This Week @ Liberty – June 01, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Sometimes I sit in the office signing checks or something else necessary but not so exciting and listen to the sounds of the season.  Here are some of them that most people don’t get to hear, ever.   It is mostly about a group of people, compromised animals, and being on task with the tasks that must be done to successfully complete the job.

I often hear:

  • The murmur of voices of people going about their jobs…just an undefined murmur that says there is an established protocol; it is known; it is followed; it is necessarily unspoken above a whisper.
  • The swish of a broom, the swipe of a mop, the tiptoeing over wet floors…just a tiptoe.
  • The opening and closing of cages in intensive care, the scrubbing of inside cages, the crumpling of newspaper, the filling and emptying of the trash.
  • The constant chitter, chatter of begging babies or protesting patients.
  • The ring of the phone, the ring of the bell at the window indicating contact with the public and the delivery of new patients.
  • The chop of food preparation, the whir of a blender, the beep of the microwave, the pebbly sound of crumbles into a dish.
  • The clanging of dishes as they are washed and prepared for the next use, the cleaning of the counters and the removal of dried dishes.
  • The hum of the air conditioner.
  • The office murmurs as food is ordered, questions from the public are answered, business as usual.
  • The subtle cheering at observing an egg hatching, awe at the unbelievable struggle to attain life.
  • The sounds of outrage at some human misconduct resulting in horrendous and unnecessary injury.
  • The scurry and stamping of little feet in boxes of animals getting ready to be released…

That might be the best. There are good and bad sounds of the season, but they all indicate a group of dedicated people are going about doing their jobs to give wildlife a second chance.  We all understand the circle of life, but often absurd interference interrupts the natural cycle, and we are here to help.  I am not sure what cold heart would have it any other way…what cold heart could walk by something needing help and look the other way. I prefer to listen to the sounds of the season and know we won’t and don’t ever look away.

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 3000.

Now that the male condor has gone, things are settling in to the normal routine of intakes, rehabbing, and medical care for the rest of the animals, both adult and orphans. I was out of town last week so I don’t have a lot of graphics to adorn this week’s update, but I did put together a video of one of the quail eggs hatching in Susie’s hand that might be interesting.  We’re getting closer to fencing in the property at the site of the new facility at which time we’ll begin grading and smoothing for the foundations. I hope to have a photographic record of this when it occurs. So for now, enjoy the video and try to stay cool as you listen to the sights and sounds of…LIFE!

California condor #272 about to go free! (photo not by me)

Laureen, Eddie, California condor #272, and Richard just prior to release (photo by Angela)

Two Liberty volunteers – Laureen Ong and Richard Skwarek, recently purchased a weekend at Lees’s Ferry Lodge at an Audubon event.  The trip included a tour of the California condor facility conducted by Chris Parish. Chris was unavailable to give the tour but Eddie Feltes stepped in which turned out to be a lucky turn for Laureen and her husband.  Eddie had just brought number 272 back after five months of rehabilitation and medical work at Liberty Wildlife and was about to release the bird. The two Liberty people got to experience the return of 272 and another juvenile into the wild.

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We actually don’t get to hatch many eggs at Liberty, and seeing one go through the hatching process is even more rare. But  on May 20, all present in the ICU held their breath for almost 6 minutes as this little quail struggled to be born! With a final kick and push, he emerged into the open to join dozens of others being raised at the facility prior to being released.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIFE EMERGE!

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This Week @ Liberty – May 25, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Applause, wild applause, goes to our Orphan Care Department.  Last Saturday we took in a total of 72 animals, and that is just crazy.  Each of these animals must be admitted, and that means taking the information from the public that brought the animal in or getting it from a rescue person responsible for fetching the more challenging animals.  These wide varieties of animals also have to be assessed by the Medical Services volunteer.  Those staying in the Orphan Care area are very lucky.  We aren’t talking about the raptors yet.

There is a process, of course, for making all of this happen in a way that ensures the best care for each animal.  In the Orphan Care area there is always the paperwork…a system designed to follow each baby to its ultimate spot be it a berry basket, brooder, or foster situation.  They spend time indoors getting stabilized from ailments like dehydration, broken wings, inability to regulate its own temperature, etc.  Those bins, baskets, and brooders all have to be kept clean and ready for the next patient…constant cleaning and refurbishing.

Each of these orphans is banded, and its particular paperwork follows it from bin to brooder and then to an outside flight enclosure when the time comes to ready it for ultimate release into its proper habitat.

And there is the food.  Currently there is a wide variety of species that we are dealing with…from hummingbirds to flickers, from roadrunners to killdeer, from doves to finches, from ducks to geese, from little green herons to great grackles.  Guess what.  They do not all eat the same thing, and they do not all require the same size enclosures, or the same substrate, and we must adapt to their needs.  We need to understand and know the needs of 130+ species that we see each year.

There are 6 different aviaries all designed to house compatible species with similar needs and food requirements and someone needs to assess the food needs, the readiness of each individual to move from one “station” in life to another.

This past week eleven different species (remember we aren’t talking about all of our raptor babies) were transitioned into the outside aviaries to get them ready to be released.  At the same time the onslaught of deliveries continued in the Orphan Care room, and it will go like this until end of August.  There are 76 Orphan Care volunteers who work 4 hour shifts for 12-13 hours a day 7 days a week.  That is lights on at 7:00 A.M. until the lights go out at 7-8:00 P.M.  The cacophony of little beggers is a constant during the days and demanding beaks and squeaks is the music we hear….the baby chorus!

Here’s the catch…we have just gotten started.  The second round is just beginning and most years we get a lesser third round.  It is very busy around here. It is a blessing that we have such an awesome group of people tending the nursery.  These are volunteers who fill in for each other, support each other, and do an overall wonderful job!

Stay tuned.  I am sure you will hear more about this marvelous group of volunteers and the babies they are growing up for release.  Rest assured that what you drop off at the window will get the best care possible!!!  And, remember that we haven’t yet mentioned  the raptors…more to come!

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total is now up to 2649.  (And note: It’s only May 25th.)

