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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

March 2018

Celebrating 42 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

Have you sent in your RSVP for this year’s volunteer celebration? As volunteers, you are the heart and soul of
Tri-State, and we have set aside this day to let you know just how much we appreciate you. Our 2018
Volunteer Appreciation Celebration will take place on Sunday, April 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Wildlife Response
Annex. The afternoon will include lunch fare as well as tasty snacks and sweets and feature the presentation
of the coveted volunteer awards. Please RSVP no later than March 30 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 8.
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 31.
For more information on internship requirements and descriptions of position responsibilities, visit
Two Red-tailed Hawks made quick recoveries from injuries sustained
due to presumed impacts. Patient 18-124 came to Tri-State from
Seaford, Delaware, with head trauma, while patient 18-136 came to us
from Federalsburg, Maryland. Radiographs confirmed our initial
findings that neither hawk suffered orthopedic injuries, and so their
treatment plans required only pain medication and cage rest. Within a
few days of admission, the hawks were perching and self-feeding,
enabling us to move them to outside cages for flight exercise. Soon the
raptors demonstrated strong flight with good lift and maneuverability,
and their feet, feathers, and body condition were excellent. We banded
and released them on-site at Tri-State: Patient 18-124 on January 12
and patient 18-136 on January 13. We are grateful to volunteers Ray
Bryant, Tom Jones, Gary Patterson, and Dennis Davis who transported
these hawks to our clinic. Learn more about Red-tailed Hawks in this
month’s Featured Bird article.

Red-tailed Hawk 18-136 takes flight. Staff Photo
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Another impact victim was a Red-bellied Woodpecker
that came to Tri-State on February 8. Although the
adult male was alert on admission, his respiration was
labored and wet, necessitiating time in the oxygen
incubator. With the additional aid of pain medications,
the woodpecker was soon self-feeding and taking short
flights in his playpen. We moved him outside on
February 11 and observed him taking longer flights in
the larger cage. By February 13, with his respiratory
issues resolved and his flight skills excellent, the Red-
bellied Woodpecker was ready for release back to his
home territory in Chadds Ford.
Last, but certainly not least, we released another patient
from 2017. Bald Eagle 17-3294, which likely hit a power
line, came to us from Charles County, Maryland, on
December 26 after the adult female received initial
treatment at Owl Moon Raptor Center. Full radiographs
revealed the eagle sustained a left coracoid fracture,
and blood work indicated elevated lead levels that
necessitated chelation therapy. We administered pain
medication, treated the raptor for lice, and wrapped the
left wing. A few days later, while the eagle was under
anesthesia, we examined her shoulder and cleaned her
feet. By early January, although the eagle’s lead levels
Staff Photo
had improved and gentle physical therapy was easing
the shoulder injury, the bird was still not self-feeding. Once we discovered the eagle’s preference for fish,
however, she not only began self-feeding but also became more active, and we observed her perching for the
first time on January 9. With repeated sessions of physical therapy, the eagle was soon observed on high
perches, and she gained much-needed weight. By late January, she was perching well and flying readily, so
we moved her to a flight cage. After a week of exercise, the eagle’s flight strength and stamina steadily
improved. With her injuries resolved, her body condition excellent, and her flight strong and silent, we
released this Bald Eagle at Tri-State on February 6.
In February, we also released Red-shouldered Hawks, a Cooper’s Hawk, an Eastern Screech Owl, a Mallard, an
Eastern Bluebird, a Carolina Chickadee, a White-throated Sparrow, and a Northern Cardinal.
The most widespread hawk on the North American continent, Red-tailed Hawks are a familiar sight to even the
most casual birdwatchers since they often perch on telephone poles along roadsides. At 19 to 25 inches long
with a 46- to 58-inch wingspan, the Red-tailed Hawk is also among the largest hawks in our region. Although
this species has five races, all forms have a dark brown mantle in flight and dark brown barring on the leading
edge of the underwing. Only adults have the distinctive red tail. The eastern race has a white belly with a
broad band of dark streaking and white flight feathers with pale barring.
Red-tails live in just about every type of open habitat on our continent, including desert, scrublands,
grasslands, roadsides, fields and pastures, parks, broken woodland, and tropical rainforests in Mexico. Red-
tailed Hawks hunt by soaring above open fields, slowly turning circles on their broad, rounded wings. They eat
a variety of mammals, as well as reptiles, amphibians, some birds, and even insects.
Red-tailed Hawks form monogamous pairs, and ornithologists believe they mate for life. During breeding
season, pairs fly in large circles and gain great height before the male plunges into a deep dive and then
climbs back to circling height. Later, the birds grab hold of one another with their talons and fall spiraling
Monthly Flyer, March 2018 3

