This Week at Liberty – August 12, 2013

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

Sometimes it feels like Liberty Wildlife is a giant hub…things are dropped in, take a spin, and then are spun out.  An animal is brought in for help.  It spends the appropriate time getting the care that it needs, and then it spins out as a release.  Maybe it was with us for a single spin of the hub or maybe it whirled around with us a number of times.  Even those without the desirable fate of release might spin into our education program or spin as a transfer to another educational or breeding facility.

Recently we have been the hub for pelicans that have landed in the valley as a result of a bad turn in the monsoons.  Always they are the younger and less experienced birds who were directionally challenged, found themselves flying over a desert road or land that looked like it could be water.  Unfortunately the desert doesn’t afford them the necessities found in the ocean, and it doesn’t take long for them to get into trouble.  Many of these unfortunate pelicans have found themselves in the Valley and eventually with the help of our Rescue /Transport Team are dropped into our hub.  As quickly as they are stable, maybe not an even entire circle of the hub, they are spun out to San Diego to finish their rehab and be released in a more hospitable arena.

Some of these charismatic creatures have been trucked to us from other parts of the state, the Tucson area in particular, by other rehabbers who take advantage of the relationship we have with U.S. Airways and Terry Stevens, to slip them into the “Pelican Pipeline” and get them home post haste.  We are so lucky and happy to be in a position to help.

Other rehabbers from as far away as Montana or Alaska have called on Liberty Wildlife to assist them with birds who were injured while on their northern migration and were not ready to go when the rest of their pals started back to wintering grounds.  The hub of Liberty Wildlife gladly assists by flying the grounded aviators as far as Phoenix or even farther if necessary to get them back to a compatible environment to spend their winter months….a hummingbird took the easy trip from Montana to Florida one year and box o’ swifts and swallows were deposited in Phoenix for a local release just perfect for them….a quick spin to say the least!

As a side note, last week we were the recipients for a very shot spin of an “orphaned” fawn.

Orphan fawn

Orphan fawn (photo by Jesse Brown)

While it was beyond adorable, it was more than likely fawn napped and now never to be released….regulations require a less than happy ending.  The press tried valiantly to get the message out…Don’t try to rescue them unless you see the parent dead…and even then, know that the outcome for the fawn isn’t good.  A sort of sad spin….

We depend on you, our public, to help keep our hub spinning.  We always need funds to keep the gears and cogs in motion.  Don’t forget the incredible job the volunteers and staff does at Liberty Wildlife, and do it on a very tight shoe string.  Listen to the spin …Whirrrrrrrrr, whirrrrrrrrrrr! Whirrrrrrrrrrrr!

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 3187.

The intakes are tapering off slightly, but the pelicans just keep on coming! The two from the mine in Bagdad went to Sea World last Wednesday, and we are still getting in some small orphans of various types. We are now only 150 animals under last year’s total intakes and we still have 4 1/2 months to go! We’re on our way to a “Big Year” as the birders put it.  The really good news is that we are also getting in more new volunteers so the animals we take in, no matter how many or what species, will continue to get the best care possible. Let’s review the week and see what happened…

Claudia presents Phoenix to the orientation group.

Claudia presents Phoenix to the orientation group.

Carol Suits ran another new volunteer orientation last weekend and the turnout was impressive. We also had some visitors from Audubon who were attending as observers, taking notes and photographs for an upcoming article about Liberty in one of their publications. We’ll keep you posted on when it comes out.  WELCOME ABOARD!


Swainson's gets examined

Swainson’s gets examined

Jan checks a GHO's eye

Jan checks a GHO’s eye

Another pretty young cooper's hawk

Another pretty young cooper’s hawk

The babies are still coming - a little green heron shows up

The babies are still coming – a little green heron shows up

Vet night on Tuesday saw the usual suspects – plus a couple of surprises in the form of some babies who are popping out fairly late in the season. An injured swainson’s hawk tells us that the migration of this species is under way, plus another green heron baby showed up and is doing well for being so late to the table… A GHO may have some eye problems and will probably go to the eye specialist next week, and at least one little cooper’s hawk should be going outside soon.

Harris' hawk is the center of attention...

Harris’ hawk is the center of attention…

...because he has a pellet in the joint in his wing.

…because he has a pellet in the joint in his wing.

I suppose no matter how much education we do, as long as people have guns they will be shooting things that are NOT supposed to be shot. This harris’ hawk is healing from a wound in his wing which left this .177mm pellet lodged in the elbow joint in his wing. We hope to remove it surgically soon as it is interfering with the joint mobility. C’mon, people, these types of guns are for target shooting, and wildlife are NOT appropriate targets!!!


Little jack rabbit doing well

Little jack rabbit doing well

Most of the lagomorphs we get in are cottontail bunnies, but recently we got a couple of baby jack rabbits. They will grow a bit larger than their fuzzy cousins, but when they are small, they’re still cute! Once again, Liberty works both ends of the Arizona food chain!


Kayla feeding a baby mocker

Kayla feeds a baby mocker

Now that's what I call a gaper!

Now that’s what I call a gaper!

Just because it was too good a photo-op to pass up, I got these shots of Kayla Mann feeding a pre-fledgling mockingbird last week. I’m not sure who was enjoying the procedure more, Kayla or the little mocker, but it looked like they were both having a good time…

An ash-throated flycatcher comes in

An ash-throated flycatcher comes in

One of the prettier (and more uncommon) arrivals of late is this little ash-throated flycatcher. Hanging out in an enclosure in the Orphan Care area, this pretty little bird is doing well as he grows up at Liberty.

Bagdad pelicans ready to go home

Bagdad pelicans ready to go home

"Now boarding all pelicans..."

“Anyone traveling with small children or large sea birds may now board the aircraft.”

Once again, at 530AM last Wednesday, the two pelicans that Carl brought down from Bagdad got on another US Airways flight down to Sea World in San Diego.  The reports from the staff at Sea World are that the birds we send them are, for the most part, in really nice condition,  probably due to Jan’s new handling and rehab procedures. In any case, the people there said we are doing a great job for the birds!





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One Response to This Week at Liberty – August 12, 2013

  1. Wendy says:

    Claudia, what a ham!! We love you!

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