This Week at Liberty – July 28, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

From the get-go I am reminding you to buy your tickets to the afternoon August 31st Diamondback’s game and support Liberty Wildlife.  You can do it all on line and the prices range so that you can decide how much support you will be pitching our way.  Follow the link below, pick your seats, and take your mitt….I do hope to see you there! Go D’Backs!DB logo2.0
Now, on to other things….if you remember a few blogs ago we mentioned the fledgling bald eagle that was summarily tossed to the ground when a wind obliterated her nest.  She plummeted to the ground while her nest mate clung to the tree and managed to stay out of harm’s way.

She was brought in to us by Game and Fish to evaluate her condition as a result of the wind driven ‘accident’.  When it was determined that she was not damaged, but was badly dehydrated and thin we took care of business and got her quickly ready to go back to the nest tree.  The parents were still around tending to the nest mate, so getting her quickly back to her family was imperative.

Then, she went down again!  Winds can be a bear!  Nest watchers alerted us to the situation, and she was returned to our tending.  Repeating the process, as nothing else was wrong with her, she was quickly returned to her natal situation.  The nest mate and parents were still around and things settled back in preparation for a natural fledging.

The really good news in this story is that we received word last week that she had finally fledged successfully and like all normal bald eagles in Arizona do, she has taken off for the northwest.  If you remember a few years ago we had a young eagle that fishermen had been feeding….not a good situation.  He was rescued by John Glitsos and given the moniker of “Little John” by those who had been watching him.  After successful rehabilitation, Little John dutifully trekked in short order to Oregon to fatten up on easy catches and then successfully migrated back in the fall.  He stayed here for a season hanging out with other bachelor eagles looking for a mate and a territory and then traveled back again to the northwest (the wonders of telemetry).

It is our great hope that the Greer female who actually fledged before her sibling will make a safe trek to the northwest and return in the mood for a mate….maybe it would be Little John…a match made in heaven, I am sure.

Wish them all luck!

Now, go buy your Diamondback tickets….I have bought mine, and I don’t want to be there alone!!!  www.libertywildlife.org, How can I help?/ Link to our friends….Easy, easy, easy!

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 4070.
Released on 07/24: 5 grackles, 6 inca doves, 27 white wing doves, 16 mourning doves, 8 misc. LBBs.

The heat and humidity are oppressive, as is usual for this time of year. Trying to keep up with frozen A/C units and holes in the enclosures keep me busy as the OC Volunteers keeping up with feeding all the little mouths that require constant attention. The Med Services team has had a slight drop in the level of arrivals needing urgent care, and the Daily Care folks are just trying to keep from dropping from the heat and dehydration. I think this is what they call “grinding it out” as the summer and the monsoon drags on. (Luckily, the official microburst hit 3 miles away last Saturday!)  We’re all just trying to make it through until the new facility is a reality…

Another cute accitpiter

Another cute accipiter

The orphan raptors are still arriving, though at a slower rate.  This young sharp-shinned hawk is a new patient and will be evaluated for injury/illness before joining the rest of the orphans of his type in an outside enclosure.

Why do little mockers always look so angry?

Why do little mockers always look so angry?

One of the staples of the Baby Bird Season is the orphan mockingbird. They are cute,but they almost always look like they are angry at the world. But, hopefully, he’ll be released to make beautiful music in the wild soon!

Marilyn struts her stuff

Marilyn struts her stuff

“Marilyn Moorhen,” the new darling of the OC area, is still growing and maybe someday will grow into her feet! A great example of adaptive evolution, this bird is a type of water bird that walks on water (well, actually, walks on lily pads and fronds of water plants.) The large feet and toes allows her to spread her weight over floating foliage she walks enabling her to search for food on ponds and lakes. The latin name means “little hen.”

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Little girl kestrel grows up

Little girl kestrel grows up

Shroeder-Thomas splint

Young cooper’s hawk with a Shroeder-Thomas splint

Dr. Wyman treats a young RTH

Dr. Wyman treats a young RTH

Just so you don’t think the raptors are not still coming through our doors, we do get orphaned and injured kestrels, red-tails, and harris’ hawks in this time of year.  The hawk above has a leg injury which, for a bird making it’s living by killing with its feet is a major problem. This type of splint allows the bird to stand without putting pressure on the broken leg bone.

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Fosters getting ready for release

Fosters getting ready for release

Flight practice

Flight practice

As the latest crop of GHO orphans gets to the live-feed stage, the 60ft flight enclosure fills up with young owls. The birds here are getting practice hunting, self-feeding, and flying as the “graduation day” approaches!

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Gopher snake goes on walkabout

Gopher snake goes on walkabout

Recently, our star gopher snake Yang was having his enclosure cleaned. While the door was open, he decided to go on walkabout and see what was in the next room. Of course, touring isn’t easy when you live on the second floor, and before he found any potential food, he was returned to his own room and fed well with his normal nutritious diet.

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"All you can eat buffet"

“All you can eat buffet”

They seem to like it

“Do we have to go gamble now?”

The raccoon family is still with us, although the time for relocation is fast approaching. With Sharon, Nina, and the other volunteers putting together a delicious smorgasbord of treats for them daily, the kids are growing fast and strong and will soon be released along with their mom.

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Yawning gopher snake

Yawning gopher snake

And while we’re on the subject of gopher snakes, I got this shot of one of our newest education gopher snakes as he was starting a great yawn in his enclosure. I honestly didn’t know a snake could be bored, but I guess it’s possible!

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We have flies so big...they stay in cages!

We have flies so big…they stay in cages!

As clean as we work to keep the facility, when the temperature rises, so does the fly population. Several traps dot the Liberty landscape and the latest versions allow us to then harvest the trapped flies to feed our insect eating orphans. Some of the little critters are not so little – getting to be as big as baby hummingbirds!

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"Do not suspect that we are NOT eagles!"

“Do not suspect that we are NOT eagles!”

I’ve been saving this shot for a few weeks. This is the feeding station out front where the eagles (and other larger birds are hand fed each day). On this morning, two local doves thought they’d land on the feeding perch and possibly get a free meal!

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The property is surveyed for construction

The property is surveyed for construction

As of last week, some surveyors were out at our river property, putting up flags to outline the structures on the plan. Elwood road is progressing with utilities being installed at this stage. Next step will be paving the road which will allow construction equipment access to begin the building process.

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