Photo by Hank Davis

toward earth. They have one brood each year, and the female lays one to five young in nests built of sticks
and placed high above the ground in trees, on cliff ledges, or on buildings or other human structures. Both
parents incubate the eggs for 28 to 35 days. The young hawks leave the nest when they are 42 to 46 days
The Red-tailed Hawk’s call is a harsh, descending keeeer-r-r. Listen closely the next time you see a hawk or an
eagle depicted on television or in a movie. Invariably, whether the raptor is a Red-tail or an eagle or another
hawk, the filmmakers have chosen to use the dramatic scream of the Red-tailed Hawk.
Learn more about the Red-tailed Hawk 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’s 2018 Open House is only two months away, and once
again WSFS Bank will be the Presenting Sponsor. From 11 a.m. to
4 p.m. on Sunday, May 6, our guests will be able to take self-guided
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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. Conrad the Blue Jay, a former Tri-State patient, will appear as part of
the John James Audubon Center exhibit, and visitors will have an opportunity to see animals from the
Brandywine Zoo traveling zoo. We will also offer presentations in the Annex training room throughout the day
on topics such hummingbirds and planting native plants to attract wildlife.
Stop by and see Rebecca Stansell in the Development office or call her at (302) 737-9543, extension 110, to
volunteer to help that day or to help us plan this important community event.
Thanks to our fabulous Facilities Committee crew, we
have seen some tremendous improvements to the
clinic over the past year. During the winter of 2016-
2017, these amazing volunteers revamped the raptor
room, gutted and rebuilt the lower-level meds room,
and gave the volunteer office a facelift. This winter,
they have been busy renovating the lower-level
powder room and taking down the mural in the lower
level and painting the walls. They also fixed the drain
in the utility closet, replacing the floor and improving
the walls in the process; removed the impossible-to-
move dividing doors in the flight cage, replacing them
with mesh curtains; and gave the supervisors’ office a
much-needed makeover. Whew!
Keeping the facilities in good working order is a
never-ending task, and we are eternally grateful to
this skilled team for sharing their time and talents.
Many thanks to Keith Hall, Jim Howey, Rand
McIlvaine, Dan Cotterman, and Karen Wenner-
Pedersen for all they have done. Thanks also go to
Rich Hinkle for lending his professional support when
needed—and for installing the new fire door.
If you are interested in joining this team and helping
Dan Cotterman (foreground) and Jim Howey work on clinic office
renovations. to keep Tri-State functioning and looking its best,
Staff Photo
please contact Talley Brown, our new maintenance
supervisor, at Talley joined us in February; stay tuned for more information about
him in the April edition of the Flyer.
26 years: Diane Korolog 18 years: Marion Stelzer 14 years: Donald Bauman 13 years: Joan Beatty
and Susan Rivenbark 12 years: Rosann Ferraro, James McVoy, and Patti Root 11 years: Linda Amundsen
10 years: Gina Loughery 8 years: Kim Frey and Lisa Tice 7 years: Corky Connor, Kathy and Emilio Oliva,
Debra Palermo, and Kathy Wiwel 6 years: Lyndsay Ayers

2018 Information and Overview 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 begin their volunteer experience. At the end of the first hour, participants who are
interested in proceeding with their Tri-State bird-care training will take a lunch break then be paired up with
experienced volunteers for an overview training session.
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Winter Information and Overview Sessions: March 10 and 24. All sessions will take place on Saturdays
from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Spring Information and Overview Sessions: April 14 and 28, and May 12 and 26. All sessions will take
place on Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Volunteer Appreciation Celebration, Sunday, April 8, 1 p.m. Please join us for our annual celebration of
you and learn who has merited the coveted volunteer awards for 2017. See the article above for more details.
We hope to see you there!
Open House. Sunday, May 6. It’s never too early to start thinking about Tri-State’s annual Open House. See
the article above for more details. If you are interested in helping run this important community event, stop by
to see Rebecca Stansell in the Development office or contact her at or (302) 737-
9543, extension 110.