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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

February 2017

Celebrating 41 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

Please join us on Sunday, April 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Wildlife Response Annex for our annual Volunteer
Appreciation Celebration. Come bask in the glow of our deep gratitude for all you do for Tri-State throughout
the year. The day will include tasty snacks and sweets, a fabulous free-flight bird show by Phung Luu, and the
presentation of the coveted volunteer awards. Please RSVP no later than April 1 to Julie at or (302) 737-9543, extension 102. We need an accurate count for the food and
drinks so not a single valued volunteer goes hungry. Thank you, and we hope to see you on April 9.

Although Tri-State treats only wild birds, many of our volunteers open their homes and hearts to companion
birds. If you are interested in adopting a tropical bird, contact longtime Tri-State volunteers Vera Lee Rao
( or Diane Korolog ( for more information.

One of our last-admitted patients from 2016, Cooper’s Hawk 16-3036 required only a few days of care before
he was ready for release. In late December, the juvenile raptor had flown through the window of a screened-
in porch in Chadds Ford. Despite the homeowner’s best efforts to encourage the bird to leave by keeping the
door open overnight, the dazed bird was still there the following morning. Volunteer Jim McVoy retrieved the
hawk and brought him into the clinic on December 29. To aid the bird’s recovery, we administered pain
medication, treated him for lice and hippoboscid flies, and offered supportive care. Although radiographs
revealed the young hawk also had pellets in his left wing, leg, and hip, the pellets did not require removal or
treatment because there were no associated wounds or bruises and these old injuries were not impairing the
bird. By January 1, our patient began perching and self-feeding and proved to be an accomplished escape
artist. Once he gained some much-needed weight, we moved the hawk to a flight cage to observe his flight
and lift. On January 3, with the Cooper’s Hawk flying well and fully recovered from his ordeal, Jim and Sue
McVoy released the bird back in Chadds Ford.
What began as a call about “a small olive-green warbler” ended with the
admission of a mystery bird that had a blue-gray head and white spectacles.
A Newark homeowner found what we later identified as a Blue-headed
Vireo huddled in the corner of her yard on November 8. The apparent victim
of a window impact, the adult vireo had sustained head trauma, a coracoid
fracture, and feather damage. We prescribed pain medications and cage
rest, offering the bird a perch and greenery to make it more comfortable.
By the next day, the vireo was eating mealworms, and a week later it
showed good progress in a limited test flight. On December 1, we moved
the bird to an outside cage for flight exercise, and by mid-December, its lift
Staff Photo
had improved and its feathers, feet, and overall body condition were good.
To guard against the vireo gaining too much weight in captivity, the supervisors encouraged regular flight
exercise. After another month of exercise and supportive care, the bird’s flight and lift were both excellent.
Because the Blue-headed Vireo missed its fall migration to the southern United States, volunteer Gail Shrenk
took the bird with her on her own trip south, and she released the vireo in North Carolina on January 27.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 2

A passerby rescued a Common Loon from the middle of a road in Millsboro, Delaware, on January 11. As often
happens with loons, this adult apparently mistook the sheen of the highway for water. Although the loon
sustained abrasions to its feet, was slightly thin, and had an apparently congenital malformation of one eye, it
was in otherwise good condition. Its feathers were in beautiful condition, and its waterproofing was good. The
loon readily accepted hand-fed mullet and silversides and then seemed to enjoy a long swim in the pool,
swimming and diving well. We cleared it for release the next day. Volunteers Noel Milligan, Bill Rosenfeld, and
Ray Bryant joined forces to transport the bird back to Sussex County, and Bill and Ray released the loon at the
Indian River Inlet.

In January, we also released Bald Eagles, Red-shouldered Hawks, a Turkey Vulture, a Snow Goose, a Canada
Goose, a Carolina Chickadee, an American Goldfinch, and a Mourning Dove.

