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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

April 2018

Celebrating 42 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

It’s not too late to let us know you plan to attend this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Celebration. Join the staff
and your fellow volunteers on April 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Wildlife Response Annex as we honor all you do
for Tri-State throughout the year. Please RSVP no later than April 4 to Julie at or
(302) 737-9543, extension 102. We hope to see you there!

To no one’s surprise, the first baby bird to arrive at our clinic in
2018 was a nestling Great Horned Owl. Thankfully, this young owl
also became our first successful renesting of 2018.
A homeowner in Easton, Maryland, found the youngster in her
yard on March 22 after the snowstorm. When the owl arrived at
our clinic on March 23, it was in good condition. Once we
confirmed through radiographs that it had sustained no orthopedic
injuries when it fell from the nest, our Raptor Renesting Team
sprang into action. With a nest basket secured in a tree, the young
Great Horned Owl was reunited with its parents on March 24.
Many thanks to Raptor Renesting team leader Diane Korolog, as
well as Kim McLamb, Jenny Caldwell, Ray Bryant, and Jennifer
Cullen, who assisted with transport and renesting.

Staff Photo

It’s hard to believe, but May and the 2018 Open House are only one
month away. With WSFS Bank as the Presenting Sponsor, our guests
will be able to take self-guided tours of the Frink Center for Wildlife
and the Wildlife Response Annex from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday,
May 6. The big day will feature kids’ activities, food, Tri-State merchandise, and more. Conrad the Blue Jay
and animals from the Brandywine Zoo traveling zoo are sure to delight visitors of all ages. We will also offer
presentations in the Annex training room throughout the day on topics such hummingbirds and planting native
plants to attract wildlife.
This awesome day takes many hands, and we would love to have your help! Check your e-mail or Volgistics
for more information or contact Chris Chapdelaine at or at (302) 737-9543,
extension 109. On April 25 at 1 p.m., we can use help stuffing the 400 Open House goodie bags. Stop by and
see Chris in the Development Office to help with bag stuffing or to sign up as a volunteer on May 6 to help run
this important community event.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 2

Geese, ducks, and songbirds have started to pair
up. Many raptors are already caring for nestlings,
and we admitted our first baby owl. (See story on
page 1.) It’s only a matter of time before more
young birds in trouble find their way to 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. Contact rehabilitation manager Aimee
Federer ( if you know
where we can find a good owl or hawk family. This nestling Barred Owl was successfully placed with a foster family a
couple of years ago. Staff Photo

House Finch 17-3296, the last patient admitted to our clinic in 2017,
finally returned to his rightful place in the wild in early 2018. The adult
songbird arrived at Tri-State from Berks County, Pennsylvania, on
December 28 with damage to his feathers and left wing tips.
Radiographs confirmed the finch had sustained no orthopedic injuries.
After allowing the bird to stabilize overnight, Dr. Cristin Kelley cleaned
his wounds and wrapped the left wing to his body. Soon after this
treatment, the finch was alert, active, and eagerly self-feeding. By
January 6, the wing tip had healed, allowing us to remove the wrap,
and on January 9, he was ready to move outside. We observed the
finch’s progress as we waited for new feathers to grow. He steadily
regained his strength and stamina, and new feathers grew in
beautifully. By February 25, the House Finch was flying well with
excellent lift and maneuverability. We thank volunteers Marian Quinn
and Rand McIlvaine for transporting the finch to our clinic in December
and then releasing him on February 28.
A second-year Eastern Screech Owl also had a long journey to the
Photo by Marian Quinn Tri-State clinic after it was hit by a car in Ocean City, Maryland, on
February 6. Although the red morph sustained an eye injury and head
trauma, it was alert on admission. We administered pain and eye medications and took radiographs to confirm
the owl had no orthopedic injuries. After two days of supportive care, the raptor was perching and eating well.
Once the eye wounds improved and the owl was maintaining a good weight, we moved it outside to begin
flight exercise. By February 20, it was flying well enough to move to a flight cage, and on February 25, we
began live testing. With its eye injury completely resolved and its flight and lift excellent, the Eastern Screech
Owl was ready for release on-site at Tri-State on March 3.
We admit many species of ducks to Tri-State, but we have rarely—if ever—admitted a Redhead. This medium-
sized bird came to us on February 21 from City Wildlife, a rehabilitation clinic in Washington, DC, that treated
it for a fractured clavicle, puncture wounds, and orthopedic/soft tissue damage to its right foot. Based on
those injuries, we surmise the duck was either hit by a car or attacked by an animal. As soon as the Redhead
arrived at our clinic, we allowed it to swim in the hydrotherapy room, then moved it to an outside pool after it
Monthly Flyer, April 2018 3

rested in the Duck Room overnight. On February 23, Dr. Cristin Kelley gave the duck a thorough examination
while it was under anesthesia, confirming the clavicle fracture had stabilized. She cleaned the injured foot,
removed part of the bone on one of its toes, and sutured the wounds. By the next day, we observed the
Redhead swimming and diving well in the outside pool. After a second medical procedure to examine and
clean its wounds, the duck began steady improvement. By March 8, it was flying and had gained weight. On
March 14, after Dr. Kelley confirmed the injuries had resolved, we banded the Redhead. Clinic Director Andrea
Howey-Newcomb released the duck to a suitable habitat later that same day. Learn more about the beautiful
Redhead in this month’s Featured Bird article.
On February 27, an office worker in Philadelphia contacted Tri-State when he found an American Woodcock
lying in the courtyard outside his Center City business. The bird had sustained head and eye injuries after
presumably hitting a window. On admission, the adult woodcock was depressed and required time in the
oxygen incubator before we could rinse his eyes and clean the head wounds. On March 6, once the bird’s
condition stabilized, we sutured its head wounds while it was under anesthesia. Over the next few days, the
bird ate well and gained weight, and its injuries slowly began to heal. We minimized handling as much as
possible and observed the bird carefully. Time in a rehabilitation facility can be stressful for any wild animal,
but particularly for American Woodcocks—birds that are high-stress, even under the best of circumstances.
Woodcocks are also challenging because of their dietary needs: They eat their weight in worms every day. By
March 15, as soon as its wounds had fully healed and it was flying well, we released the American Woodcock
on-site at Tri-State.
In March, we also released Bald Eagles, Cooper’s Hawks, a Black Vulture, a Ring-billed Gull, a Common Loon,
a Canada Goose, Carolina Wrens, a Downy Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, a Common Grackle, and Mourning

