This Week @ Liberty – November 28, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

With our Grand Openings behind us we are down to the nitty gritty of making it all work.  In an effort to always do best at what we do, we are moving slowly into the world of “public”.
Here’s the plan:  Starting on Dec. 7, 2016 we are going to be open to the public for tours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 1:00 and 1:00 to 3:00.  Tours will be limited to 10 (or thereabouts) and will last about 2 hours. Stops on the tour will include basics on our new sustainable building, a trip to the Interactive/Living Laboratory, and experience in the large classroom, a tour through the educational interpretive trail, an educational program in the amphitheater with a theme for the day, a tour around the wetlands and a view into the triage room and surgical suite, ending back in the lobby for shopping or questions.
Each tour will be guided by a trained greeter and an experienced education personnel so bring your questions and your cameras.
Tour costs:  children under 5 will be free, students 5 through 18 will be $5.00, adults $10.00 each and seniors and veterans $8.00.
For more information on signing up for tours for now send an e mail to laurah@libertywildlife.org.  Include your name and days and times that you are interested in.  She will get back to you with confirmation and details.
We look forward to seeing you at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now at 6,408.

OK, the first major holiday has passed and the intake rate is at a slow trickle,  but as people figure out where we are, that will certainly pick up. The Education team is doing more programs as they settle in to the new facility, and I am getting more people assigned their new access cards. We had a major storm last night and SRP lost a nearby substation causing a somewhat protracted power outage but the automatic emergency system worked as advertised and with a few small exceptions, the structure survived unscathed. Our annual Volunteer Appreciation picnic is scheduled for next Sunday so all volunteers make note and be there! This is always a fun event and this one is the first to be held at the new facility. If you’re not sure how to find it (all you R&T people especially!), call or email me ASAP. Now, let’s have a look at last week and beyond…

Carol marshal talks about diego on the Ed side

Carol Marshal talks about Diego on the Ed side of the new Liberty facility.

Joanne and Sundance at Arizona Humane Society mini-camp on 101416

Joanne and Sundance at Arizona Humane Society mini-camp on 10/14/16 (photo by Claudia)

Claudia and Sundance at the Flagstaff Arboretum

Claudia and Sundance at the Flagstaff Arboretum  (photo by Kelly)

Marko presents at the Advanced Rehab Healthcare of Scottsdale (photo by Kelly)

Marko presents at the Advanced Rehab Healthcare of Scottsdale  (photo by Kelly)

Claudia and Carol work the Veterans' day event (photo by Melanie Herring)

Claudia and Carol work the Veterans’ Day event  (photo by Melanie Herring)

The kids loved the Veteran's Day show (photo by Melanie Herring)

Kids of all ages loved the Veteran’s Day show  (photo by Melanie Herring)

Kim and Doris display their birds at the Verde Canyon Rail Road (photo by Carol Marshal)

Kim and Doris display their birds at the Verde Canyon Rail Road  (photo by Carol Marshal)

Laurah has a way with kids...

Laura has a way with kids…

The Education team has been doing programs since early September all over the state – and some right at Liberty. If I missed giving the proper credit to anyone who took photos or presented animals, I apologize. The bottom line is, Education is one of the words on our logo  and the volunteers who present to the public are as critical to the success of the organization as the Medical Services and Daily Care people who provide rehabilitative services to the animals we help. Thank you all for being the voice of Liberty Wildlife!

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A beautiful northern flicker comes in

A beautiful red shafted flicker comes in

It’s no wonder why the feathers of the flicker family are so much in demand from the Non-eagle Feather Repository. The plumage on these birds is absolutely gorgeous and as “highly strung”as they are, rehabilitating them can be quite difficult. Luckily, our Medical Services team is adept at managing this task and provides top-notch care when they arrive injured.

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This is what people  buy from a reptile dealer...

This is what people buy from a reptile dealer…

...and this is what they grow into in a few years!

…and this is what they grow into in a few years!

Lots of people have adopted desert tortoises and appreciate what really cool animals they are. Some people can’t wait to adopt and get a non-native African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), often called  a “sulcata tortoise” from a reptile dealer or pet store. At first they are cute little turtle-like animals a couple of inches long, but they grow very rapidly and will be  up to two and a half feet long and 80-150 pounds or more in 5 to 10 years. This 200lb guy escaped his home and was out wandering the streets. Luckily he was found and brought to Liberty where we held him until his owner was found and reclaimed him. The baby on its back is also here and was included as an illustrative comparison.

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A new golden eagle arrives...

A new golden eagle arrives…

Jan holds her for Dr. Orr's examination

Jan holds her for Dr. Orr’s examination

Checking the business end of the bird...

Checking the business end of the bird…

Dr Orr examines a wing

Dr Orr examines a wing

She's a pretty bird

She’s a pretty bird

Recently Arizona Game and Fish Department came into possession of an injured adult golden eagle. The bird had a fractured humerus and ruptured tricep tendon along with assorted related issues. Surgery was performed at the first medical facility it went to by Dr. Stephanie Lamb who pinned the wing bone. At that point, I was dispatched to bring the bird to Liberty for further treatment and rehabilitation. Dr. Orr has examined her and according to Jan, she is doing well at this time. She remains under observation and is getting cage rest until the wing is totally healed. We’ll keep you updated on her condition.

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Blow dart through a pigeon

Blow dart through a pigeon

OK, so pigeons are NOT the most revered birds around, but shooting them with blow darts is still not something that should instill us with pride at human activity towards wildlife. The dart passed all the way through the bird and had apparently been there for some time when it was apprehended and brought to us for care. No, non-native species are NOT turned away out of hand by Liberty Wildlife. A suffering animal always receives help when they arrive at our window.

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Don’t forget the Volunteer Appreciation picnic next Sunday!

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This Week @ Liberty – November 21, 2016

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Thanksgiving is upon us and once again I am asking myself “Where did the time go?”  The year is in its winding down mode which zips by from this point on.  Currently, I am going to think about how much I have to be thankful for…I’ll take on the rest of the holidays as they come…and they will come fast and furiously.

Today AT LAST, I can be thankful for our new beautiful building and for all of the people who came together to make it happen.  There are way too many of you to start naming them but you know who you are, and if any of you have been around me in the past year, you will know also.  It took so many good and giving people to make a dream come true…board members, donors, architects, construction crews, Liberty staff members and hard- working volunteers.

And, we are finally whole again.  For almost 6 months the operation was split into two groups.  Those of us not crucial to the day to day handling of animals moved in during June and July.  Those of our group who did the hands on work with animals finally got totally moved in last week…just in time for our Grand Openings.

