Date: 12/22/17 11:35 am
From: Tracee Clapper (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: No sightings – comments in recognition of the Avian Conservation Center - The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC
Matthew, this is great information to have. I’m thankful you shared.

On Fri, Dec 22, 2017 at 2:26 PM M Campbell <carolinabirds...> wrote:

> Dear Carolinabird List Serve,
> I would like to speak to the professionalism and caring services provided
> by the Avian Medical Clinic at the Avian Conservation Center - The Center
> for Birds of Prey in Awendaw, SC.
> <>
> I have been in contact with the Avian Medical Clinic, Debbie Mauney, and
> Emily Davis about the recent Snowy Owl. Staff with the Avian
> Conservation Center - The Center for Birds of Prey observed the Snowy Owl
> in Myrtle Beach and determined that the bird was in need of medical
> assistance. If a professional rehabber can walk up and pick up a snowy
> owl with the bird making no attempt to move, that is more evidence about
> the health condition of the bird. If you are interested, please see
> below for the update on the Snowy owl that had been in Myrtle Beach.
> Please visit the Avian Conservation Center - The Center for Birds of Prey
> or contact them if you have questions.
> Matthew Campbell
> Charleston, SC
> From the Avian Medical Clinic…
> As most of you know, we recently admitted an unusual patient, a snowy owl,
> into our Avian Medical Clinic. The bird was spotted in Myrtle Beach by a
> local birder, and we received a call of concern about the bird’s safety as
> he was so far out of their normal range. We captured the bird and admitted
> him to the clinic for a full evaluation.
> Following our physical examination, it was determined that the bird was
> mildly emaciated, and had internal parasites (trichomoniasis and
> capillaria), both of which can become debilitating in a compromised bird.
> The bird also presented with a very heavy external parasite load. We
> stabilized the bird by providing subcutaneous fluid therapy, along with
> vitamin supplements. Once stable, we treated for both the internal and
> external parasites. The bird has now been moved to an outdoor enclosure, is
> eating well, and is being kept on a strict “Do Not Disturb” status.
> We have been coordinating with experts in the field to assist us in
> determining the best course of action for this bird. We have decided to
> transport the bird to another facility further North in Delaware (Tri-State
> Bird Rescue), where the bird will receive diagnostics following Project
> SNOWstorm guidelines. Project SNOWstorm (
> <>)
> is a non-profit scientific research group studying snowy owl movements and
> migration patterns, using banding for individual identification along with
> backpack transmitters to track birds and their movements.
> Specifically, the snowy owl blood sample processing protocols set forth by
> Project SNOWstorm include testing for DNA, contaminants, toxicology, and
> West Nile Virus, as well as documenting general health parameters for each
> bird. Based on their findings, they will either band the bird or fit him
> with a radio transmitter for tracking as part of their larger research
> project, and will likely transport the bird even further North for release.
> Snowy owl migration is complex; some birds migrate south predictably and
> regularly, while others remain on the breeding grounds (arctic tundra) or
> actually move north. But every once in a while, for reasons that are not
> fully understood, snowy owls come flooding down from the north in a
> phenomenon known as an “irruption”. It appears it’s not hunger or lack of
> prey that produces these mega-flights, but an absurd abundance of food
> during the summer breeding season. High populations of lemmings, voles,
> ptarmigan and other prey lead to large clutches of owl eggs. During an
> irruption year, these birds often find themselves in areas that do not
> supply the proper environment for their health. Such as Myrtle Beach. The
> largest Snowy Owl eruption was in 2013-2014. These owls were being reported
> and confirmed as south as Florida and Bermuda.
> There are a lot of challenges for these birds when they migrate to new
> territories, especially places like Myrtle Beach. It is our hope that this
> bird is one of the lucky ones that will make his way back where he belongs.
~Tracee 843/425-7630

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