Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Here’s yet another way to help Liberty Wildlife’s mission. Anne Peyton, has an offer that is hard to ignore.
As we approach the official beginning of the Education season, our Liberty Wildlife Avian Ambassadors have spent the summer getting ready to wow their public. Most of the birds are completing their molts and are looking absolutely fabulous with new tails and bright plumage. Soon, each Education bird will have their talons tipped, their beaks coped and get their leather checked and possibly replaced.
The leather expense is third only to the food and medical costs for the Education birds. Many birds spend the summer standing in their water bowls and the constant wet/dry action and the desert heat can leave the anklets and jesses cracked and brittle or shrunken to the point where it may become tight. Bad leather means no public appearances.
Here is a way you can help Liberty with the leather bill: Education team member Anne
Peyton, who is also an award-winning wildlife artist, has created a new gicleé print featuring our two Barn Owls, Soren and Henry.
The print image is 7.5” high X 10” wide and printed on high quality art paper. The price is $55. A portion of each print will be donated to Liberty Wildlife. This donation will help supplement the increasing costs of purchasing the leather we need for nearly 50 birds from kestrels and screech owls up to our bald and golden eagles.
To order a print, contact Anne at Liberty Wildlife (Monday/Wednesday/Friday hand feed) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All print orders will be available for pick up only at Liberty Wildlife; shipping is not an option at this time.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year is now at 6066.
The temps are still in the triple digit range so even though it’s officially Fall, you’d never know it by taking a stroll outside in Phoenix. But just as the folks to the northeast are looking forward to breaking out their snow shovels and ice scrapers, at the same time we will be having the most pleasant time of our year! The good news for now is the intake window is pretty slow and the hotline folks are getting a slight break in their level of activity as well. This gives us a chance to do some repairing and shoring up of our aging facility and for me to build some new transport boxes for our Education animals. Still, we got in a few new patients this week, including the cutest baby collared peccary (javelina to real Arizonies). This update will cover some of the progress some previous intakes have made, plus some of the progress our new facility is making.
The Canada goose in last week’s update is getting better and is now outside. He is able to walk and interact with another Canada as well as feed himself in the waterfowl enclosure on the north side. As soon as his wounds heal satisfactorily, he’ll be returned to his own lake and be able to rejoin his friends.
Sometime during the big monsoon deluge in Ahwatukee last week, this little javelina got separated from his parents. The hotline was called and Tim Coppage was scrambled to rescue the little guy. When he got to Liberty, he was tired, scared, and very hungry! After getting some bunny milk, he curled up with a toy stuffed eagle and went to sleep before being transported to SWW for further care.
Here’s one more update on the little screech owl with the fractured humerus (from last week’s TW@L) I just received some new X-rays from Dr. Driggers showing the wing pre- and post surgery. This is one more good example of what having digital radiography available can mean for the ultimate success rate of what we do. The little bird is doing well and we’re hoping the pin might be removed in the coming weeks. Thanks again, Dr. T!
Sometimes there’s more to rehabilitation than just mending broken bones. Even after the fracture has healed, the degree of mobility of any affected joints must be carefully evaluated prior to release. If the designed articulation can’t be restored, it might make the difference between a releasable bird and a new Educational ambassador. Then, after sometimes weeks of care, a hawk’s beak and talons might become overgrown which might present a problem for a bird in the wild. These must also be checked and remedial action taken (beak and talon coping with a file or other abrasive tool) to give the bird every advantage when it is released.
Besides successfully relocating many burrowing owls over the years, our Medical Services Team is also experienced in taking care of a variety of medical problems encountered by these diminutive owls. Because they spend so much time on (or under!) the ground, they are at risk from dangers that pose no problems to their larger cousins in the owl family. Fortunately our people are adept at providing the unique care they sometimes require.
Some birds present quite unique care. This young Cooper’s hawk is in fine feather now, but if he is placed in an inside enclosure for any length of time, he will undoubtedly damage his plumage prolonging his stay at our facility. To prevent this “brooming” of his tail feathers, a special tail guard is fashioned and attached to minimize any feather damage caused by his close quarters housing. This seems especially prevalent in accipiters such as Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks.
As we approach the start of the 2015-2016 Education season, all the Ed birds will undergo inspections and well-checks to prepare them to once again become teachers. Since our birds don’t have to hunt and kill on their own, their tools (beaks and talons) become too long and sharp which is problematic to the performance of their duties as wildlife ambassadors to the public. Our Education volunteers are knowledgable about what is acceptable and what needs maintenance and they bring it to the attention of the Med Services people for action. This is the type of teamwork that typifies the staff at Liberty!
Progress at the site of the new Facility
Pouring the concrete footings for the new facility began on the educational side last Friday and continues on the rehab wing this week. As it begins to take shape, we’ll be presenting weekly updates on construction progress.