This Week at Liberty – July 22, 2013

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

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.

Painting before the stormSo, 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

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

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 young goshawk is doing well

The young goshawk is doing well

Susie and Toba work on a cooper's hawk

Susie and Toba work on a cooper’s hawk

Toba checks the big girl for canker

Toba checks the big girl for canker

1st year RTH plumage

1st year RTH plumage

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.

"Now THAT looks tasty!"

“Now THAT looks tasty!”

Screech gets some nourishment

Screech gets some nourishment

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!

Very vocal barn owl

Very vocal barn owl

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!


"Towels are available in the gift shop"

“Towels are available in the gift shop” (photo by David Zocco)

"Hello, ladies..."

“Hello, ladies…” (photo by David Zocco)

John has some "visitors" plucked off before leaving the pool

John has some “visitors” plucked off before leaving the pool (photo by David Zocco)

 OK, this bird seems to attract good looking women…

OK, this bird seems to attract good looking women… (photo by John Glitsos)

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.


"A river runs through it"

“A river runs through it” (photo by Craig Fischer)

"Did the toilet back up again?"

“Did the toilet back up again?” (photo by Craig Fischer)

"A river runs through it..."

“Maybe we shouldn’t plug this in right now…” (photo by Balinda Fortman)

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!”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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>