This Week at Liberty November 5, 2012

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Our office is very small at Liberty Wildlife, but great good is done from that tiny space.  I don’t spend enough time applauding our staff’s role in guiding our volunteers’ activities 365 days a year….all of  the animals need care daily, even on holidays.

Sometimes things just nag at me to be written and this is one of those subjects that has been pulling on my shirt tail asking to be written.  The staff at Liberty Wildlife is hard working, smart, and shows great initiative…..and they are endearing.

Endearing????  For example, on Halloween, I slipped in to check on things and to see if anyone needed for me to do anything…and when I got there, I was the only dud not in some sort of Halloween holiday costume….now I find that endearing.  Someone manages to decorate our meager little hovel at every holiday and infuse the place with some festive vibes…I find that endearing.  They all seem to care about each other, and I find that very endearing!

They work together under less than perfect conditions.  While everyone is assigned a work station no one is possessive about their “stuff”.  Intern, Alex, may find her laptop on Terry’s desk if he is flying that day, or Jan’s if it is her day off.   Kurt often finds me at his desk if he is outside preparing meals for the volunteers to disperse to our patients the next day.  Pat, our office volunteer, makes a place for herself at Nina’s desk while Nina is preparing feather packages to be mailed, and Susie, laptop in tow, during the orphan season, finds a spot at an empty station often at Carolee’s desk,  when and if she catches a minute to do paper work.  Carol uses the feather trailer to orient, train, and welcome new volunteers.

No one complains, no one pouts, and no one stakes a claim.  They all know the work must be done; the volunteers must be supported, the animals taken care of, the education programs sent out, the reports completed in time….even within a small, crowded, less than fancy environment.  We all look forward to the day when that changes and plan not to let that change us.

My gratitude goes out to a great staff for all of your hard work and endearing ways.

Reminder:  Make a pledge to Liberty Wildlife in the Birdies for Charity campaign by going to, click on the pop up and follow the instructions…..we appreciate your support!  Thanks in advance for helping us fulfill our mission to Nurture the nature of Arizona!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total for the year is now at 3211.

Posted by Terry Stevens

The days are cooling off somewhat (90 degrees in the first week in November??) and we are finding time to take a breath as we approach the holiday season. An inside look at a few intakes, some projects, and a couple of cool photos submitted by some of our terrific volunteers are all on tap this week.

New Med Services volunteers Dr.Mike, Sara, and Barry (photo by Andrea Feiler)

Last week we mentioned a new class for the Education group.  At the same time, Jan is running a class for new Med Services volunteers.  This is an intensive course in what we do at Liberty – provide the very best medical care for all the animals who come through our doors. The class lasts for 6 weeks and has a large hands-on component. Welcome aboard to the new team!


Gunshot HaHa is examined

Not looking good

One of the birds that arrived recently was this pretty harris’ hawk with a wing injury. The wound was quite severe and after it was stabilized, an exam was again made to determine the best course of action. After last week we sent the bird to Dr. Driggers for surgery. He determined by X-rays that the wing bones were pulverized by a bullet. Since no remedial action would have been effective, the bird was humanely euthanized. As we approach the “gift-giving” season, we remind everyone to think long and hard about giving any type of firearms to children as gifts…


Hauling gravel to the rear for new ground cover

Nina and Kurt work on the new floor covering

In our continuing efforts to both provide the best habitats for our rehabbing animals (and to help alleviate any odors our neighbors might find objectionable), we recently acquired seven tons of new gravel to reline the floors on some of our outside enclosures. Last week Kurt, and Nina with the help of Alex, began the job of moving the new rocks from the front parking lot to the rear of the facility and spreading it on the floors of the targeted enclosures.


On the glove!

Another ed cooper’s

Not only are we adding to the Education team in terms of volunteer educators, but we’re trying to add to the staff of educational birds as well. Two of the young cooper’s hawks that came in with injuries severe enough to compromise their ability to survive in the wild are being trained to be ambassadors on the Liberty Education Team. Anne and Jan are working to “man” these little birds so they can join the “team” in the near future.


Screech owl X-ray showing the pin at the site of the fracture

Pinned screech owl

A while back, this little screech owl came in with both eye and wing injuries. The eye has slowly improved though not 100% normal yet, and the wing got pinned (see the X-ray) but again, the injuries precluded his release and he will also be joining the Liberty team in some capacity down the road.


Help from RI Rehab Group (photo by Carol Suits)

Recently Carol Suits (Liberty Volunteer Coordinator) went to Rhode Island for a visit. During her stay, she had this experience:

“While in Rhode Island, I got to practice my Rescue & Transport training.  A barred owl hit my sister’s window late one night. I got a knock on my bedroom door and my sister, wide-eyed, said only one word:  “HELP”!!  I put on my official R&T gear, an animal print bathrobe and my not so great winter gloves, and ventured into the night. The owl had struck a huge window and was immobile, impaled in a rose bush below the window, one wing extended.  I fought the rose bush which gave me more grief than the owl and finally freed the little guy. You will see in the picture of my robe and the owl that his talons are curled up…no response at all at that time. He stayed in a dog carrier in the basement overnight (warm, dark and quiet, of course) and in the morning he was standing, looking at me, one eye closed at times. I was lucky to find a local rehab group that takes raptors and along with half my family now invested in “our owl” we brought him to the kind folks at the Wildlife Clinic of RI.  The other picture shows the woman ready to give the owl a shot but prior to that she checked his eyes while he stood in the box I had for him.  Apparently one pupil was responding well, the other slowly and determined probable head injury as the only issue. Indeed, when she reached in to grab him he started to fly out (a very good sign) although my sister nearly fainted as he came right toward her.  He got grabbed and medicated and bedded down and my family left feeling great.”

Thanks Carol, and great job!


This week I’m including two photos sent in by some of our volunteers. The first one is a GHO family that lives near Kathy Edwards and was gracious enough to pose for photographs…

Owls in the backyard (photo by Kathy Edwards)

And this one of Jessica and Neil Schumann’s son Kieran in his “barn owl” costume on Halloween. This has to be one of the cutest pictures EVER in TW@L!

World’s cutest barn owl! (photo by Jessica Schumann)

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6 Responses to This Week at Liberty November 5, 2012

  1. Nina says:

    Megan, thank you for the very nice words about us staff. You could not be more correct about us, especially the smart part ;)

  2. Janet Melamed says:

    Thank you for the wonderful stories and photos. How smart of that RI owl to get injured near Carol! This morning I attended a fabulous Liberty WIldlife lecture at the botanical garden. It was great but I wished the LW volunteers had asked for donations as well as new volunteers. We should never miss an opportunity to ask for $$$$$!

  3. Nancy Sehr says:

    Just had to comment on the cutest barn owl ever. Keep up the good work and hopefully the good works you do will help people realize we all need to do our part. VOLUNTEER!

  4. Carolee Bryan says:

    Thanks for all those nice words about the Staff Megan! We are indeed very fortunate to have a great group who is always willing to help each other out. Your leadership is a large part of what makes all this happen! A BIG Thanks to you for all your dedication and hard work!

  5. jan says:

    Thanks Megan for your words. We could not do what we do without you at the helm. We are all thankful to have you and all that you do.

  6. Michele says:

    Only somebody with a sick, twisted mind would shoot a Harris Hawk. Disturbing to think that people like that are walking among us. :(

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