This Week at Liberty September 26, 2011

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

I am back from Washington, D.C. bearing a gift.  Once again, I am proud to announce that Liberty Wildlife has received recognition for our good work.  We were awarded a “Partners in Conservation Award” by the Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar.  And, better yet, I got to participate in the ceremony and meet the Secretary.  It ranks up there as a very cool experience for me.

Dr. Tuggle, Megan, and Secretary Salazar

The award was in recognition or our partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2 and the success of our Non-Eagle Feather Repository. Accompanying me on the trip were representatives from Region 2 including the Regional Director, Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, the Native American Liaison, Joe Early, Michele Gallagher and Robert Mesta.

We were seeped in history at a luncheon held in our honor in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and surrounded by our fellow conservationists as we received our awards at the Department of the Interior Building.

We were told that the competition was stiff for the award and that only 17 partnerships out of 400 entries made the cut.  Out of the entire country, we were one of these fortunate recipients.  Mr. Salazar stressed the importance of the work of each recipient and the critical need for these kinds of partnering opportunities to help the Department of the Interior complete its mission.  His comments included:

“The Partners in Conservation Awards demonstrate that our nation’s greatest conservation legacies often emerge when agencies and citizens from a wide range of backgrounds come together to address shared challenges,” Secretary Salazar said. “I am pleased to recognize the efforts of dedicated people from across our nation to conserve and restore our treasured landscapes, address water issues and forge solutions to complex natural resource issues through good government and strong partnerships.”

Our Citation ended with “In partnership with the USFWS, the Liberty Wildlife pilot non-eagle feather repository project accomplishes two important DOI goals-it preserves cultural heritage while simultaneously conserving our North American birds.”

And, an extra thrill for me….I got to see close at hand, Beau, the Obama’s Portuguese water dog, as he trotted along the East Wing of the White House on our tour the day after the award ceremony.

It was a trip full of thrills for me!

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total is now up to 3053.

As you can see, the intake rate is very low right now, as it usually is this time of year. The updates will most likely cover the other activities that we try to schedule during this yearly lull in rescue and rehab, at least those things that we can actually plan for…! Our annual Birdie Fore Birds golf tournament took place this weekend and seemed to be a big hit with all those who attended, plus we got to release a bunch of birds who have completed the rehabilitation process, and we took in at least one intriguing new patient.  Here’s what happened last week…

Young RTH gets a tag before going "outside"

"I'm likin' this!"

The young RTH who lost his alular (thumb) is now healthy enough to go outside into the flight cage and spend time adapting to this slight limitation to his flying equipment.  Used mainly in high “G” maneuvers and slow flight, he should have little trouble learning to compensate for the loss. We’ll keep you posted.


Burned RTH gets some trimming

We have quite a few electrical injuries at the present time.  This little red tail has been here for a couple of weeks and just now started to slough tissue around his beak. Hopefully it won’t lead to more serious problems. Jan managed to rim the dead tissue and for now, he’s doing OK. Time will tell, as with all electrical burns…


Carol gets ready to release a swainson's hawk (photo by Deborah Downs)

It's a big world out there... Photo by Carol Marshall

Swainson’s hawks are classically migratory – that is, they seem to all decide one day that it’s time to hit the road for Argentina (in the fall) and begin flying in gargantuan groups. Last summer, we got in two birds from the north of Arizona, and one fledgling who was very late for his species.  They went through the rehab process but had missed the migration and had to wait here until it began again.  Last week, the word was out that the swain son’s were moving and Claudia, Deboarh, and Carol took the three “amigos” down to Santa Cruz Flats. They found a large flock of fellow swain son’s who had made a pit-stop at a pecan grove, and released out three who promptly joined the team!  Good luck, guys! We’ll watch for you to pass over in the spring on your way to the midwest!


Carol and Joe give everybody new "Back to school" shoes (jesses)

It takes a lot of tools...!

As the school year begins, all the  education birds are checked for the equipment they will need for another successful education season. This includes general check-ups and getting “new shoes” in the form of anklets and jesses that prevent them from injury when they travel around in their ambassadorial roles. Joe was helped by Jan, Carol, Max, Susie, and Anne as he checked, trimmed, and greased new leather and made new, stronger equipment for the birds.


Harley hole...

Steven, Brian, and Morgan performed intern duties at the event.

Ed Le Clere from Chester's officiated at the live auction

Angry birds? What a team!!!

Two of Liberty's finest long-time supporters, Gina Gruenwald and Nancy Coxe, were honored

Double tournament release (two birdies on the same hole!) photo by Allen Spencer

The fifth annual Birdie Fore Birds golf tournament was held last Saturday and by all reports, it was a resounding success. Two HaHa’s were released by Gina Gruenwald and Nancy Coxe who were honored for their continued support of this and all Liberty functions. Many holes were sponsored by local firms and people who care about Arizona’s wildlife, and a great morning/afternoon was had by all who attended.


A diamondback on the "disabled list"

OK, so he's not that big, but he still packs a dangerous bite!

Most of the snake calls that come in to Liberty turn out to be the non-venomous variety even though people are SURE it’s a rattle snake! But this little baby diamondback came in from a filling station with some damage to his jaw and fangs (it’s never the tail…sigh.)Dr. Orr will have to anesthetize the little guy and do some of her remarkable micro-surgery and get him back in shape to go and be what he was designed to be. I’ll try to get some photos of the operation…

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7 Responses to This Week at Liberty September 26, 2011

  1. darlene fitchet says:

    I’m impressed with the box used to make the anklets and jesses. I remember when it was an exacto knife and a piece of leather.

  2. Art Smith says:

    Another great edition. Thank you and thanks to all who make both awards and releases possible……….Art

  3. Gail Cochrane says:

    Congratulations on winning the prestigious award! All of those who work with such dedication at Liberty should be very proud!

  4. Peggy Jelen says:

    Congratulations all on the “Partners in Conservation Award” that is great! Megan I was also privledged in meeting Secretary Salazar recently, representing the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee. He is a very nice and genuine man.

  5. Carolee Bryan says:

    Megan — You make us all very proud for eveything you do for Liberty!

    Carol Marshal — What an awesome picture you took!

  6. Kelly says:


  7. Bethany Fourmy says:

    MUCH Congrats on the award! Well deserved!

    Also, I love that little baby rattle. I wanted to pet him yesterday, sometimes cuteness can cloud better judgement I guess. More than that, I LOVE that Liberty is taking care of him who so many would rather put an end to. Bless Dr. Orr and the team for caring. I am so lucky to be a part of the crew.

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