Three years ago today

I was at the Bird TLC clinic and Cindy had a snowy owl that just came in from Soldotna with a broken wing. He needed to have x-rays done and she asked if I would give her a hand. Of course I said yes but little did I know that it would become a life long (so far) commitment.

The break was pretty clean and Dr. Palmatier said he was a perfect candidate for having a stainless steel pin placed in his wing for it to heal. I was well known for not being around for things that involved clinic type of things, but I was heavy into working on our website and the blog. So I asked, to the surprise of many, if I could tag along and take pictures of the operation. To my surprise they said yes.

I remember it like it was yesterday (with the help of old blog post and pictures) but the operation went fairly well with good expectations of the outcome. He was in the clinic for a few more weeks and the his wing wrap was removed and all looked good at the time. After he was monitored for a while longer he was transfered to the flight center so he could get more exercise for a possible release.

From there things took a turn. He was flying but he wasn't flying well. After observing him for a while, we determined he was flying sort of sideways. So he was brought back to the clinic for another thorough exam.

During this exam it was discovered that his wing hadn't healed properly. Somewheres along the way the bone slipped on the pin so his wing set a little off degree. This is something you can't operate on. Their wings can't be re-broken and reset. We took him back to the flight center to be observed some more. We decided that he was non-releasable. He can fly, but because of his new handicap he can't hunt well. He would probably starve.

From there He went to Cindy's (Director of Avian Care) house for her to evaluate him for possible being an education bird. He was working out well, so permits were applied for and approved. From there he was put up to be applied for by a Bird TLC volunteer to caretake, train and present.

The guy who back in 2004 that would tell his wife to go do her bird thing at TLC applied for the snowy owl. With the application I had to submit plans for the mew I would build for him to live in. The mew designs had to be approved by U.S.F.&W., the Bird TLC Education Committee and Cindy. I was approved and so was the mew. I had to build it before snow flew. I worked day and night and finished it 3 days before it snowed.

Cindy became my mentor with training with Ghost and I couldn't of had a better one. Then he came to live in his new mew on Nov 4, 2006. The training continued, some was a little challenging. On March 30th we

got checked off and had our first presentation with Cub Scout Pack 11.

Since then Ghost and I have done 108 presentations around the state. From Prudhoe Bay to Homer, for schools, private organizations and many other events. He has a new trainee. Beki started working with him last week and she's coming along fine. He is a seasoned professional at representing snowy owls and Bird TLC. It's been a blast and I feel very lucky to be working / living with him.

Happy Anniversary Ghost and many thanks to our friends who have supported us.