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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

June 2018

Celebrating 42 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Editor: Loretta Carlson

Overnight it seems we went from 20 birds to 150 birds in-house.
Along with the usual abundance of robins and grackles, we’ve
admitted wrens, finches, phoebes, and even the first baby White-
breasted Nuthatches.
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 9 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. Thank you!
Eastern Phoebes eagerly beg for food. Staff Photo
Spring is officially here. About 1,000 people made the trip down Possum Hollow Road for Tri-State’s Open
House on May 6. With a new open layout, guests got to meet with nearly thirty local artists, businesses, and
non-profits that share a passion for our native wildlife. Perhaps the most exciting parts of the day were the
two K9-unit demonstrations courtesy of Delaware State Police and the Smyrna, Delaware, police department.
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Former Tri-State patient Conrad the Blue Jay also made a special appearance
at the John James Audubon Center exhibit.
Guided tours of the Frink Center and
Wildlife Response Annex were a big hit
once again. Special educational
presentations by local experts drew an
additional audience to the annex
throughout the day. Owl pellet dissections,
face painting, and a DIY photo booth
added to the fun for our youngest guests.
The I Don’t Give a Fork food truck
returned to feed our hungry guests along
with Sweet Josephine’s cupcakes. New
Castle County’s Mounted Police unit even
made an appearance on their Clydesdales
to round out the day’s activities.
Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers
who gave up their Sunday to host this extraordinary day. With your help,
Open House raised more than $10,000 for Tri-State. Mark your calendars
now and clear your plans for Sunday, May 5, 2019, when we’ll welcome the
community back for another Open House.
Open House photos courtesy of Russ Carlson

Presenting Sponsor: WSFS Bank
Aston Veterinary Hospital Highmark Blue Cross Delaware
Backyard Birds Emporium John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove
Blue Hen Car Wash Limestone Veterinary Hospital
CMI Solar & Electric Longwood Veterinary Center
Circle Veterinary Clinic Lums Pond Animal Hospital
Concord Pike Veterinary Hospital RG Promotions
Debbie’s Fund for Animals Talleyville Frame Shoppe & Gallery
Expedia CruiseShipCenters Wild Birds Unlimited—Hockessin
Harvest Market Natural Foods Windcrest Animal Hospital

Before the babies descended upon the clinic, raptors ruled throughout the winter and early spring. One such
patient was Red-tailed Hawk 18-318, which spent a little over a month in our care. A woman drove the bird to
Newark from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, after a passing vehicle struck it. The hawk sustained head and eye
trauma, and radiographs also revealed an old, healed leg fracture. With pain medication and supportive care,
the Red Tail’s injuries began to heal, but the bird was slow to begin self-feeding. Once we moved it outside,
however, the hawk not only began eating well, but also flying well. By the end of April, it was ready for
exercise in a flight cage. By May 8, its injuries had completely resolved and it was flying beautifully. We
released this Red-tailed Hawk on-site at Tri-State.
Monthly Flyer, June 2018 3

Although baby birds tend to be the starring
attractions at this time of year, we also admit quite
a few warblers passing through our area during
spring migration. An adult Ovenbird came into the
clinic after it likely hit a window in Wilmington on
May 6. In addition to an abrasion on its cornea, a
broken bill tip, and a head tilt, the warbler had a
bruised right scapula and a cranial keel fracture.
Time in the oxygen ICU helped improve the bird’s
labored respiration, and pain medications and cage
rest were prescribed to help the other injuries heal.
Within a week of admission, the Ovenbird was
eating and flying well. Once its injuries resolved,
we released this bird at Tri-State on May 15.
Another warbler that found its way to Tri-State
was an adult Magnolia Warbler. When the adult
came to us on May 13, its breathing was labored
and we noted a wound on its neck and bruising on
its scapula. We started the bird on a course of
Ovenbird Staff Photo
antibiotics and pain medications. Once the warbler
began self-feeding and its respiration improved, we cleaned and sutured its wounds while it was anesthetized.
Within a couple of days, the warbler’s wounds healed and its flight was strong. We released the Magnolia
Warbler at Tri-State.
On April 24, an adult female Osprey came to the Tri-State clinic after the presenter found her tangled in vines
in Rock Hall, Maryland. Radiographs confirmed the bird sustained no orthopedic injuries, but she had an eye
injury, multiple abrasions, and a swollen left elbow. We started her on a course of antibiotics and pain
medication, cleaned the injured eye, and treated her for lice. Ospreys are notoriously difficult to feed in
captivity, and this osprey was no exception. By the end of April, however, she began self-feeding, and once
her injuries resolved, she took her first test flight on May 3. After ten days of flight exercise to rebuild her
strength and stamina, she was observed flying from one end of the flight cage to another with controlled
turning, banking, and landing. We banded the Osprey and released her back in Rock Hall on May 13. Learn
more about the Osprey in this month’s Featured Bird article.
Like all babies, baby birds tend to elicit a chorus of ahhs. A
recent favorite of volunteers and staff alike was a young
White-breasted Nuthatch that came into the clinic on May 19.
The fledgling was quiet and unresponsive on admission, but
after two days of supportive care, the youngster was active
and eagerly accepting food. In a moment of synchronicity,
just as this nuthatch was showing signs it was ready for
release, a presenter brought in another young nuthatch. This
fledgling, found on the grounds of Winterthur Museum, was
healthy and active and clearly well fed by its parents. After
we reassured the presenter her nuthatch was healthy, she
said she would take it back to its parents’ care. When we
asked if she would take a second fledgling, she eagerly
agreed. So on May 21, nuthatch 18-863 was reunited with its
family and former patient 18-791 joined its foster family on
the grounds of Winterthur.

