Sunday, May 31, 2009

Goodbye and Welcome Back

On Memorial Day weekend, our Great Horned Owl that was at the flight center was released at the Bird TLC property. Gary Bullock, Bird TLC vice-president, Anchorage Fire Department Battalion Chief and all around good guy purchased a release at the Bird TLC auction back in March. This is the one he got to do.

With a little help from his fellow firemen, there was a spectacular release. There's no doubt that this guy can take care of himself now.

Back in April 2008, Captain Hook came to Bird TLC from Homer. He had a halibut hook caught in his mouth and just below his right eye. He recovered from those injuries with a few scars and then was sent to the flight center.

While at the flight center, it was observed after a while that he was not flying. He was brought back to the clinic and an abscess was found on his right elbow. For months it was drained but it never got better. It was decided to amputate at the elbow and it was a good thing. During the operation, the infection was found all the way into the joint. It would have never healed and things would have got a lot worse.

Last week, Captain Hook was returned to the flight center. No, sadly he will never fly again. But, Cindy says she might have found a home for him. This bird has personality or as I call it, birdality. He talks at you. He makes comments that only he understands, but you know what he's really saying.

This bird steals hearts, so be careful.

Photo's 1,2 & 4 courtesy of Britt Coon / Bird TLC . For more flight center pictures, check out Britt's website.

Photo #3 by me.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bizzy day

I went by the clinic to pick up a Great Horned Owl to take out to the flight center. The clinic volunteers and I accidentally saw Petra, one of our education eagles, taking a bath. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera ready when she was in her tub, but here she is preening afterwards. I guess she was cleaning up for the weekend.

Britt and I took the GHO out to the flight center. It had come to TLC a few months ago with a broken wing. It was repaired with an external fixitor and recently removed. It now needs to get its flight strength back and then we'll try it at Mouse University.

Mouse University is where we'll place live mice in its cell at the flight center. It'll have to prove to us that it can hunt on its own before we release it back to the wild.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Just Duckie

Baby bird season is here. This little guy came to us via PET ER yesterday. I got him to TLC and bedded it down for the night. A heat light, food, and a couple cuddle friends. This guy was a little smarter than me. He climbed to the top of the Christmas Bear and hopped out of his home unto the baby bird room floor.

This mornings crew found him and put him back where he belonged. But this time they added some screening over the top. We'll find him a home soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

IMBD at the Alaska Zoo

Yesterday, International Migratory Bird Day was celbrated at the Alaska Zoo and Bird TLC was there to help out. We couldn't have asked for any better weather and a nicer crowd. I was able to take any pictures, but check out John Gomes website at

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I got another picture in email from the Goff Family Memorial release. That young eagle was anxious to be out of there.

Our Great Horned Owl that's been visiting at the flight center is getting released on Monday at the Bird TLC property on Monday at 4:30. I have to work at my real job, so I'll miss it. If any of you get some good shoots of it, please email me.

This GHO came to us with head trauma and blood in both eyes. Its right eye recovered 100% and the left 90%. It hunt tested well on its own, so its good to go.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sandhill Crane

Matt and Ellen brought in this sandhill crane they came accross. I'm not sure how it got injured. It either flew into something or was hit by a car. Tomorrow it gets x-rays. There are no obvious injuries, but it has problems standing and has no desire to eat.
We'll keep you updated.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

1st Eagle release of the year

The weather was perfect for the first release of the year. There was a private family memorial with the request for a eagle release on the Bird TLC property. Timing couldn't have been better. We actually had to speed things up a bit so the eagle wouldn't have to spend too much time in the box.

BE 08-75 came to us last year from Kenai National Wildlife Refuge with damage to its left wing tip. It's believed it had an encounter with a prop plane. We had to wait for mother nature to take her course with a moult. After a moult and new feathers on her wing tip, she was able to fly well. So well that she decided to pick on other eagles at the flight center. So we decided she would be the first to go when good spring weather came around.

Best of luck BE 08-75 and enjoy this nice weather we're having.

Thanks to Sheldon Meier for sending us the picture. Also, that's Scott Elsen, one of the 3 people who got to help with the release.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

New Baby Bird Moms

Every year, Bird TLC takes in about 300 baby birds. We get everything from red polls to Eagles. Trying to take care of each of these birds is a huge task that would overwhelm our clinic fast. So the Baby Bird Mom was created several years ago.

Every spring Bird TLC puts on its Baby Bird Mom Class. Cindy Palmatier and Karen Coady instruct future BBM's on what it takes to be a mom. Most people don't realize the commitment.

The star of the show was the baby raven that was taken in last weekend. Karen is the BBM for it. About every 20 minutes it would stick its head up asking to be fed. Everyone got to see exactly what it takes to care take a baby raven.

BBM's can be anyone. Anyone that has the time and patience. Most birds come in young enough that they will require lots of attention at first. Feeding every 15 to 20 minutes the first week and then the lengths between feeding increases until they can feed on their own. Then from there they learn to perch or swim on their own.

People who become BBM's use permits from U.S.F.&W and A.D.F.&G. that are issued to Bird TLC There are strict guidelines they must follow for reporting about the bird up to its release.

Even though this sounds like a lot of work (it is), it's also a very rewarding experience. Many parents like sharing this experience with their own kids.

Baby Bird season has started and I'm sure the new BBM's will be called into action real soon. Bird TLC couldn't do it without them. Best of luck!

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The baby birds are here

Every year Bird TLC takes in a lot of baby birds of all sizes. We take in everything from redpolls to eaglets. It started this weekend. I went to PET ER and picked up 4 baby birds including the raven pictured here. They are then farmed out to trained Baby Bird Moms or Dads. We need lots of BBM's. If your in the Anchorage area you can go to Baby Bird Mom School.

Bird TLC's Baby Bird Class

On May 5 @ the Alaska Zoo

Yearly training of Bird TLC's Baby Bird Mom's. Be the adopted mom to a baby bird(s) that has been orphaned. Raise them until they are ready to be released back to the wild.

Call 562-4852 to register or for more information

Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sometimes the hunted

I got a call from Megan at the office yesterday. A gentleman had called her about a sand hill crane in his back yard. He saw an eagle attack it and it landed in his yard for cover. It seems to have gotten a broken leg. The guy was watching it because the eagle had perched in a tree and was keeping an eye on it. She wanted me to go recover the crane.

As I got closer to his house I called for more accurate directions. He told me never mind. The neighbors dog had scared the bird off. He said it headed northwest and the eagle was on its tail.

I was on lunch anyways, so I headed north for grunts and giggles. As I headed down a side dirt road, I noticed an older SUV pulled over to the side and the people were looking up at a tree. As I got closer I spotted the eagle they were looking up at. I pulled along side and they said it was after a sand hill crane in the bushes. What are the odds?

I was a little unsure of what to do. The eagle was doing what came natural. It was hunting and the crane was dinner, maybe. I decided to just hangout for a while. A raven didn't like the eagle in the area, so he started giving it a hard time. After a bit the eagle had enough and flew off.

I decided to get my blanket and go check the crane out. As I got closer I did see that its leg was broken. So I took my time and slowly walked towards it. I got about 10 feet away and the neighbor shouted, "can I help you?" On that note, the bird flew away. I watched it fly off and it wasn't long the eagle was headed that way also.

I don't know the ending. They were to far off when I lost sight of them. There was no real way to catch up with them. So, lunch was over and it was back to work.