Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Out at the Bird TLC Flight Center video

If you haven't noticed, I post a lot about the flight center now. That's probably because I've been volunteering out there regularly now for over a year. I enjoy it out there and I love the job our volunteers do. Some of the birds process through there quickly and some take a while.

Every now and again we got some special visitors. Right now we have a Great Gray Owl and an immature Northern Goshawk. Britt asked if she could take John Gomes out to do some video this past Friday. I said, well he is a volunteer photographer for TLC. John has been getting into doing video and has posted several on You Tube for the Alaska Zoo. Well, he did a fine job on this one and here it is.

Thanks to John Gomes for taking and sharing this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Swan from Deadhorse

Cindy and I picked up a Tundra Swan yesterday at the airport. It was sent to Bird TLC on the BP/ConocoPhillps co-op charter flight from the North Slope. It was 1 of 3 that was hit by a car. The other 2 kept on their travels, but this guy couldn't. X-rays revealed that it had a broken left wrist.

Dr. Palmatier reviewed the x-rays and today performed surgury to basicly wire the wrist together. This is its best shot. They aren't designed to be out of water and in captivity for long periods of time. All repairs are inclosed inside the skin. A few days of healing and it will start enjoying a water tank.

You can tell by its colorization that it's this years bird. If the repairs are successful, it'll be sent down to Cordova where they are known to stay out the winter.

Keep your feathers crossed!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Bizy, Bizy, Bizy

I'll bring you up to date on some things. Our Great Gray Owl out at the flight center is doing a lot better. Its flight is longer and stronger and she's eating well. I bet she'll be gone before too long.

After last weekends eagle release in Girdwood, we don't have any flighted eagles at the flight center. Cell A was empty so it got a few repairs. When that was done, a Northern Goshawk was added. It came to us from Liz in the Kenai Wildlife Refuge for failure to thrive. It's doing awesome now.

Don't be alarmed at its tail. We have a tail guard on it while in captivity. If it does any damage to those tail feathers while it's with us, chances are it would have to stay until the next molt. So tail guard it is.

Britt, Gus and I did a presentation at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art for the Anchorage Convention and Visitors Bureau. We got to meet a lot of folks from all over. We had a fun time!

I got a lot more. Will post when I can

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another eagle release

This past Saturday was our annual volunteer appreciation. Our volunteers do so much we could never really sow how much they are appreciated. We had drawings where everyone walked away with something. The potluck was awesome. I had to work until 2 that day, so I was a smooch and didn't bring anything.

The highlight is always the eagle release. A drawing was held and 3 volunteers and a future volunteer won and got to do the release.

BE 09-15 came to us in late July wearing fishing tackle. He wasn't happy at all, but he was Saturday. He was out of the box and gone. The weather held off and we all had a great time.

Check out Britt's website for more photos.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Return of the Great Gray Owl

On Friday, Britt returned the Great Gray Owl back to the flight center for some more flight time and evaluation. This time she did much better. She was able to fly from end to end, but was having trouble gaining altitude. We'll give her more time to get her strength back and see what happens from there.

To refresh your memory, she was brought to us from Tok after being hit by a car. She was taken out to the flight center, but wouldn't fly. We figured she was still sore and bruised and we couldn't tell.

This gal has become a favorite at the clinic. She hoots back at you. We'll keep you updated.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Daryl & Phoenix the Osprey

Yesterday, Daryl checked off on Phoenix the osprey. Phoenix came to Bird TLC last summer after its nest was caught in a fire. His other sibling in the nest survived without injury. Unfortunately Phoenix had bad burns to his legs and a broken wing. The other was placed in a foster nest. Phoenix was never able to recover enough to be released, so he became part of Bird TLC's Education Program.

Daryl came to Bird TLC after retiring from the National Park Service. He has been a welcomed asset to TLC with volunteering several days a week in the clinic, out at the flight center, picking up birds at the airport and helping with maintenance wherever needed.

Watch for Daryl and Phoenix doing education presentations soon. These guys make a great pair.
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Monday, September 07, 2009

Bye Bye Bob

I guess it felt like the first day of school. You take your kid there and just wish for the best. Bob had come to us from the Alaska Sealife Center back in July as a real young guy. He had been attacked by something, patched back together by ASLC and sent to Bird TLC.

Bob grew and grew and was sent out to the flight center on August 14 to get ready for his life after TLC. Our biggest concern about Bob was all he really knew was people. The hardest thing for the volunteers at the flight center to do was not be friendly to Bob. We weren't mean or anything like that, just not friendly. Bob likes super worms and mice. When a volunteer would go to the flight center to feed, Bob would greet them at the door.

The weather has been great, but fall is fast on its way. The leaves are changing, it's cooler at night and birds are starting to head south. It was now or never for Bob. To ship him outside would cost a small fortune, he wouldn't make an easy education bird to deal with and he deserves another chance at life in the wild where he belongs.

For the last couple of days, Britt and I have been working a project put at the flight center. Bob got some extra servings for dinner to help him prepare for his journey. Today we finished the project and it was time for Bob to leave.

With suggestions of where to go from friends of Bob, we headed to Wasilla where UAF has some experimental farms where sand hill cranes are known to visit. Sure enough there were plenty there. With a lot of coaxing, Bob took to flight. He flew better than we had expected and probably surprised himself as well.

We did have to recover him a couple times to get him headed in the right direction. The last we saw of him he was in a field with about 20 other sand hill cranes. He hadn't mingled in with them yet. SHC's were coming and going while we were there, so we figured he will figure things out before long.

Bob, we wish you the best. You have to get your own super worms and mice now.

Photo Credit: Britt Coon / Bird TLC

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Volunteer Appreciation Picnic

Dear Volunteers,
It’s that time of the season where we get together to honor all the hard work that our volunteers do 365 days a year.

What: Volunteer Appreciation Picnic
Who: Volunteers and their Families
When: Saturday, September 12th @ 1:00
Where: The Bird TLC Property, 15500 Old Seward Highway
Why: Because we appreciate all that you do!!!

What to Bring: A “lunch-time” dish to share (salads, casseroles, dips, desserts, etc). RSVP to me and let me know what type of dish you plan to bring. We do need someone to bring drinks too.

What we will do: Eat, raffle prizes and the opportunity to release the last bald eagle of the season. There is a possibility that we will have other birds to release that day as well.

We hope to see everyone out at the property Saturday, September 12th!!!

Thank you for all that you do for the birds!!!

Bird TLC

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Busy Wednesday

For starters, we have a Great Gray Owl that came to us from Tok. It was hit by a car and brought in by a good citizen. We were determining if it was flighted or still needed some more r&r. The flight test didn't work out at TLC, so later on, Britt and I took the GGO out to the flight center. We brought her back. She needs some more r&r.

I couldn't go to the Alaska State Fair today. My real job was getting in the way. Cindy is checked off on Ghost (she was my mentor). So they got to go to the fair. In this picture they are getting familiarized with one another again. She does his exams and beak trimming, but doesn't get to work with him much. She reported back that things went real well.

We also got a immature bald in almost a month ago. He had some super lice. They had him so down that he wasn't expected to live. His name is Easy Rider, because a guy wrapped him up in his coat and brought him to TLC on his motorcycle. The lice lost! We took him to the flight center also. He flew right to perch and then chowed down on some salmon we had put out for him.

Last thing tonight, Britt exercised the sand hill crane or was that the other way around? It's getting big. We're discussing it's release options now.

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