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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

June 2017

Celebrating 41 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

Overnight it seems we went from 20 birds to 200 birds
in-house. Along with the usual abundance of robins and
grackles, we have wrens, finches, cardinals, and even the
first baby Blue Jay.
We need your help to keep up with the needs of all these
hungry babies. We have three summer shifts: 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. So
please check Volgistics to see where we need help most—
typically evenings and weekends—and then sign up.
If you cannot work a full shift, but you find yourself with
some unexpected free time—even a couple of hours—call
Julie at (302) 737-9543, extension 102, and she will let
you know how you can help. On Sundays and Mondays,
leave a message for the supervisors on extension 103. Carolina Wrens and other baby birds need YOU to feed them!
Thank you! Staff Photo

What a way to spend a spring Sunday! More than 1,000 guests from near and far traveled down Possum
Hollow Road to enjoy Tri-State’s Open House. Once again our big tent, the self-guided tours of the Frink
Center and Wildlife Response Annex, and trained
raptors and parrots from Animal Behavior and
Conservation Connections helped attendees immerse
themselves in nature tips, kids’ fun, avian
excitement, and more. This year, our efforts resulted
in a net profit of just over $9,300, a $1,000 increase
from 2016.
Providing food again this year was Leigh Ann Tona
and her I Don’t Give a Fork food truck. Guests also
enjoyed Hawaiian coffee and smoothies from new
food vendor Maui Wowi. Our young bird friends
enjoyed face painting and searching the grounds as
part of Scavenger Bingo. The “What Is Your
Wingspan?” banner on the second-floor deck
garnered plenty of attention with attendees of all
ages comparing their “wingspans” to the wingspans
of a variety of birds.
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Everyone at Tri-State extends very special thanks to the planning committee and our dedicated volunteers,
staff, and board members who gave up their Sunday to make this family-friendly community event a success.
Mark your calendar now to join us next year on Sunday, May 6, 2018, for Tri-State’s annual Open House.

Photos by Russ Carlson

Presenting Sponsor: WSFS Bank
Ameriprise Financial Services Longwood Veterinary Center
Atlantic Veterinary Center—Middletown Maui Wowi
Bartlett Tree Experts New London Veterinary Center
Blue Hen Car Wash NiteLites of Wilmington
Chestertown Animal Hospital Perfect Moments Photography
CMI Solar & Electric RG Promotions
Concord Pet Foods & Supplies SpeedPro Imaging
Concord Pike Veterinary Hospital Talleyville Frame Shoppe & Gallery
Debbie’s Fund for Animals VCA Kirkwood Animal Hospital
Expedia CruiseShipCenters Wild Birds Unlimited—Hockessin
I Don’t Give a Fork Windcrest Animal Hospital
Limestone Veterinary Hospital

Thanks to the eagle eyes and recommendations of both volunteers and staff, we have been quite successful
this year finding foster families for orphaned goslings and many of the songbirds coming into our clinic. Our
goal always is to return healthy youngsters to their parents. However, some of our patients will be healthy
orphans. With your help, we can place these youngsters with wild foster families whose nests are located in
suitably safe locations. Contact clinic supervisor Jessica Hicken ( if you know of good
foster family candidates for goslings, ducklings, or songbirds—especially species that nest in boxes. If you
know where we can find a good owl or hawk family, contact Aimee Federer (
Monthly Flyer, June 2017 3

Farewell and Congratulations
After five years of dedicated service to Tri-State as director of development, Duke Doblick is spreading his
wings to take on an exciting new challenge. Since Duke joined Tri-State, he has become an invaluable member
of our team and took our fundraising, development, and public relations to a new level. We will miss Duke’s
enthusiasm, professionalism, outgoing personality, and boundless energy.
Congratulations to Rebecca Stansell, who has been promoted to development & marketing director. In just
over three years as marketing manager, Bex has embraced Tri-State’s mission and has given our marketing
materials an updated, clean, and consistent look. She has gotten to know Tri-State inside and out, and we are
excited to see the results of her creativity, business sense, and passion for our mission.

Meet Karen Dougherty
Karen Dougherty, Tri-State’s new accounting manager,
readily admits she had no idea what to expect when she
joined the staff of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research.
She left her job as controller for the New Castle County
Chamber of Commerce fourteen years ago to raise her
twins, Gemma and Neil, and only returned to the
workforce in 2015. After a short stint at another company
with very strict work policies and an hour-long commute,
Karen was looking for a job with a more casual working
atmosphere that was also closer to home. “As a people
person who thrives on interaction with others,” Karen
says, “I appreciate working in an environment where
interaction among co-workers is encouraged.”
She graduated from Penn State University with a degree Karen with her children, Gemma and Neil
in food service and housing administration and a minor
in business administration. Among her responsibilities as Tri-State’s accounting manager, Karen will handle
bookkeeping duties such as payroll and financial reports, ensure proper documentation and physical security of
assets, oversee budget planning and controls, and provide detailed financial information to help management
and the board of directors make informed decisions about the financial health of the organization.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys vegetable and flower gardening and spending time with her family. She says
that her son and daughter both plan to attend Widener University in the fall. Gemma will major in nursing, and
Neil will major in mechanical engineering.
After only a short time at Tri-State, Karen notes that both staff and volunteers have impressed her with their
dedication. She says, “It is truly amazing how the employees and the volunteers have a true mission for the
care and well-being of feathered creatures.”

