It is time for me to do some bragging. We have been accumulating our end of the year statistics for 2013, and you need to know what they are. This week I plan to brag on our Education group. First these folks volunteer. Keep that in mind when you read the following facts. And, remember that they have gone through an intensive training class including “practice partnering” with skillful volunteers to learn the facts, to learn the stories, the natural history of all of the education ambassadors, and finally how to handle each particular animal. This is a well-thought out program, and it produces great educators who did the following last year, mainly from October to May.
Here are some highlights.
Number of programs completed 827
Total Audience Number 247,414
Number of Program Hours Provided 1,049.2
Volunteer’s Program Times including travel to and from program,
program and set-up (does not include travel time to/from Liberty 1913.7
Number of Education Volunteers Providing Programs 53
Number of Education Program Coordinators Providing Programs 22
Number of Educational Ambassadors 68
It is critical that as many people as possible become aware of the beauty and benefits of our wildlife neighbors. It is amazing how easily we can slip in lessons related to problem solving, observation, compassion and other desired basic skills when you have in your presence the mighty power of a stunning animal…hard to beat that as a reason to pay attention. People ‘get it’ so much better, faster, deeper, easier.
We need to know how all things are connected. We need to realize that the loss of one species from a niche impacts all of us from the bottom of the food chain to the top (that would be us). There is no getting away from the tapestry nature has woven…intricately, colorfully, thoughtfully. No thread is indispensable without weakening the whole.
That is what our Education team teaches using the splendor of wildlife. If you haven’t seen them in action, make a point of doing so. Check our public calendar atwww.libertywildlife.org, education. You won’t be sorry.
This Week at Liberty
The intake total for the year now stands at 202.
Things are definitely picking up as we get deeper into the year. The early rise in temperatures are also probably helping to increase the activity around the facility as we get closer to the start of Baby Bird Season. In this week’s large update, we’ll see some more X-rays from our gunshot birds, the latest updates on a few of our current patients, and a couple of interesting intakes that are currently in our care. And don’t forget that Wishes for Wildlife 2014 is less than 7 weeks away! Here’s what happened last week…
Joe and Jan took two of our star eagles (Anasazi and Aurora) up to the Bald Eagle Workshop sponsored by Arizona Game and Fish Department at the Willow bend nature Center. I’m not sure who took this photo but since nobody else has eagles trained to present this type of display, they were the stars of the show, as always!
Our resident bat expert, Rebecca, brought in this little Mexican free-tailed bat with a badly de-gloved wing (you can see his exposed bone in the photo.) Otherwise not structurally damaged, the little mammal is being treated in hopes he will be able to heal properly. It’s not known what caused the initial injury, but he lucked out by finding his way to Liberty!
This little red houses finch came in with a bad case of avian pox last week. Though not a danger to humans, cutaneous pox virus is transmitted from bird to bird via direct contact and sharing food, water, and perches etc., as well as via mechanical vector by mosquito bites. It is survivable through proper care and supportive treatment of the lesions.
Maike Mosaner, one of our wonderful interns from Germany, has been helping out in almost every area since she came to Liberty Wildlife. From daily care to feeding some baby bunnies, she has been invaluable to the operation. We’re so grateful that she is part of our team!
OK, so how many times do we have to tell people that shooting native birds is not only stupid and cruel, but illegal! Last week we showed a great horned owl with a pellet that was removed from his wing. This week we have the X-rays from that bird and two other birds plus a new one (a little kestrel) who were also shot. This is totally unacceptable! If anyone witnesses an occurrence of this type of activity, please contact either AZGFD or Liberty Wildlife with the details.
We are currently treating a cooper’s hawk for what appears to be an injury from a window collision. Almost ready to go outside, the bird sounded strange to jan’s trained ears. Closer exam showed the bird had some unexplained “crackly sounds” (a precise medical term…) from one of its lungs, so it got a new tail guard and will stay inside for a few more days. Nice catch, Jan!
A beautiful female GHO came in last week with several puncture wounds in her abdomen – around a large brood patch. When female birds are incubating eggs, they sometimes lose feathers in a spot on their bellies to increase the surface area that contacts the eggs in order to facilitate heat transfer. this is called the “brood patch” and signifies a mother who is sitting on a clutch of eggs. This bird presented numerous puncture wounds indicating she might have been attacked by another raptor (RTH?) while incubating. The sad implication is that although she will probably recover, whatever eggs she was sitting on most likely did not survive.
I have never before seen a bird that was so obviously smiling, but last Tuesday I got this shot of our female California condor in her enclosure. It almost seemed that she knew she was going to be taken back to the Vermillion Cliffs the next day to be released. The next day, Eddy from the Peregrine Fund loaded the bird into the carrier and with Alex’s help, into his car for the trip north. More smiles!!