Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Wednesday, April 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. When I think back on my history of activism in environmental issues it all started in 1970. I was teaching 9th grade, and I was indeed a product of that time. I had always loved the out-of-doors and was a closet naturalist…replete with a bug collection (I did hate putting those pins into the fragile little bodies…but my fascination won out), a rescuer of any injured animal that I could find, a birdwatcher and feeder, a collector of snakes and lizards, an observer of the natural world, an avid tree climber, and considered a bit odd by the other girls in my neighborhood, but gratefully there were others on the national scene getting the same vibes.
After witnessing the devastation of an oil spill off the coast of California, Gaylord Nelson, the Senator from Wisconsin, came up with the idea for Earth Day. This coincided with an expansion of the energies from the anti-war movement and the growth in awareness of the environmental woes from the 500,000+readers of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, creating a synergy with surprising energy. And, I finally found legitimacy for my passion.
I had recently moved to teach in a newly built school in Austin, Texas away from my old school in the matured treed areas of downtown to an empty school ground in much need of the benefits of trees. My class, excited about the new Earth Day movement, raised money and bought 5 trees which we were granted permission to plant on the school grounds. I have been trying to remember how we raised the money and what kind of trees we planted, but that memory eludes me.
What I do remember is the excitement, the eagerness, the enthusiasm, and the pride we all felt as we daydreamed looking out the windows at our “project”. I haven’t been back to that school since I moved to Phoenix. I think that is shameful. I can only imagine (and maybe it is better that way), how large and grand our five trees are now, and how much they have provided in the way of oxygen, shade, habitat, and beauty over the last 45 years.
It is a moment I am very proud of.
And if Earth Day weren’t enough to celebrate this week we also celebrate Arbor Day the last Friday of April. This is such a powerful time to be aware of our planet, to be aware of what we can each do to make our home a healthy place for all living creatures and our environment. Let’s continue to place the importance of a healthy home not only on our national agenda but our global agenda. Earth Day 1970 has grown to the largest civic event in the world in 2015. Find something to do to celebrate this in your own way. Rekindle your personal commitment to make Earth Day your own.
Maybe it would be a great time to support an environmental organization with a donation to work on your behalf. Maybe you will personally take action. Maybe you will make it a double celebration and also plant a tree. I would love to know what you do. And, you don’t have to tell me….just do it!
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 1113.
Yes, that number is correct. We passed the 1,000 animal mark last week. And, the numbers are going up at a dramatic rate. There were several times the window was backed up into the parking lot with caring people holding boxes containing tiny orphaned and injured birds and mammals (mainly bunnies) hoping to get them some help. They had all come to the right place of course, as the volunteers patiently took the animals and donations (THANK YOU!) and had the people fill out the required paperwork for the records. Another Rescue/Transport class was held in hopes of having sufficient staff to keep up with the spring/summer onslaught as we all gear up for the Wishes for Wildlife event which will be held in less than two weeks on May 2. Another bald eagle arrived and is now in treatment, and the R&C team relocated a GHO nest that was in a bad spot. Yes, it’s a busy time for all of us. Let’s see what it looked like…
Well, it was coming fast and we hit the first 1,000 animals last week. I’m never sure if it’s cause for celebration or a sign of dire things to come, but in any case, we were there for the animal – and will be for all subsequent arrivals this year. The numbers are clicking over quickly, so keep watching the yearly total!
One problem we have each year is the aging equipment we use. This year, an anonymous person we hold in high esteem donated a wall of new brooders that will save many lives as the year progresses. Tim added a custom built rack to hold them and all of this beautiful equipment will eventually be used in the new facility. Thanks to the wonderful individual who cares! We are forever in your debt.
An otherwise handsome male cardinal came in last week with a seriously damaged beak. Bird’s beaks are much like our fingernails – they are tough but will break given sufficient trauma. This little bird was obviously involved in some kind of collision with an immovable object and the beak absorbed most of the impact. What is left of his lower mandible was reshaped by the Med Services team but he will most likely be non-releasable since he will find it difficult to eat in the wild. He will join the other cardinal we have (with the bad eye) and remain with us an education display bird.
Last week our R&C team performed a GHO nest relocation for WAPA (Western Area Power Administration) in Maricopa. I’ll let Stacey fill in the details:
The nest relocation for WAPA was necessary as the 2-3 week old babies were in an area that has energized equipment. This equipment poses a risk for electrocution, so even though the nest was on the ground, their first flight might have been their last! They were taken to Liberty, examined and placed with foster mom Maggie.
Our own Claudia Kirscher drove to Kingman on the weekend to retrieve this bald eagle. Claudia writes the story:
He was found on the ground in a housing development near the Hualapai Mtns. Blood tests at LW show toxic lead. He also has a healed right wrist fracture. By the condition of his tail, feet and talons he has been on the ground for awhile. He has a spot of distinctive brown feathers on his head.