Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Sunday was our Volunteer Appreciation Picnic. It was the best ever! Final numbers aren’t in yet, but I am going to guess that 175-200 people showed up with scrumptious pot luck offerings and big smiles on their faces. This is such a wonderful group of caring people.
Santa was present to greet everyone…checking to see if they had been naughty or nice. I can answer that question for them….they have all be very, very, very nice…nice to wildlife in need, nice to a community who needs help, nice to fellow compassionate folks. It is one of the best things about seeing all of these volunteers together. They all share a common bond. That bond is to “Nurture the nature of Arizona,” the Liberty Wildlife mission.
We were hosted again at the Pera Club, by SRP at the newly refurbished pavilion. The day was lovely, the weather perfect with just enough cloud cover so that Santa’s North Pole wear didn’t make him faint. And to make things perfect we were blessed with some of the best behaved family dogs who left food alone on the tables although I did see a few noses sniffing the air.
A perfect picnic formula…delicious and varied food options, congenial and fun loving people, perfect weather, dogs and NO ANTS. We couldn’t have asked for more. My personal thanks go to the staff, Carol, Terry, Jan, Amy, Nina, Alex, Stacey, Laura, Susie for all you did…planning, registering, game producing, raffle item producing, put up and take down, etc for pulling off a great event.
And, my very personal thanks to all of the Liberty Wildlife volunteers who have made it possible to do all that we do. This year alone we have helped well over 6400 animals….pat yourselves on the back; we have educated hundreds of thousands of students of all ages…pat yourselves on the back; we have been a community resource helping our state to conservation resources…pat yourselves on the back!
We are an integral part of this state’s conservation initiative. Thanks to all of you from the bottom of my heart. Know that you are truly appreciated.
Don’t forget Liberty Wildlife this holiday season….remember Birdies for Charity AZ, Amazon Smile, a visit to our store, or donate to our Capital Campaign…it isn’t too late to make a dent in your taxes for the year while helping the organization that you love!
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year on this Pearl Harbor Day 2015 is 6460.
It’s already December and the year has flown by. As Megan pointed out above, the singular event last week was the Volunteer Appreciation picnic yesterday, but the rehabilitation and education work of Liberty goes on all year and last week was no exception. The immature hawks, owls and falcons keep arriving, presenting injuries they sustained dealing with man and nature during their first year apprenticeship. It’s sometimes heartbreaking to see the damage to these beautiful birds and animals, often by some contact with the human world, knowing that even with the best care we can provide for them, they have lost the chance to be what they were designed to be. But we are always there for them, and as Megan says, our volunteers should all “pat themselves on the back” for the services they provide for these animals. Let’s take a look at recent arrivals and their treatment…
Joe and Sonora rode the rails last weekend as they returned to duty on the Verde Canyon Railroad. Just two short weeks after joe’s considerable heart issues, the two train favorites were back in the saddle (or, on the caboose!) doing what they do best: teaching people about bald eagles and getting Liberty’s name and message in front of the public. Now THAT’S dedication!
As I said, there were multiple red tails, Harris’s, and great horned owls with a variety of injuries in for treatment last week, plus a couple of road runners, one of which presented blood in its mouth indicating possible internal injuries most likely from an automobile collision. The hawks also presented some wing damage consistent with collisions, but one had some fairly serious head trauma which left a wound through his scalp exposing a small part of this skull. The trick was trying to keep the surrounding skin moist and supple enough to eventually grow back and close the wound. He is still in the ICU receiving further treatment.
A little ruddy duck was brought to us with injuries from an apparent car collision. He has an injured wing and a bill that was broken along the ventral and lateral axes making it difficult for the bird to eat. With help from the entire Med Services staff, a wooden splint was applied using surgical glue to form a protective gusset to the underside of the bill. This structural doubler allows the bird to eat normally while the broken bill is healing.
Another great horned owl encountered a barbed wire fence last week and was brought in by Carl and Mary Price. These are always some grisly appearing injuries as the metal is strong enough to keep cattle contained and and the barbs do horrific damage to soft flesh and feathers. This bird remained stoic and compliant as the Med Services team first used bolt cutters to cut the force wire, then hand wire cutters to snip off the barbs which were pinned into the bird’s skin. At first it appeared that no bones were fractured and the major tendons were intact which would have made a successful rehabilitation much more likely. Sadly, the owl died quietly the next day. As I’ve said before, sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Volunteer Picnic 2015
What else can I say? It was the best Volunteer Picnic ever – for the best volunteers ever!
Progress at the new Facility