Friday, November 20, 2009

Duck n donuts

I got a call from Valerie at the Bird TLC office right about lunch time. She said a lady had called and said she had a duck. I asked what was wrong with it. She said the lady said it won't leave. I said that it had missed migration and it's too cold for it to even try. She said well, it won't leave her restaurant. It was in it. She said it followed a customer in and it has made itself comfortable.

I asked what restaurant. She told me it was Jerry's Donuts and Burgers. I knew right where it was. I get donuts for my customers there from time to time. I walked in and sure enough, the male mallard was sitting under an artificial tree watching everyone walk by.

I caught him after a slight duck chase through the restaurant and into the restroom. With the help of a patron, I got him into the carrier. A dozen plus donuts, the duck and I head to TLC.

We were meet by Terry & Bev, two of the nicest volunteers to ever help a duck. They checked him out and couldn't find anything wrong, so they bedded him down in a warm mew with lots of duck chow. He'll spend a few day and if all is well we'll try to get him headed in the right direction.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cindy and Hal

Cindy started working with Hal a few months ago after his caretaker moved away. Eagles can take on new presenters / caretakers, it just takes a little for them to get use to them. Cindy is not one to push training to get it done fast. She likes to take the time to get it done right.

Last night was the first time of putting him on fist. Both took to it as natural as could be. After a little time Hal was comfortable enough to try some preening.

Hal is a Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Disaster survivor. This year is his 20th anniversary with Bird TLC. He was an immature when he arrived and is guessed to be 21 years old.

Best of luck to them both and we can't wait to see you both doing presentations.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2 Great horned owls released

The host with the mostest, Gus a great horned owl who is caretaked by Bird TLC volunteer Gina, hosted 2 great horned owl releases at their home yesterday. The weather cooperated some, the temperature was around 15°.

Both owls were a little hesitant to leave at first, but once they got the idea, they were gone.

It's estimated that it cost around $1000 in food and medical supplies alone to rehabilitate these two owls. Thanks to the generous donors yesterday who helped cover those expenses.

The first photo is courtesy of Britt Coon / Bird TLC

The second photo is courtesy of Eberhard Brunner

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Susitna Elementary

Gina with Arc the great horned owl and myself with Ghost the snowy owl had an awesome presentation at Susitna Elementary. The students were very interested in owls and we were flooded with comments and questions.

We were asked how many bones do owls have and we were stumped. So I gave out my email address challenging the students to email me the right answer. I received 2 correct answers before I was able to drive home. I'll going back on Monday to drop off some Bird TLC goodies for the students who emailed me the right answer.

BTW, it's 65.

This photo was taken by one of the parents and posted on her blog chachAlaska. I hope she doesn't mind me borrowing it.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

More bad and good.

I guess the best thing about volunteering at a wildbird rehabilitation center, is its success stories. It's awesome when you have a bird that overcomes all obstacles. The one you wonder how it survived. Hopefully you get to see it released or placed as an education bird somewheres where people will also appreciate them.

The down side is when you loose one that you don't expect to. Captain Hook came to Bird TLC from Homer where he was found with a halibut hook caught under its tongue. He had over come that but had the scars to show his battle. Unfortunately he also got an infection in one of his wrist. He had to have a partial amputation, so he obviously wasn't releasable. After he recovered he was transferred to the flight center and the search began for a permeate home.

Unfortunately Hook wasn't the most attractive of eagles. His interaction with the halibut hook left him with few feathers around his right eye and even after moulting, they never grew back. What he lacked in good looks he made up with birdality (personality). He also stole the hearts of those who took care of him. He was a proud bird and we were proud of him.

I received a call from Gary while I was in a presentation. I called him back and he told me the sad news. He found Hook had passed away when he went out for his scheduled feeding. Later that night at the clinic we examined him and found not a thing wrong. We only guess it was his age that took him. I know of several sets of eyes that weren't dry for a few days. I hope he's with his friend Rollie.

Later that night I took Gomes to the airport. He found a home at the Detroit Zoo. He came to us earlier this year after being electrocuted on a power line. He's probably in his third year and has a long life to look forward to.

Our flight center now has no eagles in it. That's the first I can recall in a long time. It does have two great horned owls that will be released in the next few weeks. After that we will shut the flight center down for the winter.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

More Owl-O-Ween

A Fundraiser for Bird TLC was held at Midnight Sun Brewery last night. Beer, birds and ... well anyways. Costume contest were held and winners won MSB gift certificates. No, the birds couldn't enter. There were rock stars, cave girls and a news crew along with many more that attended.

A good time was had by all and some much needed cash was raised. Thanks Midnight Sun!

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