Our first Grand Opening was a beautiful evening event for donors and those people intimately involved in the facility creation.  Two hundred and fifty folks got introduced to the new Liberty Wildlife and all seemed…here’s everyone’s term…BLOWN AWAY!  That isn’t the first time I have heard those words.

The second Grand Opening was for the public.  Once again…BLOWN AWAY…was the overriding mantra.  We had a great crowd of over 800 people who took the time to get the tour, do crafty things for wildlife, grab a hot dog, cotton candy, popcorn and camaraderie.  There were educational tours and programs; there were tours through the hospital and Non-Eagle Feather Repository; there were raffles; there was a release.  We finally had to close the doors…and yet the people kept coming.

One of my board members drove up and thought there was a football game going on!  It was a huge success.  I believe the people who knew our humble beginnings got the best WOW experience, but those who are new to Liberty Wildlife were thrilled at a new (to them) resource in the Valley.

We will be officially open to the public starting in December on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until we get our bearings.   We will be working hard to provide stunning experiences that change seasonally so each of you will have new reasons to visit our little piece of heaven.  Bring your family and friends and certainly all of your out of town visitors for an easy and splendid view of Arizona’s nature.

You come along and get your own BLOWN AWAY experience.  We look forward to providing it.  Visit our web site in December for details of our programming, events, and opportunities.

Once again, let me be thankful for all of you who made it happen!  AT LAST!

This Week @ Liberty – Grand Opening Special

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The total intake number now stands at 6360.

Well, it’s official: Liberty Wildlife has gone public!  We had our Grand Opening to the public on Saturday with over 800 people attending. The 4 hour event went very well with everyone smiling and seeming to enjoy the hot dogs, popcorn, activities, birds, and tours of both sides of the facility. We saw lots of old friends, made lots of new friends, and had lots of kids learning about the what we do here at 2600 E. Elwood St. The volunteers all performed above and beyond their normal duties making this an unqualified success. Thanks to all who worked so long and hard to make it happen. And all this took place while accomplishing our normal tasks of rehabilitating injured animals and educating the public about their environment and our wild neighbors in whose back yard we all live. As Humphrey Bogart said, “This is the start of a beautiful friendship” between Liberty Wildlife and the community around us! If (hopefully) you’re feeling like sharing with the world this holiday season, think about this: Support us when you shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2738161 and Amazon donates to Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.  Thanks to you all!!

Now, here’s what the event looked like…

Kim greets and counts the visitors

Kim greets and counts the visitors (photo by Morry Marshall)

Throngs of interested people...

Throngs of interested people…

Heading into the Interactive Classroom

Heading into the Interactive Classroom

Kids enjoying face - or arm - painting!

Kids enjoying face – or arm – painting!

Stevi acts as a tour guide on the Education side (photo by Morry Marshall)

Stevi acts as a tour guide on the Education side (photo by Morry Marshall)

Tim presents Acoma to the crowd

Tim presents Acoma to the crowd

Anne and Armi are all smiles (photo by Morry Marshall)

Anne and Armi are all smiles (photo by Morry Marshall)

Laura is a great TV spokesperson!

Laura is a great TV spokesperson!

Joe and Aurora are always a big hit

Claudia helps Joe and Aurora put on a show

The line for Education tours looked like Disneyland...

The line for Education tours looked like Disneyland…

Dr. Orr enjoys a hot dog at the Wetlands wall with her group.

Dr. Orr enjoys a hot dog at the Wetlands wall with her group.

Great release of a rehabbed red tail!

Great release of a rehabbed red tail!

It must feel good to go free...

It must feel good to go free…

All eyes were on the newly released RTH - look at the smiles!

All eyes were on the newly released RTH

A sub-adult bald eagle flew overhead just before the release - it was like a blessing from the raptor world!

A sub-adult bald eagle flew overhead just before the release – it was like a blessing from the raptor world!

As Megan said, the reaction by everyone was…

 BLOWN AWAY!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Liberty Wildlife and TW@L!

 

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This Week @ Liberty – November 14, 2016

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

So, where has the time flown?  It has been a long time since our last blog…and it feels good to be back in the saddle again.

We are basically moved in.  The last of the animals will be in by Wednesday, so I am told, and the last little dregs of “stuff” will follow soon.  Hallelujah!

It is great to look out the window from my office and watch the verdin building a nest so busily.  I can look out the conference room window and watch the osprey work the river, the volunteers walk by doing their assigned jobs, and I can stand by the wetlands and count the frogs that flee at the sight of me.    I watch the public drive up, exit their cars and wend their ways to the intake window to deposit their foundlings…it works (not without the little hitches here and there, but it works!) It is really fun and enjoyable to go to work.

We had a campaign donor soft opening last Sunday which was lovely.  We are planning our Public Grand Opening for this Saturday (see the attached flyer/announcement).  We are hoping to see a lot of your faces: your children’s faces, your family’s faces, and your friend’s faces.  Needless to say, we are extremely proud of our new home.

16-liber-2637-liberty-wildlife-kids-grand-opening-flyer

The Grand Opening is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19th .  There will be opportunities to meet the education team and the wildlife ambassadors, tour the Interpretive Trail with a guide, visit the Interactive (Living Laboratory) Room replete with hands on activities, snakes, spiders, and a very cute pocket mouse.  There will be tours of the hospital and commissary…both of them off public viewing in the future except through viewing windows in the courtyard. There will be craft activities, grilled hot dogs, chips, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, release of rehabilitated falcons, and lots of raffle prizes.

For more information check out the attached flyer, or our Facebook page, or ask a staff member or volunteer for details.  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.

This Week @Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year has reached 6328.

WE’RE BACK! The move was finally accomplished (mostly) and at last I have time to put the blog out again! I want to thank all the volunteers who have been submitting photos over the past couple months and I promise I’ll do my best to get some of the best ones  out for all to see. I felt like I was missing so much not posting each week and between trying to cover all the many details that were required to get the new facility up and running (power glitches, leaking ponds, computer issues, etc.) it feels good to be clicking away again. So much has happened that if I put in everything that we’ve been through it would be several pages long, so I’ll just try to hit the high points and work my way through the events that took place. Here’s some of what has happened recently…

Our first monsoon Haboob...

Our first monsoon Haboob…

We saw and survived our first monsoon storm last summer when a haboob, followed by the customary wind and rain hit the facility. As planned, the rainwater harvesting system worked as it was designed. The good news is we don’t have to worry quite so much about enclosures blowing down or roofs blowing off…!