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

We’re taking in a LOT of animals right now, so many that the new patients sometimes have to get stacked up. On the other end of the rehabilitation pipeline is the release and a couple of birds made the final jump, including the male California condor, #272, who has been in our care since early January! Plus the usual owls, hawks, bunnies (and snakes!) keep arriving as the season progresses. The volunteers are up to the task and all the animals get the care they need. Here’s some of the recent activity…

The new patient "waiting room" in the ICU

The new patient “waiting room” in the ICU

As Megan mentioned above, we had a record intake day last week. For a time, the new arrivals got briefly stacked up awaiting their inital assessment before treatment began. But the wait is never too long and soon everyone gets the loving care they need. This is a RARE occurrence at Liberty but the numbers are rising rapidly.

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Snake trapped in netting

Snake trapped in netting (photo by Kim)

Carefully snipping the net (photo by Kim)

Carefully snipping the net (photo by Kim)

An unlucky gopher snake got tangled up in some garden netting recently and was rescued by some caring people. The snake was caught in plastic net that is used to control foliage on the ground but is also a hazard for ground animals including reptiles. This isn’t the first instance of this we have seen over the years and it probably won’t be the last. People just need to be careful when inserting material like this into the wild environment.

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Eddy and Jan gather 272 for the last time

Eddie and Jan gather 272 for the last time

Jan removes the last stitches

Jan removes the last stitches

He really does look happy to be going home!

He really does look happy to be going home!

One more time into the carrier

One more time into the carrier

The long journey home begins

The long journey home begins

After being taken in for treatment in late December, California condor #272 came to Liberty for care in early January. The next 5 months saw long, arduous treatment for the ravages of lead poisoning. These included the initial surgery on his crop, followed by multiple feedings and hydration every day. This takes its toll on both the bird and the volunteers doing the treatments. Finally, he began to move his food in a normal manner and after his crop was closed surgically, he was well enough to return to the Vermillion Cliffs. His departure marks the longest condor treatment yet at Liberty, but it was successful!

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A meeting of the minds

A meeting of the minds

Tiny barn owl with a schroeder-thomas splint

Tiny barn owl with a schroeder-thomas splint

Baby bunny with wounds from cat

Baby bunny with wounds from cat

It might not be mom, but it still tastes good

It might not be mom, but it still tastes good

Little animals have shown up recently, including a tiny new bunny that had been attacked by a cat, and this very small barn owl that has a broken hip. Both are getting excellent care by the dedicated staff at Liberty.

Chimney retrieval gho fledgling

Chimney retrieval GHO fledgling

It took me two hours to get this little great horned owl out of a chimney in Scottsdale last week. Chimney extractions are all different as each fireplace is made differently and provide unique challenges. This one was larger than most giving the little bird the opportunity to move around and stay ahead of me, but I was finally able to get him free. He was very dehydrated and thin having been trapped for several days before we got the call.

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Herron gets weighed

Herron gets weighed

Jan checks a wing

Jan checks a wing

Jan and Alex suture a kestrel

Jan and Alex suture a kestrel

Some of the more “usual” suspects – a young green heron and a little kestrel get treated after being weighed and assessed. Our Medical Services staff are some of the best in the business giving all patients the best chance for survival.

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Two released hummers (photo by Kim)

Two released hummers (photo by Kim)

Sitting on a fountain

Sitting on a fountain (photo by Kim)

Tongue in the air

Tongue in the air (photo by Kim)

Two hummingbirds were released by volunteer Kim Macchiaroli last week. The little birds decided to hang around the release area for a while giving Kim the chance to take some great pictures of the pair as they explore their new freedom. Thanks, Kim!

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Snowy and cattle egret share an enclosure

Snowy and cattle egret share an enclosure

Two not-quite-so-common intakes were sharing an inside enclosure last week. A cattle egret (named for their habit of hanging around cattle in a field as they churn up insects as they walk) and a snowy egret (a similar species that wades in shallow water looking for food) came in for unknown injuries and were housed in the same ICU enclosure. Just a photo for all you “power” birders to aid in species identification!

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………Remember their sacrifices……..

They gave everything...

They gave everything…

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This Week @ Liberty – May 18, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Last Friday, the third Friday in May, was Endangered Species Day.  It seems odd to “celebrate” endangered species…we should be celebrating “no endangered species day”, but that isn’t the reality.  What is actually spotlighted on the third Friday of May is the importance of diversity in our wildlife and our wild places…their habitats.  It is more often than not, the loss of those wild places that result in endangered species.  We recognize the importance and necessity of both.

So, I was thinking about the “talk” that rattles on about species becoming extinct all of the time and that we should just let nature take its course…and of course it isn’t nature taking its course so much as humans taking their courses.  The rattling doesn’t really take into consideration the connectedness of things and this brought to mind the quote by John Muir: “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”

But I continued to think about species that I wouldn’t mind seeing the tail end of and flies and mosquitoes came quickly to mind.  As the days warm up, and it is wonderful to have windows and doors open to the outside or to spend some quality time out of doors, the negative of flies and mosquitoes rears its ugly head.

What good are they anyway?  As annoying as they are they do serve important purposes.  If you can get past the part of mosquitoes killing more people around the world than just about any other insect, you find that the larvae of the mosquito provides an enormous biomass of food which is critically important particularly to the aquatic food chain.  They have been around since the Cretaceous period and are also a part of the connectivity to birds, bats and spiders (now there’s another one I am not too willing to cozy up to, but get the importance of…).  Without food for birds, bats, spiders and the complex aquatic world the comfortable web of life that we have adapted to would be quite different and would probably soon be minus the human race.

I tried again to find a species that I thought I could do without and focused on flies.  Aside from being pretty good at swatting them (I do warn them before I go after them), I was eagerly imagining their absence. Research once again showed me the errors of my thinking.   There is the fact that fly larvae assist forensic scientists in determining the time of death of a corpse.  Ok, I guess that is important.  And, they have for years and years, and still do help medically by eating dead tissue and bone to assist in healing from injuries…this is a fact, I do not lie.  Larvae are placed on the skin of an injured person and the larvae feasts leaving behind what they leave behind which acts to further clean up the wound.  I guess that is pretty nifty.  And, they are greatly important in the deterioration of the dead bodies and yes, poop, that are rampant in the out of doors.  They also provide food for other animals, being low on the food chain. Once again an interruption at the bottom does nasty work at the top…which would be us.

