Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Our education season is well under way and our education class is busy grooming our new educators to continue in the footsteps of our veterans. This is such a great time of the year. Enthusiasm reigns both on the side of the newbies and the experienced educators. Natural history, individual stories of each wildlife ambassador along with the specific knowledge of the temperament of each animal and how to handle it is passed on to eager learners. It is crucial that each of the new “teachers” is aware of the power of the role they are preparing to assume.
We take advantage of our ability to bring a charismatic animal into a class of students who probably never have seen such beauty beyond the screen…certainly never in real life and real time. We have an opportunity to do so many things not possible from the pages of a book or the ethereal nature of the electronic gizmo. These special creatures are real, breathing, active, stunning, powerful, and that makes such a huge difference.
For example a group of Liberty Wildlife educators recently presented an educational opportunity to a middle school class. The teacher was kind enough to send a thank you as many of them do. This one was particularly meaningful to me. She wrote:
The students and teachers absolutely loved your presentation. Some of the boys I teach, who struggle in science, came to my class afterwards to ask me more questions about the birds and wanted to learn more about Arizona animals. You definitely helped to inspire our students to learn more about desert animals around them! We are working on fundraising for Liberty Wildlife and would love to donate supplies and money soon.
Thank you so much for your time and energy!
It is obvious to me that in this era of STEM emphasis…science, technology, engineering and math…that our efforts are and have been a gateway to the sciences. It is a small step from enchantment with the natural world to seeking ways to help keep our environment sustainable. The first steps into the study of one of the sciences very often begin with falling in love with a wild creature.
I commend our educators for their commitment to learning their subject, learning how to handle the educational ambassadors, and to honing in on the best ways to light a fire in a student’s eyes…and that is students of all ages. I applaud these people for their dedication of time, effort and for the overall impact they will have.
They, in their own big ways, make a huge difference in our world. Thank you for all that you do. And, good luck to the new educators….may you inspire and open the gateway to greater learning in every presentation that you do.
And, don’t forget to make a pledge to Liberty Wildlife at www.birdiesforcharityaz.com. Click on Make a Pledge and then select Liberty Wildlife from the drop down menu. Do it now. Thanks!
Thank you for your support!
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year now stands at 6239.
The ambient temperature is still high, but the word is that is might be headed downward this week. We are all hopeful! A long-eared owl was brought in over the weekend, and several other previous patients were treated and were showing signs of improvement. The education season is in full swing and shows are being provided to schools and events all over the state. In looking forward to a drop in the thermometer readings, new hibernation habitats for our resident desert tortoises were prepared last week by Alex and her team of eager volunteers. The cool thing is the dirt for the “hibernatoriums” was supplied from the site of the new Liberty facility! The work on the new Liberty Wildlife is also progressing, and we got a real boost from a long time friend and volunteer, Art Smith, who pushed us within striking distance of our goal of a digital X-ray unit to better serve the wildlife of Arizona. All-in-all, a pretty good week!
Our campaign to acquire our own digital X-ray unit for the new facility took a giant leap forward last week as Liberty friend and long-time volunteer Art Smith donated a large amount towards the purchase of the machine. This leaves a much smaller amount yet to raise for the complete unit which will be a state-of-the-art digital radiology device. We’re hoping this will inspire others to chip in and make this dream a reality. Having a unit like this will improve the survival chances for the birds and other animals that find their way to Liberty Wildlife after traumatic injury. Art, the wildlife of Arizona and the volunteers of Liberty are forever in your debt. Thank you!
A variety of patients were provided some top notch service last Tuesday during the weekly “Vet Night” at Liberty. Dr. Orr was in attendance and lots of birds got the full experience of Liberty care as they were examined and their treatment reviewed and statuses checked. From burrowing owls to red tails, from Cooper’s hawks to peregrines, and from ducks to meadowlarks, everyone was checked over and notes taken and reviewed to reflect adjustments to the prescribed care.
A not-so-common visitor arrived last weekend as this long-eared owl was brought in. Presenting an injury to his left wing, the Med Services volunteers assessed the damage, then carefully wrapped the wing until an X-ray could be taken. Another reason for everyone to contribute to the Digital X-ray fund! (See above!)
Another Liberty program that took place last weekend was an educational display and double release of two Harris’ hawks at the Lost Dutchman State Park. The scenery is breathtaking and a memorable backdrop to a Liberty program culminating in the spectacular release of two native hawks returning to the Arizona skies after several months of rehabilitation at our facility!
Remodeling for our desert tortoises residences for their winter hibernation…
Our permanent desert tortoise population all had their winter residences upgraded last weekend. We got some dirt from the new site courtesy of Rain and Troy, the managers from Okland Construction who are building our new facility, to enhance the four habitats. This will keep the tortoises from digging into adjoining enclosures (keeping them out of trouble) and also protecting them from potential flooding in El Nino rain that might be coming our way this winter. Alex wrote: “Today we built tortoise hibernation enclosures! I had 9 amazing volunteers come out to help and we powered through it! They all look terrific! Speedy, Shelly, Alpo and Grandpa are set for the winter! Grandpa crawled right in and went to sleep. I’ll actually be surprised if we see him again before spring. The volunteers that helped were: Claudia, Susie, Kenny (Susie’s husband), John A, Jon H, Amy F, Camila, Kelly and Marko. I brought in bagels and orange juice and we all ate and celebrated our awesome enclosures!”
Last Saturday some Liberty Education volunteers (including John and Balinda) did a great program at the Highland Center for Natural History near Prescott. The weather was perfect producing a good crowd and everyone seemed to enjoy the educational opportunity from experienced birders to 1st time visitors. This is what the Education team does best!