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Our German intern on her last day

Our German intern on her last day

One of our interns from Germany, Elisa, finished her assignment with us and after working at both facilities for the summer, she returned home in September. We will miss her and wish her good fortune and travels!

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The birds begin arriving

The birds begin arriving

Like the first day at Summer camp! Looking for their assigned enclosures

Like the first day at Summer camp! Looking for their assigned enclosures…

As the birds and animals made the trip down to 2600, it seemed as though they all knew this was their new home and most of the birds, at least the ones I saw, were very calm and accepting of the change. Well, maybe the corvids were a bit upset, but then, they ARE corvids…!

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The OC get-together was held at the new facility

The OC get-together was held at the new facility

Thanks to all OC volunteers!!

Thanks to all OC volunteers!!

The annual Thanks to OC Volunteers get-together was held at the new facility for the first time. It was a chance for some to visit the new building and see where they will be doing the OC jobs next baby bird season. Hopefully it will be a more enjoyable task with new equipment, a new room, and NO intake window to share time with!

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A short display for some supporters

A short display for some supporters

Even with all the setting up going on, we had time for a brief demonstration for some of our supporters and as always, the birds (and the volunteers) were the stars! This type of show portends great things on the horizon as we can now do educational events on the property.

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The resident-kingfishers

The resident-kingfishers

I was amazed at the amount of native wildlife at the site of the new facility. These two kingfishers greeted me many mornings, along with a host turkey vultures, red tails, harriers, Cooper’s hawks, osprey, phoebes, road runners, and at least one bald eagle. That isn’t counting the coyotes, rabbits, Lincoln (our neighborhood beaver), and other mammalian critters who call 2600 E Elwood home.

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Marko presents

Marko presents at Boyce Thompson

Claudia educates at the BT Arboretum

Claudia educates at the BT Arboretum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the move was taking place, the Education season kicked off. Even with all the turmoil of trying to figure out how to make the new arrangements work in a new location with new rooms, doors, tables, and hoses to figure out, the Ed volunteers soldiered on and showed how our volunteers can adapt as well as the birds to a new environment. We’re STILL in a learning mode and deciding what goes where and what “works better over here” and “we might want to do it THIS way…” but it’s all part of evolution.

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Dr. Orr works with Jan and Sharon at Vet Night No.1

Dr. Orr works with Jan and Sharon at Vet Night No.1

A couple of weeks ago, the first Tuesday night “Vet Night” took place in the new Triage room in the medical wing. With new lights, a clean floor and table, it seemed like we were finally getting down to doing what we do best – provide first class medical care for the wildlife of Arizona!

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A select open house for Donors and Supporters

A select open house for Donors and Supporters

Attendees inspecting the kids interactive classroom

Attendees inspecting the kids interactive classroom

Gathering in the Amphitheater

Gathering in the Amphitheater

A native American blessing

A Native American blessing

On the 6th of November, the first of two “Grand Openings” was held for those who gave so much to make this a reality. Many supporters including Melani and Rob Walton for whom the campus is named were in attendance and got to experience a beautiful evening at the new facility, complete with a touching Native American blessing for the volunteers, animals, and supporters who made and make it all possible.

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The new entrance sign going into place.

The new entrance sign going into place.

At the front entrance

At the front entrance

We are home, at last!

We are home, at last!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the erection of beautiful new signage on the building and on the street entrance on Elwood, it is official: The Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife has arrived! It has been a long time coming, it has cost a lot of work, frustration, tears, sweat, some blood, and a lot of donations (which we really need to keep coming!) but it was worth it all in the end.  We are here.

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The first arrival at the intake window of the new Liberty Wildlife!

The first arrival at the intake window of the new Liberty Wildlife!

No, the first intake to arrive at our window was NOT a pigeon. It was this terribly cute, terribly upset, bobcat kitten! Scrappy from the beginning, it was truly a fitting beginning for a former shade-tree, backyard bunch of volunteers who had one thing in common: an unending love for wildlife. (And a willingness to do anything to get the job done!)

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This Week @ Liberty – September 12, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

This is a short post, but one with an enormous feeling behind it.  I am so impressed and grateful to all of the staff, volunteers, and family and friends of staff and volunteers who have given up their days off to help finalize our site and ready it for the final push…the rest of the move to our new home.

The heat has been unhelpful, to say the least.  The jobs, not easy, to say the least.  But the attitudes have been nose to the grindstone and festive at the same time.  Special thanks go to Joe and Jan Miller as the organizers of these last two Sundays and their troops of supporters…too many to name.

I have it on good authority that there might be another work day on this coming Saturday.  If you are interested in leaving your mark on 2600 Elwood, let us know.  You won’t be sorry.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 5935.

It’s been a few weeks since the last update and I want to thank all the volunteers who have been sending in the pictures of what’s going on at the Scottsdale facility. Since I have been mostly down at 2600 E Elwood, I have not been able to get the photos I need to do a decent TW@L update so a big thanks goes out to all who have helped me with photography! Hopefully we will once again be doing TW@L and HHH regularly each week. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what has been happening in both locations for the past couple of weeks…

Sticky snake!

Sticky snake! (photo by Laura Hackett)

Carefully removing the little guy

Carefully removing the little guy (photo by Laura Hackett)

Free from the glue!

Free from the glue! (photo by Laura Hackett)

OK, so how many times have we posted pictures and stories about innocent animals being needlessly tortured by glue traps? These items are so cruel and inhumane they have been banned in some areas – and with good reason. Not only do they subject their victims to a painful death by immobilization, starvation, and dehydration, they are NOT species specific and even when used as specified in the directions, they frequently trap and kill a myriad of species not targeted by the user. This harmless little gopher snake was brought in recently still adhering to the glue card to which he was stuck. Our skilled volunteers were able to detach him from the cruel incarceration and allow him to return to the wild to remove unwanted rodents and the like from their habitat AND ours. Please, DO NOT use glue traps – for anything!

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Owl burrito brought in by the public

Owl burrito brought in by the public (photo by Susie Vaught)

When a new patient arrives, the first thing that is done is usually obtaining a weight on the animal. This determines a baseline for future evaluation of treatment and also dosages if medicine is appropriate. Most birds find it difficult to sit or stand still on a scale for weighing in, so they are wrapped in a cloth of known weight to hold them gently immobile while a weight is read on the digital scale. Recently this great horned owl arrived already for the weighing in process. The Medical Services volunteers call this a “Bird Burrito” and it takes some practice to get the folds right.

