Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fresh snow

Fresh Snow is very pretty, but when it snows a lot it creates a lot of work. Wet snow doesn't pass through the nets that cover our flight pens, it just collects it. The weight of the snow makes the nets droop lower and lower. To much weight from the snow can cause damage to the cells, so it needs to be removed.

Britt and I were out there Friday afternoon knocking the snow off of the nets and then shoveling the snow we knocked down to make paths for the non-flighted eagles. To knock it down we use long aluminium poles with squeegees on the end. The squeegee end keeps from tearing the net.We raise them to the nets and push up and down causing the snow to fall through. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Thrust me, your arms, neck and back feel it after 1/2 a cell. Your also guaranteed to be dumped on often.  By the time you're done, you are beat and soaking wet.

Everyone at the flight center gets their turn during the winter. This time was Britt's and mine. If the amount is too much, you call for back up.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

Palmer Senior Home presentation

Erin, Ghost, Randy and Artemus did a presentation the day before Thanksgiving at the Palmer Senior Home to a very large audience.
The weather cleared up enough for the presenters and their birds to make it out to Palmer and back safely. The birds seemed excited about being out the day before a famous bird holiday.
Stories and questions filled the air.
A good time was had by all.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

It's winter at the flight Center

The birds that are at the flight center now will be there until spring. We don't release eagles in winter. We prefer that there's a easy food source for them when they first get released and they have to get use to defending for themselves again.
Some might not be releasable, only time will tell if their rehabilitation works. If not, we attempt to find them a permanent home. Right now, each eagle is fed 2 1/2 lbs. of salmon at each feeding. They get fed every other day.
There's no running water during the winter at the flight center. We haul it in 5 gallon jugs. The eagles use 5 gallons a day. It's not that they drink that much. They drop food in it, take bathes or whatever else you can think of. We place heaters in their water bowls so it doesn't freeze. Also, because of the low temperatures and lack of running water, the cells aren't cleaned as in washing until spring. Scrap food, feathers, etc. are picked up When it snows, the nets need to be shaken cleaned and pathways shoveled and perches cleaned off.
The great horned owl is a little easier. He uses very little water and a large rat a day. Being a volunteer at the flight center isn't for everyone, but it sure has its rewards.
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Monday, November 08, 2010

Goodbye Silver

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I am sad to pass on the news that ‘Silver’ our long-time education Barred Owl passed away on Tuesday. ‘Silver’ was quite elderly and had only lived as long as she had due to the careful care and attention of her caretaker Kristen. Bird TLC acquired ‘Silver’ from Washington State in 1992, being the only bird that Bird TLC has ever gotten from another facility.
We are all sorry to see ‘Silver’ pass, but know she had a long, well cared for life.
Thanks everyone.

Cindy Palmatier
Director of Avian Care
Bird Treatment & Learning Center
6132 Nielson Way
Anchorage, AK 99518
(907) 562-4813

Sunday, November 07, 2010

A visit from the emperor, goose that is

This emperor goose was sent to us from Cold Bay. After x-rays it was determined its wing was broken by it being gun shot. It is illegal to hunt this species due to it being listed as near threatened.

Todd and Cindy were able to operate and place a pin. Give it a few weeks and we'll see how it turns out.
The emperor goose breeds around the Bering Sea, mostly in Alaska, but also in Kamchatka, Russia. It is migratory, wintering mainly in the Aleutian Islands.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

It's snowy at TLC

Yesterday in Anchorage, a couple that was out hiking found a snowy owl that wasn't showing much of a defense as they neared it. They caught it and brought it into Bird TLC. During its intake exam, the snowy was found to be extremely thin and emaciated.
This snowy hadn't eaten in some time and it would take a little bit of time to get it back on a regular diet. First we have to ease into it by tube feeding it twice a day with a very nutritional liquid.

Here you have Sharon restraining the owl and holding onto its legs firmly while Cindy inserts the tube and injects its lunch. Once it starts getting a little stronger, it'll be introduced to some mice.
Because of its colorization and size, this is believed to be one of this years birds and probably a male. We'll keep you updated on it progress.
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Monday, November 01, 2010

Owl-O-Ween 2010

The bee's, monsters, goblins and super heroes were out last night to visit with the crows, ravens and owls of Bird TLC's Education Program. Owl-o-ween was at the Alaska Heritage Museum and we had a packed house.
All of the presenters were dressed in their best Owl-O-Ween costumes and so were the visitors.
I have no idea how many visitors we had except to say there were a lot of all age, size and species.
Thanks to all hoo attended!
For more photos, click here.

Photos by Britt Coon / Bird TLC
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