White-breasted Nuthatch 18-791 Staff Photo
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Peregrine Falcon 18-723 (left) with its foster family. Photo by Erica Miller

Once on the brink of extinction due to pesticide poisoning, the Peregrine Falcon has made an impressive
recovery. Although the species was removed from the Endangered Species List in 1999, wildlife officials
continue to monitor its nests and sometimes take extraordinary precautions to protect young falcons, which
are called eyases. Recently, New Jersey Department of Fish & Wildlife (NJDFW) removed a falcon chick from
its nest because it was not thriving. The nestling came to Tri-State on May 16, where it received supportive
care and close attention to encourage it to eat. Staff wore a hood and gloves whenever they fed the falcon to
ensure it did not imprint on humans. Two days later, the eyas was eating and processing well, and it was
bright, alert, and vocalizing. On May 21 former Tri-State veterinarian Dr. Erica Miller and NJDFW officer Ben
Wurst placed the young falcon in a foster nest.
In May, we also released Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, Bald Eagles, a Black Vulture,
a Red-throated Loon, Canada Geese, Mallards, a Herring Gull, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, a Wood Thrush,
an Indigo Bunting, a Cedar Waxwing, a Pileated Woodpecker, a Northern Flicker, a Lincoln’s Sparrow,
Eastern Bluebirds, White-breasted Nuthatches, Gray Catbirds, a Carolina Wren, a House Wren, House Finches,
a Tufted Titmouse, a Northern Cardinal, American Robins, Common Grackles, and Mourning Doves.
Monthly Flyer, June 2018 5

Unique among North American raptors for its diet of live fish
and its ability to dive into water to catch them, the Osprey has
distinctively shaped claws with barbed pads on the soles of its
feet to help grip its slippery prey. When flying with prey, an
Osprey lines up its catch head first for less wind resistance.
Although people sometimes mistakenly identify an Osprey as a
Bald Eagle, the Osprey is 21 to 24 inches long with a 54- to 72-
inch wingspan compared to the Bald Eagle at 34 to 43 inches
long with a 72- to 84-inch wingspan. And while a mature Bald
Eagle’s head is entirely white, the Osprey has a white head
with a broad black stripe through its cheeks and the side of its
neck. Finally, while the Bald Eagle’s body is entirely dark
brown, the Osprey is brown on top with white underparts.
Viewed from below, Osprey wings are mostly white with a
prominent dark patch at the wrists. Juveniles have white
Osprey patient 18-424 Staff Photo
spots on the back and buffy shading on the breast.
Ospreys form monogamous pairs and have one brood of
three young each year. They build nests constructed of
sticks, sod, seaweed, and other materials as high as 200
feet above ground, often over water. If the nests are not
placed over water, they invariably are found close to
saltmarshes, lakes, rivers, or other bodies of water. Both
parents incubate the eggs for 32 to 43 days and feed the
young until they leave the nest at 48 to 60 days old.
Listen for the Osprey’s whistling and chirping calls as it soars
over shorelines and patrols waterways. Scan treetops and
other high spots along the shore for perched adults and
untidy stick nests piled atop a platform, pole, or snag out in
the open.
Learn more about the Osprey 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 book.
Photo by Bill Hardie

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 150 and climbing.

Nursery Interns
Candace Casey is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware with a bachelor of science 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, Candace loves spending time with her dog and turtle, reading, and, recently, dabbling in wildlife

Megan Estrada is a 2018 University of Delaware graduate with a degree in wildlife conservation and ecology.
Megan was born and raised in New York. She has always had a passion for animals and looks forward to
pursuing a career in wildlife rehabilitation. Her favorite pastimes include hiking, making music, and playing
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 6

Full-time Interns
Martin Ortiz, our senior outside intern, is a 2016 graduate of the University of Delaware with a degree in
animal science. He is from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and hopes to use this internship experience to help
achieve his long-awaited dream of becoming a veterinarian. When Martin is not helping animals of all species
and sizes, he is enjoying music, video games, films, and long nature walks with his dog Archer.

