Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
We met some really great people last week. It seems that 6 years ago we were called out to the Arizona Toyota Proving Grounds to rescue a baby red-tailed hawk. The adult had met with an electrical accident and died. Our Research and Conservation group with the power company located a safe place for the nest which was moved out of harm’s way.
Fast forward 6 years to last summer when we got another call about the nest with a baby nearing fledgling age on the ground. Our Rescue and Transport team made the trek out to the Proving Grounds and retrieved the baby. She spent a few months finishing her growing, learning to fly and to kill prey and was ready to go back to the area.
To begin with this is a wonderful place for wildlife. Not only is the habitat perfect, but the people who work for Toyota are totally into the wildlife on their land. They have several watering areas so a clean supply of water is always available for the bob cats, occasional mountain lion, badgers, foxes, coyotes and other native critters. They are hoping to install motion sensing cameras to get a good documentation of who is showing up to get a drink in a thirsty desert.
The more we talked to the folks the greater our understanding of Toyota’s efforts to support the environment and biodiversity. They had a film crew who flew out from Kentucky to document the efforts of Liberty Wildlife and Toyota relative to the restoration of this baby to its natal land. The fact that they knew that 8 babies had fledged from the relocated nest in the last 6 years lent credence to how important the health of the environment and the strength of biodiversity is to them locally and to the corporate entity.
It was so refreshing to be surrounded by folks who just get it. Thanks Toyota for your contribution to a better world. The three main initiatives for them are environment, education, and car safety!
Go Toyota and other corporate entities like SRP, APS, Freeport-McMoRan, Iberdrola who invest in helping wildlife.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now up to 6147.
Well, Monsoon 2015 is officially over and we’re all waiting for the temperatures to finally drop – for real! The forecast is for triple digits this week again so summer is not over yet. Orphan Care is empty and the equipment is packed and stored, but some babies still show up now and then. Rescues continue to arrive and the education season is upon us. New volunteers being trained, equipment is being cleaned and refurbished, and new training videos are rendered and posted. Progress is fairly steady on the new facility so on this Columbus Day 2015, let’s take a quick look at what went on last week…
Orphan Care is officially closed now, with the only activity the arrival of animals through the intake window. Our fervent hope is that when the time arrives to reopen next year, we’ll be able to have the volunteers (and the baby birds!) show up at the new facility on Elwood St.! The new OC area will be twice as large plus the intake window will be in a separate place so the Orphan Care volunteers won’t have to work around the incoming patients.
Our star rescuer, Carl Price, performed another chimney/fireplace extraction last week and brought us this very sooty GHO who found his way down a local chimney. Aside from some scuffs on her elbows and wrists and a coating of soot, the bird was relatively intact. Usually the birds who get trapped in a fireplace chimney box are not terribly injured, but suffer from dehydration, starvation, and feather damage from trying to escape. The key to a happier outcome is the speed at which the rescue can be accomplished. Nice job, Carl!
This little tortoise (identified as a Russian tortoise) came in after being found by somebody’s dog who decided he liked roast beef on a hard roll. Tortoises are members of the land-dwelling vertebrates known as Testudinidae. They are prone to pulling in their heads and extremities when stressed or frightened making treatment – and even diagnosis – difficult at times. Most likely an escaped pet, this animal found it’s way into a yard with a hungry or curious dog. This is why people who want this type of pet must be made aware of the dangers of having these cool animals in proximity with other pets until they are large enough to no longer be at risk from this type of attack.
Our milestone intake (number 6100 for the year!) is this young male peregrine falcon. Early x-rays showed a broken bone in his right wing very close to the elbow joint. The break was wrapped and our hope is that this won’t cause fusing of the joint which would compromise his ability to fly well enough to be a successful peregrine if freed. Keep your fingers crossed for this little guy!
As we’ve said before, there’s nothing sadder than a roadrunner with a broken leg. They are capable of flight and do so quite well, but they also do spend lots of time on the ground chasing lizards and other prey (and eluding coyotes?) making it essential that their ability to use both legs well is maintained. This little bird has a badly fractured leg as shown by Dr. Sorum’s X-ray, but after studying it with Dr. Orr, it was decided that if the bone was viable, it could be repaired with surgery which was scheduled for today.
Recently we were able to partner with the Toyota Test Facility on the outskirts of Phoenix where some young RTHs were relocated. Toyota is rightfully proud of their environmental efforts and had their internal AV team put together a video so their employees could learn about this program. (see Megan’s HHH above for more details)
We’re proud to have the only (as far as we know) train-riding bald eagle in the state! Joe and Jan take Sonora for a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad once a month to provide an educational component to this wonderful Arizona adventure. The train riders get to see a bald eagle close up while learning about the life of these birds from handlers Joe and Jan Miller, all the while scanning the skies for wild examples of our national bird that live along the river traveled by the VCRR. If you have never made this trip, give yourself a treat and take a ride!
Last week, Joe and I took Aurora and Chaco to the AZGFD facility on Care Free Highway for an event to get employees to sign up for the AZ State Employees Charitable Campaign for this year. In this program, State employees can sign up to donate a given amount to various charitable organizations, one of which is Liberty Wildlife. For almost three hours, Chaco and Aurora displayed their talents to the AZGFD people at lunch so they could learn about our program.
This was posted on Facebook last week. I just thought it had a great message that was learned by a youngster who obviously cares for nature and all that implies…
Weekly progress at the new Facility
Each week more progress is made on the new Liberty Wildlife on the Rio Salado! I’ll try to give weekly updates on what is going on at the site.