We admit a number of House Finches each year, but only rarely see Purple Finches. A homeowner found a
male Purple Finch suffering from Finch-Eye Syndrome in her driveway in Rising Sun, Maryland, on April 18.
With pain medications and warm compresses to ease his discomfort, the finch was soon self-feeding. As the
swelling to his eyes subsided, the finch became more active and began flying in the screen cage. Although the
bird molted all his tailfeathers, he was readily flying and continued to eat and gain weight. By mid-May, the
tailfeathers were growing in, and the bird was flying well and achieving good lift. The presenter returned on
May 10 and released the Purple Finch back in Rising Sun. Learn more about the Purple Finch in this month’s
Featured Bird article.
A beautiful Eastern Towhee came to us in late April after she hit a window in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
Volunteer Marian Quinn, who transported the bird, reported seeing the towhee’s mate and hearing him sing in
a nearby tree as she retrieved the female. Although the bird was alert on admission, she had sustained
fractures to both the left and right clavicle, and her respiration was labored, necessitating time in the oxygen
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chamber. By the next morning, however, she was flying, jumping, vocalizing, and trying to escape at every
opportunity. Once the towhee began eating and the fractures stabilized, we moved her outside to give her an
opportunity for flight exercise. By early May, the towhee was fully recovered, and Marian Quinn and Rand
McIlvaine released her back to her home territory.
In early May, a Least Sandpiper became entangled in roots in a
pond on the farm property of the University of Delaware. By the
time its rescuer found the bird, it was contaminated with mud
and had a toe injury that indicated a possible attack by a
snapping turtle. Fortunately, it sustained no other injuries. When
the sandpiper arrived at the clinic, we gently removed clumps of
mud and rinsed its eyes, then allowed it to rest overnight. The
next day, we washed the bird and dried it using a heat lamp and
a heating pad. Dr. Cristin Kelley determined the injured toe could
not be saved and so amputated the digit on May 5. By the end of
that same day, the sandpiper was alert and flying well in its
playpen. Volunteer Jim McVoy released it to a suitable habitat in
nearby Pennsylvania.
Many times our successful efforts to save birds begin with our
partnerships with other wildlife rehabilitators. Such was the case
for a male Osprey that was first treated by the staff at Second Washing the Least Sandpiper Staff Photo
Chance Wildlife in Maryland. The adult male had lacerations
and other wounds on its wings as well as feather damage. While the Osprey was anesthetized, we cleaned,
debrided, and bandaged the lacerations and cleaned and sutured the wounds on his carpii. After allowing the
bird to recuperate from this procedure, we next removed his damaged feathers and implanted new feathers.
The following day, the Osprey was self-feeding and perching. Once its wounds healed, we move the bird into a
flight cage and soon observed it flying and landing on high perches. Volunteer Jim McVoy released the Osprey
to a suitable habitat in Smyrna, Delaware, on May 7.

In May, we also released Cooper’s Hawks, a Red-tailed Hawk, a Red-shouldered Hawk, a Great Horned Owl,
Eastern Screech Owls, a Snow Goose, Canada Geese, Mallards, an Eastern Bluebird, a Common Yellowthroat,
a Black-throated Blue Warbler, a Downy Woodpecker, a Tufted Titmouse, Chipping Sparrows, Carolina Wrens,
Eastern Phoebes, American Goldfinches, House Finches, Carolina Chickadees, a Blue Jay, American Robins,
Common Grackles, Mourning Doves, and a Brown-headed Cowbird.

The summer interns are here, and not a moment too soon. At the beginning of May, we had 22 birds in-
house; we now have 200 and climbing.

