Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Our Cruise for Wildlife is in the history books. We cruised on the Out of the Blue luxury houseboat (somehow, houseboat and Out of the Blue shouldn’t be in the same phrase) out of Ten Lane dock on Lake Pleasant, and it was truly lovely.
I always marvel at the possibility of driving through miles of Sonoran desert, beautiful on its own, and rounding a corner in the road to be confronted with the likes of the lake. Everything about it is stunning. Maybe it is that the awareness of luxurious water in the middle of the desert is an incongruency that our brain celebrates. And, celebratory moments are always welcome.
Catered by Michael Stavros, the following menu was provided to guests:
Tortellini, Tomato & Olive Saté, Szechwan Beef Mini Tortilla Wheel, Baja-Style Shrimp Cocktail– with cocktail sauce, Grilled Vegetable Platter, Hummus Platter with Pita Bread, Charcuterie Board with Fresh Fruit and Artisanal Bread & Crostini, mixed salads and sandwich rolls. Cookies for desert and beverages of your choice framed the dining experience.
The cruise was attended by a delightfully
diverse group of people and conversations were lively. The stars were popping as we were away from the light pollution of the city. Lucky guests were greeted by constellations and shooting stars…a first for one of our guests from the Seattle area…how cool is that!
And the piece de resistance was the appearance of Aurora, the bald eagle. She was magnificent on her perch totally unflappable while she posed with guests for portrait after portrait. She seems to be totally at ease about being a boat riding eagle…maybe she was taken by the ambiance of the lake air and the shooting stars.
As guests stepped off the excursion boat
they were gifted with a Tammie Coe Out of the Blue cookie and a Liberty Wildlife key chain flashlight. They loaded the bus and made their ways back to the starting point. It seemed like everyone was smiling. I like it when that happens. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Susie Alofs and Kathleen Lang another Liberty Wildlife event is launched.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year has reached 6108.
As we continue to accumulate intakes for the year (each one sets a new record!), the pace is slow enough that each one gets a lot of personal 0ne-on-0ne care leading to a speedy release in some cases. The event on Saturday went well and now we’re looking forward to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on December 6th. The animals seldom show their appreciation and we hope this event tells the volunteers that everything they do is a great service to the wildlife of Arizona! The Birdies for Charity campaign is on again for this year (which you’ve seen if you visited the website recently – don’t worry, the pop-up goes away after the third appearance.) so sign up and chip in a penny to get us a good spot at the event. A couple of releases are spotlighted in the update this week, so relax with the rest of us and take a look…
Not all the rabbits we get in are babies. This adult cottontail was in for some treatment and now is nearing release. Yes, we do care for ALL ends of the food chain including prey species, whether it’s Easter or some other holiday – or not. A rabbit that has gotten this big has been doing a lot right and needs to have his genes in the pool!
This little BuOw was rescued from a parking lot down near Sky Harbor. Probably a car or window collision, he would have had a much shorter ride in after we move early next year. This bird is also nearing release as his condition is monitored by Dr. Wyman and the Med Services team.
A sad looking GHO was brought in last week after what was most likely a serious automobile collision. His right eye and left wing were injured and he really looked like he was in a bar fight. Dr. Wyman examined him and did some work on the eye which may not be the worst injury he has to deal with. The tissue of the patagial area was shredded and the supreme skill of Dr. Wyman came in handy as she sewed the pieces back into shape before he was put in an enclosure for cage rest and recuperation.
Another happy outcome was this big female red-tailed hawk. She came in with canker and was treated for that issue which can be fatal if not caught in time or treated properly. Now she can get back into rotation for the upcoming breeding season and start making big strong RTH chicks!
A quick road to release was in the cards for this young Cooper’s hawk. She came in with some abrasions over her eyes but little else in terms of injury. Last week after being assessed, she was placed in a flight enclosure and showed us she could fly very well, thank you very much! This led to a release which again placed her in the wild hunting other birds as all the migrations are taking place!
The Canada goose with the dual leg fishing line involvement continues to improve. The circulation to his feet is returning and he is again learning how to walk on two feet. He seems to be getting along with the other goose in his enclosure but we want to get him back to the lake in Scottsdale where he came from.
And the smaller, passerines still get injured and rescued. The window is our prime source for these little birds which are most often found by people who rescue them from their pets and kids. This little grackle was brought in by the family who said they found her on the ground in the back yard near their cat. Audubon estimates over one billion birds fall victim to house cats every year.
Story by Jennifer Moore, APS:
In early April, Terrance O’Connor identified an active red-tailed hawk nest on an APS pole in Casa Grande. The nest was situated in a dangerous location for the hawks and had the potential to cause an outage or damage our equipment. I worked with Manuel Escarcega to coordinate a time in the when our Liberty Wildlife biologist, Nina Grimaldi, could meet the Casa Grande crew to assist with a nest move. On Friday, April 17, Liberty Wildlife met the crew, including Manuel Escarcega, Michael Karpelenia, Anthony Wauer, Kenny Salinas, Mark Eide, and Dylan Hrober on site. Adult red-tailed hawks were observed perching in the nest, indicating we would likely find eggs or chicks upon closer inspection. The crews approached the nest and observed 2 eggs which they carefully removed and transported to the biologist on the ground. The eggs were held in an incubator while the crews worked to remove the nest while keeping it intact. The original nesting pole could not safely accommodate a nesting platform, so the platform was installed one pole to the south. The original nest was placed on the platform so the red-tailed hawks could safely make future nest attempts. This was a difficult pole to work on and I believe we had to take an outage so time was limited. To keep everyone safe and limit the egg’s exposure to the environment without an adult on the nest, Liberty Wildlife and the crews determined the best course of action would be to transport the eggs in the incubator to the rehabilitation facility. We typically are less successful in getting the adults to return to their eggs after a nest relocation. Adults will return to live chicks more often which was not what we were dealing with in this circumstance. We move forward with a nest move regardless of the stage of development when the hawk’s safety is at risk. We received word from Liberty Wildlife on April 30 that our eggs had hatched in their incubator. The chicks are being raised at the Liberty Wildlife facility and we received a 2nd update that they are growing fast. The chicks will be cared for by Liberty Wildlife staff and volunteers until they are strong enough to move to the outdoor aviary. On September 30 Lineman Journeyman Anthony Wauer and Kenny Salinas released two hawks with assistance from Nina. The 2 juveniles were released approximately 2 miles from the original nest site to avoid any conflicts with their adult parents’ territory. Stories in the local Casa Grande paper and internal APS Newsline are expected in the coming weeks.
The latest from the new site: