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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

March 2017

Celebrating 41 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

We hope you’ve marked your calendars for Sunday, April 9, and Tri-State’s annual Volunteer Appreciation
Celebration. Join the staff and your fellow volunteers from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Wildlife Response Annex as we
honor all you do for Tri-State throughout the year. The day will include a tasty lunch 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. See you on April 9.

Once again, Tri-State is looking for summer interns. A limited number of 12-week paid and unpaid positions
are available. We also offer 6-week volunteer internships.
A summer internship at Tri-State provides an excellent opportunity to work with staff and volunteers at our
well-established wildlife clinic. The interns’ responsibilities include the care and feeding of orphaned baby
birds, care and feeding of injured or diseased adult birds, assisting with some medical treatments, and
learning and implementing record-keeping protocols. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent
plus involvement or current study in an animal- or wildlife-related field.
If you are interested in one of these positions, please submit a letter describing your experience and include
your resume with references to Andrea Howey-Newcomb at no later than March 21.

A female Rusty Blackbird, one of the most rapidly declining species
in the United States, came to the Tri-State clinic after she hit a
window in New Castle on January 19. She was quiet but alert on
admission and had sustained fractures to her left clavicle and left
scapula and injured her eyelids. With eye and pain medications to
make her more comfortable and a few days of cage rest, she was
ready for a half-playpen where she could take short, contained
flights. Once her injuries resolved and her weight stabilized, we
moved her to an outside cage on January 28. After three days of
exercise, the Rusty Blackbird was taking strong, sustained flights.
Tri-State Volunteer Manager Julie Bartley released her to a suitable
Staff Photo marshland habitat in New Castle on February 1.
An immature American Kestrel came to us from Salem, New Jersey, on January 30 after she was hit by a car.
The presenter reported the female kestrel was stunned when she picked her up, but the bird was alert by the
time she arrived at our clinic. Although she was thin and dehydrated with some feather damage, the kestrel
had no serious injuries. She began self-feeding by the next day, and on February 1 she was ready to go into a
flight cage. Over the next three days, her stamina slowly improved, and regular meals of mice and quail
helped her put on some weight. On February 5, we moved her to a larger flight cage where we observed her
doing acrobatic dips and loops. We banded the kestrel on February 6, and volunteer Tom Jones released her
back in New Jersey. Learn more about the American Kestrel in this month’s Featured Bird article.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 2

Another 2016 patient took flight after spending nearly two months in our care. Volunteers Kim McLamb and
Jim Amundsen transported a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk to us from Easton, Maryland, on December 28. In
addition to a fracture of its right ulna, the hawk had wounds on its right elbow and crop. While the bird was
under anesthesia, we cleaned and sutured its wounds and applied a figure 8 wrap to the fractured wing.
Although the bird’s wounds were healing well, the hawk was reluctant to eat for several days after its capture.
It finally began self-feeding chicken on January 8. On January 6, 13, and 20, we checked and cleaned the
bird’s wounds and performed physical therapy on the wing while the hawk was under anesthesia. We also
soaked and cleaned its tail feathers and primaries with hot water to straighten them. Once the hawk was
flying to higher perches in its cage, we moved it to a flight cage to give it time to build its flight muscles and
improve its lift. After two weeks of additional flight exercise and flight encouragement, the bird’s strength and
lift were both excellent. On February 14, we banded the Red Tail and released it on-site.

In February, we also released Bald Eagles, a Sharp-shinned Hawk, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Canada Goose,
and an American Robin.
Did You Know? Bald Eagle populations across the country continue to increase. In 2016, Tri-State admitted a
record-breaking 61 Bald Eagles, our national symbol, yet we receive no federal funding. Our clinic has already
admitted 21 Bald Eagles in 2017.

North America’s smallest falcon at about 9 to 12 inches long, the American Kestrel is also the continent’s most
common falcon. A slender bird of the open country, the kestrel often perches on wires along roadsides, its tail
bobbing. The male has a rufous back with dark barring, a spotted tawny-buff breast, and a rufous-red tail
without barring. The female looks similar except for pale,
streaked underparts and brown barring on her long, white-
tipped tail. Both males and females have two vertical dark lines
on either side of the head. In flight, the kestrel’s wings are
often bent and the wingtips sweep back.
Kestrels hunt from their roadside perches or hovering in midair.
They favor rodents and insects and also eat small birds and
reptiles as well as bats and frogs. According to the Cornell Lab
Photo by Kim Steininger
of Ornithology, kestrels are known to stash their surplus food to
save it for lean times or to hide it from thieves.
Forming monogamous pairs, American Kestrels nest in cavities,
using old woodpecker holes, natural tree hollows, rock crevices,
Photo by Kim Steininger
and nooks in buildings and other human-built structures. The
male searches for possible nest cavities, and the female chooses the site she prefers. Kestrels have one brood
of three to seven young each year. Both parents incubate the eggs for twenty-nine to thirty-one days, and the
female feeds the young once they hatch and until they fledge at about thirty days old. While she is brooding
the young, the male brings her food.
Although the American Kestrel is the continent’s most common and widespread falcon, its populations declined
by about 50 percent between 1966 and 2015, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Current
declines stem from habitat loss due to felling of the standing dead trees these birds depend on for their nest
sites. Kestrels in North America face another threat from the pesticides that eliminate the insects, spiders, and
other prey on which they feed. Learn more about the American Kestrel 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.
Monthly Flyer, March 2017 3

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.

Tri-State’s 2017 Open House is only a few months away, and once
again WSFS Bank will be the Presenting 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.

25 years: Diane Korolog 21 years: Elaine Sams 17 years: Marion Stelzer 13 years: Donald Bauman
12 years: Joan Beatty and Susan Rivenbark 11 years: Rosann Ferraro, James McVoy, and Patti Root
10 years: Linda Amundsen 9 years: Gina Loughery 7 years: Helen Collison, Kim Frey, and Lisa Tice
6 years: Corky Connor, Kathy and Emilio Oliva, Debra Palermo, and Kathy Wiwel 5 years: Lyndsay Ayers
3 years: Valerie Landrum

The VAC Committee meets quarterly to discuss ways to enhance the volunteer program by making
recommendations on the recruitment, training, retention, and recognition of volunteers. Its focus is on how to
best attract new volunteers, ensure adequate training and mentoring, offer continued learning opportunities,
and provide rewards for their hard work and dedication to the program.
ABC Workshops: At the February meeting, committee members agreed that the new format for training ABC
volunteers has proven to be effective and will continue to be used.
Transporter and Clinic Support: We are planning to hold workshops for both transporters and clinic support
The Craft Committee has raised more than $2,000 since 2015 with the sale of hand-made crafts, and they plan
to continue these fund-raising efforts.
Suggestion Box
If you have any questions or concerns about your work as a Tri-State volunteer, you are always welcome to
discuss them with Julie Bartley, Andrea Howey-Newcomb, or the clinic supervisors. But if you feel
uncomfortable raising your concerns in person, you can always place them in the Suggestion Box in the
Volunteer Room. A VAC member or another appropriate person will address them with you either directly or
during the clinic shift meetings.

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.
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, 1 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.