"Great Gray Owl"

We released 2 today

Robin Smith & Eric McCallum opened their home and held a release party helping to raise some much needed funds for Bird TLC today. Some of those who attended were able to release two birds back to the wild.

The first release was the Great Gray Owl from Glennallen. It came out of the box and headed for the woods. Tonight she's spending the night overlooking Cook Inlet.

Bird #2 was the Northern Goshawk from Kenai. She took off like a bullet and glided over the trees for a few before finding a place to perch to check things out.

Thanks to our host and hostess for a great event. Also thanks to the attendees who are great supporters of Bird TLC. Without this kind of support, rehabilitation for raptors like these wouldn't be available in the Anchorage area.

For more pictures, click here.

Photo Credit: Britt Coon / Bird TLC

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.

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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Another new presenter

Erin Turner signed off on Gandolph the Great Gray Owl on Saturday. Both of them seemed like the perfect fit for one another. Erin was very knowledgeable about GGO's and Gandolph was comfortable on her fist.

Erin is a Bird TLC clinic volunteer for a few years now. Gandolph has been in the education program for about 5 years now. You might have noticed her in the post on 3/7 being presented by Kristen at Terra Bella's.

Bird TLC prefers that every education bird have two presenters. We get a large amount of presentation request and the more people trained to do them, the easier it is on everyone. It also helps in the training of the bird. If a bird is use to a couple different handlers, it will easily adapt if one handler is no longer available for whatever reason.

Welcome aboard Erin and best of luck with Gandolph.
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If your in Watertown, New York

If your in Watertown, New York stop by the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park and see their new addition. This Great Gray Owl has graduated from our rehab program but can't be released due to a partial wing amputation. So he was placed at Thompson Park to be part of their education program.

Shipping a Great Gray Owl

On Wednesday I assisted Cindy in shuffling around a few birds at the flight center. We also needed to pick up a Great Gray Owl that was being shipped to the Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. We were assisted by Megan Pool, our new Executive Assistant and Events Director. Actually I should say Megan assisted Cindy, I took pictures.

Megan has been with TLC as a volunteer for a little while now and knows her way around a bird. We are a little low on the amount of birds we have in rehab right now, so we moved a few to make space. In one cell we have 4 Bald Eagles, in another 2 Great Horned Owls and in the last one a Great Horned Owl. This is of course besides the birds at the main clinic.

The Great Gray Owl going to Sitka is non-releasable. Their plans are to use it in their education program. Bird TLC presently has 2 GGO's in it's education program. That's the maximum allowed by our permits with U.S.Fish and Wildlife right now.

The pix's at left show Cindy and Megan allowing the owl to tire itself out and then they pick it up with a blanket. After that they place it in a kennel for transportation.

2 X 2

Northern Goshawks and Great Gray Owls are fairly common in Alaska. We don't get a lot of them in the clinic. But right now we have 2 of each and all were hit by a car.

We've gotten in the habit of when we see road kill close to the road, we stop and throw it farther from the road. Why you ask. Because all raptors are opportunist, they will eat from the carcase of road kill. If that road kill is too close to the road and a car comes along, the bird doesn't have time to escape from the vehicle path. Then it's next meal is from Bird TLC.

You'll get some strange looks sometimes, but you'll get back in your car with a smile on your face.