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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter
August 2015

Celebrating 39 years of excellence in

wildlife rehabilitation and research
Photo by snyders/moonbeampublishing

Editor: Loretta Carlson


As we move into August, we know that more than half the summer season is behind us.
But homeowners and Good Samaritans are still finding fledgling wrens, cardinals, and
catbirds, and we will soon admit our first American goldfinches and other late-season
babies. Once our summer interns start heading back to school, we will need the help of
our dedicated volunteers more than ever. Please check the schedule on Volgistics and
sign up for a shift or twoor three. We particularly need volunteers in the evening, on
weekends, and during Labor Day weekend.
Remember our hotline for same-day schedule changes. If you need to cancel a
shift you signed up for that day, please call and leave a message at (302) 737-9543,
extension 103. Use the same number if you have some unexpected free time and
would like to come in that day.

Cedar waxwing

Staff Photo


They say that time flies when youre having fun. Judging by the way this summer has flown, we must have had a
fantastic time in the clinic this year. Sadly, the arrival of August also means our summer interns will begin
leaving. Thank you for all your help this summerwhether you were opening or closing the nursery, caring for
outside birds, doing general cleaning, or making diet. Good luck in your studies, keep in touch, and remember:
New babies will be back next summer. We hope you will be, too.
The trailer is filling up, and the Yard Sale Committee is busy making plans for Tri-States annual fall fund-raiser,
which this year takes place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, at Aetna Fire Hall in Newark. We are
looking for help with the following tasks:

Setting up on Friday, October 2, starting at 8 a.m.

Staffing tables and cash registers the day of the event, October 3. The first shift runs
from 7 to 11 a.m., and includes getting ready for the shoppers. The second shift runs
from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and includes helping with cleanup.

Cleaning up, packing and loading unsold items, and recycling cardboard from 1 to 3 p.m.
on October 3. Our second-shift volunteers will still be around, but cleanup is a big chore,
so wed like to have extra hands onboard.

As always, the success of this event depends on our faithful volunteers. However, if you have connections with
local churches, youth groups, or high school and college students that may be interested in helping with this
community event, please pass along contact information to Julie Bartley.
Were hoping to make the 2015 yard sale an even bigger success than last years when we earned a record
$10,000 for the birds. So please clean out your basements and attics and encourage your family and friends to
do the same. We are eager to receive your books, vinyl records, collectibles, DVDs, electronics, games, and
housewares. We are not able to accept clothing, large furniture, TVs, or computer monitors. If you are unsure
about an item, visit or call (302) 737-9543.

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

You may drop off donations on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Fridays between 9 and 11 a.m. from now through
September 26. You also can call ahead to make arrangements to drop off your donations at other times if you are
not able to come to the center on the days and times listed above.
Thank you!
Whos Who at Tri-State: Meet Erin Norris
Erin Norris, Tri-States newest Oil Programs coordinator, will be working in oil spill
response, preparedness, planning, and logistics. Shell also participate in training
and workshops and attend meetings with partners.
Honestly, I had not heard of Tri-State until I saw the job posting, Erin says. I
applied because I loved to see how Tri-State is involved in every aspect of the
emergency management cycle: preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
Erin earned a bachelors degree in meteorology from Plymouth State University in
New Hampshire and a masters degree in emergency management from the
University of New Haven in Connecticut. Her first emergency management
Photo by
experience came during a brief internship with the New Hampshire Department of
Kyra and Mike Hamilton
Homeland Security and Emergency Managements Technological Hazards Division.
Later she interned with the coastal community of Groton, Connecticut, planning meetings, performing hazard
analysis and research, and participating in tabletop exercises involving the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant.
Most recently, Erin served as the Disaster Feeding Response Planner/AmeriCorps National Preparedness &
Response Corps (NPRC) member with the Eastern New York Region of the American Red Cross. In that position,
she created local and regional partnerships and a regional feeding plan to increase response capabilities across
twenty-four counties. She also had the opportunity to respond to a snow emergency that crippled Buffalo,
New York, in November 2014.
Erin is excited to join the Tri-State staff. She says, I can't think of any other organization that is so involved in
each phase and so hands-on. To me, the greatest part is the ability to see the bird (or other animal) recover and
be able to return to the natural environment and, even better, to release the animal to its now clean and
rehabilitated home environment.
A native of a small town on Lake Ontario located twenty-five miles northwest of Rochester, Erin has a twin sister,
Heather, who works with the Baltimore Sun. She says she is looking forward to working with a wonderful group
of individuals who give back to wildlife and the environment in such great ways!
A Fond Farewell to Greg Keegan
We are very sad to say goodbye to Greg Keegan, who has been our maintenance
supervisor par excellence for more than nine years. Greg joined Tri-State after retiring
from a career in computer services, and he has been an invaluable member of the team
ever since. From plowing snow to changing sand to troubleshooting the oftentroublesome plumbing system, Greg has kept the center running smoothly. He has
overseen numerous projects with Eagle Scouts and outside volunteer groups, and he
knows just how to sweet-talk the automated gate and remote cameras. Thank you,
Greg, for everything you have done to help birds return to the wild and to help make
Tri-State such a great place to work!

