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Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

MONTHLY FLYER
A Volunteer Newsletter

February 2019

Celebrating 43 years of excellence in


wildlife rehabilitation and research

Photo: Hank Davis Compiled by Tri-State staff and volunteers

A VOLUNTEER’S ‘TAIL’ – by Julie Greenwood

I’ve always been the animal lover in my


family and feeding the backyard birds was a
priority. From the little finch that landed in
my hand to the first time I saw a
hummingbird flutter right in front of me.
Now I have the Blue Jays that have found
the bedroom window to wake me up for
their peanuts (drives the cats crazy) and
the Mallards that come hang out every
spring to swim in our pool and get their
cracked corn. One day the female was
injured and in the pool. I called my
friend/co-worker who has been involved
with Tri State for as long as I can
remember. Even with a valiant effort to
rescue her, she ended up taking off, but it
definitely piqued my interest in Tri State. I
love taking photos of birds but thought I
could learn so much more by getting
involved. So, I first signed up to be a
MoDo (monthly donor). With that came the
notification of the volunteer information
session. Sitting through the class, I had no doubt that I was going to take the training for the bird care and
subsequently the baby birds.

Working with staff has been a great experience. Never is there a day that I go home without having learned
something new about the birds. And my fiancé gets a bird checklist after each volunteer session. He listens
patiently, indulging my experiences.

So now it has been almost two years and still going strong. Being in a small enclosure with a very vocal Bald
Eagle is amazing. Having a Snowy Owl fly over your head and you barely hear a sound is awe-inspiring. Holding
a Red-Tailed Hawk to assist is thrilling. And the babies (my favorites being the catbirds, mockingbirds and Blue
Jays) are just so adorable. I always have to remind myself that we are there to help them back to the wild
where they should be. Finally, I had the experience of releasing one. I drove him back to his location and off he
went with a little chirp. It just left a smile on my face for the rest of the day!
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 2

A VOLUNTEER WITH A VOICE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


A couple local news organizations recently reached out to Tri-State to discuss two patients that were in our care
at the beginning of the year. Maryanne, a longtime volunteer, was kind enough to be interviewed by a local ABC
affiliate about one of the patients, a Bald Eagle, and the effects of lead poisoning in these majestic birds. Click on
the photo to watch the interview.

Maryanne speaks about the effects of lead in Bald Eagles.


Photo: ABC 47

…AND SPEAKING OF BALD EAGLES


Our first patient of the year was an immature Bald Eagle. It was injured from being caught in a legally set snare
trap (for catching game mammals), which caused a serious wing laceration that required surgery. Once stabilized
and comfortable, the immature raptor ate well and was nursed by many caring hands…thanks to our amazing and
highly trained volunteers! After 26 days of the highest quality care, the eagle was released and is once again free to
live its life, soaring to new heights. This patient will be one of 2,500+ wild birds that will cross our threshold in 2019!
Monthly Flyer, February 2019 3

Release photo courtesy of Marian Quinn

‘INTERN’ALLY SPEAKING, WE’RE SO HAPPY WHEN THEY COME BACK!


We are extremely fortunate when summer interns return to volunteer at the clinic. Ian, who chose to spend time at
Tri-State during his vacation from school in the southern U.S., was eager to lend his expert hand last month with bird
care for two weeks. When asked what he most enjoyed about coming back to volunteer, he remarked that he likes
the community feel at Tri-State and really enjoyed working with the Canvasback patient, mentioning he will never be
that close to one in the wild. We asked if he will return to volunteer in the future and he replied, “Oh, I’ll definitely be
back!”

