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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter
September 2016

Celebrating 40 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research
Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing

Editor: Loretta Carlson

We admitted the first American Goldfinch nestlings and fledglings—a sure sign that Baby Bird Season is truly
winding down. However, young raptors, including silt-contaminated eagles (see article below), have started
coming into the clinic, and we will soon begin admitting birds that get into trouble during their fall migration.
Please check the schedule on Volgistics and sign up for a shift or two—or three. If you can help in the evening,
on weekends, and during Labor Day weekend, we would be so grateful.
Monthly Raffle: We are offering a bonus to our most dedicated
bird-care volunteers. If you work at least one clinic shift every
week from now through September, you can submit TWO raffle
tickets after every shift, giving you more chances to be a monthly

American Goldfinch

Staff Photo

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, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.

Each year we admit a number of Bald Eagles that have become trapped in silt ponds. Whether they are
chasing prey or mistake the surface of the pond for a field, these eagles land and quickly become mired in the
thick silt. Our first patient was an adult eagle that came to us on July 26 from a cement manufacturing plant in
La Plata, Maryland. Six juveniles came to us from a Port Deposit plant in Maryland on August 3, 5, and 9.
As we do with all raptors, we performed survey radiographs to check for
orthopedic injuries. All the eagles were heavily coated and required six to eight
washtubs for complete decontamination. After the wash process, the eagles
were given a few days of supportive care to ensure they were self-feeding,
followed by time in the flight cage to build up their flight muscles. Unfortunately,
one bird died several days after admission. Another needed a little extra time to
fully recover from the effects of capture myopathy, but he was among the six
that were returned to the wild.

Staff Photo

We released the adult eagle and one of the juveniles at Tri-State. On August 12,
volunteer Rosann Ferraro released one juvenile on her property in Cecil County, Maryland. She released three
others on August 19.

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research


The trailer is filling up, and the Yard Sale Committee is busy making plans for Tri-State’s annual fall fund-raiser
at Aetna Fire Hall on Ogletown Road in Newark. We are looking for help with the following tasks:

Setting up the fire hall on Friday, September 30, starting at 8 a.m.

Staffing tables and cash registers the day of the event, October 1. 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 1.
Our second-shift volunteers will still be around, but cleanup is a big chore, so we’d like to have extra hands

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.
Remember: You may drop off donations at the trailer in the upper parking lot on Sundays, Tuesdays, and
Fridays between 9 and 11:30 a.m. 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. The deadline for
donations is September 23.
Last year we raised more than $14,000 for the birds. With your help—donating items and spreading the word
among your family, friends, and community—we can make this year’s Giant Yard Sale an even bigger success.
We don’t often admit young gulls. But on May 28, two Herring Gull nestlings suffering from mild dehydration
came to Tri-State for care. They were hand-feeding silversides and krill and taking some food off their feeding
tray by the next day. We hoped to be able to foster these very young gulls with a new family. However,
New Jersey Division of U.S. Fish & Wildlife biologist Cristina Davis advised us that studies are not clear if gulls
accept foster chicks, so we made plans to raise the gulls until they were ready for release. To ensure they did
not imprint on humans, staff and volunteers wore gloves and a
hood whenever they fed or handled them, and we placed a picture
of an adult Herring Gull in their cage. We also monitored them to
ensure that both were getting their fair share of food and were
exhibiting no signs of sibling aggression. By June 20, the gulls were
ready for supervised swims in shallow water, and by July 1 they
were ready to go outside. We monitored their weight and flight
skills throughout the month. By August 7, with the gulls flying well
and ready to be on their own, we released them in Ocean View.
Learn more about Herring Gulls in the Featured Bird article.
Staff Photo
On June 4, Keith Mullin of the Pennsylvania Game Commission brought us an Eastern Screech Owl whose nest
tree had been cut down. The young brancher was quiet on admission and had suffered possible head trauma
when it fell. We administered pain medication and prescribed cage rest. By the next day, the youngster was
perching on its hidebox and clacking in true owl fashion, leading us to hope we could reunite this owl with its
parents. Unfortunately, we found Barred Owl feathers at the nest site. With no fostering options, we moved it
into an outside cage with another young Screech Owl. Once both youngsters were self-feeding and flying well
and passed “mouse school,” we released them together at Tri-State on August 2.
We are accustomed to seeing baby robins, wrens, and grackles galore. However, one nestling proved to be a
momentary puzzle when it arrived on June 26 after falling from a nest in Wilmington. Careful examination
revealed our young patient to be a Red-eyed Vireo. The young bird had lacerations on its right leg, an abscess
on its left wingtip, a swollen ear, and mites. We cleaned its wounds, wrapped the wing, treated it for the