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Juvie road runner arrives

Juvie road runner arrives (photo by Stacey Rohr)

A young cardinal has some issues

A young cardinal has some issues (photo by Stacey Rohr)

It’s really late in the season for “Baby birds” to be showing up with issues, but never say ‘never’ around Liberty. A fledgling road runner and a northern cardinal came in a few days ago, each with a presentation that leads to a “premature departure from the nest” diagnosis. Both birds were malnourished and dehydrated but responded well to dietary supplements and fluid therapy. Both should be released in short order.

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Little raccoon runs afoul of traffic

Little raccoon runs afoul of traffic (photo by Alex Stofko)

This little raccoon was brought in presenting head trauma indicative of an automobile collision. His head and face were severely damaged and before we were able to stabilize him prior to transporting him to the surgical facility, he succumbed to his injuries. At our new campus, mammals will not have to be outsourced as we will have the room and facilities to properly treat, perform x-rays, surgery and provide extended care for such injured mammals on site.

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Lesser long-nosed bat is brought in from down south

Lesser long-nosed bat is brought in from down south (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Among our recent arrivals were a couple of lesser long-nosed bats from the southern part of the state.  The long nose is a medium-sized, migratory nectar bat native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico and is an important pollinator for agaves, saguaro, and organ pipe cacti. One of the interesting things about this flying mammal is the fact that it’s tongue, used for nectar extraction, can be as long as it’s body! One of the arrivals had a broken wing which has been set and appears to be healing satisfactorily. This is important as the lesser long-nosed bat is considered a vulnerable species and would be a welcomed addition to the gene pool in the wild.

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Grandpa loves the shade

Grandpa loves the shade (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Speedy finds some raven food - and likes it!

Shelly finds raven food to be quite tasty!  (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Speedy joins the Uber team...?

Speedy joins the Uber team…? (Photo by Marko Virtanen)

Three of our resident desert tortoises, Grandpa, Shelly and Speedy, have been enjoying the warm summer months at the Scottsdale facility. Grandpa has become adept at finding shade when the temperature reaches triple digits, but otherwise is doing well for a gentleman of such “advanced years.” Shelly, one of our younger education tortoises, recently discovered a plate set out for rehabilitating ravens and found she liked some of the items on the menu. Speedy shares his enclosure with great horned owls and one of them decided the tortoise would make a fun park ride as he ambled around looking for food. This seemed like a memorable “Kodac moment” to Marko who took the photo above.

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Work party

Work party (photo by Jan Miller)

Another work weekend

Another work weekend!

The last couple of weekends we had work parties at the new facility with volunteers raking gravel in the new enclosures and building and installing perches for the birds. Snacks and drinks were provided for the groups who pitched in as if painting Becky Thatcher’s fence – a good time being had by all! There are future work events planned so check with Alex, Carol or Jan for the upcoming schedule.

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This Week @ Liberty – August 08, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

I did a release yesterday, of a red tailed hawk, an orphan this year raised by foster parents.  She had never seen the vastness of the sky beyond the slats of her large enclosure.  But freedom must be hard wired in the brains or cellular components because when she sensed no boundaries she flew like the wind.  There is something profound about that to me.  She rode the winds around Camelback Mountain, circling over and over even joining in a non-confrontive kettle that rode thermals joyfully…at least that is what it looked like to me.  We watched her for a long time.  It was thrilling.

It was as if with every strong wing beat she sucked up the airs of freedom and got farther and farther away from her captors.  It made my heart sing.  It reassured me that our process is good.  It works.  It makes a difference.  Now it is up to her to make it in the world.

As good as it is now, I am looking forward to how much better the process will be when we are finally established in our new facility.  There will be no more musical chairs with enclosures where potential releasees are moved to bigger enclosures to get the flying practice that they must have to prepare for the big world out there.  At the new site there are impressive flight cages for practice flying for each specie that we deal with, but the granddaddy of them all is the 180-foot flight enclosure. 

This structure is just cool.  It is designed to allow large birds with impressive wing spans especially the eagles, herons, condors, to fly distance with a banking possibility mid-way.  It is designed to be stepped down so catching the large fliers isn’t difficult or stressful for the bird or the captor, and it is also possible to step it down into two large flights if the need occurs.  It is designed with a drainable concrete body of water to allow for fishing experience for eagles and herons.  And, yes, there is a ramp to allow for access if needed by the rehabilitating inhabitant.

But, one of the coolest parts about this new flight enclosure is the prototype utility pole stationed at one end with cameras to be directed at all angles at the structure.  SRP is doing an experiment to see why and how large birds are being electrocuted despite all of their efforts to keep this from happening.

We will be gathering data and reporting these back to the engineers and environmental department at SRP.  It is the hope and intention that the information gleaned from this study will be used to design the perfect pole to alleviate any electric shock injuries.  Further, this could be disseminated to utility companies across the country…solving a world-wide problem…right from our site.

I believe this is just the beginning of the possibilities awaiting us at our new facility.  I can hardly wait until we are totally moved in…it shouldn’t be long now.  Look for news of the big event.

And, oh yeah…look for a new red tail in town.  She will be the one smiling on an outcropping on Camelback Mountain, loving her freedom every second of the day.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total is now up to 5495.

The intake rate has slackened a bit as the summer grinds on. Two major monsoon events have left the facility damaged, but still in operation, a large testament to the dedicated volunteers who show up every day to care for the animals who need help to get through the day. Orphans are still arriving although not in the super high numbers of last month. We’re seeing some of the same injuries we’ve always seen (sigh, some people never learn…) and again, the volunteers stoically tend to each and every animal with the greatest care imaginable despite the conditions. We are coming close to the end game at the new facility and the finish line is in sight. Every volunteer deserves a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” for gutting it out until we move the last bird to the new home!

Little owl gets skimmed

Little owl gets “skimmed”  (photo by unidentified caller)

I hate taking a bath

“I hate taking a bath!”  (photo by unidentified caller)

A local gentleman called recently about a small owl that he found in his pool skimmer. He plucked the bird out and waited patiently until our rescue volunteer arrived to transport the bird to Liberty for rehabilitation and eventual release. Nice job!

Baby mockers all look like they're angry at the world!

Baby birds often look like they’re angry at the world…

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Baby needs a new pair of shoes! (photo by Susie)

11 olive pits removed from this young dove's crop

11 olive pits removed from this young dove’s crop (photo by Sara)

OK, the “Baby Bird Season” isn’t over just yet… Little mockers, doves, and lots of other local species just seem to keep on coming, some with bad feet (?), some full of inappropriate food (olive pits!?!) but all get the best treatment possible – and all with no health insurance. Our cadre of volunteers is the best anywhere!

