I am sure that I have mentioned before my disdain for the wind…my most un-favorite weather condition. First, it is just annoying. It blows dust and other particles into my eyes. It sends detritus throughout my yard and patios as consistently as it rains when I wash my car. Just finish cleaning the patios and the winds begin their secret pacts to annoy me at all costs. Ok, I really know that this is shallow and pretentious of me to think the weather Gods have any interest in me and what I do, but I am just saying….
There are other malevolent things that happen when we have angry winds like we did this weekend. Huge otherwise healthy looking tree branches were snapped at the base and sent hurtling to the ground taking with them anything in the way and surely sending nests of baby birds to their peril. In fact we catapulted our count over 200 animals and many of them came with the winds. That is no coincidence.
They came in the form of hummingbird nests, cactus wrens, verdins, and other small song birds…many at the mercy of some kind soul who found them, called around for help, and brought them in with such relief, not wanting the responsibility of feeding every 20 minutes or so.
They also came in the form of baby owls, baby hawks, falcons and two baby bald eagles. The eagles came from different nests but both hurled from their nests by strong winds charging across vulnerable homes. The older of the two eagles will be fattened up and sent home to its sibling and parents, hopefully by the end of the week. The second, much younger 4 week old wasn’t quite so lucky. It had a long fall which broke two bones in one wing and could possibly have left internal injuries…and will unfortunately take more time to heal if it is even possible…the jury is still out until closer examinations and test results provide the depth of the impact of the nasty winds on a small downy body.
And if that weren’t enough, Leah, a long time nest watcher we have featured in the past, was almost blown from her nest watching vantage point on a peak opposite her assigned nest. So, from hummingbirds to eagles to humans, the wind can appear to have a vengeance. Yes, these are much more serious than my shallow worry of the mess on my patio…but I am just saying, the wind isn’t my favorite weather condition!
This Week at Liberty
The intake total now stands at 1143.
The babies are taking over, as is to be expected this time of year (and as Megan pointed out above, springtime winds are almost never a help!) Almost every day some new orphan owls and hawks show up, along with the doves, thrashers, mockingbirds, bunnies and ground squirrels that arrive at the intake window. As the education season draws to an end, preparations are already in the works for next season only a few short months away. Treatment of the golden eagle in the ICU continues as we hope the medicine works. Speaking of eagles, we took in two new bald eagles yesterday – one was a sibling of our own little Chief! It is hoped these birds will quickly improve enough to be released someday soon. And as we and our fosters care for the helpless orphans, our mommy raccoon cares for her own babies as they grow. Let’s take a look…
Feeding babies seems to occupy most of the volunteers right now. From the birds like the thrasher above, to all of the squirrels (round-tail ground, rock, antelope, etc.) these helpless little animals depend on the care of the volunteers at the facility to be feed, kept warm, and given any medical treatment they might require as long as they are with us.
This terribly cute baby screech owl came to us last week. He doesn’t present any overt trauma, but is much too young to be on his own. After being examined and cleared to go outside, he was given fluids (MAN that’s a big needle!), a band, and was allowed to go outside with two adult foster parents in the screech owl enclosure. At last check, he was doing fine…
Not all orphans are tiny. This little GHO (one of many) came in and displayed his burgeoning ear tufts – or “horns” as he was evaluated and banded prior to being placed with Igor, his highly experienced foster dad.
We have been treating this golden eagle for a couple of weeks. He came in from up north and appeared very “down” with unknown causes. After blood tests revealed, among other problems, a very rare blood parasite brought on by exposure to black flies, treatment began. A special medicine had to be procured and a proper dosage fixed. So far his response has been less than stellar, but we have hopes he will eventually improve. Keep a good thought…
Our momma raccoon is doing well, as are her babies. They are still too small to be moved so she is given extra food including some crawfish that was recently donated to Liberty by Laura Bonardi and her husband. She is meticulous in washing all the food she gets before eating it herself, and we are making sure she has enough of the proper diet to allow her to produce sufficient milk for her family of four.
Since we are doing lots of eagle programs right now, a couple more people are being added to Aurora’s approved handlers. This included Jan Miller who got a chance to work with our star bald eagle last week. Being the Animal Care Coordinator, Jan doesn’t often get to do the “fun stuff” like eagle presentations, so it was great to see her get to handle the big girl.
Just a fun shot of two canada goose babies in the outside aviary. Goslings grow pretty fast so we hope it won’t be too long before they are at a local lake and getting acquainted with adults of their species.
A call to the hotline last Friday alerted us about a bobcat in somebody’s backyard in the area. Since Liberty doesn’t remove healthy animals, we referred the call to a couple of other agencies. Two gentlemen from a local rattlesnake removal service arrived at which point the mother kitty took off into the desert. They collected these two kittens and brought them to Liberty. We then called Southwest Wildlife who came and picked them up. The plan was to try and trap the mom so the family could remain intact as the kittens grow up. Natural moms make the best parents!