Wednesday, December 31, 2008

EOY

If no other calls come from U.S.F.&W. or ERA Aviation today, BE 08-82 will be the last eagle we'll take in for 2008. He came from Cordova with a fracture at his left wrist that had already healed, but improperly. It's non-repairable, so he's a non-releasable bird. We'll find a home for him in 2009. He's already at the Flight Center getting plenty of exercise.

He'll make the 82nd eagle that Bird TLC has taken into its care in 2008. We have also taken in over 450 other types of wildbirds. I'll get you an exact count after the 1st.

As you can imagine this doesn't come by inexpensively. Today's economy has started to take it's effect on all non-profits, not just us. No matter what the economy does, we'll still be here doing what we do with what we have to do it with.

Those of you that read this blog know that I don't hound you for donations but just a couple times a year. Well, this is one of them. For those of you that need a tax break, we are a 501(c)3. For those of you from outside the US, sorry. But we still need your help.

500 plus birds takes its toll on the facility, equipment and supplies. Everything we have is well taken care of, but it still wears out. Updated equipment to us is the hand me down equipment that someone replaced to update theirs. We are grateful for it, but it still has high mileage by the time we get it.

So, if you have it in your heart to donate to a non-profit, I hope you pick TLC. There are thousands that need your help. If you don't pick TLC, please pick one. Being a salesman in my real life I have to add a perk for you. If you donate over $100 on PayPal by January 5, 2009 I will personally send a thank you letter. In that letter will include 2 Bird TLC items that aren't readily available to everyone. You have to donate to get them and you won't know what they are until you do.

Here's hoping everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Goodbye Barbara Doak

I received sad news this morning. Barbara passed away last night. We will all miss this wonderful lady who did so much for Bird TLC and each of us individually. I know she was a very special part of my life.

The family has not made any plans for a memorial at this time, but I will keep you posted as I learn more.

Thanks to everyone for the support and kindness we have seen as we’ve all worked through this difficult time.

Cindy

Cindy Palmatier
Director
Bird Treatment & Learning Center
(907) 562-4852

That was the official notice. Below is mine.

Barbara (in blue vest) with long time friend Glenda at this past years Bye-Bye Birdie. She was a great volunteer with Bird TLC, a great friend and a heck of a gal! She'll be dearly missed by all who had the privilege to meet her.

Dave

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jesses and Leashes

The safety of the bird you're presenting and your audience is very important. It's only as good as your bird gear. As a possible Bird TLC presenter, you're required to complete a lot of training and some of that involves making your own bird gear.

Presenting non-releasable wild birds has a relationship with falconry. One of the things that relates the two is the equipment used. If you're independently wealthy, you can buy your gear at one of the many falconry suppliers throughout the country. Or you may make your own at a fraction of the price.

Cindy scheduled a class and there was a huge response. She got lucky when long time volunteer and master falconer Bob Collins had recently moved closer to Bird TLC and she recruited him to help.The large group was split in two. For half the class we stayed with Cindy or Bob and then switched for the other half.

Cindy taught leashes. There were the braided type (which I wasn't so good at) and the leather type. There are several types depending on the size and type of bird you will present. We have small song birds all the way up to eagles. By the time her shift was over, we all knew how to make both types of leashes. We also learned how to tie the falconers knot. Safety was discussed through out the clinic.

Bobs part was a little more involved. He showed us how to make aylmeri's, jesse's, traditional jesse's and anklets (bracelets). What tools and supplies that are needed and where's the best places to buy your supplies. The types of leathers were also discussed. And again safety was covered.

Everyone had a chance to make all of the different types of bird gear so once they have a bird to present they can make the gear that's right for it. Back up gear is also handy just in case something breaks at the wrong time.

It was a fun class but most importantly it was a very educational class.

All of the links in this post are for the Modern Apprentice by Lydia Ash. This is an excellent site to learn more about bird gear, falconry and falconry equipment..








Saturday, December 06, 2008

New visitors this week

The Screech Owl came to us from Whittier. It was found on a barge there that started its journey in Seattle. How much of the cruise he took we're not sure. He was very skinny and not too alert when he arrived at TLC.

Screech Owls aren't common in the Anchorage area. You can find them in the Seward area and maybe even Whittier now.

Our new Raven came from Wasilla. He was found on the ground. He was extremely skinny and infested with feather lice. We just about have the lice issue licked and he's enjoying his meals at TLC.

He has some old injuries to his wing, but nothing that keep him from being released in time. Like most Ravens, he's got a birdality (personality) for sure.



Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Welcome to the Flight Center cont.

We got over a foot of snow over the weekend. Whenever we get that much snow at once it can make it interesting at the Flight Center for sure.

Fishing net is stretched over the top for a roof. This gives the birds a feeling of being released but are still contained. The net also likes to catch snow. The weight of the snow weighs the net down because it's very stretchable. The snow then needs to be knocked down. The first picture is in cell B before the snow was knocked down and paths were shoveled. There are 3 cells.

Paths need to be shoveled from one end to the other and to and around the perches. We need to be able to get to the perches to feed and check around them for left over food. We need to make sure the birds are eating and we need to clean up what they don't eat.

The kitchen is the only place where there is heat. The average temperature is about 65°. It needs to stay warm enough for the fish to thaw. During winter depending on the temperature, each bird is feed 2 to 2.5 lbs of salmon. Feeding is done every other day. It's always nice to have a place to warm up, but it's also a nice place to keep things you don't want frozen like water, first aid supplies, etc. Remember, there's no running water in the winter months.

My favorite time is after all the work is done and you just finished feeding. It gets all quiet and then all you can hear are the eagles eating. They stand on the fish and pull it apart with their beak. Every once in a while there's a heated discussion about who's piece of fish it is, but there's plenty for all of them. We don't interfere with the discussion unless it gets really ugly.

To be continued.......

Click here for part 1.