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OK, that's NOT a gopher snake...

OK, that’s NOT a gopher snake… (photo by Team Price)

Carl shows again why he is "DA MAN" when it comes to diamondbacks.

Carl shows again why he is “DA MAN” when it comes to diamondbacks. (photo by Team Price)

We are so lucky to have a man of Carl Price’s caliber on our team to safely handle the real rattlesnake calls that come in. People are generally terrified of snakes – any snakes – and usually run for the shovel when they see a snake close by. It’s part of our educational mandate to tell the public about the place reptiles – even venomous ones – have in the environment. The rattlers are gently removed from harm’s way and relocated to a place safe for them and the public. Thanks, Carl for being a friend to all creatures!

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Turtle with hook and 11 eggs

Turtle with hook and 11 eggs (photo by Sara)

Another case of careless fishing causing great harm and pain to a gentle species who deserves better at the hands of mankind. This turtle has swallowed a fish hook which endangers not only her, but the 11 eggs she is carrying. The sad part is that it is so easy to pick up after yourselves when you’re out in nature that this needn’t happen ever again. Let’s get the word out to all we know.

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And on a happier note...

And on a happier note, a Cooper’s hawk goes free! (photo by Balinda)

Peggy, Claudia, John, and Balinda went north to the Pinetop Show Low area recently to do the summer Fool’s Hollow program. On the way, they stopped in the Sitgreaves National Forest and released 2 Cooper’s hawks and and a sharp-shinned hawk. Later on at the program, they released a couple of barn owls. What a wonderful day for Arizona wildlife and Liberty!

2 bald eagles head to Texas

2 bald eagles head to Texas

Dan Scrivener helped us out by driving the two bald eagles (the ones in the back enclosures) that had been with us for some months to their new home. They are heading for the Texas Zoo in Victoria, Texas. It’s nice that the two got to travel together after spending so much time in each other’s company!

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Storm damage

Storm damage (photo by Mike Aiken)

The first big monsoon took down a lot of foliage around the old facility, including this mass of palm fronds back by the education area.

It happens at least once a year...

It happens at least once a year…

Then the torrent came, causing this backup of water, this first rain we’d seen in months! It even came up in the freezer room necessitating some freezers to be unplugged to prevent anyone from having an electrical injury…

While at the new facility, we happily harvest the rain.

While at the new facility, we happily harvest the rain.

We have two huge cisterns as part of the new facility’s efforts to maintain a light ecological footprint. As the rain falls, it is channeled off of the roof and falls into the openings on top of the cisterns to used to irrigate the landscaping around the facility. We waste nothing, use little, and recycle all we can. (You may have noticed we have added the word “Sustainability” to our logo…)

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The first modular arrives

The first modulars arrive

Just prior to the first rains of the monsoon

Just prior to the first rains of the monsoon

Going into place a couple of days later...

Going into place a couple of days later…

We had no rain for months, then on the day the first modular structure arrived, Sky Harbor got almost 2.5 inches of rain, filling the scrape that was to hold the modular buildings. This caused a couple days delay as the structures couldn’t be placed due to the mud in the hole! But, it dried up fairly soon and then it was on with the show!

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The next big arrival was the walk-in freezer.

The next big arrival was the walk-in freezer.

Next, the pieces of our new walk-in freezer arrived from New York. These will be assembled over the next week or so and then we can start bringing food down. The animals will follow shortly thereafter.

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R&T volunteers get a preview tour

R&T volunteers get a preview tour

Education begins

Education begins

The senior Medical Services staff and volunteer vets attend training on the digital X-ray machine (Thanks again, Mr. Smith!)

The senior Medical Services staff and volunteer vets get trained on the digital X-ray machine (Thanks again, Mr. Smith!)

Our first Staff meeting at the new facility!

Our first Staff meeting at the new facility!

Due to the size of the facility, these electric carts will provide mobility for the volunteers

Due to the size of the facility, these electric carts will provide mobility for the volunteers

It’s all coming together. There actually IS a light at the end of this long tunnel…

Thanks to you all for your patience and help to make it all possible!

 

 

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This Week @ Liberty – July 11, 2016

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan is on sabbatical (meaning, she’s buried in moving details – and there are so many, many details!)

HHH will return as time permits!

 

 This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total has now reached 4809.

Actually I am also somewhat buried in the details of finishing the new facility and moving, but I wanted to get a quick update so you all knew we were still here and still doing what we do – saving animals! Plus there were some great photo ops of the moving process so here’s a brief look at what took place in the past week or two…

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One more baby barn owl

One more baby barn owl

Baby bat comes in

Baby bat comes in

Four little night hawks

Four little night hawks

Little raccoon

Little raccoon

The orphans keep coming in, mammals and avians alike. The OC people are champing at the bit to move to the new facility, as are we all. The facility is largely ready, we just need to have a few more little touches added to make it usable. Keep your fingers crossed!

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A major move

A major move

It was there a long time

It was there a long time

The large metal trailer we were using in the front of the facility got moved Today. We are keeping the unit and had it moved to the property on the river for our storage needs at the new operation. There were several multi-legged residents in the ground underneath and they were not happy to see their home leave, but progress is progress!

Boy Scouts helping with the Ed enclosures

Boy Scouts helping with the Ed enclosures

The new 180ft flight enclosure

The new 180ft flight enclosure

It comes complete with a fish trough for eagles to practice hunting

It comes complete with a fish trough for eagles to practice hunting

 

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This Week @ Liberty – July 04, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Sadly, another hole has been torn through the heart of Liberty Wildlife.  Our long-time volunteer in education and rescue/transport, Donna Jabara, unexpectedly left us. We are devastated by her loss.  She was a permanent feature on Monday, Wednesday and Friday sitting at the table logging in weights of her charges and computing food amounts for the education birds that she worked with and loved.

She was all sweetness and kindness.  A cherubic smile never left her face despite the heat, flies, and difficult conditions that face us in the out of doors in the Valley in the summer.  She was a worker.  No, she was a delightful worker.  No grumbles, no negatives, no beefs…just pure sweetness.  And she was loved.

It won’t be the same arriving in the parking lot without seeing her HHR parked under a tree.  It won’t be the same without seeing her leaving to do an education program.  It won’t be the same without her glorious energy gracing our events.  She was a huge part of who we are, and she will be sorely missed.

Donna, you are an integral part of us.  You are a trooper.  Your spirit will always be around.

