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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

July 2017

Celebrating 41 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

The Window Room rings with the noisy
squawks of grackles and the quieter calls of
robins, wrens, chickadees, and other assorted
songbirds. Not to be outdone, young
waterfowl, shorebirds, and raptors also clamor
for our attention. Whether they have lost their
parents, fallen from nests, or become victims
of human interference or attacks by other
animals, these young patients require special
attention. Even with our many interns, we still
need our dedicated volunteers.
So please check Volgistics to see where we
need help most and then sign up. Our three
shifts are as follows: 8 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., 1 to
6:15 p.m., and 6 to 10 p.m. The 15-minute
overlap allows a smooth transition between
shifts. Hungry Carolina Chickadees beg for food. Staff Photo

Also, don’t forget about 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 find yourself with unexpected free time. Even if you have only a couple of hours, we welcome your help.
Nest Cups Needed! We are running low on our supply of nest cups for our youngest patients. We can use a
variety of sizes. See Andrea or a clinic supervisor if you have questions about specific needs. Thank you!

We’re only three months away from Tri-State’s Giant Yard Sale, scheduled this year for Saturday, October 7.
The trailer is in the upper parking lot, and volunteers are already accepting and sorting donations. If you are
able to volunteer your time during this all-important collection phase, please contact Julie Bartley. We need
help pricing items, sorting books, taking items home to clean them up before we can sell them, and taking
non-usable donations (e.g., clothing and furniture) to Goodwill.
As always, we hope you will come out and shop in support of Tri-State. But our sale will not succeed without
items to sell. Now’s the time to clean out your basements and attics and encourage your family and friends to
do the same. Popular items include books, collectibles, DVDs, working electronics, games, and housewares.
We are not able to accept clothing, large furniture, TVs, or computer monitors. If you are unsure whether we
will accept your item, visit or call (302) 737-9543 for more information.
You may drop off donations on Sundays and Tuesdays between 9 and 11 a.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to
3 p.m. This year, in consideration of our wild patients, volunteers, and staff, we will accept Yard Sale
donations only during these days and times. The deadline for donating items is Sunday, October 1.
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Last year we raised more than $11,000 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 also need people to help us run the sale: volunteers for yard sale setup on Friday, October 6, as well as
volunteers to staff the tables and clean up afterward. Please contact Julie Bartley at if
you can help with these tasks. Thank you!

On May 20, a Common Loon came to
us from the Raptor Trust in New Jersey
after an apparent mislanding. Although
the adult waterbird was alert and in
overall good condition, it had sustained
abrasions to its feet as well as feather
damage. Despite these injuries, it
eagerly swam and self-fed the mullet
and silversides that we tossed into the
pool. By the end of May, the foot
injuries had resolved, and the loon was
diving and preening. Although its
remaining healthy feathers had
excellent waterproofing, we were not
able to find a sufficient number of loon
Staff Photo feathers to replace the damaged ones.
Because loons do not molt until
January, we were concerned about holding this bird for so many months. After consultation with a number of
bird experts, we determined that this loon would do better living on the open waters of the ocean than
spending months in captivity. On June 8, volunteer Ray Bryant released the loon into the open waters of the
Delaware Bay near Lewes.
An adult Hermit Thrush came to us from Milford, the apparent victim of a window strike. The homeowner
drove the thrush to volunteer Maryanne Yingst, who then transported the bird to our clinic. On admission on
May 18, the thrush was depressed and examination revealed it had a right clavicle fracture and bruising. We
treated the bird for parasites and prescribed pain medications and cage rest to allow its injuries to heal.
Although the thrush was stressed by its captivity, it was eating well and gaining weight. By the end of May,
the injuries resolved and its feet, feathers, and body condition were all good. After three days of flight exercise
in an outside cage, the Hermit Thrush was released on-site at Tri-State on May 31.
We’ve admitted a number of nestling and brancher Red-shouldered Hawks this year. Two branchers that
recently came to us from Maryland even ended up in the same nest. Patient 17-1250 fell from its nest in
Galena, Maryland, on June 8. Debilitated and subdued on admission, the young hawk also had trauma to its
left eye, a puncture wound, and soft tissue damage. We cleaned and bandaged its wounds and gave the
youngster a snuggle buddy and heating pad to help reduce its stress. Gradually, as its wounds healed, the
young hawk began self-feeding and gaining weight. On June 18, we moved this hawk into an outside cage
with Patient 17-1474. That young Red Shoulder came to us from Perryville Middle School property on June 16.
This healthy brancher was bright and alert and just needed a few days of supportive care before we returned
it to its family. Because these young hawks did so well when housed together, we decided to foster fully
recovered Red Shoulder 17-1250 to the care of the Perryville hawk family. Volunteer Linda Mullin reports that
both young hawks flew beautifully when she released them on June 20.
The month of June also brought us a rarely seen species: a Glossy Ibis. When our patient came to us from
Middletown, it was alert, but thin and depressed. Bloodwork revealed that the adult wader had lead poisoning,
and we noted metal densities on radiographs. After flushing the metal pieces from the bird’s system, we began
chelation therapy, a medical procedure that removes heavy metals from the body. After the bird had a couple
of days to recover from this treatment and was eating well, we administered a second round of chelation
Monthly Flyer, July 2017 3

