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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Both of these guys came in at the same time but from different parts of town. The one on the right wasn't thriving. We couldn't find anything wrong. It's eating just fine now. It's not gaining weight but it's stronger and not loosing weight.
The one on the left was shot in the right leg. The pellet was removed by Dr. Doty at PET ER before it came to Bird TLC. It's still limping but getting along well. It can afford to gain a few kg's also.
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It has been busy

This young eagle came to Bird TLC on Friday from Soldotna. It's nest had fallen from its tree and its parents were unable to care for it. It got a good weekend of salmon and hooligan. On Monday, long time volunteer Tim placed it in a foster nest near the airport.
These two also came from Soldotna under the same situation. They were very close to a river bank and could be threatened by predators. It was decided to send them to TLC. They might be too old to place in a foster nest. Lets see what happens.

This young raven found his way into a sump pump at one of the pipelines pump stations. It was sent to TLC via a stop at a 24 hour veterinary clinic in Fairbanks. The next day it got its first bath. It will need a few more. It's not eating on its own yet, but is being tube fed
Thanks to Alyeska Pipeline and the construction people for taking the time to sent this guy to us and following up on its progress. And thanks to ERA Alaska who flew all of these birds to us at no charge.
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Bad Fishing and other birds

Young guys seem to get in the most trouble, no matter what species they might be. Because of the population of eagles in Alaska, we get to see quite a few.

This guy was sent to us by Liz of U.S.F.& W. in the Kenai NWR. He some how got tangled in tossed fishing gear. What we figure is that he got this treble hook caught under his wing. He reached down with his beak to pull it off. In doing so he got the hook right through his tongue. He had to be down for a few days.

He's not feeling good now, but he has to be feeling a lot better than before. He gets to have Bird TLC hospitality until he gets back into shape.

The raven was sent to us from Nome. U.S.F. & W. shipped this raven down who wasn't flying on its own. He has some major leg and foot issues. Dr. Riddle has fixed him up with his version of Nike's for now. This is a young raven, probably this years bird. He's very talkative.

Meet Gus. He's an education bird that came to TLC in 1991 with a broken wing. They figure he was about 2 at the time. It was determined that he wasn't releasable. He has gone through 3 caretakers and several presenters during that time. Now it's my turn to try to present him. Gus and I are in training together with Lisa as my mentor. We'll keep you updated.

New visitors this week

The Screech Owl came to us from Whittier. It was found on a barge there that started its journey in Seattle. How much of the cruise he took we're not sure. He was very skinny and not too alert when he arrived at TLC.

Screech Owls aren't common in the Anchorage area. You can find them in the Seward area and maybe even Whittier now.

Our new Raven came from Wasilla. He was found on the ground. He was extremely skinny and infested with feather lice. We just about have the lice issue licked and he's enjoying his meals at TLC.

He has some old injuries to his wing, but nothing that keep him from being released in time. Like most Ravens, he's got a birdality (personality) for sure.

Patient visitors hours

We have two ravens that are under rehab and are in the outside raven mew. They have been getting a lot of visitors lately of the raven kind. I don't know if it's because of the holiday season starting or what.

Everyday several different ravens spend some time with them. Sometimes they exchange things. The ones on the outside pass a lot of twigs and the ones on the inside pass out food.

We've been getting quite a show for over a week now. This picture was taken from inside Cindy's office while we watched the show.

Tar Heel Raven

If you happen to be in Chapel Hill, NC and you just happen to see a raven, say "Hi Poe". Poe is a non-releasable raven that was placed in NC about 3 weeks ago. Unfortunately there wasn't room for him in our education program.

Poe came to TLC about a year ago with a wing injury that left him non-releasable. He stayed with us while we determined if he could be used as a education bird or just a display bird. During that time Poe educated us.

A large blue moving blanket was placed over one wall of his mew to help block some of the cold winds we had a few weeks back. Poe didn't like it because he couldn't see who was pulling up to the clinic. He would put his beak through the mesh and push the blanket aside so he could see.

Poe also did imitations. He was an expert at imitating a dripping faucet. "Doink, Doink". He also kept the local raven community well fed. He would regularly have other raven visitors perching on the same perch as him but outside of his mew. The meal that was placed in Poe's mew by the volunteers would get shared with the visitor.

Poe was never lonely. He had many raven visitors most of the day. TLC volunteers would spend time just visiting him because he had such a personality. Poe will be missed at TLC but we know he has made some new friends in Chapel Hill, NC.

Do birds visit other birds in the hospital?

I mean do they stop by to see how they are doing or for other reasons. Corvids are the smartest bird species. Ask Amy over at WildBird on the Fly. I can never get their picture doing this, but I've seen them land on the Ravens mew roof and look over the edge at the Raven patient inside. I've seen the Raven patient take food from it's dish and share it with the Ravens outside. I mean, hasn't someone you visited in the hospital before offered you their Jello?

They will make their calls to one another through the mesh. I don't know if the one on the outside feels sorry for the one on the inside or what. They'll peck at the mesh, but they can't hurt that.

The Magpie's visit all the mews. I guess you can say they make the rounds. They are brave little suckers too. They will go in the Eagles mews to steal salmon. They know that the Bald Eagles won't bother them. They'll find a slat that's wide enough or a hole in the roof and they come and go as they please. Bird TLC unintentionally feeds most birds in our neighborhood. You'll never hear of a starving bird found right outside of Bird TLC.

Out at the flight center we had a Golden Eagle that we thought wasn't eating. We brought it back to the clinic to check it out. It's weight was fine and it ate at the clinic so we took it back. We discovered that it preferred the Magpie's that got in the flight center but couldn't get out fast enough.

Do you think I should talk to Cindy on Monday about setting up visiting hours?



The snow builds up quietly as each flake falls,
the day slips away, then the raven calls.

I watch them go, in two's and three's
as they fly to roost in far off trees.

Ravens scorn the winter, they play and sing;
the snow melts quietly and then it's spring.

With spring comes courtships and flying skills;
rise up the thermals, then a stoop that chills!

These bold black dancers of wind and sky
I watch and wish that I could fly.

James R. Scott

Borrowed from "That I could Fly", A collection of Bird Song, written by James R. Scott D.V.M. Founder of The Bird Treatment and Learning Center, Anchorage, Alaska.