up we went. This bird had a talon stuck on one of the straps that hold the heaters shield in place. One of the employees had already turned the heater off.

As we got closer I gave my partner half the blanket and told him to grab the head and I would grab the free leg. This we did and then the other foot came free. I shouted I hope you have the head and grabbed the free leg with my other hand. The eagle taloned me slightly drawing a little blood, but just enough for a good war story. We got control of the bird and the forklift operator lowered us to the floor where we put him back in his kennel and zip tied the door closed.

I had to give a report to the airport policeman on duty, they notified U.S.F. & W. and A.D.F. & G. We are finally going to Bird TLC. I called Cindy and brought her up to date and told her we were finally on our way.

We got to the clinic, Cindy patched me up (there's a first) and then examined our eagle where we were joined by Greg. We pumped our eagle with 100cc of LR, a shot of dextrose and B12 and we bedded him down for the night. Unfortunately he's not looking too good. It was too late to give him any charcoal and we couldn't tube him since he wasn't standing on his own anymore. Please keep your fingers crossed and say a few words to the eagle gods tonight before you go to bed.

You can bet I'll never take an airport pick up for granted again. Sorry for no pictures. The bird wasn't in the mood for it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Annual Baby Bird Class

So you want to be a Baby Bird Mom and don't know what to do. Come to the Annual Baby Bird Class at the BP Energy Center on May 6th at 6:00pm.

Every year Bird TLC gets hundreds of baby birds that have been orpahaned for whatever reason. Get the training to become an at home Baby Bird Mom. You can become a foster mom to a robin or maybe a magpie. Watch it grow as you feed it everyday. Then when it's time, bring it into Bird TLC for it's flight exam. When it's ready to be released, you're briefed what to do and where.

The Annual Baby Bird Class
@ The BP Energy Center
May 6th, 2008 @ 6:00pm
Become a Baby Bird Foster Mom
If you need more info, call
Bird TLC

Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Birdman of Alaska

That's Dr. James Scott, founder of Bird TLC. In todays Anchorage Daily News, there's an excellent story about him telling some of his and Bird TLC's past. Check it out, you won't be sorry.

Also, check out the video slide show.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Great Alaska Sportsman Show

Every year we're at The Great Alaska Sportsman Show and we get to visit with hundreds of people. We bring our education birds and also inform them of our mission. Everyone has a good time. It's a hugh event, the biggest this time of year.

If you would like to see us there, heres a link to our schedule at the show.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Bye-Bye Snowy Owl

This is actually old news, back to November 2007. This Snowy Owl came to us from Barrow with a head injury. We suspect that it was hit by a car. After about a month of r&r, he was ready for release.

Snowies don't live in the Anchorage area, or do they migrate here much anymore. The crowded city life is not their style. Long time volunteer Bill Samuelson volunteered to take him with him to Cold Bay when he went on his hunting trip and release him.

Thanks Bill! It looks like the perfect place for him.