We send you eternal love and friendship on the wings of one of your beloved creatures.  Your body might be away, but your spirit is always a part of the Liberty Wildlife family.  We are better for the time you were with us…way better!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

My heart is heavy as I post this 4th of July edition of TW@L. All I had the spirit to do is put together this very short, but heartfelt tribute to one of my favorite volunteers, Donna Jabara. We all loved you Donna, and we will all miss you, especially the birds you cared for so much. Fairfarren my friend…

A short tribute to Donna J

TW@L and HHH will return next week.

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These Weeks @ Liberty – June 20, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Are you staying cool?  The past few days have been brutal, and I am not telling you anything that you don’t know already.  But, most all of us human beings have air conditioning to retreat to…not so much for wildlife.

I have fountains around my house, a pool (unfortunately), and a pond.  All of those sources of water seem to be a daytime gathering place for many of the critters that live in my environs.  I can only imagine what goes on at night.

I watch the hummingbirds bathing in a flailing manner, the sparrows and finches bathe with abandon, and the larger guys from grackles to mockingbirds, doves and pigeons keep the water source busy as their displacement is more that the little fountains and pond can keep up with.

At Liberty Wildlife over that past few weeks we have been slammed.  Between nasty winds to unbearable heat, babies have bailed or blown from nests.  You have to be pretty hard core to ignore the naked little baby on the baking sidewalk, and thankfully not many people do.  They bring them in by the hundreds a day.  The boxes in the recycled bins attest to the numbers as do the hotline logs.

Here’s a report from Carol Suits regarding hotline activity one day on the an 8-to 11:00 shift:

Thanks to the heat, yesterday was predictably exciting on the front-end of the business:  116 incoming calls.  To appreciate what that translates to, here’s a breakdown of the 8 – 11 shift activity:

27 incoming calls, listened to and returned

55 additional outgoing calls to find rescuers, second calls to public.  Doesn’t include texting

82 total calls during the 3-hour shift

We didn’t track raptors specifically, but Carla W., 3 – 6 shift reported 9.

Katie L. kept the hotline open from 6 – 9 PM and took an additional 12.  She’ll be doing that again tonight.

I know Carla and her husband went out after their shift and picked up 4 or 5 raptors, arriving at Liberty at 9ish.

It was a loooong day.  I expect today will be about the same.

And, you know what?  There have been many days like that with a lot more to come.  Do what you can for your wildlife neighbors.  Keep an eye out for any in distress.  And, give us a call if you need help.  Our outstanding crew is heads down, do the job, no matter what it takes.

They are the best.  Every single one of them.

These Weeks @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total is now up to 4075.

OK, so after taking a few weeks off to work on the move, I thought we’d better jump in and do a quick update so you wouldn’t think we stopped doing what we do best: provide state-of-the-art medical care for the wildlife of Arizona. The progress on the new facility is moving along (though ever fast enough to suit us – we truly never intended to move during the hottest part of the year!!) and we will be taking more time off in the weeks to come so we can work on getting the new facility open and running. We certainly appreciate your patience and support as the big migration approaches. I keep telling people it’s like trying to prepare Sunday morning breakfast for a family gathering: making everything come out hot at the same time is a daunting task! Here’s a quick update on the past couple of weeks…

Orphan Care - slammed by the heat

Orphan Care – slammed by the heat

The heat is almost as bad as a spring storm for generating increased intake activity. Baby birds bail in droves to escape the heat in nests and the lucky ones are found and brought to Liberty for care. This means the intake window has a line forming early in the morning on most days. The dedication of the volunteers is awe-inspiring!

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Five orphan baby raccoons arrive (photo by Susie)

Five orphan baby raccoons arrive (photo by Susie)

About 10 days old, all babies are weighed, cleaned, and fed (photo by Susie)

About 10 days old, all babies are weighed, cleaned, and fed (photo by Susie)

Yeah, we're going to do mammals at the new facility! (photo by Susie)

Yeah, we’re going to do mammals at the new facility! (photo by Susie)

Five baby raccoons about 10 days old were brought in last week. It seems they were living in a wall someplace in town when a professional (NOT liberty) animal “remover” was called. He captured the babies but never caught the mom, then brought the kids in to us. After they were cleaned, weighed, and fed, they were sent to SWW for further care. We will soon be able to keep any mammals that are brought to us and provide rehabilitation services to them ourselves.

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Injured BUOW gets an eye check

Injured BUOW gets an eye check

Burrowing owl presents eye issues and a possible back injury

Burrowing owl presents eye issues and a possible back injury

A little burrowing owl was admitted recently presenting symptoms of back injury and some eye problems. Consistent with a possible collision, he is being treated and observed in the ICU. This type of injury will be diagnosed faster and more accurately in the new facility with the state of the art equipment we will have available in the yet-to-be-named Rehab Wing (anyone want to have their name immortalized?)

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Sharon holds a Coopers hawk for Dr. Orr

Sharon holds a juvenile Harris’ hawk for Dr. Orr

Dr. Orr works on a prairie falcon

Dr. Orr works on a prairie falcon

Young BCNH gets care from Dr. Wyman

Young BCNH gets care from Dr. Wyman

Speaking of herons...they come in bunches!

Speaking of herons…they come in bunches!

Another baby heron

Yet another baby heron…

The medical care given to all the animals that show up at our window goes on despite the heat outside – and the occasional failure of our old window-unit air conditioners. The baby birds don’t like the heat any more than we do, but last week the season for herons began and a ton of them showed up, brought in by our stalwart Rescue and Transport team. This on top of the assorted Cooper’s hawks, prairie falcons, kestrels, GHO’s and RTH’s that are the staples of our intakes provided lots of work for the über dedication of our volunteers!

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Prepping the GHO for surgery

Prepping the GHO for surgery

Steel pin is inserted into the fractured bone

Steel pin is inserted into the fractured bone

Dr. Orr performed surgery on a great horned owl last week, possibly the last such operation in the old facility. The bird had a badly fractured wing but since it was fresh, he was a good candidate for this particular procedure. After anesthetizing the owl, with Jan monitoring heart and respiration activity, Dr. Orr inserted a steel pin into the two ends of the broken bone, stabilizing and holding them in place as they heal. The bird came through the operation in good shape and is now recovering in our ICU.

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Baby bald eagle shows Curt the raptor defense posture

Baby bald eagle shows Kurt the raptor defense posture

The hood makes handling easier - and safer!

The hood makes handling easier – and safer!

Curt draws a blood sample

Kurt draws a blood sample

A good sample

A good sample

Jan prepares to remove the hood

Jan prepares to remove the hood

"I didnt like that hood thing too much...!"

