This Week @ Liberty – May 15, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Liberty Wildlife scored two grand slams this past week.  First, another Wishes for Wildlife is in the history books, and it was a great success.  Each year has a different flavor, and this one seemed to satisfy aplenty.  Thanks to all of you who helped make it bountiful.  It couldn’t happen with our the hard work of the Wildlife Guardians led this year by Benefit Chair, Sharon Sneva, with Peggy Cole in the background and all of the other dedicated folks who worked feverishly all year to pull it off.  Thanks to all of the donors who made the auctions, live and silent, fun and lucrative.  And, thanks to all of the guests who turned out to fill in the blanks.  Great event!!!W4W
And then, what we have been waiting for has happened. We found out officially on Monday that we were awarded our LEED certification and YES, IT IS AT THE PLATINUM LEVEL.
For those of you who are not into the Green Building initiative this may not sound all that exciting, but it is…trust me.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.  This is a very popular and respected world-wide “green” building certification awarded by the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council.  It was developed as a system to rank design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings.
For an environmentally conscious organization like Liberty Wildlife, this is huge.  It confirms us as environmentally responsible using resources efficiently, being aware of the impact of the building and the use of it as it impacts the people within, the wildlife around, and the supporting habitat for all. It means we walk our talk!
Some of the aspects that the group looks at are the following:  Sustainable Sites (25 out of 26 points awarded), Water Efficiency (6 out of 10 awarded), Energy and Atmosphere (33 out of 35 awarded), Materials and Resources (4 out of 14 awarded), Indoor Environmental Quality (11 out of 15 awarded), Innovation in Design ( 6 out of 6 awarded), and Regional Priority Credits (4 out of 4 awarded).  We scored a total of 89 points…80 is required to reach Platinum.
Thanks to our environmentally conscious and very creative architects, Phil Weddle and Jeff DeHaven, we have a building that makes a statement about our mission allowing us to do the job touted by our mission to “nurture the nature of Arizona”. This platinum LEED building will  teach about sustainability by its very existence.  We intend to stretch that lesson at every opportunity along the way.
And one last note as we discuss scoring…we are at least 780 animals assisted this year ahead of the same time last year.  On all three accords, we must be doing it right!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now at 3236.

As Megan said in H3 above, Wishes for Wildlife 2017 was a success and it was apparent everyone had a fun evening. Meanwhile, back at 2600 E Elwood, animals were arriving constantly, bringing the total to the staggering number it is today. From baby birds of all species to more baby cottontails to juvenile javelinas, our volunteers are all doing their best to keep up with the continuing deluge of animals needing help. But hey, that’s what we do! And in our new home, we do it better than ever…

Ed planting minnows

Ed planting minnows

In our efforts to maintain a “green” presence on the landscape, we want to keep the water in the wetlands pond as clean as possible without the use of chemicals. In this effort, we have introduced some fish and minnows into the water which will, we hope, eat algae and mosquito larvae if they develop.

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Two baby hummers needing to be fed

Two baby hummers needing to be fed

The influx of baby hummingbirds is slowing somewhat, but still people bring in tiny babies that have fallen victim to windstorms and tree trimming this spring. These two looked like dual antennae as they probed the air waiting to be fed by mom – or a Liberty volunteer!

3 baby kestrels

3 baby kestrels

We are staring to see the next large group of hatchlings arrive – kestrels! These three came in a week ago last Sunday when their entire nest blew down from it’s position. The infants were all reasonably healthy and will join several more who came in prior to or just after they did. In a few weeks, there will be dozens of these little falcons in with foster parents on the rehab side.

Baby stilt

Baby stilt

Not a common arrival but very cute is this orphan baby black-necked stilt. Not unlike other wading shore birds (such as killdeer), juvenile stilts look a lot like they will appear as adults, only much smaller. Precocial young are some of the cutest babies around.

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HaHas in flight

HaHas in flight

Several Harris’ hawks are now inhabiting the 180 ft. flight enclosure, flying back and forth and around a few simulated power poles set up by SRP. They are also monitored by video cameras set to record the interactions of birds like these and the equipment that tends to be problematic in the wild. It is hoped that by watching larger birds operate around these poles and equipment, the power companies will be better able to come up with new and improved designs that will minimize the number of injuries incurred by hawks, owls, and eagles landing on the equipment transmitting electricity to our homes.

