Anchorage Rehab Center Helps Injured Birds Return To The Wild
Lauren Maxwell CBS 11 News
Updated: 06/14/2009 12:31:44 PM AKDT
Did you know that Alaska is home to over half of the wild bird species that live in the entire U.S.? Or that wild birds from around the world migrate to our state every year? It's the reason that Anchorage has a premier treatment center that works to heal wild birds from all over the state.
Anchorage's Bird Treatment and Learning Center is that place. The center is known for working with raptors like eagles, hawks and owls. But it also takes in any bird that's injured, everything from exotic sea birds to tiny song birds.
Director Cindy Palmatier says bird injuries generally fall into three categories: toxins, trauma or starvation. Volunteers work to nurse all kinds of birds back to health at the clinic with the eventual goal of setting them free. But if their scars are more permanent they are trained to become education birds.
Bird T.L.C. presenters go to schools and public events across the state. They take the birds so that people can see them up close, learn about the species and the habitat it takes to support them.
"That they're beneficial and have a niche to fill and the more that we can expose people to that the better. If you can do that with live non-releasable
birds where people can make an emotional connection to a specific bird they may think twice before destroying habitat. People will respect what they understand." says Palmatier.
But while bird TLC would love to show more people the good work they do, they have a problem. The center has no place to bring the public. Bird TLC operates out of a donated warehouse in an industrial area of Anchorage. It's old and crowded and not at all the permanent home that Bird TLC is dreaming of.
That dream rests on a piece of property owned by Bird TLC over looking bird rich Potter's Marsh. It's where they are hoping to build a full fledged rehab and education center, open to the public in an area that is already a popular visitors site.
Palmatier says the eventual plan would be to link the boardwalk put up by Fish and Game at the marsh to the new Bird TLC building and have the two agencies work together on projects. Palmatier says the dream of a permanent facility is still millions of dollars away, money she knows will be tough to raise. But, she says, Bird TLC will keep working to make their vision come true.
If you'd like to learn more about Bird TLC and their programs we have posted a link to their website. You can find it under the links and information section on this page.
To contact the Newsroom, call 907-274-1111.
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