Friday, August 29, 2008

The Bad Boyz of Flight C

Cindy had me move the baby eagles from Fairbanks out to the Flight Center on Wednesday afternoon. They are getting bigger and needed to go there to get their exercise. They are at the age where learning to fly and compete is an issue.

We put them in flight C. It has 3 mature eagles that aren't well flighted due to their injuries. These guys can learn from them and compete with the mature birds for food and place. Being flighted, the boys can escape the matures if they need to by going to a higher perch.

I visited with them for a while and the matures seemed to be more curious than anything. I made the boys fly back and forth several times and they do well flying. However, their landings need a lot of work.

These guys will be releasable. The question right now is when. Right now is not the time, but we have winter moving in on us. Our unwritten policy is not to release birds during winter. We really don't want to release birds that are young and inexperienced. We also don't want to keep them over the winter. The longer they are in captivity they are susceptible to injury.

We'll keep you updated.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's a little snowy

It's not unusual for us to get a bird in and we don't know how it got its injuries. Alaska is the largest state in the union with a population of about 665,000. Our population is smaller than Rhode Island. What I'm getting at is that there's plenty of open space.

This juvenile Snowy Owl came to us from Barrow. We think it's a he because of its size, but we don't know yet. He was found dragging its wing when it walked and obviously couldn't fly. It had several fractures to the right wing.

Dr. Todd Palmatier figures the wing could be saved, but the little guy probably won't get well enough to release. Because of the location and type of break, he decided to go with an external fixitor. If you remember, we used an external fixitor back in July on a Great Horned Owls leg.

Dr. Michael Riddle is a volunteer DVM at TLC also. He came along to observe the operation and assist. The operation took about 1 1/2 hours and we think it went well. We all have our feathers crossed.

We had lots of ER supplies and equipment donated recently, so it was a tight squeeze for the humans in the exam room, but there was plenty of space for this guy. Check out that he still has its immature coloring.

In celebration of our 20 Years of TLC, We have a special pin available. Go to our main webpage at and you can order yours for $5.00 plus $1.00 s&h or you can save a buck and buy one in person at the Bird TLC Office. Tell them a little Snowy Owl sent you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

20 Years of TLC

WOW! What a day. We celebrated the 20th. Anniversary of Bird TLC, showed our last respects to One Wing, our beloved mascot of almost 20 years who passed away earlier this year and just had a good time.

For Education Birds, there were Bald Eagles, a Golden Eagle, Great horned Owls, Snowy Owl, Saw-whet Owl, Short Eared Owl, a Raven, and a Stellars Jay.

We had guest who were volunteers in the past 20 years, supporters big and small. We had a event called "The Early birds", that featured TLC Education Birds that started before 1995. We heard some good stories out of there. Mary Bethe told the timeline history of Bird TLC and had some pictures to show.

DR. Scott, the founder of Bird TLC, was blessed by the Native Elders. People lined up to shake his hand, show their respect and thanks for the organization he founded.

We had a Merlin release by Erin and then a Bald Eagle release by Dr. Scott, Barbara and 2 visiting Native Elders. 18 years ago, Dr. Scott wrote a poem called "One Wing", I've posted on here before. He was reading it to the crowd, but before he started he said "If you don't want to see a grown man cry, leave". Well, as he read it I don't think there was a dry eye around.

He also told some fond stories of his past with One Wing that definitely kept the crowds attention. He had a special bond with that bird.

Then it was time to spread the ashes. Bird TLC Volunteers and some of our invited Native Elders and Drummers set One Wing free.

Thanks to the Native Drummers visiting from Anchorage and Fairbanks. They were AWESOME! Thanks to Bill Smith who's taking some of One Wings ashes back to Valdez, close to where he was found. Thanks to Kaladi Brothers Coffee for coming out and donating their services. Also, Thanks to Salmon Run Express for their awesome food.

Check out the following for more pictures...

Bird TLC

Britt Coon

John Gomes

Squirrel Chatter

Saturday, August 16, 2008

20 Years of TLC

Bird Treatment and Learning Center Celebrates 20 Years of TLC:
Bird TLC has been returning birds to the wild and educating the public since 1988.

What: 20 Years of TLC: A Bye-Bye Birdie Event
Where: Bird TLC Property above Potter Marsh (aka Old Rabbit Hutch)
When: Saturday, August 23, 2008 11-4pm

Come celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Bird Treatment and Learning Center and the end of the migratory bird season.

This event will include live education birds on display from 11-1pm with a special presentation featuring some of the oldest birds in our program at 12:30. Various speakers will speak on the history of our organization, the importance of wildlife rehabilitation and the significance of our community partnerships over the years. We will hear Dr. James Scott, DVM, founder of Bird TLC will share his memories. There will be activities for children in a kid’s activity tent from 11-1, and food and beverage available from local vendors. Bird TLC merchandise will be on sale at a discounted price. And, of course, a Bye-Bye Birdie Event wouldn’t be complete without a rehabilitated bald eagle release which will take place around 3:00pm.

