This is a time for us to gather the data from the past year for our End of the Year reports required by US Fish and Wildlife Service and Arizona Game and Fish as part of our permit responsibilities. And, this is the time that we realize why things always seem so busy.
First I want to focus on our Education Department and our Medical Services efforts. Thanks to the details kept on Max Bessler’s Excel spread sheet, we have been able to get very detailed information on the numbers involved with that group’s activities. For now here is what we have. We attended 487 educational venues during the education season which is generally from September through May with a few out of the valley events during hot summer. At those 487 venues we provided 719 educational programs reaching 74,586 students of all ages….. record statistics for us this year!
The system that we are using is so sophisticated that we are able to gather information we have never been able to access before. Soon I will be able to tell you how many miles our education group traveled from Liberty Wildlife to the destination and back. That won’t include the miles covered by volunteers traveling to and from home as part of their trek to provide these educational opportunities all over the state and in some instances out of state. We are also in the process of gathering the hours donated by these volunteers as they drive to Liberty, box and load animals and other educational needs, travel to the venue, provide the programs, pack up and drive back to Liberty, unload animals, clean up equipment and end up at their starting points. Those will both be interesting numbers….all available thanks to Max’s dedication to keeping the data organized and available and the diligence of volunteers in providing the basic information. Most impressive!!!
On the Medical Services side the details are also shaping up and will continue to come in as final dispositions are logged in and tallied. At this point the log book shows that our Medical Services group assisted around 3900 animals over the past year. Almost 3400 of those are native animals in need of help. We will provide a list of species in an upcoming blog, and I can guarantee you will be impressed. As a result of their professional efforts, I released a great horned owl on New Year’s Eve. I can’t think of a better way to end the year. Our tradition at Liberty when releasing an animal is to make a wish for it, for yourself, for someone else, for the planet…whatever….and allow the animal to carry those wishes out to the ethers or to whomever you would like your wishes and dreams to be heard by.
I couldn’t have been luckier. This owl was proof positive that rehabilitation works. He/she was tough, wild and shot out of my grasp with the intent of never coming into our grasps again…..just what we want from an animal that has spent unnatural time with humans. I am pretty sure that my wishes and dreams made the trip in time warp speed.
And in case you were wondering….we still have some calendars left….don’t let this opportunity get past you. As it says…2012, A Year to Soar!
…….wishing all of you a Happy, Happy, Soaring New Year!
This Week at Liberty
The total for 2011 ended up at 3332. OK, We’re baaaaack! So this should probably be titled “The last couple weeks at Liberty” but that’s too much to type, so lets start off with the few birds that came in at the end of the year and move on to 2012! My thanks to Craig, Michaela, and anybody else who contributed photos and video – it takes a load off of me… And we’re off!
To begin the holiday season, DC Coordinator (and tour guide, and ed volunteer, and power birder, and good friend…) Claudia put this spread together for her team of volunteers – and everyone else who was there as well. (Note the sections designated Vegan, Vegetarian, and Carnivore.) Thank you Claudia!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We get a number of birds from a vet clinic up in Ft. Mohave each year. Unfortunately, since it’s such a long distance, we have a difficult time finding transport volunteers at times. Such was the case last month when they got in a little female kestrel with a broken humerus. In the 4 weeks it took to arrange a trip for her, her unwrapped wing got little or no attention and looked pretty bad when she arrived. But the Med Services team jumped on it and every effort will be made to help her heal. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And while we’re on the subject of long-distance rescues, I got a call around 715PM last week about a hawk at the Dewey Fire Department. I was getting ready to go and then got another call about a raven at Cordes Lakes. WOO HOO! It was right on the way and only 15 miles from the hawk! The next day, the vet night crew + Dr. Wyman checked them out and their treatment began. (And the round trip was only 212 miles!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It’s always good to have Dr. Wyman attend vet night. This osprey had some major issues with his wing and she was on hand to evaluate and advise on treatment.
Long eared owls are not all that common a visitor at Liberty. When one comes in, it’s always an interesting addition to the patient roster. This little guy has a wing injury of unknown origin and is currently improving slowly under the care of the Med Services team. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And the first intake for the year 2012 is a red tail hawk, brought in by Carl Price! And so it begins again… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A short video by TW@L
One of the last intakes from last year was a little eared grebe that came in from up in Payson. Like loons, grebes aren’t really designed for mobility on the ground and prefer to be water-borne. This little guy was ecstatic to be back afloat, even if it was in a sink at Liberty. (Tempe Camera was very kind in making a generous donation of a small HD video camera that now resides in the ICU. Micheala used this piece of equipment to shoot this video and we wish to thank Tempe Camera for this cool donation.)