This Week at Liberty – April 22, 2013

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

If you looked in the dictionary under compassionate and dedicated you would surely find a picture of a Liberty Wildlife volunteer….and particularly one like John G. who sent me the following e mail about his recent experience….it has got to make you smile!


I listened to you tell the people in the ICU that the rescue/transport volunteer who was trying to get the goose and its babies back to the park should get the babies and start moving them and the parents would follow.  I was a bit dubious…

Today on the way into my office, I saw a Canada goose step into the right lane of Shea Blvd near 94th Street.  Crap!

It was hissing at the cars, like mine, that were going by.  As I went past I noticed two little yellow geese (goslings?) and another adult standing a few feet back in the bushes lining the sidewalk.

I realized what was happening.  They were trying to cross Shea.  Six lanes of zooming traffic stood between them and the cemetery across the street which has everything a goose family should ever want, a lake, trees, shade, grass…  But they were clearly about to get killed.

So, I turned into the strip mall parking lot on the side of the street and put on my badge (do those stop traffic?), grabbed my net, and headed over on foot.

There they were, trying again and again, only to get chased back by the next bunch of 45 MPH cars.

I didn’t know what I could do, and I certainly didn’t want to sit there and see them killed.

Fortunately, right then, two workers were walking from the nearby McDonalds towards me.  I believe they were maintenance workers, or in transportation because their grey work shirts had bright day-glow orange stripes on the front and back.

They quickly realized what was going on.  I said, “I’m with Liberty Wildlife, and I am trying to get these geese back across the street. Can you help me?”  They asked what they could do.  I said, “I will push the babies with this net, and you guys stop traffic, OK?”

So, I started pushing the little guys.  The curbs were taller than they were, so it took some maneuvering with the net to get them going the right way.  The parents were hissing and spreading their wings at me, but I ignored them, and kept moving the babies.

We went right into the street, and the two guys (thankfully) were able to wave their arms and stop the cars that were headed our way.  The babies had to be lifted up onto the median, and helped down on the other side of it.  Drivers were looking out their windows in disbelief to see three men, two adult geese, and two baby geese crossing the street like that.

Finally we got to the other side.  They stopped traffic heading west this time, and again, down one curb, across three lanes, and up the other curb.  As soon as we got to the cemetery, the geese took over – shooing their babies through the bushes and into the safe grass on the other side of the fence.

The three of us high-fived each other, and headed back to our respective lives.  The two men who helped were grinning from ear to ear.  Tonight they will be sharing the story of the geese they saved with their families.

Your method worked in real life!!!  Very cool!

Thank you John and your new friends for taking the time to care….and I wish I could take credit for thinking up this method….but it was told to me by those with experience in motivating geese to move!  But, I am so happy that it worked…..

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year now stands at 587.

It’s that time of year again… In the morning, when the lights go on in the Bird Room, the cacophony  begins as the baby birds begin to awaken and start begging for food! Of course we’re still getting in injured animals, but the main focus is on orphans of all species as the dedicated OC and Med Services teams begin the never-ending process of feeding and caring for all the orphan song birds, bunnies, and raptors that are inundating the facility – and the real crush hasn’t started yet!

Busy OC team

Busy OC team

Just a few weeks ago, the shelves were empty, the brooders were cold, and the room was mostly deserted. What a difference the arrival of a couple hundred orphaned baby birds makes!  The wonderful staff of OC volunteers works like a well oiled machine in distributing food and care non-stop to the many helpless babies that descend on us each spring and summer.

About to greet the world

About to greet the world

It's time to EAT!!

“HEY! It’s time to EAT!!”



While some arrivals have yet to see the light of day (like this hatching quail egg), others have emerged into the world and arrive hungry! Gapers like this present a target not even the newest volunteer could miss as they feed hundreds of babies each shift during the day. It’s a lot like painting the Golden Gate bridge: You start at one end and by the time you’ve finished, it’s time to start over again…

Kathy's Crop Simulator training device

Kathy’s Crop Simulator training device

So not only is Kathy Hagerty a renowned artist, she is also an inventor!  She came up with this wonderful training aid for new baby bird feeders to give them a hands-on feel for what the birds’ crop feels like under different conditions. (The crop is a sort of “storage, pre-digestion” organ into which the food goes before it gets to the stomach. Some conditions of the crop indicate different problems requiring different treatments and each has it’s own “feel.”) THANK YOU, Kathy!

Mama Maggie and her growing foster brood

Mama Maggie and her growing GHO foster brood


A face only a mother - or a Liberty volunteer - could love

A face only a mother – or a Liberty volunteer – could love (photo by Toba Robinson)

Magellan (or Maggie!) is now doing wonderfully as a foster mom, taking up some of the slack left by the loss of Hogan last year. Igor and his partner are also deeply into their roles as foster parents as the number of orphan GHOs seems to grow almost by the hour. (Not to be outdone, we also got in a newly arrived baby barn owl as well!)

Tiny wing wrap

Tiny wing wrap

Some babies need more than just food.  This little baby quail has a broken wing and got the tiniest wrap to keep the bones in place as they heal. Youth is an asset in this case, but doing such a delicate and small wrap is an art unto itself…

Volunteers tubing a baby cottontail

Volunteers tubing a baby cottontail

Somebody asked last week when the bunnies stop breeding.  the laughing reply was, hardly ever! And with the sad loss of Ruth, we are now doing bunny care in-house. Last week the Med Services team were practicing their skills at feeding and caring for baby cottontails of every age.


Injured ladder back woodpecker

Injured ladder back woodpecker

Injured bullock's oriole

Injured bullock’s oriole

Two little migrants were among the many collision damaged birds we took in last week. As migratory birds pass through, they sometimes have a difficult time navigating in unfamiliar territory.  This sometimes leads to collisions with windows and other immovable objects. The lucky ones who survive sometimes find their way to out own intake window…

Dr. Wyman performs surgery on a HaHa's foot  (photo by Toba Robinson)

Dr. Wyman performs surgery on a HaHa’s foot (photo by Toba Robinson)

Waking up after surgery

Waking up in the “recovery room” after surgery (photo by Toba Robinson)

Recently Dr. Wyman was on hand to perform surgery on the foot of one of our harris’ hawk patients. Assisted by the rest of the Vet Night crew, the operation appears to have been successful and was recorded by our own Toba Robinson. It’s great to have a talented and skillful veterinarian on our team when animals require this level of medical intervention.


DON’T FORGET!!  Only 11 more days until Wishes for Wildlife 2013!!!

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to This Week at Liberty – April 22, 2013

  1. Balinda says:

    Terry, I hope that shot of Maggie was with a telephoto lens!
    Great job, all!
    Loved the geese story! Liberty volunteers are always on the job…

  2. Kim Parrott says:

    Amazing pics and story! Love the Liberty Wildlife staff and volunteers!!

  3. Sheila Cowden says:

    The story of the geese crossing Shea was wonderful! Thanks to all of these gentlemen…

  4. Gail says:

    That was truly a goose family with a future, what a lot of good stars aligned, and John, you are incredible!
    Love the photos this week and the orphan care training tool is brilliant….whose got the patent?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>