Things are happening at the Rio Salado. Elwood Street is under construction and that means that the water and dry utilities are soon to be a part of the landscape. Engineers have been drilling more holes….testing the dynamic compaction of the ground under our footprint now that it has been “painted” out and a string border has been strung.
I spent last Wednesday early morning walking through the building…no, there are no walls, no windows, no flight enclosures, no water catchment system, no solar panels on the roof, no furniture…that is all yet to come. But with a little imagination, you, too, could walk in the hospital or the children’s interactive room. You could stand on the overlook and imagine the wetlands.
What is there now is the potential view of Piestawa Peak nestled in the opening of the wall facing the river. The view of downtown sparkles to the west. Camelback Mountain is silhouetted to the east and South Mountain towers from the front door.
At the river pond where the beaver makes his home early morning brought the croaks of frogs, the waking utterances of the wild birds that inhabit the reedy shore line and the splashes of the grebe who floated on the water. The osprey flew overhead and the egret took off as I approached. It was a magical moment.
I want to encourage all of you to get involved in some way in our relocation. There is still time for you to grab a naming opportunity for yourself, a loved one, a family….anyone in love with our mission and our 34 years of work. There will be opportunities to have a brick with your name on it, or the name of someone you are honoring, that will line the path that winds through the education enclosures. Benches, landscaping options, butterfly, dragonfly and pollinator gardens will be wonderful opportunities for you to be a permanent part of a great thing!
Ask how you can be a part of helping to fulfill our mission and a part of creating magic.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 4352. Released on Aug.07: 8 misc. doves, 1 finch, 22 quail, 2 black-crowned night heron, 2 various LBBs.
The monsoon and the temps backed off slightly this week – I’m only talking about 3 or 4 degrees here – but this year we haven’t had any major A/C failures to deal with (although I have had my own problems repairing the large owl flight enclosure. Those tetanus shots HURT!) Last Monday Tim and I drove to Lake Havasu City to acquire and transport a donation of Trex lumber – a 500 mile round trip made possible by a donation from U-Haul who provided a 20ft. truck to move the material. Also last week, two nighthawk eggs hatched and the hatchlings are now being cared for. Plus some other interesting arrivals and rehabs in progress. Here we go…
This is the Trex lumber that Brad Gruenwald (Gina’s brother) donated for Liberty’s use and the wonderful young lady at U-Haul in Lake Havasu City who worked out the details of the truck. As our structures have to withstand the unrelentingly harsh conditions in Arizona, this material is perfect for our use in the new facility. Because of the weight and since it was located in Lake Havasu City, Joanne Fried and Ashleigh Wagner of U-Haul Corporate arranged to donate a one-way truck to move the material to Scottsdale. Debra Gonzales at their LHC office helped us with the check-in. Liberty (and all the animals that will make use of the structures built from this lumber) thank Brad, Debra, Joanne and Ashleigh for making it possible! U-Haul rocks!!!
Our ‘Ace’ R&T volunteer Carl Price brought in, among others, a barn owl with a badly injured wing. Laura and Jan performed the initial exam and wrap as the bird was given fluids and allowed to begin de-stressing in a brooder in the ICU. First-rate treatment applied quickly is what helps us maintain our high release rate, even with serious injuries like this.
Not long ago, we got in two nighthawk eggs from an SRP equipment storage yard in Tempe. Some equipment was moved which spooked the mom off the nest and when she didn’t come back, Liberty was called. Nina went and collected the eggs and brought them in to spend a couple weeks in our super-whizbang-high-tech incubator. One of them eventually hatched, and in quick succession, the second one opened to the world as well! These two tiny little caprimulgiformes (the order gets its name from the Latin for “goat-sucker”, an old name based on an erroneous view of the European nightjar’s feeding habits) will be hand fed for some time as they are normally parent fed or eat on the wing when they are capable of flight.
Ten minutes after I left last Tuesday, R&T volunteer Ted Schlueter brought in a GHO from out east. It seems the bird had been flying low – low enough to snag a wing on a barbed wire fence. We’ve seen this before and it’s never pretty. The trick is to get the bird cut out of the wire before he does much greater damage by trying to extricate himself. The ultimate prognosis is unclear and will depend on the extent of the structural damage to the wing and patagium. (check out Animal Planet – “Animal Cops: Phoenix” 2009 Episode 1)