I won’t go on.  I gave up my thoughts of species I would like to see disappear and will continue to swat and slap while respecting the importance of diversity of wildlife and wild places.  Here’s a Save the Date reminder for each of you:  Celebrate Endangered Species Day next year on the third Friday of May.  We do find everything hitched to everything else in the universe.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake number is now up to 2348.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Things are getting back to a little more normal as we inch past W4W 2015, but there was another fundraising event yesterday, a motorcycle ride (Born to B Wild) as a part of Bike Week 2015 with proceeds going to help Liberty.  More orphans are coming in daily and a couple animals got released plus the male condor, #252, is finally well enough to have his final surgery and get ready to go back to the Vermillion Cliffs soon. We are again partnering with Iberdrola Renewables to help them relocate some prairie dogs near their wind farm up north, and one of our flight enclosures has now been rededicated to being a duck pen hosting several dozen (and growing!) orphan ducklings. Lets see what it looked like this week…

Liberty birders

Liberty birders

Periodically, Claudia takes people on guided birding tours so the volunteers can get to see birds NOT in enclosures or suffering from injuries. Recently she took six volunteers down to Patagonia where her Tuesday Daily Care and Hand Feed team got to enjoy some time away from the valley and engage in some team-building in a beautiful setting. (See? It’s not all dead mice and flies!) Thanks to Claudia for all she does!

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Megan and Nina accept a check from John Sherman with Iberdrola

Megan and Nina accept a check from John Sherman with Iberdrola

Recently Liberty entered into a renewed partnership with Iberdrola Renewables, a branch of the international energy company providing wind and other advanced technology energy production. These funds will enable us to join with them to relocate a colony of prairie dogs near their Arizona wind farm in order to minimize the impact of the turbines on a local golden eagle population.

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Growing foster population

Wyatt and Josie’s growing foster family

Wyatt and Josies family

The numbers are staggering

Protective daddy Igor

Protective daddy Igor

Igor and Elvira's fosters

Igor and Elvira’s 17 fosters

As always this time of year, the numbers of foster baby great horned owls grows dramatically. Currently we have at least four foster families in the process of raising orphans on the property, with Igor and Elvira tied with Josie and Wyatt, both of which have 17 fosters in their care. Smaller groups are with Maggie, Snickers and Heddy. We certainly expect the numbers to continue to rise as the summer progresses.

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Lots o'ducklings

Lots o’ducklings

One of the biggest sources of intakes of late has been ducklings! The parents set up a nest under foliage in someone’s backyard pool area and 4 weeks later, one day there are a whole family of ducklings paddling in the pool! We try to intervene before they hatch but once they come out, they have to be removed as they will certainly starve in short order. At that point, catching the mom is critical as then the whole family (the babies are fairly easy to catch in the water) can be relocated to a more natural environment. If the mom flies off, then the babies have to come to a rehabilitation facility as they cannot survive without parental protection until they can fly – which may be 3 months down the road. And here we are with this story: the ducklings above have no parents and are with us until they are flighted!

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Baby bunny naps in the brooder

Baby bunny naps in the brooder

And while we’re talking about babies needing care, I had to enter this baby cottontail in the “Cutest baby of the week” contest…along with the ground squirrels, antelope squirrels, etc…

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Dr.Orr examines the Pygmy owl

Dr.Orr examines the Pygmy owl

(It’s nice to have Dr. Orr around to help out with the vet duties when they are needed!) This was last week prior to the next story, the last surgery on Condor #272!)

Dr.Wyman assists Dr.Orr with the condor surgery

Dr. Wyman assists Dr. Orr with the condor surgery

Almost ready to go home!

Almost ready to go home, #272 post-surgery!

Last week condor #272, the male that arrived last January, is finally almost ready to go home. This bird was a real challenge as his progress from his initial arrival with lead poisoning was excruciatingly slow and punctuated by phugoid-type oscillations of improvements and setbacks. But now, he is better and as soon as he is healed from the surgery to close his crop, he’ll be driven back to the Vermillion Cliffs to rejoin the flock!

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Kim and Sky educate

Kim and Sky educate

Who doesn't love an owl?

Who doesn’t love an owl?

Ace is always a star

Ace is always a star

Jan and Salsa in the mirror

Jan and Salsa are closer than they appear…

Jan does the countdown

Jan does the countdown

Logan does the release

Logan does the release

A benefit event was held on Sunday during “Bike Week” terminating at the Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson in Mayer, AZ. Bikers from the Phoenix area, Scottsdale, and Flagstaff all rode to Mayer. The lucky bikers got to listen to live music, have lunch, and learn about Arizona wildlife up close and personal as Liberty presented an array of education hawks, owls, falcons and an eagle. The weather was perfect and everyone seemed to enjoy the day, especially a lucky red tail hawk who got released during the event! Thanks go out to Two Gals Events for arranging the program for us!

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This Week @ Liberty – May 11, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

A heartfelt thanks goes out to the myriad of people who helped make this year’s Wishes for Wildlife such a huge sell-out success.  To Peggy Cole, Carol Suits and the Guardians (too many hard workers to name, but you know who you are), John Glitsos and Terry Stevens for the Liberty Feud game and the videos, the benefit chairs, Susie Alofs and Bobi Seredich, Michael Barnard for his professional assistance, Joelle Hadley as Emcee, the Liberty Wildlife staff who pitched in when needed, the education volunteers, our Corporate Chairs Patti and Ken Vegors and Cr8tive Events for the beautiful décor.  And, it frightens me to think what I would do without the assistance of Mark Kenger and the SRP AV crew.  All of these folks plus the roomful of attendees made the event a huge success.  Thanks to each of you for bringing all the moving parts together in symphony.

And while at the event I was reminded of Balinda’s books which were a donated item for the auction. I had an opportunity after the dust settled to pick them up and re-read them.  The bottom line is, EVERYONE WITH YOUNGSTERS should add these three books to your favorite kid’s collection.  Go to our store, www.libertywildlife.net  and place your order for:  I Got Barfed on by a Turkey Vulture, Tiny But Mighty, and Who is Making that Noise?  IGBOBTVKestrel CoverGHO CoverThey are jammed in a fun way with simple but important facts, with charming original children’s art and a whole lot of heart and soul about nature and its denizens.  You can’t go wrong with this fun way to educate your young charges about the importance of these critters in the greater scheme of things

We need to raise more young people to support our mission in one way or another.

Thanks to all of the adults who supported us this year at Wishes for Wildlife.  See the rest of you next year?

These Weeks @ Liberty

The intake total for this year now stands at 2038. (Yeah, read that number again!)