therapy. By mid-June, the ibis was eagerly eating mealworms, scallops, mollusks, and wild rice; perching on
low branches in its outdoor cage; and taking strong horizontal flights. We released the Glossy Ibis on June 16
to an area where ibis are known to congregate. Learn more about the Glossy Ibis in this month’s Featured Bird

In June, we also released Bald Eagles, an American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawks, Ospreys, a Great Horned Owl,
Wood Ducks, Mallards, Canada Geese, a Great Blue Heron, Green Herons, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Fish
Crows, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, a Barn Swallow, Red-bellied
Woodpeckers, an Eastern Phoebe, House Wrens, Carolina Wrens, Chipping Sparrows, a Tufted Titmouse,
Northern Cardinals, Blue Jays, Mourning Doves, Gray Catbirds, Common Grackles, American Robins, House
Finches, and a Brown-headed Cowbird.

A wading bird with a long, down-curved bill, the Glossy Ibis frequents both freshwater and saltwater marshes
along the Atlantic Coast of North America. It uses its bill to probe for crabs and crayfish as well as water
snakes and insects.
The Glossy Ibis is 19 to 26 inches long with a wingspan of 36 to 38 inches. From a distance, this bird appears
to be a uniform dark color. Up close, observers will see the plumage is more like a deep chestnut interspersed
with metallic greens and purples. During breeding season, the Glossy Ibis has intense green patches on its
wings, greenish legs with red joints, pale blue around the face, and dark gray lores bordered by blue-gray
Forming monogamous pairs, this bird nests in colonies that include other species of ibis as well as herons and
egrets. The Glossy Ibis builds a platform-style nest either in shrubs or low trees or on the ground using sticks
and marsh plants. The female incubates one to five eggs for 21 days. The young remain in the nest for about
28 days, and both parents care for them during this time.

Photo by snyders/moonbeampublishing

Glossy Ibis are found throughout the world. In North America, populations increased between 1966 and 2014,
according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Learn more about the Glossy Ibis at the Cornell Lab of
Ornithology’s All About Birds Web site, See also Birds of North America, published by
the Smithsonian Institution, or your own favorite birding book.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 4

