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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

A Volunteer Newsletter

August 2018

Celebrating 42 years of excellence in
wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: snyders/moonbeampublishing Compiled by Tri-State staff and volunteers


We try our best to do our part in being a ‘green’ organization, and we recently
asked our Facebook guests to help in supplying us with Perfectware Sugarcane
2-oz cups. They are eco-friendly and ideal for the baby birds’ specialized
diet…and they’re compostable, too! In less than a day, generous donors
purchased 2,000 cups from our Amazon wishlist. Thanks to them, we should be
well-supplied through the rest of baby bird season!

We want to send special thanks to our interns for all your help this summer.
Whether you were opening or closing the nursery, caring for outside birds,
doing general cleaning, or making diet, please know that you made a huge
difference to the staff, volunteers, and, especially, the birds. Good luck in your
studies, keep in touch, and remember: New babies will be back next summer.
We hope you will be, too. Kim expertly feeds baby birds in
the nursery. Staff Photo
Please come and celebrate with us on August 15th, Wednesday from 11-2 in the Annex training room. We
would like to have an almost end-of-summer picnic to thank the interns, celebrate the volunteers, and show
our appreciation to the staff! Brought to you by your grateful fans! Please RSVP by August 12th
Our annual Giant Yard Sale is slated for Saturday, October 6th, at the Aetna
Hose Hook & Ladder fire hall in Newark, Delaware. The trailer is in the upper
parking lot, and a dedicated team of volunteers are on hand Sundays and
Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to
accept items. Donated items are needed to make this event a success,
so clean out your garage, attic, or basement to help the birds!
Information on the items we can and cannot accept can be found at
This can’t be reiterated enough—A big event like the yard sale to benefit the
birds is only possible with the support of many people. Thank you to all our
amazing volunteers who collect, price, and sort items. Thank you to those
who help us set up for the event, work at the event, and break down the
event, as well as the bakers who populate the bake sale with delicious treats.
If you would like to help with this event, please contact Chris Chapdelaine
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 2

The newly formed Habitat and Enrichment Team (HabET) kicked off in May.
This team is dedicated to providing safe, species-appropriate habitat for the
purpose of reducing patient stress and stimulating natural behaviors. Ten
volunteers attended the first Habitat Team meeting, “with an amazing
100+ years of Tri-State experience between us” says team member Marian
Quinn. This team builds on the work of Clinic staff and volunteers who
created the husbandry manual that can be found in the volunteer office.
This manual contains photographs and instructions for numerous species-
specific habitats, and it is especially useful to volunteers when setting up a
particular type of habitat for the first time. This summer, the habitat team
is focused on ensuring that there are adequate materials available for a
variety of habitats. Toward this end, they have recently established a
relationship with Mount Cuba Center in Hockessin as a reliable source for
pruned branches, native grasses, tree stumps, and other natural items.
Team members have been providing habitat materials and set-ups
routinely, such as for fledgling birds being moved outside, and on an
on-call, special species basis, most recently for juvenile osprey, a piping plover, and three juvenile yellow-
crowned night herons. Team members are also looking ahead to fall/winter projects, which include
establishing ways to provide safe and repeatable habitats in the modular units coming into use in Clinic and
addressing habitat materials sorting procedures and storage needs. If you are interested in joining the efforts
of the Habitat and Enrichment Team, please let Andrea know at

In the last three years, we’ve had three Piping Plover patients come through our doors. Our latest came to us
recently from NJ when the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, the agency that monitors that state’s Piping Plover
populations, discovered this orphaned plover chick in a nest. Not only were its nestmates deceased, it was
suspected the shorebird’s parents were gone as well. Piping Plovers are ground nesters, and not wanting to
leave the juvenile exposed to predators, the agency brought it to Tri-State for professional care. Estimated to
be approximately ten days old when it came to our clinic, it will remain in care for another twenty or so days
until it becomes self-sufficient and can be returned to the wild. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
there are only 8,400 breeding individuals in the world. Destruction of beach habitat (including sea level
changes), exposure to predators, and human harassment have led to their decline.

