Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
It is the end of the year so quickly and time for me to make a plea for your end of the year giving plan, but here’s the deal.
You don’t have to consider Liberty Wildlife in your philanthropy if:
- You aren’t interested in nurturing the nature of Arizona.
- You don’t care that the wildlife that shares our world gets the best care possible if needed.
- You don’t care about an organization that provides on-site and outreach education for the entire state…to the tune of over 820 programs a year.
- You don’t care about an organization that is teaching sustainability to every visitor by using our beautiful new building as a teaching tool, while conserving resources including donations.
- You don’t care that our unique Non-Eagle Feather Repository has sent over 3000 feather orders for Native Americans to use in ceremony, regalia, and religious practices which saves wild birds from black market reaping.
- You don’t care that our Research and Conservation team has mitigated for negative or potential negative impact between wildlife and civilization and communities’ needs.
- You don’t care if our weekly blog, This Week at Liberty and Hoots, Howls, and Hollers, our monthly e magazine, Nature News, and our annual magazine, WingBeats continue to be produced and circulated.
- You don’t care that Liberty Wildlife provides internships and residencies to students from all over the world.
- You don’t care that thousands of individuals have been privileged to be trained to work directly with native animals.
- You don’t care that over 140 species are cared for annually.
I mean, really, if you don’t care about all or any of those things, perhaps you can find someone locally who does more…but I don’t think so. And key to this entire decision is to make a decision to give locally…where it counts…for your own surroundings, your own services needed, your own personal experience.
Well ok, I guess giving to Liberty Wildlife is a particularly good idea as you consider your personal philanthropy this year. As you can see we do an awful lot with your donations.
This Week @Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 6476.
Things are calming down slightly after the three big events we held over the past few weeks and we ‘re starting to develop a routine at the new facility. The staff and volunteers are learning where things are and what we have to work with. With so much more space, we’re having to map out where individual animals are being held so the daily care people can find who they’re looking for. It’s a new feeling to have so much room to work with! But with all the new things happening, its reassuring to know some things never change, like the level of care and concern the animals all get when they arrive at Liberty’s window. As we approach the end-of-the-year holidays, let’s take a brief look at what we were doing this past week…
Add another specie to the ever growing list of birds and animals seen around the new Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife – this loggerhead shrike spent some time around the wetlands last week, long enough for me to get out my big glass and grab a couple shots of him as he hunted. The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits, preying on insects, birds, lizards, and small mammals. Lacking a raptor’s talons, Loggerhead Shrikes skewer their kills on thorns or barbed wire or wedge them into tight places for easy eating. These activities have earned him the name “butcher bird.”
A peregrine falcon arrived last week with a serious injury to his wing. Jan and Holly worked on the fractured humerus but as the extensive damage is very close to the elbow joint, the likelihood of this beautiful bird taking to the air again is doubtful. There is a down side to being the world’s fastest living organism: the greater your velocity when you collide with an immovable object, the more kinetic energy has to be dissipated (K=1/2Mv²), usually by bones breaking – especially light, hollow bones. Hopefully the bird will survive and possibly become either an education ambassador or a foster parent.
Two more smaller birds that are in our care as of last week, this very cute ruddy duck with a possible head trauma, and this bullock’s oriole who has been kept as a pet for 8 years. The duck is doing better but is still under observation. The oriole is very pale as you might expect for a pretty songbird held captive in a cage for so long. In the west, this oriole is common in summer in forest edge, farmyards, leafy suburbs, isolated groves, and streamside woods, especially in cottonwood trees. Being held for so long, the bird is not releasable and will live out his days in our care.
The little male kestrel and the sharp-shinned hawk probably both suffered the same type of injury as the peregrine – collision damage while hunting. The kestrel’s injuries are very serious and his prognosis is guarded at best. The sharp-shinned hawk is in somewhat better condition but time will tell. It is a young bird and that always helps when it comes to healing broken bones.
One of the big advantages to having our own radiology capability is that animals don’t have to wait for their exam. In the past, if we didn’t have the time or the opportunity to drive injured animals 20-30 miles to a facility that offered to allow us to use their x-ray units, the time spent waiting could mean the difference between a full recovery after immediate treatment and a less-than optimal outcome. Now, the images we generate can be sent to specialists or to other displays at Liberty for analysis and recommendations for treatment in a real-time environment.
The young raccoon that arrived a several weeks ago is doing better. Presenting evidence of a head injury, he had been in the new mammal room until last week when he was moved outside, much to his delight. All around better care is what we are able to give all the arrivals at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.
Libby went with on a program last week to the Highland Lakes Elementary School with Laura and me. It was a day to honor veterans and it was a moving ceremony. The kids were terrific – well behaved and very respectful of the veterans, one of whom was 100 years old. As always, Libby was a perfect lady and posed with everyone.
Laura Hackett sent this to me today and I had to include it in this weeks blog. Laura says:
“I had to share because I am so proud of this girl. She is the daughter of a friend and she has always loved animals. She and I could talk for hours about the animals I cared for while I was still at the zoo. She had to do a service project for her 1st grade class and she wanted to do something for us. I showed her around the facility and she loved the idea of talking about pollinators. So she created a worksheet for kids her age to learn more about pollinators!!!”
In honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday, I’m including this shot of our annual Volunteer’s Christmas tree (with apologies to Charles Schultz and Charlie Brown!)
A special offer and announcement from Ken Milward
By just using our ID badges Boyce Thompson Arboretum has agreed to offer us free passage to the card holder from this December though May of next year. Each additional guest will be required to pay the normal fees $10 for adults and $5 for children. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is one of our Arizona Sate Parks and is the oldest arboretum west of the Mississippi having been founded in 1924. The arboretum is located just west of the town of Superior on US Highway 60. Hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM last entry will be restricted at 4:00 PM for it takes approximately an hour to complete the main trail.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum
3765 US 60
Superior, Arizona 85273
My contact was Lynnea Spencer who approached the the board of directors with this proposal and gained approval. I have furnished them with a copy of my Liberty Wildlife ID badge and they will have that there at the cashier’s window for verification of our IDs. They have given me some free passes that I have been distributing to our volunteers so that they may bring a guest or in the case that they do not yet have an ID badge. I only have a limited number of these remaining on a first come basis one to each volunteer.
One of the ways that I was able to sell this to the Arboretum was that no one seems to go there alone. I hope that our staff of volunteers enjoy this place and introduce it to many of their friends over the next few months.
If you have any further questions about this please give me a call.
(If you need a Liberty ID for this – NOT the new access card – let me know. Terry Stevens)