This occasion also lends the opportunity for Bird TLC to say farewell to our dear friend One-Wing who recently passed away. One-Wing was one of the first bald eagles to come through the center after the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill in 1989. Due to injuries sustained One-Wing could not be released and became the mascot and blood donor for other unfortunate eagles. He was with us for close to 20 years until this past spring when he passed away due to natural causes. Native drum groups and elders from around the state will be present to help us commemorate his passing with an ash spreading ceremony.

This event is free and open to the public. We hope you will join us in celebrating 20 Years of TLC! For more information call Bird TLC at 562-4852 or visit our website at

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wraps and bandages

We're not all veterinarians at TLC. As a matter of fact we only have two who volunteer regularly. The rest of us are salesman, therapist, artist, retired, wives, husbands. etc. So Cindy has hands on training for us as often as she possibly can to get us or keep us up to speed.

This past Thursday we had a class on "Wraps and Bandages". During the weekdays, Cindy would be the person handling the W&B's, but at night or on the weekend you might be the one. So you better know what your doing if you want a happy patient.

This is my second class. I take it about every year. I pick up a lot of birds at night and on weekends, but seldom do they require a wrap or bandage. I still need the practice, training and fun.

Here's hoping that most of us won't need that training, but if we do I think we'll do just fine.

Photo Credit: Ruth Dorsey / Bird TLC

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Substitute Osprey Mom

Bird TLC Clinic Volunteer on Wednesdays, Erika is helping this baby osprey learn to eat on it's own. This is one of two that came to TLC about a week ago. This one was injured the worst. It had a broken wing and two burned legs from a forest fire. The wing has healed, but the burns are being a little trying.

The other was placed in a nest near Hatchers Pass by Matanuska Electric Assn. employees today.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Bird TLC website

Sorry I've been a little lite on the blog and visiting other blogs lately. I've remodeled the Bird TLC main website. It's taken up a little bit of my time. Thanks to TLC volunteer Patrick Clark for doing the headers.

About 5 years ago I was very new to Bird TLC. My wife Ruth was volunteering on Mondays crew. I would go into visit and see the different things going on, but hadn't found a spot to dig in at yet. I helped doing some repairs and did some begging at the local chain stores.

For about a month they had a sign posted on the office managers door asking for a volunteer webmaster. I had always tinkered with computers, my first was a Commodore 128, but I had never taken on a large scale project. So I finally asked about it. Glenda told me the last webmaster was too busy to keep it up. The website was down, old and outdated. I had not a clue on how to do the job, so I said "I'll give it a try". On the way home I stopped at Barnes & Noble's and bought Webmastering for Dummies.

At that time I could check out what they did have and make any changes with Microsoft Word. I got all the pages how I wanted them and updated all of the information. I just didn't know how to get it on the web. I figured it was a good time to get a return on my investment in #2 son, Ryan. He was going to UAA and computers was one of his courses he was taking. He came over and we were online in a matter of minutes.

From there it was all trial and error. I settled in and kept it updated. I figured that would be the ticket if I got one of those fancy website awards. I applied to everyone I could find. Most never answered. But I did find one guy who was really helpful. I've lost track of him over the years, but he picked the website apart and told me what changes I needed to make for it to be a good website. I stayed up all night making the changes.

After a few years I thought the website was too limiting. We needed to tell stories of what was going on. It needed to be like a journal and it had to have pictures. It also had to be easier than a website to update. It had to be friendly and not stuffy. I researched for a while and then I decided to launch "The Bird TLC blog" on July 17, 2004. For the longest time I thought I was the only one reading it, but I kept going. I figured if I got one new reader, I was making headway. The word about our organization was getting out. 4 years later and sometimes I still wonder.

I've met a lot of good blogging friends over the years. I've also made a few in person because of it. I like looking at the Feedjit Live Traffic Feed and Map on the sidebar. I see people from all over the world. I think the word about Bird TLC might be getting out.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Bird TLC Nursery

We got in 2 baby osprey today. They're very young and I don't have the full story yet. TLC was very bust when I went by today and I couldn't stay long. Cindy had visitors and then had to leave to get x-rays taken of a patient.

Our baby eagles from Fairbanks are doing fine. They seem like they're getting bigger everyday. Our other one from Soldotna (not pictured) is holding it's own for right now.

This baby Stellar Jay was being a hand full. He would run all over the cage, turn its head upside down or backwards before it stood still long enough with its head in the right direction so I could get a pix.

Kids, what are you to do?