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

We’re BAAAAACCCKKK!   If you didn’t notice, the intake number is now above 2,000! Three weeks ago when we did the last full edition, it had just past 1,000 during the week. It is really getting busy around the facility, but then again, it is always busy this time of year. We have had a lot of activity since the last full posting on April 20th, with new injured animals arriving, some getting released, more fund-raising taking place (a necessary job to keep the organization running and in view of our planned move to a new facility within the year), and more babies animals than ever in our care, all the people of Liberty Wildlife are working tirelessly to provide the best care possible for all the animals that we take in. Let’s review the past few weeks…

AZGFD brings in another down eagle

AZGFD brings in another down eagle

Alex and Curt hydrate the juvenile bald

Alex and Curt hydrate the juvenile bald

On April 23, AZGFD brought in a seriously sick juvenile Bald Eagle for treatment. The bird was down and obviously in distress. Unfortunately the bird died within a day or so, and we’re waiting for test results to determine if his death was caused by lead, West Nile Virus, some other pathogen, or a combination of toxins.

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Colorado river toad

Colorado river toad

Well, we don’t really get many toads at Liberty, but once in a while one hops through our doors… A few years ago we got one in and I’ll never forget the presentation listed on his sheet: “Disoriented”  OK, I’m not sure how a toad can be disoriented – or how you could tell if he were – but we got another one recently.  This one appeared healthy and we suspect it was somebody’s pet that either got loose or was set free. They are in fact natives so release was in his prescription.

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Flammulated owl

Flammulated owl

Owls come in all shapes and sizes, what with 14+ species to choose from in North America. A majority of people don’t realize that outside of Great Horned owls and barn owls, most owls around here are pretty small. This flammulated owl came in recently with serious head/back injuries of unknown origin and served to show how diminutive and fragile these little guys can be.

GHO from Luke

GHO from Luke

By the same token, this GHO was brought in from Luke AFB not long ago.  All birds are seen as hazards to aircraft operation and when they get too close to the Air Force, they are routinely removed. This little guy was lucky enough to have been taken with no physical damage, unlike the majority of raptors which are removed by fatal means.

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Swedish Blue ducks (?)

Blue Swedish ducks (?)

I know this sounds like a Monty Python routine, but these two Blue Swedish (if you have another thought as to what they are, send it to me!) ducklings were recently taken from a lake where they had probably been dumped after Easter. Sadly, people still persist in buying chicks and ducklings for “decoration” around Easter time. Then a week or two later, they are no longer seen as cute and are summarily dumped in any convenient lake or puddle to fend for themselves, which, unfortunately, they are NOT able to do. Please help pass the word that live animals are NEVER an appropriate gift unless the receiver knows what they’re getting and is prepared to make the long-term commitment to maintaining a live animal, regardless of the species.

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Another duck family

Another duck family

Mass release

Mom leads the troop down the bank (Photo by somebody else)

"I think we're gonna like it here!"

“I think we’re gonna like it here!” (Photo by somebody else)

On a more natural note, this mother mallard and her 12 ducklings hatched and were living in a backyard pool on the northwest side. The thoughtful owners fed them for 4 weeks and finally decided they needed their pool back so I went out there early one day recently and with the help of the family, apprehended the ducks. Within three days, Megan took them to another family up north who had expressed a desire for the water fowl and they now live in beautiful surroundings on Oak Creek!

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RTH fresh out of the egg

RTH fresh out of the egg

Less than two weeks later...

Less than two weeks later… (photo by Alex)

These fluffy babies are the products of a recent nest relocation for a power company by Nina and the Research and Conservation team. The two little red tails are being carefully raised in the office and the feather trailer until they are old enough to join their foster mom in the outside enclosure. Lots of camouflage and hand puppets are in use to prevent improper imprinting as the baby raptors are fed several times each day.

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A second chance...

A second chance… (photo by Barb Meding)

When birds come in for treatment, they sometimes have to spend an extended period at Liberty, depending on the injury. With migratory birds, this can become an even longer process if their recovery doesn’t coincide with the ongoing migration. In some cases, we have to hold the bird until the next passage of the flock, either north or south, to give the bird a chance to travel with the group. Recently Claudia took our young rehabbing Swanson’s hawk out to join hundreds of other Swainsons’ as they passed through Arizona. Melanie Herring got to do the honors and the bird landed in some trees nearby, preened for a while, then flew off to join the crowd of fellow travelers!

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And now, just some moments from this year’s Wishes for Wildlife!

The birds were all stars at W4W

The birds were all stars at W4W (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Buying raffle tickets can be fun! (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Buying raffle tickets can be fun! (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Chairpersons Bobi and Susie having a good time

Chairpersons Bobi and Susie having a good time

A great social event

A great event for socializing – and supporting wildlife! (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Peggy and Megan - who made it happen (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Peggy and Megan – who made it happen (photo by Kathy Edwards)

Julie Ann Wrigley gets ready to release an owl

Joe and Jan help Julie Ann Wrigley get ready to release the owl

The big moment of the evening

A great ending to a great event – a perfect release!

************************This Sunday is the Born to be Wild motorcycle event!  Go to Liberty Wildlife’s Facebook page OR www.twogalsevents.com for details!!********************************

 

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This Week @ Liberty – May 4, 2015

This Week @ Liberty

The total intake for the year is now at 1755.

TW@L and HHH, and a LOT of volunteers are recuperating this weekfrom Wishes for Wildlife (which was a GREAT event if you missed it…) so we’re still on a break from blogging. We’ll be back  on Monday, May 11th with the latest update.

Until then, here’s a little teaser that was shot yesterday…

Orphan baby barn owls arrive from Sierra Vista

 

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This Week @ Liberty – April 27, 2015

This Week @ Liberty

The total intake for the year is now at 1467.

TW@L and HHH are occupied with Wishes for Wildlife stuff this week so we’re taking a break from blogging until after the event. We’ll return on Monday, May 11th with the latest update.

Hoping to see you this Saturday!

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This Week @ Liberty – April 20, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Wednesday, April 22nd marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.  When I think back on my history of activism in environmental issues it all started in 1970.  I was teaching 9th grade, and I was indeed a product of that time.  I had always loved the out-of-doors and was a closet naturalist…replete with a bug collection (I did hate putting those pins into the fragile little bodies…but my fascination won out), a rescuer of any injured animal that I could find, a birdwatcher and feeder, a collector of snakes and lizards, an observer of the natural world, an avid tree climber, and considered a bit odd by the other girls in my neighborhood, but gratefully there were others on the national scene getting the same vibes.