Piping Plovers
are on the
species list.

Left: Piping Plover patient in an incubator.
Above: Piping Plover practices its foraging skills in a tub
with husbandry and mealworms. Staff Photos
Monthly Flyer, August 2018 3

Summer storms wreak havoc not
only on human habitats but on
nesting bird habitats as well. Such
was the case for three juvenile
Purple Martins. During one such
storm, the roof of their martin
house blew off and the nest was
destroyed. Transported by a
volunteer to Tri-State, the three
nestlings were found to be
emaciated and dehydrated; they
also had parasites.
The trio was treated for
dehydration and parasites, and a
frequent hand-feeding schedule
was set up for them. Thanks to
the ongoing efforts of volunteers,
summer interns, and staff, all
three juveniles were soon well on
the road to recovery. A couple of
Three Purple Martins being fed in their surrogate nest box at Tri-State. Staff Photo weeks later, they were deemed
ready to be released to a foster
family. An appropriate Purple Martin foster family was located, and the siblings were returned to the wild!
Thank you all for helping these youngsters get a second chance!
Tri-State team members Andrea, Erica, and Michelle washed a Peregrine Falcon fledgling at our Wildlife
Response Annex in July. The male falcon was found on a rooftop pool area after it had struck a nearby
window. A thorough examination of the young patient revealed it also had a notable level of lead in its blood
as well as roofing tar on its wings and tail. After the bird was treated for impact-related injuries and lead
poisoning, it was healthy enough to go through the washing process to remove the tar. Once this youngster
was ready, he was fostered to an appropriate Peregrine Falcon family since its original nest and biological
parents could not be located.

A Peregrine Falcon is washed in the Wildlife Response Annex.
Staff Photo
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 4

In addition to the success stories mentioned, some of the other releases for July include a Green Heron,
Downy Woodpecker, Barn Swallow, House Wren, Mourning Dove, Tufted Titmouse, several American Robins,
sixteen Chimney Swifts, seven House Finches, five Osprey, Gray Catbirds, Chipping Sparrows, American Crows
and Northern Mockingbirds to name a few. These releases could not be possible without the daily hands-on
hard work you so generously contribute to rehabilitate these vulnerable patients. Thank you!

One of the five Ospreys released in July. Staff photo Betty Jane provides care to a Tufted Titmouse patient that
was released July 24th. Staff photo

It takes a lot of teamwork to meet the dietary needs of so many
species at Tri-State. Some patients depend on feedings delivered
every half hour, while others require extremely specialized
foods. Volunteers play a key role in this huge daily task,
contributing valuable time and expertise to ensure all patients’
nutritional requirements are met. We estimate approximately
14,000 meals are prepared for just the baby birds each year.
This number does not include the meal prep for adult patients
that eat once or twice a day.
We are grateful to the teams of volunteers who deliver vital
nutrition to the birds every day of the year!
Tuesday morning crew volunteers Noel and Betty Jane
preparing meals to tempt our patients. Staff Photo

Martin, Naveen, and Gail skillfully prepare multiple From left to right, Carrie, Asa, and Shane preparing diets together.
meals for multiple patients. Staff Photo Staff Photo
Monthly Flyer, August 2018 5

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 fund-raiser. See the article above for
more details.

Tom assists a customer. Staff Photo Ann helps out at last year’s Yard Sale. Staff Photo

2018 Benefit for the Birds, Friday, November 9, 6 to 10 p.m. Fly Me to the Loon! Our biggest
fundraiser of the year will return to the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. This year’s theme is “A
Night in Vintage Vegas,” and the house will be flush with entertainment, complete with the sounds of Sinatra
and casino games like Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette. Tickets go on sale soon. Don’t miss out on this fabulous
fiesta to benefit the birds. It’s sure to turn up Aces. Contact Chris Chapdelaine with any questions at or at (302) 737-9543, extension 109.

Q. What do you call a volunteer who transports those long-legged wading birds to release?
A. A heron aide.