Monthly Flyer, September 2016


mites, and started the vireo on a course of antibiotics and pain medications. Within a
week of admission, the young bird was hand-feeding, and its injuries were healing well,
allowing us to remove the wing wrap. We moved the young vireo outside on July 11
and then to a bigger cage on August 1 to give it time to build flight muscle and practice
its flight skills. On August 7, once the vireo was flying well and was no longer coming
to us for hand-feeding, we released it onsite at Tri-State.
In mid-July, a Newark homeowner brought us two nestling Red-bellied Woodpeckers
that he found inside a tree that had been cut down on his property. Fortunately, the
young woodpeckers were alert and uninjured on admission, although they were mildly
dehydrated. By July 23, both woodpeckers were hand-feeding well and taking their first
flights. By August 3, when they were flying well, maintaining a stable weight, and old
enough to be on their own, we released them onsite at Tri-State.

Staff Photo

In August, we also released or renested the following birds: Cooper’s Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys, a
Great Horned Owl, Turkey Vultures, a Hooded Merganser, a Least Sandpiper, Semipalmated Sandpipers, a
Great Egret, Mallards, Laughing Gulls, Chimney Swifts, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Bluebirds,
Wood Thrushes, Eastern Phoebes, Barn Swallows, House Finches, Carolina Wrens, Gray Catbirds, Northern
Mockingbirds, Blue Jays, a Carolina Chickadee, Chipping Sparrows, American Robins, a Song Sparrow, and
Mourning Doves.
Because the Herring Gull has a variety of plumages as it progresses from nestling to juvenile to adult, the best
way to identify this species is by learning to recognize its distinctive shape and size. A barrel-chested, broadwinged gull, the Herring Gull at 20 to 22 inches long is larger than a Ring-billed Gull but smaller than a Great
Black-backed Gull. Adult Herring Gulls in breeding and nonbreeding plumage also have a red dot on their bill.
Herring Gulls frequent a variety of habitats from open water and
lakes or rivers to plowed fields and garbage dumps. Inveterate
scavengers, they follow ships and patrol dumps and parking lots for
refuse and carrion. Along seacoasts, their preferred food is fish and
marine invertebrates; on land, they eat worms, insects, rodents, and
the young of other birds. Although they prefer drinking freshwater,
Herring Gulls have special glands located over the eyes allowing them
to excrete the salt that would otherwise dehydrate most animals,
including humans.
Forming monogamous, lifetime bonds, Herring Gulls breed in colonies
near lakes in northern forests across Canada to Alaska and along
Photo by snyders/moonbeampublishing
some coastal areas. To protect their chicks from predators, they
often choose isolated spots such as islands, barrier beaches—or city rooftops. Males establish the breeding
territories, but both parents defend the territory, and they return to the same territory each breeding season.
Herring Gulls have one brood of one to three chicks each year. Both parents take turns incubating the eggs,
which hatch after about thirty days. The parents also share foraging and feeding duties, with one adult staying
by the nest at all times during the first thirty days.
Learn more about the Herring Gull at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds Web site,, as well as in Birds of North America, published by the Smithsonian Institution, or your
own favorite birding book.

