This Week at Liberty – June 23, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I have been thinking a lot lately about why people give—of their time, their resources, their energy.   I have been involved in this non-profit organization for over thirty years, and I have seen many of the ways that people give, and it is heartening.

As for volunteering or donating money, the purest form of giving comes from those who do it to be part of a bigger cause and they give from the heart.  They want to make the world a better place, save a sacred piece of land, keep a species strong and thriving, make a child’s life better, help search for a cure to a devastating disease, provide a home for a homeless family….whatever the cause, the giving is from the heart and has no strings attached.

When I look at the volunteers at Liberty Wildlife I see many reasons for volunteering.  Some people are looking for opportunities to learn more about wildlife, the planet, the connection of things.  Some people want to help an injured animal, to stop the suffering, to participate in keeping the balance of things.  Some people want to excel at spreading the mission into a ground swell that will make a difference on a global level.  Some people want to be a part of a movement.

What these people do is give of their time.  They very often also give of their monetary resources.  And, their giving is pure.  What I have noticed about them is that they stick around for a long time until life situations require them to move on….and my guess is that they find a way to give where ever life sends them.

The giving is pure.

If along the way, you make friends of others who share your passion…well that is all the better.  If you learn a skill that moves you forward in your life’s goals…. better still.  If you earn community hours or a bonus at work, better yet.  If you earn the respect of others…perfect.  If you learn patience, and trust me you will need it…then maybe you have hit a homerun.

But if you are giving of your time for reasons that are other than pure, you will find a reason to quit.  It isn’t for you, and that is okay.  I guess my plea would be that you are honest about that.  Volunteering, donating funds, giving professional expertise all need to be done because to you it seems like the right thing to do….no expectations, no demands, no pretenses….purely because you want to do something to make things better.

There is a niche in which everyone can feel good about giving.  Explore ways that are right for you. If your experience isn’t something that you enjoy…and if it doesn’t meet your needs to feel good for the right reasons then you definitely need to be true to your heart.   If the giving is pure, you will know it.  If it isn’t, then find the place where it can be and make the difference that you most certainly can.

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 3001!

And thanks to a suggestion from (and data supplied by) Sharon Sneva, we’re going to add a new feature: “Releases of the Week.” If you see Sharon out at the facility, thank her for the effort to bring this valuable information to the TW@L update!

Sharon at work

Sharon at work

Sharon writes: “In the past week we have successfully released from the aviaries: 47 doves, 15 insect eaters (curve bill thrashers, woodpeckers, cactus wrens), 15  finches of various types, 13 bunnies, 2 round tail ground squirrels, 2 rock squirrels and 34 quail! We also released 4 black crowned night herons that were ready and the remaining 4 should be ready to go soon. Thanks to all of you who volunteered to take a box or two of birds and please let your coordinator know if you’d like to release! Please! Thursdays are aviary release days and we’ll be glad to hold a box of birds for pick up if you’d like.” We’ll try to add this each week to the update!

The heat keeps going up and the orphans keep coming in, all destined to get the best chance at survival we (and their foster parents) can give them. There was some more eagle activity last week as one juvenile bald that had been through the rehab process had some problems with human interaction and came back in, and another kid was found by the Verde Canyon Rail Road people and made it to Liberty via Tony Sola.  The raccoon family is still doing well and we did some maintenance on a couple of Education birds. The mission now is to survive the heat until the monsoon storms bring some afternoon relief.

We're doing lots of barn owls - as usual! (photo by James Frazier)

We’re doing lots of barn owls – as usual! (photo by James Frazier)

I’m not sure why, but people don’t seem to think we get in many barn owls at Liberty. While they might not outnumber the GHO’s arriving each year, the barn owl population definitely skyrockets each spring – along with the amount of tree-trimming in the valley! We have a great set of foster parents, a great Owl Team of feeders, and the little owls get in, get healthy, and get out into the world in a steady stream that should strike terror into the hearts of mice everywhere!


"Before eating, always wash your hands - and your dinner!"

“Before eating, always wash your hands – and your dinner!” (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

The momma raccoon is teaching her cubs the proper way to clean their food – and themselves – as they grow bigger and stronger every day. They really seem to like the addition of crawfish and trout to their diet. It won’t be long and they will be allowed to join the nocturnal world of mammals at a river nearby.


The tiniest of gaping beaks

The tiniest of gaping beaks

A little bigger, but still a tiny target...

A little bigger, but still a tiny target…

Not tiny, but plenty sharp!

Not tiny, but plenty sharp!

A mother bird could spot this one from Alpha Centauri!

A mother bird could spot this one from Alpha Centauri!

As the orphans grow up, I thought I’d show some pictures of the difference in the mouths the OC folks have to deal with as they feed and care for the baby birds. From the tiniest of newly hatched hummingbirds, up to the gargantuan (a word one seldom gets to use in a sentence) maw of a fledgling raven and everything in between, the volunteers are trained to use the proper tools and techniques appropriate for each species they treating at the time. Some birds get fed with a tube – a skill that is both daunting and dangerous for the untrained – while some get fed with a tool like the cap of a pen, and the person doing the feeding needs to know when to use which. The image of a child (or an adult!) feeding a baby bird with an eyedropper is not only outdated, it can lead to aspiration of the food and death for the baby. Rehabilitation is a skill best left to trained individuals!


300lbs of lockable force - another reason the Eagle Handler Team is so small...

300lbs of lockable force – another reason the Eagle Handler Team is so small…

Dr. Sorum takes some X-rays of Aurora's foot

Dr. Sorum takes an X-ray of Aurora’s feet

Impressive architecture!

Impressive architecture!

Trimming the talons of a large bald eagle

Trimming the talons of a large bald eagle

The golden gets ax X-ray as well

The golden gets ax X-ray as well

Looking good - no damage from the bumble foot!

Looking good – no damage from the bumble foot!

Last week, Aurora seemed to have dislocated a toe on one of her feet. When Dr. Sorum came out to X-ray the foot, the toe had popped back into position and appeared to be perfectly normal, but since he was already there with the high-tech device, a shot was taken anyway. As suspected, the foot and toe appeared normal. After Jan trimmed her talons with the special tool, she went back into her enclosure while one of our rehabbing golden eagles was brought out. This bird had suffered from bumble foot, a condition not uncommon in heavier raptors, and to make sure the infection had not caused damage to the bones of the foot, it was also X-rayed. This radiograph showed undamaged foot bones as well. Since eagles use their feet as their primary weapons, healthy appendages are critical for their survival.


One week left to order a Commemorative Burrowing Owl (Frodo) T-shirt.

Frodo Brown

Go to the store ( or on the website, click on the store button to order.

Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. REMEMBER FRODO!

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3 Responses to This Week at Liberty – June 23, 2014

  1. Susie says:

    When the giving is for love, the heart sings.

  2. Christine Hall says:

    Terry, please send TWAL to my new email address: and to a friend’s email address:

    Thank you!

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