Left: Ian assists clinic supervisor Jessica during a Black Vulture’s check-up. Right: Ian removes and sorts
feathers from a Red-tailed Hawk carcass for our imping feather bank. Staff photos
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 4

THERE’S NOTHING ‘PHONEY’ ABOUT THESE VOLUNTEERS


Working the front desk is no easy
task. It is command central for patient
intake, accepting donations, fielding
thousands of questions a year, and it
is an emotional support system for
callers and presenters. Volunteers
who work the desk have to be well-
versed in speaking with the public,
skilled with computers, knowledgable
about Tri-States policies and
procedures, and more. That’s a whole
lot of juggling! Due to these fabulous
volunteers’ dedication and
commitment to wild birds, we are able
to transport and process thousands of
patients through our doors annually.
Thank you for all you do for the birds
every single day of the year!
Front desk volunteer Linda mentors new volunteer Veronica. Staff photo

Remember when you started as a volunteer at


Tri-State? We bet many volunteers would like to
read about your memories and experiences when
Volunteer Services January 2019 you began volunteering here (we know we
would!). If you’d like to share a story with other
Number of Hours Over 1,137! volunteers who receive the monthly flyer, like
Served Julie did on page 1, please contact Anita,
Marketing Associate, at amoos@tristatebird.org,
Number of Volunteers 79
or call her at 302-737-9543 extension 117. You
Serving
can also see Melody, Volunteer Services
Highest Number of 87.5 Manager, in her office or at
Hours Served mwhitaker@tristatebird.org.
(Monthly/Individual) We’d love to hear from you!
Monthly Flyer, February 2019 5

HAPPENSTANCE HELPS A BIRD IN NEED


A volunteer’s husband
happened to be in a
state park when he
came across an officer
who had found an
injured Red-shouldered
Hawk in the vicinity. He
explained to the officer
that his wife, Noel, was
a volunteer at Tri-State.
Noel swiftly retreived
and transported the
raptor to our clinic for
care. It was suspected
that the juvenile had
been attacked by
another bird. Its
mentation was dull, it
had a fractured lower
beak, and multiple
wounds on both sides Volunteer Noel released the Red-shouldered Hawk she helped rescue. Photo courtesy of Al Brown
of its body. If that
wasn’t bad enough, it also had parasites. Expert care for an entire month led to the patient regaining its health
and strength. The raptor was released back to its territory by the same volunteer who helped rescue it! Quite
the example of a full-circle rescue!

A DAPPER DUCK DEFIES THE ODDS


This adult male Long-tailed Duck was transferred to us from the Raptor Trust for continued care. Not only did it
sustain a gunshot, it was suspected that it had also been attacked by a hawk. On top of that, the waterbird’s
waterproofing was compromised. With continued care that included daily exercise, a nutritional diet,
medications, and an abundance of volunteers’ helping hands, the dapper drake was nursed back to health and
released at an appropriate habitat by Tri-State volunteers.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 6

A Long-tailed Duck rests poolside in its enriched habitat. Staff photo

FEBRUARY VOLUNTEER ANNIVERSARIES—THANK YOU FOR BEING A MEMBER OF


TRI-STATE’S FLOCK.
WE CAN’T DO IT WITHOUT YOU!

25 years: Mary Birney and Mark Cameron 21 years: Roger Suro 20 years: Cindy Peterson and Perrie Lee
Prouty 19 years: Liz Gontarz 18 years: Barbara Nichols and Al Ware 17 years: Sam Crothers 16 years:
Dave and Donna Houchin 15 years: Rosann Ferraro and Mary Milroy 14 years: Cindy Ahern, Joan Beatty,
and Doug and Arlene Reppa 13 years: Valnéa Persak 12 years: Linda Amundsen, Sharyn Fagone, Rob
Romeo, and Gail Schrenk 11 years: Terri Shaver 10 years: Betty Sharon 9 years: Gail Heath 8 years:
Dan Cotterman 5 years: Marty Allen 2 years: Charles du Pont 1 year: Susan Chase, Elizabeth Kramer,
and Stephanie Walker

*Please Note: if your anniversary date is wrong or missing, please help us correct it by emailing corrections to
mwhitaker@tristatebird.org, thank you!