A medium-sized diving duck at 18 to 22 inches long, the Redhead breeds on freshwater marshes and winters
on bays, estuaries, and lakes. The male has a cinnamon-colored head and striking golden eyes, a black-tipped
blue-gray bill, a black breast, and smoky gray upperparts and sides. The female is mostly light brown, with
dark brown upperparts.

Staff Photo
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 4

Redheads fly faster than most ducks, with a rapid, shallow wingbeat and a flight pattern that’s more erratic
than that of the similar-looking Canvasback. (Canvasbacks are larger ducks that have a white back and sides
and a longer, dark bill.) Redheads primarily eat aquatic vegetation, such as green algae and grasses, as well
as invertebrates and fish eggs.
Seasonally monogamous Redhead pairs form while the birds are still on their winter grounds and strengthen
during spring migration. A Redhead pair inspects potential nest sites together from the air, then the female
chooses the spot, typically stands of cattails and bulrushes located over water where they are safer from
predators. The female alone builds the nest using plant material and her own breast feathers. Scientists
estimate that Redheads lay 7 to 14 eggs a year. The exact number is difficult to determine because, according
to All About Birds, Redheads are known to parasitize the nests of other Redheads as well as nests of Mallards,
Canvasbacks, Northern Pintails, Gadwalls, Northern Shovelers, Ruddy Ducks, American Wigeons, and even
Northern Harriers. Once the female begins to incubate, her mate departs to join other males in molting flocks.
The young hatch after 23 to 29 days, leave the nest within two days, and take their first flight when they are
56 to 73 days old.
Learn more about the Redhead at 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
Talley Brown, Tri-State’s new maintenance
supervisor, comes to us after a long and winding
path through the carpentry, construction, electrical,
and plumbing industries. The Navy veteran says, “I
love animals—especially dogs and birds of prey.
The minute I read the job description [for the
position at Tri-State], I was hooked!”
As maintenance supervisor, Talley is responsible for
the upkeep of Tri-State facilities. His duties include
repairs, working with volunteers on remodeling
projects, and working with subcontractors to
maintain the equipment.
Although his primary professional experience has
been in trade, his first high school job was working
at a family friend’s veterinary clinic. Talley says, “I
finished high school by the skin of my teeth, but I
continue to learn by seeing, reading, and doing
everything that interests me.”
Staff Photo
Talley and his wife, Karla, live in a 113-year-old
home in Wilmington. They have two grown daughters, Rachel and Becca, and three dogs. He says, “I love my
job, and I am impressed with how nice everyone here is.”

34 years: Sherry Grizzel 27 years: Jay Baumgardner 24 years: Vera Lee Rao 21 years: Linda Mullin
8 years: Paulette Derkach, Karen Dibble, and Carol Loveless
A huge thank you to all the volunteers who worked in the clinic, transported birds, and helped keep the
grounds and outside cages safe throughout the winter of 2017/2018. You made sure the birds received the
best care, even when conditions weren’t the best. Thank you!
Monthly Flyer, April 2018 5

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.
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.
Open House. Sunday, May 6. Tri-State’s annual Open House will be here before we know it. See the article
above for more details. If you are interested in helping run this fun-filled community event, stop by to see
Chris Chapdelaine in the Development Office or contact Chris at or at (302) 737-
9543, extension 109.
13th Effects of Oil (EOW) on Wildlife Conference. May 7 to 11, Baltimore. Tri-State is proud to
present the 13th EOW conference with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) this May. We are very pleased
that our colleagues at the National Aquarium will be serving as the host at this beautiful Inner Harbor location.
We have a tremendous program planned, which will include hands-on workshops, a media training workshop
led by U.S. Coast Guard personnel, presentation of research findings, roundtable discussions, and a closing
panel discussion. The week will also be filled with many social events, such as a craft beer tasting, poster
session happy hour, and a strolling banquet at the National Aquarium. Tri-State’s Oil Programs staff is working
closely with our development and marketing group to spread the word and line up sponsors for this globally
important event. For more information, please visit the conference website:
Yard Sale, Saturday, October 6, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s never too soon to start scouring your attic,
basement, and garage for items to donate to Tri-State’s annual community fund-raiser. And, of course, if you
would like to join the planning committee or sign up to volunteer, let Julie Bartley know. Contact Julie at or (302) 737-9543, extension 102. Watch for more details in upcoming issues of The
Monthly Flyer.
Benefit for the Birds, Friday, November 9, 6 to 10 p.m. The 2018 benefit will return to the Chase Center
on the Riverfront in Wilmington. We have begun making plans, and we would love to have your help. Contact
Chris Chapdelaine at or at (302) 737-9543, extension 109. Look for more details
in upcoming issues of The Monthly Flyer.