A medium-sized vireo at 5.25 inches long, the Blue-headed Vireo has olive and yellow plumage like many other
species of vireos. Its distinguishing features are its white spectacles and blue-gray head. It also has yellow
wing bars; a white throat, breast, and belly; and white edges on all but its central tail feathers.
A common and vocal bird in coniferous and mixed coniferous-deciduous
forests of Canada and the eastern United States, the Blue-headed Vireo
sings a slow, repetitive song: cherry-o-wit . . . cheree . . . sissy-a-wit
throughout the day. A gleaner that captures insects from treetops and
branches, this vireo may also hover in midair to catch its food. In the
winter, the Blue-headed Vireo adds fruit to its diet.
Forming monogamous pairs, both the male and female build the nest—
an open cup suspended from the fork of a tree branch and woven from
spider webs as well as twigs, fine grass, and other plant material. Both
parents incubate the eggs and feed the young while they are nestlings
and after they fledge at about 14 days old. The Blue-headed Vireo
typically has one brood of three to five young each year, although birds Photo by snyders/moonbeampublishing
living in the Southeast may have a second brood.
According to Birds of North America, DNA studies have revealed that vireos are related to shrikes and crows.
Until the 1990s, this bird, Cassin’s Vireo, and the Plumbeous Vireo were considered one species and known as
the Solitary Vireo. Learn more about the Blue-headed Vireo 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.

You still have plenty of time to learn how you can take part in this year’s
Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), which is scheduled from Friday,
February 17, through Monday, February 20. This joint project of the
Cornell Ornithology Lab and the National Audubon Society offers families,
students, and bird lovers of all ages the opportunity to make an important
contribution to conservation.
You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your home. Count birds in
your own backyard and report sightings online at
Online resources at this website include tips on identifying birds and
materials for teachers and students.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak makes a Spend as little as 15 minutes counting birds on one or more of the
welcome visit. Photo by Russ Carlsondesignated dates. The more people who participate, the better the
information scientists will have about how bird populations may be
changing over time due to habitat loss, climate change, disease, or other factors.
Monthly Flyer, February 2017 3

At Tri-State, we see many birds—most of them injured, ill, or orphaned. This is your opportunity to see healthy
birds in their native habitat. Don’t miss it! When you take part in the GBBC, you will not only be enriching your
own knowledge of birds, you also will be helping provide data to the ornithologists who study bird populations,
migration, and conservation throughout the year.

23 years: Mary Birney and Mark Cameron 19 years: Roger Suro 18 years: Lucinda Peterson and
Perrie Lee Prouty 17 years: Liz Gontarz 16 years: Barbara Nichols and Al Ware 15 years: Sam Crothers
14 years: Dave and Donna Houchin 13 years: Rosann Ferraro and Mary Milroy 12 years: Cindy Ahern,
Joan Beatty, Doug and Arlene Reppa 11 years: Valnéa Persak 10 years: Linda Amundsen, Janice Brink,
Sharyn Fagone, Rob Romeo, and Gail Schrenk 9 years: Terri Heagy 8 years: Betty Sharon 7 years: Gail
Heath 6 years: Dan Cotterman 3 years: Marty Allen and Bill and JoAnne Rosenfeld

Tri-State introduced our MODO (MOnthly DOnor) program one year ago. Since that time, our recurring donors
have increased from seven to a robust thirty-five! Now is a great time for you to join this monthly giving
initiative. Your credit or debit card is automatically deducted each month—safely, securely, and hassle-free.
Both Tri-State and MODOs benefit from this monthly giving program:
• MODOs don’t have to write and mail a check.
• MODO donations give Tri-State a consistent, higher level of income.
• MODOs can easily manage their donations
As a MODO, you control what you give, and you can change your monthly donation
amount any time. Through your personal donor account, you can update your payment
information or schedule. You’ll receive an automatic Tri-State membership at the
respective level when you begin your monthly donations, along with your MODO sticker.
How can your gift-giving fly higher and stronger? Get MODOvated and join our recurring donor flock today!
Visit to sign up and help us save birds’ lives. If you have any questions, call
Duke Doblick at (302) 737-9543, extension 108.

Tri-State’s 2017 Open House is only a few months away, and once
again WSFS Bank will be the Lead Sponsor. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
on Sunday, May 7, our guests will be able to take self-guided tours of
the Frink Center for Wildlife and the Wildlife Response Annex. The big
tent will feature kids’ activities, food, Tri-State merchandise, and more. For a feathered treat, guests can enjoy
close-up encounters with Phung Luu and his trained raptors.
Stop by and see Duke Doblick in the development office or call him at (302) 737-9543, extension 108, to
volunteer to help that day or to help us plan this important community event.

2017 Information Sessions. Do you have friends or family members who think they may be interested in
volunteering for Tri-State, but who want to make sure it’s 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.
February: Saturday, February 25, 11 a.m.
March: Saturdays, March 4, 11, and 18, 11 a.m.; and Thursday, March 23, 6 p.m.
Adult Bird Care Workshop. April 1, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, Sunday, April 9, 2 p.m. See the article above for details and be
sure to save the date. We want to see you there!
Open House. Sunday, May 7, 2017. See article above.