Staff Photo

While Greg is irreplaceable, we do need to find a successor. We are very fortunate that
Greg will stay on to train his replacement and transfer his considerable Tri-State
knowledge. If you or someone you know is interested in the position, please see our
website for details under About > Careers.

Monthly Flyer, August 2015

A homeowner in Talbot County, Maryland, called Maryland DNR when he found
an eastern screech owl sitting at the base of a tree in his front yard. After DNR
alerted us to the young owls plight on July 10, Tri-State volunteers Steve Vaughn
and Roger Suro joined forces to transport the bird to our clinic. Radiographs
confirmed our initial assessment that the brancher had sustained no injuries, and
its good weight and body condition convinced us that this young owl had been
well cared for by its parents. While we checked out the area to see if the adults
were still around, the owl enjoyed some Tri-State hospitalityat first accepting
hand-fed mice and then, by July 12, self-feeding. Once its weight had stabilized,
we were able to return the screech owl to the care of its parents on July 14
courtesy of Tri-State volunteer Ray Bryant.
Weve admitted a number of tree swallows this summer. One youngster came to
Photo by Ray Bryant
us from Landenberg, Pennsylvania, when it injured a wing after falling from its
nest. We cleaned the bruised wing, administered antibiotics, and hoped we could quickly return the youngster to
the nest. Unfortunately, the presenters could not confirm that the adults were still in the area, so we provided
supportive care and a delicious diet of mealworms, crickets, and our hand-feeding formula as we searched for a
suitable foster family. On July 8, we banded the fledgling and released it at Ashland Nature Center where
observers have spotted many adult tree swallows.

Photo by Ray Bryant

Interns not only worked in the clinic

this summer, some also had the
opportunity to release birds. In
cooperation with Pete McGowan of
the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service,
intern Cody Agnor released a banded
juvenile osprey into a foster nest on
Poplar Island, Maryland.
Photo by Pete McGowan, USFWS

Each year, roughly 10 percent of our patients come to Tri-State because of a

cat attack. Gray catbird 15-1364 was one such victim. A Wilmington homeowner
found the injured fledgling under a tree on June 24 and quickly brought it to
our clinic. The birds left shoulder felt loose, but we were able to manipulate the
joint back into place. Then, as is standard with cat attacks, we started the
fledgling on a course of antibiotics and administered pain medication. The
catbird also had an old fracture of its right clavicle, and so we prescribed cage
rest to ensure the fledgling recovered fully from that injury. Despite these
issues, the young bird was in otherwise good condition, and it began handfeeding soon after its admission. Once the fracture stabilized, we moved the
bird to an outside cage to give the fledgling space to practice its flight skills. By
July 15, the catbird was flying well and ready for release on-site at Tri-State.

Another common reason for admissions involves human interference or

birdnapping. In such cases, well-meaning humans take healthy young birds
from their parents care and bring them to the clinic. Willet 15-1168 came to
Tri-State on June 12 all the way from Assateague State Park in Virginia. Tourists
found the downy shorebird in a marshy area and thought it had been
abandoned. The young willet had no injuries and eagerly ate mealworms soon after admission. During its first
weeks at Tri-State, with a heating pad for warmth and comfort, the shorebird progressed from an incubator to a
playpen. By June 29, the willet was ready to go outside. With a
bath pan to stimulate preening and help keep feathers clean,
the bird continued to eat well and readily acclimated to its new
surroundings. To encourage the willet to practice its flight
skills, we moved it to a large cage on July 10. By July 17, with
its body condition excellent, its weight stable, and its flight
strong and controlled, the young willet was ready for banding
and release to a secluded marshy habitat where other willets
were present.
A northern mockingbird from Newark sustained clavicle
Staff Photo
fractures and a scapular fracture when it was attacked by a
crow. The young fledgling was active and alert despite its injuries and responded well to supportive care. To

