As the Snowy flies

Back in November, a couple brought in this snowy owl that wasn't doing well. It was very lethargic and obviously hadn't eaten in quite a while.
On Friday Britt and I took him to the flight center to see how it's coming along. It's eating well and all other signs are good. There is some concern about its eye sight, but we'll let it tell us how that's doing.
Right now, it's the only snow that's flying around here. It took off right out of the kennel.
A little more time is needed to know for sure how it's doing and if it'll be able to be released. Right now it needs to get its bearings, get it's flight strength back and remember how to hunt.
We'll keep you updated.
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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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Setbacks for surviving eagle in death spiral

The surviving eagle from the death spiral in Valdez is being monitored for severe head trauma.

Andrea Gusty / KTVA Channell 11 News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—The surviving eagle from the death spiral in Valdez is being monitored for severe head trauma.

In what experts believe to be a mating ritual gone wrong in Valdez, the female locked talons with a male mid-air, then both spiraled to the ground crashing head first.

The male died on impact.

The female eagle has been recovering at Bird Treatment and Learning Center but after making progress all week, yesterday she suffered a set back.

Staffers say the eagle got stuck after falling on her back while in her cage.

Given her injuries, experts say the incident is likely an affect of head trauma.

She's made it a long ways already from where she was when she started, but just like with any head trauma, even in humans, it can take a little more time even after you are up walking around. You may still have dizzy spells and I think that may be what we are experiencing with her,” said Cindy Palmatier Director of Avian Care.

Staff at Bird TLC will continue to monitor the eagle for head trauma and ligament damage in her wing.

If she can be released back into the wild, experts want to bring the eagle home to Valdez, otherwise the eagle will spend the rest of her life in a zoo or educational center.

Cyrano is getting a little well known

Cindy and I spent most of the morning on the phone with different newspapers, news stations, The Discovery Channel. BE 09-31, now affectionately known as Cyrano, is getting pretty well known. With his new beak designed and put into action by Cindy and Dr. Kirk Johnson, he's become quite the celebrity.

Unfortunately because of his injury, he'll never be released back to the wild. If he wasn't brought to Bird TLC, he would have faced a certain death. So he must start thinking about being an education bird. He'll be able to represent his proud species and hopefully educate people about the dangers they cause to wildlife when they recklessly leave trash in the wild.

Don't let the shoulder bumpers scare you. Those are only to protect his wings while in a small mew. They'll be removed soon. He was placed in a larger outside mew this afternoon.
If you would like to donate to help out, please click the donate button below.

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Of Eagles and Waxwings

BE 10-003 came in late Saturday night from Kodiak. It was found with a fox leg trap attached to its left leg. I picked it up at Era Alaska with some fantastic help from their employee's. I took it to PET ER because it's hard to handle an eagle like this on your own and I didn't want to stir anyone out of their home knowing it would be a late nighter.

Dr. Doty had stayed late to help out. She and her staff are big supporters of Bird TLC. We took x-rays and confirmed it was broke. It's a clean break. The plan was to stabilize it for the night and make plans tomorrow on when to operate. I took it to Bird TLC and bedded it down.

Dr. Riddle, one of Bird TLC volunteer D.V.M.'s, came in early Monday morning to check 003 out and maybe operate. At that time the foot was cold and there is no reaction to the pinch. He stabilized it and returned it to his mew. We'll check on it in a couple days. Hopefully we have something better to report.

It's the Bohemian Waxwing season. They're out flocking around, running into things and sometimes eating too many fermented berries. We have several visiting with us for a little while.

How about a transfussion for lunch?

I was supposed to take my friend Britt to lunch at the Greek Corner. With all of the holiday stuff, she was sick for a bit and just things getting in the way, we hadn't done much together. Right before lunch time I got a call from Valarie at the TLC office about an eagle coming in from Kodiak. Cindy has been swamped trying to catch Red, getting EOY reports done and trying to get all things squared away so she could leave town for a week. Sure, I can go get it and bring it back to TLC and drop it off and head out to lunch. Fortunately I picked Britt up before the eagle.
We get to the clinic and Cindy starts the exam right away. The bird looks physically fine but is very pale and its mewts are discolored. Toxic reaction is suspected and is tube feed to neutralize whatever it might have taken in. Blood is taken and it's found to be extremely anemic. A transfusion is lined up.

Did I mention Britt is taking the photo's? It don't look like we're going to make it to the Greek Corner today. Thanks for a friend who understands and actually gets to join in.
Blood is taken from an immature in rehab. It wasn't a happy participant. Britt is then recruited to help out because we've run out of hands. The transfusion is given to our new patient. He's given a clean mew, water and lunch. He's being monitored and blood will be taken and tested again in a few days to see if what was going on is still going on.
Time is up. I need to get back to my real job and Britt has an appointment to go to. That was lunch I guess. Hopefully when we get to reschedule, we get to go to the Greek Corner.
For more pictures of our lunch, check out Britts website.

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More BE 09-31

We have a couple different things in the works right now for #31. We have a dentist coming in on Sunday to take a mold of our beak. We know he can never be released again, but we can be more handsome with some help.

In the mean time Cindy has been trying a prototype of her own using some poly mar clay from a local craft shop. She started at home shaping away at her kitchen table for several hours. The next day was time for the initial fit. The exterior we're not concerned about just yet. First it has to fit the existing beak without trimming what's left. It needs to add support to the upper beak for strength. It needs to have holes for the nares and breathing. We don't want a permanent attachment, but using some type of adhesive.

Some final trimming was still needed before it snapped into place with some Polygrip to help it stay in place.

So far the experiment is working.
Thanks to those who have donated to help out with the expense of helping BE 09-31 out. Your donations are helping with the expense of maintaining a healthy bird and hopefully helping this guy look a little more natural and help reinforce it's beak. Since he needs some special help, your donations keep us from having to take away from other areas where the money is also needed.
If you would like to donate to help out, please click the donate button below.

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UPDATE on BE 09-31 Bald Eagle

This guy came in weighing 8.5 lbs . That's a little on the small side for him. He was probably taking care of himself as best as he could, but not enough to maintain a healthy weight.

Since he's not releasable, he's going to be at Bird TLC for a while. How long is yet to be determined. Long term rehabilitation can get costly.

This bird is a beautiful fully flighted bald eagle that in time will be even more beautiful. Once he's stable, has his weight up and is proven to be 100% healthy, (minus the injury) then the type of repairs on the beak will be considered.

Cindy Palmatier, Director of Avian Care at Bird TLC is asking the public to help out with the cost of this birds rehabilitation. With the nation being in a recession, donations to Bird TLC are off about 20% this year. The added cost of this birds care can take its toll in other areas of the clinic where the money is desperately needed. Every dollar donated through the donation button bellow will go to this birds care. We know being the holiday season makes it tough, but this guy is a fighter and can use the help.

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.