After witnessing the devastation of an oil spill off the coast of California, Gaylord Nelson, the Senator from Wisconsin, came up with the idea for Earth Day.  This coincided with an expansion of the energies from the anti-war movement and the growth in awareness of the environmental woes from the 500,000+readers of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, creating a synergy with surprising energy.  And, I finally found legitimacy for my passion.

I had recently moved to teach in a newly built school in Austin, Texas away from my old school in the matured treed areas of downtown to an empty school ground in much need of the benefits of trees.  My class, excited about the new Earth Day movement, raised money and bought 5 trees which we were granted permission to plant on the school grounds.  I have been trying to remember how we raised the money and what kind of trees we planted, but that memory eludes me.

What I do remember is the excitement, the eagerness, the enthusiasm, and the pride we all felt as we daydreamed looking out the windows at our “project”.  I haven’t been back to that school since I moved to Phoenix.  I think that is shameful.  I can only imagine (and maybe it is better that way), how large and grand our five trees are now, and how much they have provided in the way of oxygen, shade, habitat, and beauty over the last 45 years.

It is a moment I am very proud of.

And if Earth Day weren’t enough to celebrate this week we also celebrate Arbor Day the last Friday of April.  This is such a powerful time to be aware of our planet, to be aware of what we can each do to make our home a healthy place for all living creatures and our environment.  Let’s continue to place the importance of a healthy home not only on our national agenda but our global agenda.  Earth Day 1970 has grown to the largest civic event in the world in 2015.  Find something to do to celebrate this in your own way.  Rekindle your personal commitment to make Earth Day your own.

Maybe it would be a great time to support an environmental organization with a donation to work on your behalf.  Maybe you will personally take action.  Maybe you will make it a double celebration and also plant a tree.  I would love to know what you do.  And, you don’t have to tell me….just do it!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year is now at 1113.

Yes, that number is correct. We passed the 1,000 animal mark last week. And, the numbers are going up at a dramatic rate. There were several times the window was backed up into the parking lot with caring people holding boxes containing tiny orphaned and injured birds and mammals (mainly bunnies) hoping to get them some help. They had all come to the right place of course, as the volunteers patiently took the animals and donations (THANK YOU!) and had the people fill out the required paperwork for the records. Another Rescue/Transport class was held in hopes of having sufficient staff to keep up with the spring/summer onslaught as we all gear up for the Wishes for Wildlife event which will be held in less than two weeks on May 2. Another bald eagle arrived and is now in treatment, and the R&C team relocated a GHO nest that was in a bad spot. Yes, it’s a busy time for all of us. Let’s see what it looked like…

The thousand animal markWell, it was coming fast and we hit the first 1,000 animals last week. I’m never sure if it’s cause for celebration or a sign of dire things to come, but in any case, we were there for the animal – and will be for all subsequent arrivals this year. The numbers are clicking over quickly, so keep watching the yearly total!

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A wall of new brooders has been donated by a wonderful anonymous benefactor!

A wall of new brooders has been donated by a wonderful anonymous benefactor!

One problem we have each year is the aging equipment we use. This year, an anonymous person we hold in high esteem donated a wall of new brooders that will save many lives as the year progresses. Tim added a custom built rack to hold them and all of this beautiful equipment will eventually be used in the new facility. Thanks to the wonderful individual who cares! We are forever in your debt.

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Shaping a damaged beak

Shaping a damaged beak

Handsome male cardinal

Handsome male cardinal

An otherwise handsome male cardinal came in last week with a seriously damaged beak. Bird’s beaks are much like our fingernails – they are tough but will break given sufficient trauma. This little bird was obviously involved in some kind of collision with an immovable object and the beak absorbed most of the impact. What is left of his lower mandible was reshaped by the Med Services team but he will most likely be non-releasable since he will find it difficult to eat in the wild. He will join the other cardinal we have (with the bad eye) and remain with us an education display bird.

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GHO nest in a dangerous place

GHO nest in a dangerous place (photo by Stacey)

Baby owls in a bad spot

Baby owls in a bad spot (photo by Stacey)

Stacey places owlets in the carrier

Stevie places owlets in the carrier (photo by Stacey)

Ready to go to the foster home and safety

Ready to go to the foster home and safety (photo by Stacey)

Arriving at Liberty

Arriving at Liberty (photo by Stacey)

Getting weighed in

Getting weighed in (photo by Stacey)

Waiting for their new foster mom

Waiting for their new foster mom (photo by Stacey)

Foster mom Maggie with food for the kids

Foster mom Maggie with food for the kids (photo by Stacey)

Last week our R&C team performed a GHO nest relocation for WAPA (Western Area Power Administration) in Maricopa. I’ll let Stacey fill in the details:

The nest relocation for WAPA was necessary as the 2-3 week old babies were in an area that has energized equipment. This equipment poses a risk for electrocution, so even though the nest was on the ground, their first flight might have been their last! They were taken to Liberty, examined and placed with foster mom Maggie. 

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Joe holds the new guy

Joe holds the new guy (photo by Claudia)

Joe holds as Alex examines

Joe holds as Alex examines (photo by Claudia)

More lead poisoning problems

More lead poisoning problems (photo by Claudia)

Our own Claudia Kirscher drove to Kingman on the weekend to retrieve this bald eagle. Claudia writes the story:

He was found on the ground in a housing development near the Hualapai Mtns.  Blood tests at LW show toxic lead.  He also has a healed right wrist fracture.  By the condition of his tail, feet and talons he has been on the ground for awhile.  He has a spot of distinctive brown feathers on his head.

 

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This Week @ Liberty – April 13, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

This is my favorite time of year.  Every turn in the out of doors is eye-popping, and it seems this year is exceptional.  The palo verdes are resplendent.  Driving down my street has turned into a yellow tunnel, and it is a buzz with bees….just magical.

Added to the palo verdes are the mesquites with their caterpillar like catkins…yellow.  Then there steps into the scene, the fuzz balls on the creosote…yellow.  The brittle bush pushes its blossoms forward to the sky, all proud and screaming…yellow.  Let’s not forget the desert marigold swaying in the breeze fighting for attention…yellow.

It is splendid.  The crispness in the air combined with the desert aridness, and I am in heaven.  Not to be out done the cacti to start making statements about the season and buds are peeking out ready to burst into being and yes, many of them are yellow.

