Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Request from Megan

Mt. Ash Berries needed!

Now is a good time to start collecting and harvesting the Mountain Ash berries for our feathered friends this coming winter, especially the wax wings. And last winter I believe that we ran out of the berries. So if anybody is out and about and wants to pick some and bring them in, we would be much obliged.


Monday, September 22, 2008

How about 2 eagle releases in a weekend?

Our first release was on Saturday at the Bird TLC property. It was a memorial release for Rachel Tolley. Her family and friends all gathered for the release and then her ashes were scattered on the property. The bird released is the one I brought back from Soldotna on my way back from the Kachemak Bay Shore Bird Festival. On its intake exam it bit the heck out of my finger. When we caught it to take it to the release, it bit the heck out of Megans finger.

The next release was Sunday at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward. They got an eagle in while we were caring for the Ocean Beauty eagles. They held onto it until we got some room at our clinic. The bird had developed pox, an avian disease that is very contagious to birds and also can be deadly to the bird.

She recovered and we asked ASLC if they would like to release it. We couldn't have picked a prettier day in Seward for a release.

As our friend Susan at Susan Gets Native says "Releases are the BEST!"

Photo Credit: first picture Britt Coon / Bird TLC
Photo Credit: second picture Dave Dorsey / Bird TLC

Friday, September 19, 2008

New volunteers

From left to right, Cindy, Amy, Erika and Beki. Amy and Beki are fairly new to the clinic at Bird TLC. They both come with some excitement and help fill the gaps in the crews left when some of our other volunteers had to go back to school.

Here they help with Captain Hook, our bald eagle that came to us a a few months ago with a halibut hook stuck in his mouth. He's recovered from that but was reinjured while out at the flight center. We don't know what happened but he has an abscess on his right elbow, probably caused by another birds talon.

Cindy is draining the abscess while Erika shows Amy and Beki how to restrain the feet and head. Once that was done Erika shows them how to hold the bird while Cindy inserts a pill (antibiotic) into the birds mouth. The business ends of an eagle are its talons and beak. They can do lots of damage if they aren't restrained properly.

So far this year we've taken in 72 eagles and each one has had to have been restrained several times for exams and treatment. Some have to be examined or treated this way everyday depending on what they are here for. You holding the talons or head properly not only keeps you from being hurt but also those who are working with you.

I look forward to working with you Amy & Beki and I'm sure the birds are glad you're there also. We have a few other new folks out there that I'll catch up with later on.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Appreciation Potluck & goodbye birdies

We had our Volunteer Appreciation Potluck and Bird Release Party on Saturday at the Bird TLC property. The weather was a little chilly, but other than that it was nice. We had a good turn out and a good time.

We released the young Great Horned Owl that came to us with a broken leg a few months back. He took a few seconds to come out of that kennel, but when he did it was like a bullet. With the attitude he showed us while he was with TLC, he'll do just fine in the wild.

Next we released the Bad Boyz's. These guys came to us with no flight time. They were so young they had trouble standing up. Cindy had me take them to the flight center 2 weeks ago and boy howdy did they catch on.

They were released one at a time. We use a release box to release eagles. It's much safer for the bird and more people get to participate. The first one flew to the bluff and caught a thermal and just glided for a bit. Then he turned around and did a fly by and head across the street out of sight.

We released the next one about 15 minutes later. He came out of the box low and headed to the bluff and caught the same thermal. He glided back and forth for a bit and then flew along side of Potter Marsh out of sight.

Here's hoping the brothers hook up with one another again. They both still have some learning to do, but it wasn't going to be with us at TLC. They needed to do it on their own.

It's great that we got to do this with our volunteers. Like most non-profits, we wouldn't be around if it wasn't for them. I've said it before and I'm going to say it again " Are volunteers are the best!"

Photo Credit: pictures 2 & 3 by Dick Williams / Bird TLC

Photo Credit: pictures 1, 3 & 5 by Dave Dorsey / Bird TLC

More pictures here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gov Palin when......

It was a year ago Tuesday that Governor Sarah Palin helped us release 2 rehabilitated bald eagles at the Bird TLC property. It was delayed a day due to bad weather. Cindy called the Governor on her cell and she said she was still wanting to do it, it just had to wait until after they got out of church.

She arrived at the property driving her kids in her Suburban. She got out and grabbed a red hoodie with the Alaskan Grown logo on it and put it on. She made it a point to walk up to everyone and introduce herself. We knew who she was but she seemed like she was just another person. Who knew a year later she would be running for the number 2 seat in the country.

Bird TLC is not a political organization and you won't see me doing political post. But you will see me post about a person. What we saw was a down to earth mom helping out a not for profit organization and showing her kids a really neat event. She didn't arrive with her nose in the air. She seemed like the mom next door.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Volunteer Appreciation Potluck and Bird Release Party!