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

encourage healing of the fractures, we also wrapped the mockingbirds injured wing to its body. Within two
weeks of admission, the youngsters injuries were healing well, allowing us to move it outside where it could
practice its developing flight skills and acclimate to the weather. Eight days later, the fledgling was fully healed
and flying beautifully. As we do with most young songbirds, we released the mockingbird at Tri-State. Learn more
about the northern mockingbird in this months Featured Bird article.
In July, we released or renested 269 birds! In addition to birds listed above, we also released bald eagles, a
peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawks, Coopers hawks, ospreys, a great horned owl, a turkey vulture, a herring gull,
a double-crested cormorant, a great blue heron, Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks, a wild turkey, fish crows,
an American crow, chimney swifts, an eastern bluebird, a northern flicker, barn swallows, cedar waxwings, a
Baltimore oriole, a yellow warbler, a song sparrow, gray catbirds, northern mockingbirds, Carolina wrens, house
wrens, blue jays, American robins, tufted titmice, house finches, northern cardinals, common grackles, mourning
doves, and brown-headed cowbirds.
You can band together with us for a fun-filled evening at Tri-States Benefit for the Birds and save money with
our Early Bird offer from now until September 15. To purchase tickets online, visit
You may also purchase tickets by sending an e-mail to Duke Doblick at or by calling him
at (302) 737-9543, extension 108. Dont miss this opportunity to help save birds lives while enjoying delicious
food and desserts, raffles, the Silent Hawktion, and more.
It hardly seems possible, but 2016 will mark Tri-State Bird Rescue & Researchs 40th
anniversary. In anticipation of this event, the anniversary committee has selected a
logo and theme: 40 Years and Flying Strong: Soaring to New Heights Together. Since
the traditional anniversary color is ruby red, the ruby-throated hummingbird was
selected as Tri-States 40th anniversary species. The committee chose a logo
designed by Duke Doblick and featuring a photograph taken by Hank Davis. Look for
more information about 40th anniversary events in future issues of The Flyer.
24 years: Dottie Colburn 23 years: Mary Birney 22 years: Elaine Smith 14 years: Sara Hutchinson
13 years: Catherine Feher-Renzetti 12 years: Jill Constantine 6 years: Marie McKee 5 years: Denise Dee
4 years: Gary Patterson
Please DRIVE SLOWLY along Possum Hollow Road, especially through the single-lane stretch that leads directly
onto Tri-States grounds. We've released a lot of young birds, and they are practicing their flight skills and
exploring their worldwhich includes the road. They arent street smart, so we need to give them a brake.
If you are planting cool-season lettuce, please consider donating some to Tri-State. Once the waterfowl start
migrating and hunting season begins, well be admitting quite a few patients that require greens as part of their
Finally, thank you for taking part in our volunteer survey. We appreciate your feedback. Please contact Julie
Bartley at if you indicated you would be interested in helping at the front desk.
A handsome gray bird with a long slender tail, two white wingbars, and large white wing patches that flash
conspicuously when the bird is in flight, the northern mockingbird is a familiar visitor to local backyards. Once
considered a bird of the South, the mockingbird has spread northward and adapted to a wide variety of habitats.
To supplement their favored diet of insects and fruit, mockingbirds will visit backyard-feeding stations for suet
and raisins.

Monthly Flyer, August 2015

Typically seen alone or in pairs, mockingbirds are monogamous and form long-term pair bonds. Males perform a
display designed to keep other males out of their territory. The female incubates two to six eggs for twelve to
thirteen days. During that time, the pairs become very defensive,
especially if an animal or human ventures too close to their nests or
young. Both parents feed the young until they leave the nest after eleven
to thirteen days. Mockingbirds have two or three broods each year.
A talented mimic, the mockingbird has been known to imitate not only the
songs of other birds but also the sounds of animals, insects, machinery,
and musical instruments. You can distinguish the mockingbirds song from
its cousins the brown thrasher by the number of notes the birds sing.
Mockingbirds typically repeat their phrases three to five or more times;
brown thrashers repeat phrases two, and sometimes three, times.

Photo by snyders/moonbeampublishing

Learn more about the northern mockingbird at the Cornell Lab of Ornithologys All About Birds Web site,, as well as in Birds of North America, published by the Smithsonian Institution, or your
own favorite birding book.
Giant Yard Sale. Saturday, October 3. Were looking for your help! See the article above for more details.
Adult Bird Care Upgrades. Beginning in late August/early September, we will schedule bird care upgrade
workshops for volunteers trained in April and May who so far have worked primarily with baby birds. If you would
like to continue to volunteer with us through the fall and winter (and we hope you do!), you will need to attend
one of the two-hour Adult Bird Care Upgrade sessions to learn about adult bird care, which is very different from
baby bird care. Sign-up sheets will be posted in the Volunteer Room. Experienced volunteers who would like to
refresh their adult bird care skills are welcome to attend.
Information Sessions and Adult Bird Care Workshop. All those interested in volunteering at Tri-State must
attend an information session before they can register for a bird care workshop. These one-hour information
sessions give prospective volunteers a good overview of our operations and expectations.
August information sessions: Thursday, August 20, 6 p.m.; Thursday, August 27, 6 p.m.
September information sessions: Thursday, September 3, 6 p.m.; Saturday, September 5, 11 a.m.
Adult Bird Care Training: Saturday, September 12, 9 a.m.1 p.m.
Benefit for the Birds. Friday, November 6. See article above and announcement below for details on the
Early Bird Special. Contact Duke Doblick in the Development office at (302) 737-9543, extension 108, or via email at if you would like to help with this important annual fund-raiser.