This Week at Liberty – February 24, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

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

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

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…

Jan, Anasazi, with Joe and Aurora at the Eagle Expo

Jan, Anasazi, with Joe and Aurora at the Bald Eagle Workshop

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!

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Mexican free-tailed bat

Mexican free-tailed bat

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!

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A little house finch with avian pox

A little house finch with avian pox

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.

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Maike, unser Deutsch intern speist einen Babyhäschen

Maike, unser Deutsch intern speist einen Babyhäschen

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!

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X-ray of GHO (from last week) shows the pellet in his shoulder

X-ray of GHO (from last week) shows the pellet in his shoulder

A new wrap for the gunshot burrowing owl

A new wrap for the gunshot burrowing owl

X-ray shows the lead fragments in his little wing

X-ray shows the lead fragments in his little wing

Gunshot HaHa gets its wound checked

Gunshot harris’ hawk gets its wound checked

The pellet in his wing shows up well

The pellet in his wing shows up well

Jan removes a BB from the wing of a kestrel

Jan removes a BB from the wing of a kestrel

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.

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Jan listens to a cooper's hawk

Jan listens to a cooper’s hawk

The cooper's gets a tail guard

The cooper’s gets a tail guard

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!

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Punctured mama owl

Punctured mama owl

Brood patch with numerous puncture wounds

Brood patch with numerous puncture wounds

Picture of a mother interrupted

Picture of a mother interrupted

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.

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I'm goin' home tomorrow!

I’m goin’ home tomorrow!

Eddy is smiling too!

Eddy is smiling too!

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!!

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2 Responses to This Week at Liberty – February 24, 2014

  1. Pam Kohnken says:

    As a hotliner, I always look forward to these photos. If I happened to take the initial call on one of these “patients”, it is always nice to know they made a recovery and will soon be back out flying again.

  2. tstevens says:

    Let me see what I can find…

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