Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Wow! That is my first time writing 2016. It has a nice feel to it. There is so much happening, and it is so much good.
As I do every year, I try to think what annual resolutions to make, to imagine what changes I want to see in myself and in the year, to hone in on what I (one little person) can do to help make the world we live in a better place.
Then I get overwhelmed.
So, then I do what I should do every year….try to decide what ten things I am going to do TODAY.
- I am going to pay attention to what I do all day long. I want to stay present.
- I am going to be open to new experiences. I want to play a little bit more.
- I am going to smile more. I want to find a happy moment in all that I do.
- I am going to cherish the environment, the envelope we live in. I want to take less from it and give more.
- I want to share more with those who have less, both animal and human. I want to give back.
- I want to be more interactive in all that I do. This isn’t the time for passivity.
- I want to hike in the desert (or where ever I am). I want to get moving and be outside.
- I want to tap into my creativity. I am hoping this will enable me to solve problems in unique ways.
- I want to simplify my existence. I will de-clutter a space that annoys me, and that includes my personal being.
- I want to be a friend to all in my orb. I want to be honest, available, patient, and caring.
This is all for today, and yes tomorrow and that would mean for rest of this year…but starting today!
So, now I don’t feel overwhelmed!
But wait, may I suggest a resolution for you for today? Resolve to go directly to our web page, www.libertywildlife.org and make a pledge to Liberty Wildlife for Birdies for Charity. January 6th is the last day to help us fulfill our mission and incidentally to take that message to the big tent at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Do it now; do it today!
This Week @ Liberty
The total for last year reached 6483. The total for this year is already at 14.
After the record-setting year that was 2015, the new year is starting off reasonably slowly but as we approach the migratory move around the end of March, things will begin to become more hectic I’m sure. The first actual movement of stuff took place on Christmas Eve as Tim and I attacked our storage unit at the Scottsdale airport and moved tons (literally!) of furniture and equipment to a new, much less expensive unit about a mile from the site of the new facility near Sky Harbor. I didn’t get any photos of the 12 hour odyssey as I had my hands full trying to keep up with Tim (Dick Frye was also there to help and take inventory) as we removed about 2/3 of what we had stored there, some of it for years. It was just the first shot in a long, looming battle as the stage is set for the big move later on. I’ll try to keep you posted on what’s happening. But in the meantime, the day-to-day functions of medical care and educational activity proceeds unabated. Here’s what the last couple weeks looked like…
We’re still getting in some of the common first year birds from last spring (red tails, great horned owls, kestrels, etc.). With Drs. Orr, Wyman, Sorum, and Becker tending to the injured, assisted by Jan, Joanie, Sharon, Alex, Susie, and all the rest of the Med Services team (too many to mention, but supremely appreciated!), the level of care received by the animals lucky enough to find their way to Liberty after their injuries is second to none.
Recently I picked up an injured turkey vulture about 20 miles south of Maricopa (the city, not the county!) This guy was in somebody’s back yard and it was apparent he’d been down for quite some time. The broken wing was beginning to heal on it’s own and he was severely malnourished and dehydrated. He is currently getting rest and nourishment as the extent of the permanent damage is assessed by the Med Services team.
The very mature (I hate the term “old”!) red tail hawk with the stubborn head wound got some surgery recently. Dr. Orr, assisted by Sara, Susie and Jan worked to finally close the skin on the bird’s skull. It’s not known exactly how the injury was sustained, but it was a large wound in a difficult spot. This is a bird that has been around for many years and is trying to his best to survive against tall odds. The good news is he has the best medical team around to assure his recovery and eventual release.
One of the golden eagles that arrived recently is getting close to release. Prior to being returned to the wild, goldens are measured and banded by AZGFD in order to determine their status in terms of numbers and population size. The birds are hooded which seems to make them more manageable for this operation as they seem to almost go to sleep while the hood is on. Then several key measurements are taken which indicate whether it is a male or a female. Happily, this bird will soon rejoin the gene pool as we approach the breeding season.
One of the last birds we took in as the year ended (on New Year’s Eve afternoon) was this ring-billed gull. Seriously depleted by human persecution during late 19th century, the ring-billed has made strong comeback. The population in 1990 was estimated at 3 to 4 million and probably still increasing. The species has benefitted from availability of food provided by garbage dumps and farming practices. This was probably another first year bird not learning life lessons soon enough to avoid trouble.
One of our new bald eagles, Laddie, is now being trained for the Education Team by Joe Miller. A second year bird, Laddie was officially placed on our permit last Fall and has the potential to be a wonderful addition to the education team of eagles we use to introduce the public to these awesome birds who inhabit our state. Last week, she made her first visit to the training perch at the front of the hand-feeding area north of the parking lot. She appeared to like being in the sun and the attention she got from passers-by. Welcome to the team, Laddie!
Progress at the new Facility
If you have not yet pledged for the Birdies for Charity campaign, you only have two days left! PLEASE sign up. It costs very little (last year a 1 cent pledge wound up costing around $17.) and we need the numbers of supporters to go up – NOW! Go to our website (libertywildlife.org) or Click Here Don’t wait – do it now!!