“I didn’t like that hood thing too much…!”

Yet another baby bald eagle was brought in to us recently. This little guy was not doing well in his nest as his two sisters seemed to be picking on him and getting most of the food. He was brought to us as an underfed, weak little bird that was otherwise not injured. After a couple weeks of being hydrated and fed well (without competition from his siblings), he began to grow and developed into a fierce, aggressive little example of the apex-predator he was designed to be. Last week Kyle and Kurt (AZGFD) took him back up north to another nest and re-inserted him into his natural environment. Another apparent success story for Liberty Wildlife and the bald eagle population of Arizona!

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John and Eco, examples of what's right with the world! (photo by Jan)

John and Eco, examples of what’s right with the world!
(photo by Jan)

Last week John Martinson and his daughter Eco dropped by Liberty. She recently had her 13th birthday and in lieu of presents, she requested donations to Liberty Wildlife. She and her father brought over what she collected: $360! An outstanding gesture from a young lady who cares for animals and the world in which we all live! Thank you, Eco, from Liberty Wildlife and all the animals you helped to save by your wonderful act.

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 Progress on the New Facility

Digital X-ray unit arrives

Our new X-ray unit arrives

Unpacking the digital X-ray unit

Unpacking the digital X-ray machine

being installed in the X-ray room at the new facility

Being installed in the X-ray room at the new facility

"A river runs through it" - the wetlands feature at 2600 E. Elwood

“A river runs through it” – the wetlands feature at 2600 E. Elwood

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We got the go ahead to begin moving into the new facility today. There will most likely be another break in H3 and TW@L while we begin the big migration. Bear with us!

 

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This Week @ Liberty – May 30, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

This past week I was sitting in my office when I heard a timid knock at the door. I answered it to find my neighbor, Joe, who took a deep breath and explained that “they had a wildlife emergency at their home around the corner from me.”  My first response after he told me a small coyote in obvious distress had hunkered down in their carport right outside their living room…hard to dismiss… was to give him our Hotline number and have someone more qualified than me take over.  He had walked to my house as he was afraid starting his car would frighten the poor animal and force it to do something that would harm it more.  My immediate response to pass on this responsibility melted as his face crumbled.  They would have to wait for a response…what if it died?

I figured I could drive over with him.  That was the least I could do.  They apparently were very concerned, a little frightened, and wonderfully compassionate. I could assess the situation, calm their concerns, and call in the troops.

Not gonna happen.  When I got there the poor little coyote had that look in its eyes.  I know a healthy coyote would disdain contact with human-kind at all costs.  He looked afraid, sick, and helpless.  Hunkered under a wrought iron shelf providing no real protection, he crushed himself against the carport wall…as far from humans as he could get and seemingly hoping to disappear from sight.  I couldn’t leave him there for his sake and for my neighbors.

The good thing was that I have had my rabies shots allowing me to “handle” mammals…a strict requirement at Liberty Wildlife.  I always travel with a car blanket which came in handy again.  Carol grabbed a large box from their storage shed, and I carefully wrapped the little guy up so he could safely be lifted into the box which was then lifted into the back of my car.

No fight, not a good sign…

Arriving at Liberty Wildlife, I was greeted by a dedicated Medical Services staff, and all were relieved to know that Jessie was inoculated and could take over making the coyote comfortable until an assessment could be made.  I left feeling sure he was in as good care as possible.

The main take away from this experience has to do with the multi-faced aspects of a simple coyote rescue.  I don’t get to do this much anymore as my administrative duties are consuming.  I had sort of forgotten how good it feels to be a direct part of helping an animal who is in pain and distress, of helping kind humans who cared enough to take the time to find help, and of being a tiny part of a dynamic and impactful team of staff and volunteers who sprang into action in order to help.

I am very proud of this organization and grateful to be a part of the process.  It just feels good.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 3092.

Hopefully everyone is having a safe Memorial Day today.The temperature is climbing and so are the intake numbers. We had desperately wanted to have moved into the new facility before daily 100’s were the norm, but it appears the gods of relocation had other ideas for us. In any case, we are still making preparations to begin the arduous task of transplanting the operation from Scottsdale to the new Rob and Melani Walton Campus as soon as the last minute details of municipal protocol have been accomplished. This update is somewhat brief as my ability to get tons of pictures of what happens each week is a bit limited by activities dealing with the impending move. In fact, once the loading, unloading, and installations begin in earnest, TW@L will be on a short hiatus until at least the electronics and internet capabilities are up and running at the new digs. More about that in a later posting. In the meantime, here’s some highlights of last week…

Now it's going to be green herons that show up daily...

Now it’s going to be green herons that show up daily…

It seems that each specie takes its turn as the “bird-needing-help-du-jour” and the latest might be the herons. Last week the first of probably MANY orphan baby green herons was brought in by Tim from a local lake. We were all commenting on the nest building skill (or lack thereof) of herons from which we routinely get dozens of fledglings each year. It appears wading waterfowl aren’t much better than great horned owls at judging the required size of future offspring when selecting a place to start a family. As they outgrow the nest and fall to the ground, all we can do is bring them in and keep them safe and fed until they are big enough to rejoin the flock!

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Jesse feeding orphan baby bunny

Jesse feeding orphan baby bunny

The onslaught of baby bunnies knows no end as rabbits seem bent on living up to their stereotypical behavior and breeding constantly. Fortunately, we have lots of volunteers who are both trained and anxious to provide surrogate parenting to these little fluffy babies until they can be returned to the wild. Who wouldn’t find this task appealing and rewarding as the bunnies grow rapidly given the proper food and conditions?

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Jan inspects a GHO eye

Jan inspects a GHO eye

Although the deluge of tiny orphan great horned owls may have abated slightly, the arrival of older youngsters from last year (and a few adults!) will keep the Med Services people busy for months. This otherwise good looking GHO arrived presenting symptoms of head trauma in the form of a deformed iris and indications of visual impairment. He is set to make a trip to the eye specialists later this week.

