The eagle wing (pavilion/annex) got an extra hand or 14 on Sunday morning. These mews have been under construction for a little while. Started by a volunteer group of scouts who were able to construct the individual modules off site, the great new enclosures were constructed under the guiding hands and the working hands of Joe Miller. They were graveled and perched and awaiting the finishing touch or a nice paint job, before the actual move of the eagles began….although Chief has been breaking them in for us.
The finishing touch arrived this week beginning with the donation of paint from Paula at Double D. Services, Inc. in Fountain Hills, AZ and some additional tinting done compliments of Dave at Home Depot….just the right color for these new eagle enclosures to blend into the space.
And then, Sunday morning we were blessed with the volunteer help of the Do Crew from US Airways. I had been nervous about the weather…silly me! I had envisioned 110 and brutal sunshine, but the weather gods smiled, and we had cool weather with no sunshine. OK, so there was a bit of humidity, but under the circumstances it was pretty perfect.
So, they showed up, right on time and ready to paint. And, paint they did. These structures are no slam dunk to cover either. They are made up of slats that need to be painted on all four sides in between narrow little spaces top to bottom. There is no easy way to do it, but there wasn’t a whimper to be heard. Rollers were dunked, excess paint was scraped off, and the brown wood was transformed to a lovely desert beige.
I found myself thinking about how many hands had busied themselves, on a totally volunteer basis, to construct some new enclosures to house our cadre of education eagles. These ambassadors for their species will be provided with all of the things they need for a long and comfortable life of educating the public about the beauty, benefits, and just plain coolness of bald and golden eagles.
Thanks to all of you who have lovingly and most unselfishly participated in providing us with our new “pavilion”. You are greatly appreciated by everyone at Liberty, both human and avian participants. Thanks for lending a hand….or rather many helping hands.
This Week at Liberty
The intake total for the year is now at 2897.
“It was a dark and stormy morning…” This was the story yesterday as the volunteers were cleaning, feeding, and treating patients as usual – then the skies opened and the deluge arrived! Alex and the rest of the volunteers scrambled to protect the animals and the structure as the water rose. All this was probably welcomed by the two pelicans that are in the waterfowl pens (see the rescue below). The Do Crew from US Airways had just finished their commitment to help paint the new eagle enclosures and luckily I had time to put away all the gear we used. All-in-all, it was as “interesting” day – and week!
The care that all patients receive at Liberty is not dependent on the time of year or the volume of intakes. Each animal is evaluated regularly and accurate medical notes are taken and passed between days and shifts so everyone can follow the proper treatment prescribed by the senior Med Services/Veterinary staff. This assures that all patients, from the goshawk up from Sierra Vista a few weeks ago to the large 1st year red tail we took in this week all get the best care possible.
A little screech owl looks to be improving as he got some care yesterday. Since one of the first systems that shuts down after an injury is the digestive system, when a bird regains its appetite, it’s a good sign. This little bird was able to recognize the approach of some nourishing food and then eat heartily – including trying to take a chunk from the finger of the volunteer doing the feeding!
Voice00003 (click on this – and plug your ears!)
When this bird comes out for examination/treatment, everybody at the facility (even those NOT in the building!) know it! We’ve always been aware that some birds are more vocally inclined than others, but this owl emits a constant barrage of ear-splitting banshee screeches whenever it gets held for treatment!
A couple of days ago, our Rescue and Transport volunteer John Glitsos got a call from the Talking Stick resort regarding a young brown pelican that had joined the poolside activity – without getting his pool pass! John was able to apprehend the trespassing bird without too much difficulty, but then found out that one of the reasons these animals need to get back to the ocean as soon as possible is that without salt water, their parasite levels build rapidly! Within seconds, John had dozens of feather mites and other avian parasites roaming his body searching for food. Luckily, these bugs don’t pose a problem to human health as they leave fairly soon when they can’t find feathers to chew on, but in the meantime, they are EXTREMELY unpleasant! The bird is now recuperating from a small laceration and will soon be en-route to SanDiego for eventual release.
As we said, a torrential rain came down in a short time on Sunday morning. A couple of volunteers got some graphic photos of the event and commented on the situation. This account is by Balinda Fortman: “It became a river all the way up to the table area. water was gushing so hard from the rehab side to the Ed side, that we had to open the gate that goes to the turkey vultures and Acoma. We had to unplug the refrigerators sitting on the ground as well as the air conditioner outside and a few things in the mouse house as well. Water was getting up to the outlets. We had to move the baby burrowing owls because their burrows flooded. Same for speedy the tortoise. Buckets were floating over from the rehab side to the Ed side and down near the Eagle area. It was nuts!”