Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
A big thank you goes out to each of you who supported our efforts to show our stuff in the big tent at this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open. As always, our education team with their “ambassadors” stole the show. Ten people deep around the booth was the fastest way to tell where we were.
Guests were wowed with information about each of the species present: a turkey vulture, a great horned owl, a red-tailed hawk, and a bald eagle. It is hard to deny the presence of each of these animals. It seems like every year onlookers mention seeing the great horned owls hooting in their neighborhoods, others have related stories of seeing the red-tailed hawks doing a courtship flight overhead, and have spoken of seeing a turkey vulture cleaning road kill at the side of the highway. Their excitement and focus is undeniable.
The value of seeing wildlife up close is important in many ways. The pull to engage first hand with such charismatic creatures is hard to deny. It has always been my belief that people value what they see in nature once they have been vividly exposed to something as magical as a great horned owl or as majestic as a bald eagle. There is just no way to look at nature in the same way after a first-hand interaction and that is what we provide almost every day of the year.
The other part of this dynamic is that you are never too young or too old to appreciate an up- close encounter with a wild animal. Their beauty is undeniable. Their energy is palpable. Their design is perfection. Nature has no throw-aways. Everything is part of the plan.
And, the plan needs to be respected and protected.
This is why we do what we do. This is why we strive to make a public appearance with our wildlife ambassadors whenever possible. If our love and understanding was shared with the rest of our species all of our jobs would be easier.
The take away is that our job is to make you all fall in love with our neighbors who happen to be wildlife. Our job is to make sure there is mutual respect. Our job is to make each of you a part of the solution to the sometimes off the chart struggle that many wild animals can suffer at the hand of unknowing folks.
Again, thanks to you who helped us make it to the big tent, who helped us do our part to assist wildlife and the balance of nature. We hope we were able to make the impact that is our intent.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for this year is now at 175.
Beautiful weather prevails during the days now and this allows the coming busy time a graceful approach. Liberty once again attended the Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament (boy, that’s a mouthful!) and the crowds seemed to love our birds as always. The rate at which animals show up at the intake window has increased slightly, but the benign weather is keeping the increase manageable – for now. This is giving us time to get used to the new facility and time to train and give some experience to the newly instituted “Intake Window Volunteer” staff. It’s slow now, but it’s going to pick up noticeably in the near future. I have been covering some open shifts at the window and it has mostly been small birds and of late, cotton tail bunnies. The larger birds are being brought in by the Rescue and Transport people, as the system was designed. Unlike the Game of Thrones ominous prediction that “Winter is coming,” we all know that “Baby Bird Season is Coming!”
Kestrels are some of the cutest (as well as the most ubiquitous) raptors in North America. Consequently, we get quite a few of these diminutive falcons in for medical treatment each year. This year is starting off the same way, including these two little girls. One has an eye injury that we hope will not be career threatening, and the other has a leg/foot issue that it is hoped will be remedied by the application of a corrective “shoe” to straighten things out. Time will tell in both instances.
Another small falcon we see not nearly as frequently as the kestrel is the merlin (Falco Columbarius). One came in last week with a wing injury which, by virtue of our new digital X-ray unit, was quickly confirmed as having a fractured ulna. Hopefully this early diagnosis (and the fact that the fracture is mid-shaft) will lead to a successful outcome of the treatment.
Each year Liberty Wildlife puts on a booth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. It is a good opportunity to display some of our ambassadors to the public and to do some education as to who’s backyard in which we live and what we can do to mitigate our impact on the world around us.
These two über cute bunny siblings came in for care after their nest was unearthed by some construction equipment at the site of the Renaissance Festival on the far east side. They joined a couple others of nearly the same age and will be cared for by the best Liberty has to offer to them and ALL Arizona wildlife!
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