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Tools of the eagle banders trade

Tools of the eagle banders trade

Michelle and the Gainey baby

Michelle and the Gainey baby

Measuring the talons

Kyle measures the talons

The beak is also measured

The beak is also measured

Federal and state bands are fitted and attached

Federal and state bands are fitted and attached for identification

The fledgling is weighed and the result recorded

The fledgling is weighed and the result recorded

Gainey is almost ready to be returned to the nest

Gainey is almost ready to be returned to the nest

Two baby bald eagles share an enclosure for a few hours

Two baby bald eagles share an enclosure for a few hours

We have all been following the birth, growth, and development of the baby bald eagle at the Gainey nest for several months. It seems the little guy has been making a few tentative flights recently to the delight of the neighbors. Then, late last week, he was observed on the ground showing some signs of a possible leg problem. Bad landings when you’re learning how to fly are not uncommon (believe me, I KNOW!) and just to make sure there was nothing seriously wrong with the little eagle, he was brought in for examination to determine the extent of any injury. While he was in our care, he got the full banding treatment from Kyle and Michelle (AZGFD) including measuring certain body parts to determine gender, weighing him, and putting bands on his legs for future identification. Thankfully, x-rays showed no fractures and the little guy was returned to his parents in the nest! (The other little guy came in a few weeks ago and is still awaiting release…)

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(As most of the changes to the new facility are coming slowly now – in the form of changes and modifications, no overt additions happened last week.  As things are finished and added, I’ll post more pictures when they occur!)

 

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This Week @ Liberty – May 23, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Falling in love with an educational animal is collateral damage of being a wildlife educator.  When they leave this earth having been your faithful sidekick, it leaves a scar in your heart and your soul.  There it is…out in the open for all to see.  It happens, and if you are immune to it there is something suspect about you.

This past week we lost a charismatic creature…all full of spit and vinegar…and smart beyond words.  It was Rupert, one of our educational ravens.  There are so many anecdotes about Rupert that I could fill a book and maybe someday I will, but not just yet while the scar is still red and raw.  Suffice it to say, he will be remembered for a long time by many people…those he loved and those he seemed to “loathe” although I am convinced his crabbiness towards some was a front and a bit of a manipulative behavior so he got what he wanted.  Rupert was one smart dude.

Jan and her buddy Rupert

Jan and her buddy Rupert

There is a positive and a negative side to being in an administrative position in a rehabilitation and education facility.  The positive is that I don’t have time anymore to be able to fall in love with an animal I work with every day from the point of trying to save a life, to training that same animal when release was no longer an option and ultimately to presenting that special friend to students of all ages near and far. The negative is that I don’t get to do any of those things anymore.

I know that is an oddly juxtaposed statement.  Why is it good to not be able to do the things that drew me into this business?  It is good because the heartbreak when they are no longer around doesn’t seem so unbearable.  I haven’t been able to get so attached.

From my somewhat sheltered spot now, I can see the grandeur of the education animals as they are being worked with, being taken to educational programs, being heroes in the eyes of eager students…but I don’t have the luxury of the connection…the real “stare you in the eyes and connect” kind of connection.  And deeply that is my total loss.

Rupert Raven 2

There are enough educational animals left that adorned my arm over the years and each one of those have wormed their ways into my heart. That is a permanent condition.  When they move on to their next lives, the spot they held in my heart seeps…I just can’t help it…nor can anyone else who has had the honor to work with these majestic creatures.

Rupert is one of those seepages.  He was a fun, smart, challenging entity.  He will be sorely missed; his maniacal laugh will no longer echo through the enclosures; his trickster words will no longer be heard. But all of us will remember him, and those antics will live in our memories.  Happy trails old guy…you rocked.

This Week @Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year is now at 2777.

OK, so I said we were going to post less frequently due to the move, but until we get that elusive “Certificate of Occupancy,” we’ll probably keep grinding out weekly updates. As soon as we actually start  moving stuff in, we will truncate the publication schedule until we get mostly moved in. In the meantime, animals continually arrive needing care. From hummingbirds to bald eagles and everything in between, the volunteers are steadily busy providing the best medical and supportive care possible. Some animals got released, and one of our long time favorites made the journey over the rainbow bridge (see HHH above). I got to take some shots of the new facility at night last week and I’ve included those today. Here’s the short update for this week…

Little bald eagle comes in (photo by Susie)

Little bald eagle comes in (photo by Susie)

The little guy is finally getting his share of the food!

The little guy is finally getting his share of the food!

We got in a baby (10 weeks old) bald eagle recently. He is really small and it seems he was being bullied by his nest mates. This is not an unusual occurrence in the world of bald eagles but he is lucky he was discovered and brought to us. He was dehydrated and emaciated but otherwise mostly structurally intact. He is now in the condor room back near the eagle enclosures. We’ll keep you updated on his condition.

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Three baby hummers

Three baby hummers

On the other end of the size spectrum, three more baby hummingbirds came in for care. Susie says we are doing really well in terms of success with hummers this year and that’s always good to hear! As we learn more about what works and what needs improvement in out treatment, more and more of these tiny guys will survive until release.

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Red eared slider got hooked

Red eared slider got hooked

I live for the day when people finally get the message about not discarding fishing gear into the environment. This unfortunate red eared slider wound up with a fish hook in his eye which we were able to remove. In most cases, animals like this will swallow the hooks and lures which make treatment much more difficult and dangerous. Spread the word: If you’re going to go fishing, pick up after yourself and never leave unwanted gear in the environment for animals to find. It rarely ends well for them.

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Another hatchling GHO

Another hatchling GHO

Nostril cleaning

Nostril cleaning

Laura flushes the baby's nares and ears

Laura flushes the baby’s nares and ears

The rate of baby owl arrivals has tapered off slightly, but little owlets still come in. This little guy came in presenting infestation with some of the more noxious intrusions that baby owls can acquire. His nose, ears and mouth were all cleaned and flushed and since he is so small, he was placed in a brooder prior to being assigned a foster mom for proper raising and imprinting.

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Jan releases a BuOw

Jan releases a BuOw (photo by Nina)

"The sky looks bigger here..."

“The sky looks bigger here…” (photo by Nina)

Surveying the new world around him

Surveying the new world around her (photo by Nina)

On May 19th Nina wrote:

“Today we released the 23 ADOT owls.  We took them to SCC with their approval.  Dr. John Weser joined us for the release.  Several Abs (Artificial Burrow System) had been previously installed and hopefully the owls will make their new home there.”

Click here for a video of some of the birds going free. (video by Nina)

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Enclosure mates

Enclosure mates

And I just thought this was an interesting shot of two of our RTH orphans sharing a perch in the 60 ft. enclosure. Freedom is that much closer!

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Update on the Rob and Melani Walton Campus

Ed enclosures nearing completion

Ed enclosures nearing completion

Rehab enclosures going up

Rehab enclosures going up

Approaching at night

Approaching at night

Moonlight over Liberty

Moonlight over Liberty

North side at night

North side at night

Peaceful evening

Peaceful evening

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