Seasonal Shift Supervisor
A recent graduate from the University of Delaware with majors in agriculture and natural resources and wildlife
ecology and conservation, Charlotte Lambert is excited to work again with volunteers, staff, and other interns.
Although she is from Frederick, Maryland, her favorite football team is the Pittsburgh Steelers, not the
Baltimore Ravens. Her plan is to take a year off from school, before she begins applying to graduate schools.
She is not sure what the future holds for her, but she is excited to find out.
Nursery Interns
Emily Cafaro is from Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and she graduated in May from Ramapo College of
New Jersey. She studied environmental science and spent a semester abroad in Australia. This past year she
volunteered at the Raptor Trust and furthered her knowledge in wildlife rehabilitation and animal care. Emily
loves to spend time outdoors, where her favorite activities include fishing and birding.
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Abby Himes graduated from Virginia Tech in 2005 and began working with wildlife in 2010 with the USDA and
National Wildlife Refuge in Guam. She has also volunteered at the Virginia Living Museum in Williamsburg,
providing animal care and handling raptors for education programs. Abby moved to Delaware in February 2017
with her husband, Chris, and English bulldog, Watson.
Full-time Interns
Jenn Larsen just finished her sophomore year as a zoo science major at Delaware Valley University. She
aspires to study zoo nutrition and potentially go into exotic animal medicine. Jenn loves to dance, bake, sew,
craft, play with her dogs and hamster, and watch Gilmore Girls. She loves birds of prey, especially owls.
A student at the University of Delaware, Megan Estrada is majoring in wildlife conservation. Her hobbies
include playing volleyball and mixing and mastering music.
A recent graduate of Philadelphia University with a bachelor degree in biology with a focus in ecology, Shane
McVoy was involved in ecological research during his college career and has held internship positions with the
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife as well as the Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor. During his free
time, Shane enjoys bird watching, playing video games, hiking, kayaking, and sampling craft beers. He is
taking a year off from school to gain more experience and discover what he wants to study in graduate school.
Candace Casey is a rising junior at the University of Delaware. She will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in
wildlife ecology and conservation with a minor in resource economics. For the last year she has also worked as
a teaching assistant for an “Economics of Agriculture and Natural Resource” class. When she’s not working or
in school, she loves spending time with her dog and turtle, reading, and dabbling in wildlife photography.
Part-time Interns
Caitlin Breyla is a sophomore at the University of Delaware with a major in wildlife ecology and conservation.
She hopes to study wildlife ecology in graduate school. Caitlin is from Newark, Delaware, and in her spare time
she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and painting.
A rising senior, Morgan Cochran attends the University of Delaware where she majors in wildlife conservation
and ecology. She enjoys many outdoor activities, especially fishing, planting, and hiking. When she is not in
school, she works as a waitress at the Glass Kitchen Restaurant. Morgan also obsesses over her French
bulldog and English bulldog.
A rising junior pre-veterinary medicine student at the University of Delaware, Natalia Ochoa hopes to be a
wildlife veterinarian. She enjoys playing guitar and taking long walks with her dog.
Alison Wright is a junior at the University of Delaware studying wildlife conservation ecology, agriculture and
natural resources with a minor in insect conservation and ecology. She enjoys running and is currently training
for a half marathon in September. Alison also loves to hike and enjoys being in the outdoors.
Leah Brooks is a rising junior at the University of Delaware pursuing a double major in environmental science
and wildlife conservation. She likes being outdoors and interacting with nature. Because she used to raise
domestic doves, Leah has some experience feeding baby birds and caring for adults.
Hailing from Elkins Park, a community right outside Philadelphia, Leah Zebovitz graduated from Franklin &
Marshall College with a degree in animal behavior. A long-time bird lover, Leah has done two independent
research projects focusing on birds. She is taking a couple of years off to get more experience before she goes
to graduate school.

A chunky songbird with a high-pitched warble, the Purple Finch is the bird that Roger Tory Peterson
memorably described as a “sparrow dipped in raspberry juice.” That description applies only to the male,
however, with his bright rosy red head, breast, and rump. The female has gray-brown upperparts streaked
with white and gray-white underparts streaked with brown. Both sexes have large cone-shaped beaks and
short, notched tails. Juveniles are similar in appearance to the females.
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About the same size as the House Finch at 5.5 to 6 inches long, the
Purple Finch has some distinguishing characteristics. The plumage
of the male Purple Finch has a more evenly distributed red wash,
but the color may be less vivid than that of the male House Finch.
Female Purple Finches are more strongly streaked and have a more
distinct facial pattern than female House Finches.
With its large seed-cracking beak, the Purple Finch prefers eating
seeds, but it will also consume fruit, insects, and caterpillars during
the summer. You may be able to entice this finch to your backyard
feeder with black oil sunflower seed.
The Purple Finch forms monogamous pairs and has one to two
broods of three to five young each year. The female incubates the
eggs for 13 days and broods the young. Both parents feed the
young until they leave the nest at 14 days old.
According to “All About Birds,” the Purple Finch populations seem to
be declining in eastern North America in areas where House Finch
populations have increased. “One study of finch behavior found that
Purple Finches lost out to House Finches more than 95% of the
Photo by Hank Davis
times the two birds encountered each other.” Learn more about
the Purple Finch 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.

• 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
Volunteer Room. You may send and receive calls or texts in the Volunteer Room, breakout area, or any of
the offices.

When last-minute help was needed to help stuff and seal the
2017 Baby Bird Appeal in March, a team of Tri-State volunteers
gave up their time to help the Development office get nearly
3,800 mailers done and ready for the Post Office. Thank you.

29 years: Lisa Robinson 24 years: Fran Petersen
21 years: Helene Harris and Karen Wenner-Pedersen
14 years: Anne Kisielewski 13 years: Jan McCullough
12 years: Betty Jane Anderson 11 years: Katie Bartling
and Patti Root 6 years: Christine Perkins and Hinda Smith
Staff Photo
Welcome to the new clinic and clinic support volunteers who
joined us in May. You’ve come at a time when we need you most. Please introduce yourself and don’t be
afraid to ask questions. We all learn from one another.
Monthly Flyer, June 2017 7

Yard Sale, Saturday, October 7, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our annual fundraiser for the birds will once again take
place at the Aetna Fire Hall in Newark. The donations trailer will arrive in early June to accept items on
specified days. Stay tuned for more details in the coming months in the 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.