Maybe yellow doesn’t please you as much as it does me…not to worry.  The bougainvillea is standing by to take your breath away.  Many of the cacti will appear in yellows, whites, reds, pinks and oranges.  There is something for everyone.  The hummingbirds and bees are busy as, well like bees, grabbing nectar and pollen to feed babies and pollinate other plants…what a bountiful time.

While I am on the subject of a bountiful time (okay, a risky transition), let’s not forget that our annual fundraiser, Wishes for Wildlife is just about three weeks away.  Oh my!  Plans are enthusiastically racing toward May 2nd. The evening should be delightful.  It is not too late, however, for you to join in the fun.  Items can still be donated to our beautiful silent auction and our super silent auction.  We wow the guests with great items, many that can’t be gotten anywhere else…surprises galore and something to make every heart sing.

There will be trips including one to England and other inter and intra- continental destinations, garden goodies as always, unique and collectible items, restaurants, cooking classes, chefs in your home, and a not to be missed wonderful up river wildlife tour in a stunning house boat, Out of the Blue, replete with a naturalist and other surprises.  The seats are limited on that tour so plan to get your spot as soon as possible.

You can still buy tickets, tables or just donate to support our mission.  It is all very simple to do.  Go to www.wishesforwildlife.org   to get involved.  Do your part to support our mission and have a great time doing it.  This is a win-win situation for everyone.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now up to 864.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The level of activity always builds right before Wishes for Wildlife and this year is no exception. Animals, especially orphans, are streaming in the window and from rescue team and all the volunteers are gearing up for the next few m months which will certainly be hectic. This week’s update has a couple of interesting intakes and look at some of the babies in the OC area and the volunteers who are being trained to take care of them until they can be released. This week we also got some help from the Superstition Fire Department and we want to thank the crew that helped out. Let’s take a look…

Anita and Cheyenne examine a new GHO

Anita and Cheyenne examine a new GHO

Joanie looks pleased with the progress of a red tail

Joanie looks pleased with the progress of a red tail

Jan and Joanie check a HaHa wing

Jan and Joanie check a HaHa wing

The people on the Med Services team are working hard to keep up with the intake of injured animals as Spring progresses. New patients show up constantly with gun shot wounds, electrical burns, automobile collisions, poisonings – all the usual suspects. Add to this the several times a day feeding and care for the male California condor and it’s a busy scene in the ICU.

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OC slowly comes to life

OC slowly comes to life

Learning the skill of tubing

Learning the skill of tubing

Joanna feeds a gaper

Joanna feeds a gaper

"So how much do I weigh?"

“So how much do I weigh?”

The biggest increase in activity is, of course, in Orphan Care. Between baby birds and baby bunnies, the door never stops swinging, and each buzz of the doorbell alarm means another patient has arrived. The volunteers are inspirational in their dedication to the cause of helping these little creatures reach an age and size when they can be turned loose into the environment and live as they were intended.

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Jess and Andrea administrer WNV vaccine

Jesse and Andrea administer WNV vaccine

Of course, the non-releasables are also cared for continually throughout their lives. Last week the permanent residents got their annual West Nile virus inoculations which we hope keep them from contracting this particular disease which has reached Arizona a while back. The vaccine is donated by our own Dr. Mike Sorum and we thank him for providing this life saving medicine.

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House finch on a sticky trap

House finch on a sticky trap

Finally free

Finally free

I don’t know how many times we have to say it, but sticky traps are horrible!! They are extremely general in targeting and there is far more “bycatch” than what most people have in mind when they put these things out. Usually they are intended for certain insects or certain rodents, but people don’t give a thought that anything and everything that happens to touch them is going to get stuck. This is especially true of bugs as the animals that eat the bugs stuck in the glue (namely birds) now come down to dine on an immobilized prey, only to find themselves hopelessly trapped and headed for sure death themselves. Bottom line: DON’T USE THESE THINGS!!!!

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Rescue 40ft up

Rescue 40ft up

What the neighbors saw from the ground

What the neighbors saw from the ground

Gotta love the firemen

Gotta love the firemen

"Going up!"

“Going up!”

Mom is watching as we approach

Mom is watching as we approach

Three scared little owls

Three scared little owls

In the ICU as treatment begins

In the ICU as treatment begins

Last week I got a call from the hotline that there was a baby owl with his leg caught in a nest in Apache Junction. The manager of the trailer court had been watching the nest and he and some neighbors noticed a leg of one of the babies hanging down – for three days! He arranged for the Superstition Fire Department Ladder 263 crew to meet me at the base of the palm tree. They took me up 40ft to the nest and I was able to extract the unlucky baby who had stuck his leg through a hole in one of the fronds. His leg appeared to have some trauma so I brought the injured one to Liberty for examination and care, leaving the other two babies who looked to be fine.  A big “Thank You” to the park manager and to the firemen who were most helpful!

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Hydrotherapy for the golden eagle

Hydrotherapy for the golden eagle

The golden eagle with the broken pelvis and wing is doing better. Last week I looked in on her and she was sitting in her water tub, enjoying some “hydrotherapy” as she recuperates. She still has a way to go, but any progress is good after a car collision.

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This Week @ Liberty – April 06, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Liberty’s Educational team and our charismatic wildlife ambassadors made an appearance on Saturday morning at a wonderful event.  Hosted by Audubon Arizona at their lovely facility in the Rio Salado Restoration Area (near our new home), the Junior Duck Stamp Contest for Arizona was concluded.  It was a well-planned event sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to focus attention on water fowl and wetlands conservation.  Prizes were awarded to the winners in many categories.

The contest started in 1989 with as many as 27,000 children entering each year.  The task is to draw a duck or a goose from an eligible list of species or to contribute a conservation message.  I must say that my expectations were surpassed!  The art work by these young students was inspirational.  Not only was attention drawn to the beauty of our water loving wildlife, but the message of the importance of this conservation issue has spread to hundreds of thousands of other youth.

Volunteer judges including ornithologists, artists, environmental educators, and National Wildlife Refuge volunteers looked at the 278 Arizona entries.  The categories to select from were grades K-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12 with the Best of Show being selected from the winners in each of these categories.  The Best of Show from each state then goes to compete on the National level with the winners from all of the other states.