Naveen Gooneratne was born in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and is a rising sophomore at Connecticut College
where he is studying conservation biology. Naveen has been interested in ornithology since the sixth grade
and continues to study birds in the hopes of finding a career that will contribute to their protection and well-
being. In his free time, Naveen enjoys birdwatching, practicing drum-set, and playing volleyball.

Melissa Jernakoff is from Wilmington, Delaware, and she is currently an environmental science major and
animal behavior minor at Wheaton College (Class of 2021) in Norton, Massachusetts. She is very interested in
environmental chemistry and ecology, as well as birds, and she hopes to one day do research of some kind.
She plays D3 field hockey at her school, and in her free time she loves to go hiking and camping.

Parker O’Neil, a recent graduate from Concord High School, is a third-generation birder and has been
volunteering at Tri-State for two years. She is incredibly excited to have been selected to be an intern at
Tri-State this season and cannot wait to work with the other interns and volunteers.

Carrie Schiebel is a Delaware Tech graduate with plans to transfer to West Chester University for ecology and
conservation biology in the fall. Originally from Virginia, Carrie now lives in Landenberg, Pennsylvania. In her
free time, she enjoys volunteering at a local animal rescue and playing video games.

Volunteer Interns
Carolyn Altig just finished her freshman year at Shippensburg University as a biology major. She is from West
Grove, Pennsylvania, and has always had an interest in animals, reading, and learning new things.

Sofia Bialkowski is a junior at the University of Delaware who is studying pre-veterinary medicine and animal
bioscience and agriculture and natural resources with a minor in wildlife conservation. She is from Long Island,
New York. In her free time, Sofia enjoys hiking, crafting, and playing with animals.

Katie Bradley is a senior wildlife ecology and conservation major at the University Delaware. She has been
passionate about nature and wildlife since a young age and enjoys spending her free time outside gardening
and hiking.

Alexander (Alex) Dilworth is a first year wildlife conservation and ecology major at the University of Delaware.
He is from Cochranville, Pennsylvania, with an interest in a future career in wildlife rehabilitation.

Marcos Fernandez has completed his first year at Prescott College where he is working toward a bachelor of
science degree in environmental studies. Marcos lives in New York City and is passionate about hiking, biking,
and rock climbing.
Caitlin Frenck will be a senior at the University of Delaware with a triple major in wildlife and ecology
conservation, animal sciences, and agriculture and natural resources. A Newark, Delaware, native, she hopes
to become a wildlife biologist or a wildlife ecologist.

Ian Henderson is a recent graduate from Temple University's College of Science and Technology with a degree
in biology (and a focus in invertebrate biology). His primary area of study is arachnids, but he also has a
marked passion for avian ecology.
Monthly Flyer, June 2018 7

Larissa Kubitz is a junior at the University of Delaware studying pre-veterinary medicine and agriculture and
natural resources. She is from Oley, Pennsylvania, and became interested in birds after studying abroad in
New Zealand.

Courtney Mooney is a post-baccalaureate pre-veterinary student at West Chester University. A native of
Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, she graduated with degrees in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's University
in 2012 and worked in public accounting for four years. Courtney now works at an emergency animal hospital
and volunteers at a variety of animal rescues.

Natalia Ochoa is currently pursuing a major in pre-veterinary medicine and a minor in wildlife conservation at
the University of Delaware. Originally from Indiana, she moved to Delaware three years ago. Her main hobbies
include playing guitar, gardening, drawing, and hiking.

Jessica Paoletti is a sophomore at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, majoring in biology. She hopes to
work with wildlife in the future.

Madison Plunkert has just completed her first year at the University of Maryland, College Park, where she
studies biological sciences with a concentration in ecology evolution. She enjoys playing her violin, reading,
and hiking on the trails near her home in Baltimore County. Madison hopes to one day teach and conduct
research in the field of evolutionary biology.

Meaghan Young is from Bayville, New Jersey, and graduated from the University of Delaware in December
2017 with a bachelor of science degree in pre-veterinary medicine and animal biosciences and agriculture and
natural resources. She is currently taking a gap year and will be applying to veterinary and graduate schools
for the coming year. Her main interests involve animal health, research, and veterinary medicine.

30 years: Lisa Robinson 25 years: Fran Petersen 22 years: Helene Harris and Karen Wenner-Pedersen
15 years: Anne Kisielewski 14 years: Jan McCullough 13 years: Betty Jane Anderson 12 years: Katie
Bartling and Patti Root

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.