Volunteer Appreciation Potluck and Bird Release Party!

Bird TLC Property, Saturday at 2pm!

Please bring a dish to share.

We will raffle off the release opportunity for two bald eagles and one great horned owl, and there will be prizes, too.

Bottled water will be provided, but if you want anything else to drink – it’s BYOB (bring your own beverage)!

If you would like to have a seat other than the cement benches, please bring a lawn chair or camping chair.

If you still need bird credits this is a good opportunity to bring your bird out.

Photo Credit: Britt Coon / Bird TLC

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Cindy gets new toys

Well, Bird TLC got new to us toys. In the picture you can see Cindy's excitement and how she can hardly wait to put this re-breather to work. There was a whole pile of little things donated by a veterinarian who's office was moving and he cleaned house.

To some people it might be junk or trash, but to us it's updating our older stuff to just old stuff. Hand me down veterinarian equipment keeps us going and our birds have a better chance for survival. We have an average of slightly over a 50% release rate.

And it isn't just the medical equipment that makes a difference. Office equipment and supplies, cleaning equipment and supplies, kennels, blankets, towels and I could go on and on. Here's a link to our wish list that will give you a better idea. The list is at the bottom of the page.

Donating supplies and equipment helps us to better utilize the limited amount of funds we have. We are a 501 (c) 3 non-profit and all of these donations are possibly tax deductible. We aren't tax people, so check with yours.

Speaking of limited amounts of funds, I don't talk about this often on the blog. We have some GREAT organizations and people who donate to us and it's appreciated. But unfortunately, the need for money is getting more and more. On average we admit 50 eagles a year. So far this year we have taken in over 70 eagles. We have also taken in over 480 other types of wild birds, from chickadee's to hawks and owls. We don't just take raptors, we take all wild birds that are native to Alaska or migrate through Alaska.

If you live outside of the Anchorage area and it's not feasible for you to come to our clinic to donate, we would appreciate your financial help online. If you notice on the side bar there's a donation button. You can donate to Bird TLC through PayPal 24/7. You can donate as little as $5 or as much as you would like. You can also order one of our limited edition 20th. Anniversary pins. All proceeds go to the birds.

We know that times are tough right now, we feel it also. If you can't donate, we understand. But if you can, you'll be able to know that your help keeps Bird TLC helping Alaska's wild birds.

Eagle release photo by: Britt Coon/ Bird TLC

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Bye Red


The Red-tailed Hawk release turned out to be quite a show today! At about mile 125 on the Glenn Hwy (just north of the "Hawk Watch" area) I took a dirt road off the main drag, in order to get far away from traffic. I found a great little place in a hilly area where I decided to release him. I opened the kennel door and he sat in the doorway just studying the surroundings for a few minutes, then flew up to the top of a Spruce nearby . Within a minute, a Northern Hawk Owl (one of my personal favorites!) began to dive-bomb him! The hawk seemed to fend him off just fine, but the dive-bombing continued for a good 10 minutes, the Hawk Owl cussing and chattering all the while. He obviously was quite perturbed and twitterpated with the situation - I suspect there were youngsters nearby. As if that wasn't enough, out of the blue a Northern Goshawk swooped down at the Red-tailed! He circled once, then flew directly over my head and checked me out, as if he knew I was the cause of all the commotion.

Anyway, when I left about 15 minutes after releasing the hawk, things had settled down quite a bit, but I could still hear that relentless Hawk Owl chewing the Red-tailed out. Those little Hawk Owls are ornery little cusses, huh?

Sorry for the blurry pictures.......too much excitement to capture it terribly well.


This was taken from an email from Ellen, a long time Bird TLC volunteer.

Monday, September 01, 2008

BE 08-55 back to the WILD

Diamond Animal Hospital has been a supporter of Bird TLC for a few years now. Every year Dr. Seba, owner of DAH, buys a table at our auction and gives the tickets to his staff.

One of the perks this year for buying a table was to get a rehabilitated wild bird release. They were lucky this time and we had a bald eagle, BE 08-55, ready for release. As usual for Dr. Seba, he let his staff do the release and they selected Eagle River Nature Center.

Prior to the release we had coffee and donuts. We also got to meet some of the employee's family members. From there we went down the nature trail to an observation deck that looks like it was made for a release. Four people from DAH were picked to open the release box and then we had a picture perfect release.

Thanks to Diamond Animal Hospital for their support of Bird TLC. Without people like them we would be able to do what we do.

Photo Credit: Ginny Smith / Eagle River Nature Center Volunteer

More pictures of the release at