The National First Place winner will have his or her artwork printed on the Federal Junior Duck Stamp…quite an honor.  The winner this year from Arizona was 18 year old Megan Young from Yuma who had been entering the contest for 8 years.  The Best Conservation message was created by eight year old Luke Jeffries who nailed it with the following tag line:  “Don’t duck out on conservation”.

As always our Liberty Wildlife Education Ambassadors including a turkey vulture, a burrowing owl, a male and a female kestrels, and a red tailed hawk did a little competing of their own.  Guests thronged around the patio display to see the animals up close and to hear their stories.  I watched as little eyes took in the detail, shape, color, feathering, adaptations, and I am pretty sure I could see young creative wheels turning as future art projects took shape.

I was impressed by the talent of this group of young people….the dedication to their talent was impressive.  I am very glad I attended this powerful event.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now up to 689.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

A short update this week as I’m feverishly working on stuff for the fundraiser – which is coming up in less than 4 weeks if you hadn’t noticed, so we’re all approaching our annual “panic mode” as the time to prepare diminishes.  But the day-to-day operations continue with the addition of the commencement of Orphan Care! Yeah, the babies are dropping in (and dropping up in the case of bunnies…) and the doors to the Liberty Wildlife Neo-Natal Care Center – better known as “Orphan Care” are now officially open! Just look at the jump in the intake numbers from week to week if you don’t think it makes a difference doing baby birds in-house! Plus, Carol is scheduling another R&T class and it’s Earth Month so the Education volunteers are all doing prodigious duty presenting wildlife ambassadors to schools across the valley. It’s a very busy time for us.

And so it begins...

And so it begins…

Sophia feeds some babies prior to OC opening

Sophia feeds some babies prior to OC opening

As I said above, the doors to OC officially opened up TODAY, but we have been getting babies in for a few weeks now. Med Services have been filling in for the OC staff until they are trained and on line but everybody – including Sophia, our intern from Germany, has been heeding the plaintive peeping from the brooders and feeding hungry gapers.

Orphan baby barns owls (photo by Alex)

Orphan baby barns owls (photo by Alex)

The foster family grows

The foster family grows

Our foster parent barn owls (Tyto and Abba) are working full time raising the early arrival orphans which grow so incredibly fast. In one natural clutch, there can be a difference of almost two weeks in the age of the chicks of a barn owl.  Unlike ducks which begin incubation as the last egg is laid, barn owls incubate egg one from day one and the eggs hatch sequentially at the far end. This is a survival strategy that has suited them well for several million years but it makes it difficult to manage when you’re in the rehab game!

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Igor and Elvira are also working hard...

Igor and Elvira are also working hard…

Not to be outdone, foster parents Igor and Elvira are also busy protecting and feeding several orphan great horned owl babies not of their own making. As I post this, Maggie also has fosters and pretty soon almost all of our GHO “moms” will be feeding families.

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GSW (gun shot wound) red tail gets care from Jan and Joanie.

GSW (gun shot wound) red tail gets care from Jan and Joanie.

Pellet revealed in the Xray

Pellet revealed in the Xray

Another reason we really need to fund and acquire a digital X-ray machine is that even though our Med Services people are adept at diagnosing fractures and the like by feel, it’s really tough to find a pellet by touch. The metal in firearm projectiles shows up disturbingly well in radiographs and this aids immeasurably in setting up the correct treatment. This young red tail was shot and though the bones in his wing were broken, the nature of the injury wasn’t known until we got this X-ray.

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Have you ever heard of "Tanglefoot"?

Have you ever heard of “Tanglefoot”?

Sigh…OK, there are several products on the market for “pest control” which purport to limit damage caused by insects and other damaging fauna. One such product comes under the name “tanglefoot” which is a thick paste used to keep ants and other crawling insects from damaging trees, etc. Like ALL chemical deterrents,  the problem is it’s not species specific and any type of wildlife – insect, mammal, reptile, bird – are all susceptible to the noxious goo. This little house finch came in last week coated with the product and had to undergo several baths of mineral oil and detergent (Dawn) to have her feathers “de-gunked” sufficiently.

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Desert spiny lizard comes in

Desert spiny lizard comes in

This little spiny lizard was brought in last week and his presentation was “lethargic.” I wasn’t sure how you could tell if a lizard was lethargic or not, but it seems he actually did act somewhat out of sorts. He was observed for several days, fed, and finally was taken to be released into a semi-controlled environment where his lack of lizard-like activity wouldn’t place him in jeopardy.

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The male condor is still undergoing treatment for lead poisoning

The male condor is still undergoing treatment for lead poisoning

Alex prepares to administer food and fluids as jan and Corey hold

Alex administers food and fluids as Jan and Corey hold

The older male California condor, number 272, is still with us. His fellow patient, female 455, went back north recently for  reintroduction to the northern Arizona colony after a near full recovery.  This guy, though,  stubbornly resists efforts to restore his digestion. He is making progress but it’s incremental and frustrating – especially for Jan and her team who have to do the three-man condor dance several times each day.

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Grandpa is enjoying the sun!

Grandpa is enjoying the sun!

And just so you know, our septuagenarian desert tortoise “Grandpa” is doing well.  He comes out each morning and is allowed to meander around his old area, watching Tim rebuild enclosures, and looking for eagles to torment, then goes inside at night to rest. I am currently designing a t-shirt with his face on it that we’ll have in the store as soon as it gets printed.

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This Week @ Liberty – March 30, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

It seems hard to believe, but our Orphan Season has begun….didn’t it just end?  The babies are appearing even though the official start date hasn’t arrived yet.  I guess calendar dates don’t rule!

There are some reminders related to the season that I want to share with you again this year.

  • If you find a baby bird on the ground, by all means, if you can, if it is safe, if the parents are still around, put the baby back in the nest.  Natural parents are hard wired to raise their babies and despite what you heard as a child, the parents won’t reject them if you have touched them.  In fact they will be thrilled to have the babe back.
  • One of the hardest things we have to do is take eggs or nestlings from parents who have invested so much time and energy in a nesting season.  It does happen that nests are destroyed, that buildings housing nests are to be destroyed, that cactus homes fall to the ground… unfortunate things happen, and it is a hard, hard decision to take the bounties of the nest while the parents do what they can to stop you.  So, if you don’t have to disturb a nest, don’t.  Wait until the season is over.  It isn’t that long.
  • That leads to trimming trees.  Just don’t do it during this time of year.  If you prune a nest from the tree, you are responsible for the lives of those eggs or nestlings.  Bottom line, don’t trim your trees until late fall.
  • As for baby mammals, the parents can’t stay with them all of the time.  When you think they are abandoned, more than likely the parents are out foraging and are very close by.  You must make sure, completely sure that there are no parents before you “heroically” rescue them.
  • Hummingbirds are notoriously nabbed by well-meaning folks who have been watching a nest and then all of the sudden the babies hatch and there is no room left for the parents.  The parents move to a nearby perch and watch over their young…often watching as a good soul unnecessarily rescues them.  Heartbreaking!

