Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Every year we are obliged to provide end of the year reports attached to each of the permits that we have with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish. They are always very impressive as they account for the “numbers and activities” that we provide to the community and to wildlife in a given year. This year I want to start by bragging on our Non –Eagle Feather Repository. The accomplishments of this program are staggering when you consider it is one very part time employee (Robert Mesta) and a very hard working volunteer, (Mare VanDyke). I am copying their accomplishments in total as each category breaks a record. Each year it gets better. The service to the Native American community grows annually and the impact on the black market in feathers is daunted. Because we can provide, with the help of agencies and private donors, feathers to Native Americans for their religious and cultural uses, they are no longer pushed toward black market access to feathers that are critical for their religious and cultural activities. See below the results of their efforts.
Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository Program
2600 E. Elwood St,
Phoenix, AZ 85040
2016 Annual Report
In 2010 Liberty Wildlife in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2, established the Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository Program (LWNEFR). Its mission is to provide Native Americans from Federally recognized tribes with a source of non-eagle feathers from Federally regulated migratory birds for religious and ceremonial purposes.
LWNEFR Guiding Principles
Liberty Wildlife recognizes the significance of feathers and/or parts of birds to Native Americans and will operate the LWNEFR with sensitivity to Native American religious and ceremonial needs.
Liberty Wildlife will insure that all feathers, carcasses or parts will be stored and handled in a manner that will maintain their integrity.
Liberty Wildlife will insure that all feathers, carcasses or parts donated to the LWNEFR come from authorized sources.
Liberty Wildlife will distribute feathers, carcasses or parts equitably on a first come first serve basis.
In 2016, the LWNEFR inventory included up to 114 species of hawks, owls, falcons, condor, vulture, corvids, water-birds, shorebirds, upland birds and songbirds. This number of species feathers, carcasses or parts fluctuates depending on the number and type of species that come into the repository and species that are sent out. A complete list of repository species is attached.
In addition to the feathers, carcasses or parts that come from Liberty Wildlife, in 2016 the LWNEFR received donations from 35 donors; the top three donors were 1.) wildlife rehabilitators, 2.) Arizona Game and Fish Department, and 3.) USFWS. These donors provided the LWNEFR with 65 different bird species. A complete list of donors and species are attached.
2016 Operational Summary
In 2016 the LWNEFR received 320 applications for feathers, carcasses or parts, we filled 265 of those applications – 83% of applications received. A complete list of applications received in 2016 is attached.
In addition, we filled 190 older applications submitted between 2013 to 2015.
In 2016 the LWNEFR filled a total of 510 applications; 42.5/month, 10.6/week.
In 2016, 37 different species were sent out.
The top five species, from most to least, include;
1.) RTHA (red-tailed hawk), 2.) COHA (Cooper’s hawk), 3.) GHOW (great horned owl), 4.) HAHA (Harris’s hawk), 5.) CACO (California condor).
In 2016, 81 tribes from 24 states received feathers, carcasses or parts.
The top five tribes, from most to least include; 1.) Navajo, 2.) Hopi, 3.) Sioux, 4.) Klamath, 5.) Yurok.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 173.
The weather is pretty nice, albeit a bit cool in the morning and overnight. In another couple of months, we’ll all long for the days of cool evenings and crisp mornings. We’re slowly easing into a rhythm at the new facility. Condors, great horned owls, red tails, peregrines – all the usual suspects…er, patients! And as always the level of care is top notch as evinced by the success of some of our recent intakes. Who would have thought that a hawk with seven or eight gunshot wounds would live to fly again?
We have been getting a lot of hummingbirds in and the contrast between them and the condors never ceases to amaze anyone who sees them, myself included!
Since we have the capability of doing our own radiology now, I have included some interesting slides from the X-ray room. It underscores just how critical it is to be able to accomplish this on a nearly real-time basis. we use every tool we can from the arsenal of modern medical science.
Remember that X-ray from last week of the RTH with the 8 pellets? Well, he wasn’t turned into a newt, but “he got better!” (For all you Monti Python fans…)
In just a short time at Liberty Wildlife, this courageous young bird seems ready and eager to return to work as an apex predator in the Arizona skies. Two thumbs up for the Med Services team!
And just when you thought it was safe for owls and hawks, this diminutive great horned owl comes in with, you guessed it, another pellet wound! Once again, the value of having x-ray capability on site is invaluable in determining the cause of inconclusive symptoms. This allows the Med Services team to properly plan treatment from day one.
Sometimes, the damage is so devastating that you look at the image and wince. This pretty little ruddy duck has a career ending fracture of his humerus and hopefully can be placed with an educational facility when the injury has healed. with all those fragments, no repair to his shoulder is possible.
We’re still treating the two California condors in our care. Each day, they are brought in, weighed, examined, and given medicine and fluids to overcome the effects of lead poisoning. Beyond the chelation treatments, the protocol is to keep them warm, hydrated, and fed in an attempt to build up their weight which will help them survive. All this could be prevented by using ammunition other than lead for hunting in the areas known to be inhabited by California condors.
This shot was submitted a while back in December but since I have some rarely used e-mail addresses, I didn’t get it until last week. In any case, the shot was too good to pass up and here is another shot of the peregrine we have been treating for a while. (Thanks Alexa!)
We try to recognize accomplishments of our volunteers and staff as best we can. Having said that, I am a firm believer that passing a birthday is truly an accomplishment! So when our Education scheduler (and general Jill of all trades) Laura Hackett had a B’day last week, we had to recognize the fact that she celebrated it with us. Keep that smile, Laura. Thanks for being here!