…and to those of you who have been braving the cold, the snow, the deluge of rain, and
the windy conditions to come in and lend your very capable hands….
Monthly Flyer, February 2019 7

SPEAKING OF VOLUNTEERS’ CAPABLE HANDS…


Designated by Congress in 1994, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a national day of service intended to help
strengthen communities and honor Dr. King. Many schools throughout Delaware participate in this day of
service, but this year Tower Hill School decided to up the ante. They wanted to dedicate up to four days of
service to help organizations within their community.
Tower Hill High School created a new program, Tower Term, where all 10th grade students participate in a
week-long, service-based, experiential learning opportunity following the celebration of MLK Jr. Day. Tri-State
hosted eight students and a teacher for Tower Term. The group helped us with several cleaning projects, some
landscaping, and sand changes in our outdoor enclosures. In return, TSBRR provided the students with
educational activities. With the help of staff and volunteers, they toured our facility, learned about the process
of imping feathers, and participated in a wash demonstration. It was a win-win, and we were so grateful to
host such a wonderful group of students. None of this would have been possible without the support from our
own volunteers who helped to lead and guide the students throughout the week. A special thank you to
volunteers Patti, Dennis, Jenny, Tom, and Marian for their expert assistance!

Eight students and a teacher from Tower Hill High School volunteered their time at Tri-State with various projects. Tri-State
volunteers lent their time providing educational activities that the tenth-grade students enjoyed. Top left: Tower Hill
students, their teacher, and volunteer Dennis. Top Right: Students worked hard on sand changes in the outdoor habitats.
Bottom left: Volunteer Tom leads the students through a feather washing exercise. Bottom right: Jenny demonstrates how
contaminated wildlife is washed at Tri-State. Staff photos.
Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research 8

THERE’S NO SLACK IN THIS VAC


Meet the Volunteer Advisory
Committee (VAC) team! This team
meets throughout the year to help
support and enhance the volunteer
program by making
recommendations on the
recruitment, training, retention, and
recognition of volunteers. Their
focus is how to best attract new
volunteers, ensure adequate
training and mentoring, offer
continued learning opportunities,
and provide rewards for the
volunteers’ hard work and
dedication. If you ever have any
thoughts, suggestions, or requests
for the VAC team, please reach out
to one of your representative volunteers! The team includes, from left to right: Volunteers Linda, Rosann, Joan,
Jean, Maryanne, and staff members Meagan, Melody, and Andrea (not pictured).

SHOW YOU THE LOVE!


February is often associated with all
things “love” because of the
celebration of Valentine’s Day mid-
month. To help show the love for all of
our wonderful volunteers, TSBRR holds
a monthly Volunteer Raffle. Each time
you come in, whether for a shift, to
help transport a bird, or to help with a
committee, event, or project, please
write your name on a blank raffle
ticket and place it in our collection
barrel. Both the tickets and the barrel
are located in the Volunteer Break
Room, in between the mailboxes and
the phone. At the end of each month,
one ticket is drawn for the monthly
winner – yay! That volunteer then gets
to select a gift as a token of
appreciation. Curious as to who wins?
Winning tickets are posted on the bulletin board across from the break room. Plus, we have some new and
interesting gifts available! So please remember to submit your tickets!
Monthly Flyer, February 2019 9

Volunteers Erica and Jan skillfully administer


medication to a Northern Saw-whet Owl patient in
the raptor room.

No matter the size and number of patients at


Tri-State, our volunteers are here because they really
care!

SAVE THESE DATES…. AND HELP


SPREAD THE WORD.

Thanks to the teams of volunteers and


to our sponsoring partners, we are
able to once again host three amazing
events again this year.

Our annual Open House will be here


before we know it, and we look
forward to an even bigger and better
event this year.

Just five months after Open House,


buyers will be ‘falling’ for our Giant
Yard Sale.

Get on board for Benefit for the Birds;


our biggest fundraiser of the year.

…AND FINALLY…A BIT OF


BIRD NERD HUMOR