Now, this is not meant to discourage you from coming to the rescue of an animal in need.  Our Hotline can answer many questions for you, so don’t hesitate to call and ask for advice.  They can talk you through the processes of how to help, when to help, if to help.  Call 480-998-5550.  They will call you back.  We have a huge volume of calls during this busy season, but we have incredibly well-trained volunteers who stand at the ready to make your life easier.

And, if you really want to help you can volunteer to do a shift in Orphan Care.  We will train you and set you up with what you need to give wildlife a second chance.  Go to www.libertywildlife.org , to the volunteer menu and start the process.  We welcome your energy and your compassion.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now at 572.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

As Megan pointed out in H3 (above), we didn’t transition to Baby Bird Season this year, we were engulfed by it! If you’re keeping track, you’ll notice that the intake number jumped by a 100 from last week. So, we’re in it now, and there’s little to do but what we do best – press on and keep the little guys alive! This amid the heaviest part of the education season as we approach Earth Day and the end of the school year. On top of this, most of us are scrambling to finish preparations for this year’s Wishes for Wildlife event coming one month and 4 days from now. So, if you notice a lot of hectic activity around and near the facility, you’ll understand why. Let’s see what happened this week…

Liberty at the Chester's Harley Davidson event

Stacey, Jan, and Nina at the Chester’s Harley Davidson event (photo by Amyra Popich)

Jan shows the Liberty colors at Chester's (photo by Amyra Popich)

Jan shows the Liberty colors at Chester’s (photo by Amyra Popich)

Liberty has had a close association with several of the Harley Davidson franchises in the area over the years. Last week we were in attendance at the Chester’s Harley Davidson Backstage Biker Bash, a part of Bike Week festivities in Mesa with a contingent of Liberty animals and volunteers. Liberty gets a percentage of the proceeds from the party (although as we all know, bikers are not big party people…!) We certainly want to thank Chester’s, Missy Hughes, and all the other volunteers who helped set his up.

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Feeling safe in the middle of all the hawks and owls in the ICU

Feeling safe in the middle of all the hawks and owls in the ICU

The baby cottontails have been pouring in for several weeks now, and their first stop is in an inside enclosure. After they have developed sufficiently to feed themselves and regulate their own temperature, they go to an outside hutch to better acclimate to the ambient climate. These little guys are still inside and probably aren’t even aware of how close they are to dozens of their top predators (yes, that’s a glass wall they are behind!)

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The latest golden eagle to arrive for treatment

The latest golden eagle to arrive for treatment is improving

Inside of two weeks, we took in 5 eagles, three golden and two bald. The last golden to arrive had a broken pelvis and a fractured humerous. Because of the location of the breaks, surgical pinning was not an option but since they were not compound, Med Services  decided that a very careful wrap followed by a closely monitored period of complete cage rest would be the safest and best course of action. It seems this is working as the bird was moved from an inside cage to a smaller outside enclosure, giving the bird room to move but not enough to get into more trouble.  She seems to be enjoying the change.  Keep your fingers crossed for this bird!

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Cholla isn't JUST for natives...

Cholla isn’t JUST for natives…

Lesley works to remove the cholla spines

Lesley works to remove the cholla spines

Finally freed from cholla hell

Finally freed from cholla hell

OK, ok, so we don’t normally do non-native species, but by the same token, we don’t turn anything away that is suffering – and this little starling was definitely suffering! He had gotten himself totally immersed in the clutches of a cholla cactus and if you haven’t experienced THAT little piece of Arizona’s welcome basket, you haven’t been here very long. So our wonderful Lesley Guenther spent several minutes c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y pulling the small barbed spines out of the unfortunate bird and was eventually successful. That was a very lucky little bird.

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A barn owl with a bad wing fracture

A barn owl with a wing fracture

Even with no training, you can tell this is a bad break...

Even with no training, you can tell this is a bad break…

We’ve had a few birds come in recently with what might be called “good” breaks where the fracture is mid-shaft and the bones are mostly aligned (the golden eagle above is a good example.) But this little barn owl presented this x-ray which shows massive damage – right at the elbow joint. If there is an upside to this, barn owls are fairly placeable if we can’t use them ourselves. The sad part is he will never fly again. Time for a career change…

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First view of daylight...

First view of daylight…

A day later - a new red tailed hawk!

A day later – a new red tailed hawk!

Joined by his brother a short time later

Joined by his brother a short time later

Recently our Research and Conservation team headed by Nina had to do a nest removal for the power company. Three eggs were retrieved from the poorly placed RTH nest and brought to Liberty and placed inside our high-tech incubator. Last week the first egg began pipping and a day later, a tired little RTH hatchling emerged. Within two days, the second little hawk came into the world and joined his/her brother being cared for by the Med Services team. When they are big enough, they’ll be placed with our foster parent red tails for care and imprinting and eventual release.

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Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod

Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod

Getting a medical check-up

Getting a medical check-up from Stevie and Shannon

"Is this what life is like?!?"

“Is this what life is like?!?”

Their first weigh-in

Their first weigh-in

Number 4 from the same nest

Number 4 from the same nest two days later

EVERYBODY gets fluids!

EVERYBODY gets fluids!

It’s always sad when babies are separated from their parents, but when the parents decide to nest in a dangerous spot, the survival of the little ones sometimes means they need to join our foster care program. Three little nestling great horned owls came in from a nest last week after falling nearly 18 feet into a horse corral, followed two days later by the fourth baby! They survived the fall but would almost certainly have died on the ground so we brought them in. They were checked over for injury, given fluids, and placed with Daddy Igor who is now fiercely protecting them as they grow. The deluge has begun!

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Don’t forget, Wishes for Wildlife 2015 is coming up on May 2nd at the Montelucia Resort! Get your tickets now at libertywildlife.net

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