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research


Plan now to help celebrate Tri-State’s 40th Anniversary in a grand
way at the Benefit for the Birds on Friday, October 21, from 6 to
11 p.m. Our venue this year is at Deerfield on Thompson Station
Road, just a short ride from Tri-State. This year’s theme is
A Ruby Carpet Tribute to 40 Years & Flying Strong.
We’re planning a special Tinseltown-themed, paparazzi-filled,
Walk the Ruby Carpet event that you don’t want to miss. Your
admission will include a fabulous seated dinner and desserts,
hors d’oeuvres, open bar, and entertainment by the Rolling
Thunder Blues Revue. At 10, be ready to raise the roof and hit
the dance floor for our “wrap” party. Of course, you’ll have a
chance to bid on one-of-a-kind Silent ‘Hawk’tion items, buy
chances on the Big Card Draw to win game tickets to all five Philadelphia sports teams, purchase “250 Raffle”
tickets, toss the rings in our fun-filled Wine Bottle Ring Toss, and more.
Invitations should be arriving in the mail soon, but you don’t need an invitation to attend this very special
occasion. To purchase your tickets online now, visit You may also purchase tickets by
sending an e-mail to Duke Doblick at or by calling (302) 737-9543, extension 108.
Get ready to be the star as we celebrate 40 years of saving wildlife. See you on the ruby carpet!
You might have noticed we had some guests touring the facilities in August. During the week of August 8,
Tri-State hosted a meeting of the Global Oiled Wildlife Response System (GOWRS) working group. This twoyear project, led by Sea Alarm Foundation and funded by the International Petroleum Industry Environmental
Conservation Association (IPIECA), was formed for the purpose of defining and developing the infrastructure
of a global system for oiled wildlife response, particularly where no qualified oiled wildlife responder is
established. The GOWRS group includes
some of the most experienced oiled
wildlife response organizations in the
world, and Heidi Stout, with her decades
of work with oiled wildlife, represents
Tri-State in this group.

From left to right: Claude Velter (Wildlife Rescue Centre, Belgium), Charlie
Hebert (Focus, United States), Sascha Regmann (ProBird, Germany), Heidi
Stout (Tri-State), Paul Kelway (Sea Alarm, Belgium), Valeria Ruoppolo (Aiuká,
Brazil), Stephen van der Spuy (SANCCOB, South Africa), Danene Birtell (TriState), Barbara Callahan (International Bird Rescue, United States), Mike
Ziccardi (Oiled Wildlife Care Network, United States), Louise Chilvers
(Wildbase, Massey University, New Zealand), Adam Grogan (RSPCA, United
Kingdom), and Lisa Smith (Tri-State)
Staff Photo

This was the third in-person meeting of
the GOWRS team. The first meeting was
in Brussels in 2015, and the second
meeting was this past February in Brazil.
Tri-State was honored to be selected to
host the third meeting in our Wildlife
Response Annex, and we were pleased to
be able to show our new facility to this
group of oiled wildlife experts. The
GOWRS group was impressed with the
Annex, the Frink Center, and Tri-State’s
hospitality. Thank you to all who helped
get the Annex ready for our guests.

Monthly Flyer, September 2016

21 years: Maryanne Yingst 20 years: Bobbie Breske 15 years: Thomas Jones III and Cindy Naylor
10 years: Elizabeth Eldridge 5 years: Kim Cook and Jim Howey 4 years: David and Erica Pearson,
Rebecca Radisic, and Joyce Witte 3 years: Mary Behal, Barbara and Dennis Davis, Susannah Halligan, and
Melissa Volpone
Information Sessions and Adult Bird Care Workshops. Do you
have friends or family members who think they may be interested in
volunteering for Tri-State, but who are concerned that this may not be
the right choice for them? We have the perfect solution: a one-hour
Information Session that gives prospective volunteers a good overview
of our operations and expectations. All those interested in volunteering
at Tri-State must attend one Information Session before they can
register for a bird-care workshop.
September Information Sessions: Thursday, September 8, 6 p.m.;
Saturday, September 10, 11 a.m.; and Saturday, September 17, 11 a.m.
Adult Bird Care Workshop: Saturday, October 8, 8 a.m.–1 p.m.
Giant Yard Sale. Saturday, October 1. We’re in the homestretch!
It’s not too late to donate items or to sign up to help us with setup or on
the day of the sale. See the article above for more details.
Benefit for the Birds. Friday, October 21. See the article above. To
volunteer to help with this important annual fund-raiser, contact Duke
Doblick in the Development office at (302) 737-9543, extension 108.