A former Tri-State intern and one of the newest members of the Oil
Programs staff, Michelle Carrera is a New Jersey native who earned her
bachelor of science degree in animal and food sciences from the
University of Delaware. She is currently working toward her master’s
degree in biology from Miami University, which offers a dual online/field
program called the Global Field Program—Project Dragonfly.
Michelle first learned about Tri-State in 2013 while she was interning at
Pelican Harbor Seabird Station in Miami. She also held internships at the
Gabriel Foundation in 2012, where she worked with exotic parrots; the
Philadelphia Zoo, where she performed general animal care; and the
Brandywine Zoo, where she worked as an education intern.
When she moved to Delaware in 2015 to take a position as manager of
volunteers and interns for Delaware State Parks, Michelle also accepted a
spot as one of Tri-State’s part-time interns. “As an intern coming in with
prior bird care and handling, I was given a bit more responsibility than
other interns,” she says. “I would jump between feeding baby birds
Michelle and Tuxedo Jones inside, to working outside. I quickly started to do a lot of the BCA work,
Photo by Michelle Carrera which included drawing up medications and administering injections, SQ
fluids, gavage feeding, and other specialized tasks.”
After her internship ended, Michelle stayed on as a volunteer and eventually trained to be a relief supervisor
for the clinic before moving to Oil Programs. In addition to her day-to-day responsibilities, which include
ordering supplies to ensure we are prepared in the event of an oil spill, Michelle is also working on the Seabird
Response Readiness Initiative. “This is a summer project ordering/building supplies we may need in case we
have a spill with a lot of seabirds impacted.” With her past experience working in wildlife rehabilitation,
Michelle says she also takes a leadership role with the medical care of wildlife during oil spill responses and
assists with workshops, oil spill exercises, and devising plans to help states set up facilities for oil spill
Michelle says she especially enjoys the opportunity to release animals that have been affected by oil spill
incidents. “It is beyond rewarding to be able to bring back multiple healthy animals to their native
environment. I am extremely honored to be part of that process.”
Michelle lives in Delaware with her fiancé, Chris, and their cat, Tuxedo Jones. She says that she and Chris are
getting very excited about their upcoming wedding, which is planned for November 2017.

• Please come to the shift meetings. If you arrive early for your shift, feel free to restock supplies, wash
dishes, or help in the Window Room.
• Wash all rodents before feeding them to our birds.
• NO peeking at birds.
• Wear closed-toe shoes when working in the clinic. Sandals, crocs, and other open-toe styles do not afford
protection should you trip or drop something on your foot.
• Please remember that all volunteers and staff members should park in the upper lot. We need room in the
lower lot for transporters and members of the general public bringing in baby birds and other patients. If
you are working the third shift, you may park in the lower lot. Volunteers who have difficulty walking or
other health issues may park in the lower lot at any time.
• Please do not use your cell phone while you are working around the birds. Not only could making and
responding to calls or texts distract you from your work and become a safety hazard, but the sudden
ringing or “pinging” of the phone also could be stressful for the birds. Keep your phone in your car or the
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Volunteer Room. You may send and receive calls or texts in the Volunteer Room, breakout area, or any of
the offices.
• General Safety Reminder: The speed limit along Possum Hollow Road is 25 mph. Young songbirds
released from Tri-State or raised in the wild are trying to navigate their way through their woodland
homes, as are foxes, squirrels, rabbits, and deer. Please be on the lookout for these young animals.

32 years: Gary Patterson 24 years: Mary Birney 23 years: Elaine Smith 15 years: Sara Hutchinson
14 years: Catherine Feher-Renzetti 13 years: Jill Constantine 6 years: Bill & Natalie Allen and Denise Dee
KUDOS to all volunteers who helped us throughout the busy months of May and June. We are grateful for
all the time you donated, whether you worked in the clinic, transported birds, did laundry, mopped floors, or
tackled any of the other myriad tasks necessary to keeping Tri-State running smoothly. Thank you!

Our Craft Committee members are meeting on Thursday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss new ways of using
their talents to raise money for the birds. If you are someone who enjoys knitting, crocheting, felting, or other
crafts, we would love to have you join us. Please let Julie Bartley know if you plan to attend this meeting.
We are also looking for experienced volunteers who can help supervise Bank of America employees and other
community groups whose members come to help Tri-State with special projects, such as cleanup days. As
soon as we have one or more Tri-State volunteers onboard, Julie Bartley will work the dates around their

Yard Sale, Saturday, October 7, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The trailer is here
and ready to accept your donations. Our annual fund-raiser for the birds
will once again take place at the Aetna Fire Hall in Newark. See the
article above and look for updates in the coming months in The Monthly
Flyer and on the Tri-State website.
Benefit for the Birds, Friday, November 10, 6 to 11 p.m. We are
returning to Deerfield in Newark in 2017. Deerfield is across Paper Mill
Road, just over one mile from the Tri-State turn at Possum Hollow Road.
We will share more details about this important event in upcoming
issues of The Monthly Flyer.