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Initial exam

Initial javelina exam

This little piggy gets fluids

This little piggy gets fluids

One unhappy little javelina

One very unhappy little javelina

A very young javelina was brought in recently by someone who thought he might have been clipped by a car. The little peccary was very tired, very hungry, and very aggressive when it came to being handled. He got an initial exam by Tim who was working Med Services, assisted by Denise and myself (only all I did was try to hold him still for the exam!) Shortly thereafter, he was sent to SWW for further rehabilitation.

Pretty kitty!

Pretty kitty!

And while we’re on the subject of mammals at Liberty, that same afternoon this adorable bobcat cub was brought in to us. It’s always unfortunate when a young animal of any species, especially a wild one like the bobcat, becomes separated from it’s mother sooner than Nature intended. This one was lucky enough to be found and brought to our facility for care.

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Wishes for Wildlife 2017

Anne and Anasazi

Anne and Anasazi educate some of the public who attend

Gorgeous jewelry for bid

Gorgeous jewelry for bid

Some of the art that was available

Just some of the art that was available

The McCains at Wishes

Sen. John and Cindy McCain (left) and Sharon and Ollie Harper (right) meet a young bald eagle at Wishes for Wildlife

As always, Wishes for Wildlife is a great evening for all who attend. The event, chaired by Sharon Sneva, was attended by many Liberty friends and benefactors, including Honorary Chairperson Senator John McCain and his wife Cindy. Senator McCain was presented a canvas print commemorating his attendance and his support for Liberty Wildlife. SRP also was presented a print as the winners of the Liberty Wildlife Legacy Award for 2017. Our thanks to them, and to Sharon who did a marvelous job once again!

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This Week @ Liberty – May 01, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Sometimes they don’t really need to be rescued.  Here’s an example of a studied look at a potential great horned owl fledgling “non-rescue”…wisely accomplished.

Ok, that sounds a bit offish…but here’s the scoop.  Carla, a hotshot Hotliner, was manning the phones on her regular morning shift when Eric called.  He was clearly caring and very observant.  As Carla said, “He accurately described this guy and posited this, one of three kids, might be the youngest and hours/days away from being airborne. He kept his dogs inside, took the day off (!) and kept our volunteer rescuers (Carla and Chris) informed.”

As it was, the same Hotliner, Carla, and her husband Chris stopped by, agreed with Eric and here’s what happened.

owlThe accompanying photo is of Eric’s little owl as he was approached by Chris and Carla, his would be rescuers.  They found him to be healthy looking as he was chattering fiercely all puffed up to look huge and scare away his “rescuers”.  The assessment was that he was probably the last fledgling if not the “runt” and had possibly left the nest a tad bit before he was actually ready to head off with the rest of the family.   That happens frequently.  He could have been urged by the fierce winds we have had lately, but, he just didn’t seem to have it all together yet.

It appeared that one of the parents was watching intently and made a menacing swoop as the rescuers approached.  I wouldn’t want to be on the bad end of a mad mom great horned owl and Carla and Chris were wise enough to leave the babe in the mom’s excellent care.

Eric called at sunset to share the good news that the baby flew away with mom or dad in protective hot pursuit…a perfect ending.  And, as Carla says, “Happy endings like this are why we do this.”

Well said, Carla, and thanks for all you, the Hotliners, and the Rescue Volunteers do.  You use your training, your common sense, and your compassion to further the cause for wildlife and our community.

A job well done!

Incidentally, there are still a few tickets left to this year’s Wishes for Wildlife.  Come share in the fun, support stories like these, and do your part for wildlife and the natural world.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now up to 2296.
Even though we are several hundred intakes ahead of this point last year, this will be a fairly brief update. We’re all facing deadlines for Wishes for Wildlife stuff, but even with all that, a few things had to be posted! The old facility is now history, and our former volunteer Art Smith sent in photographic evidence of it’s removal. We have begun to take in orphaned GHO’s by the dozens now, and our foster parents are getting their enclosures filled. A couple of fairly uncommon intakes also made the update this week, plus a very cute little fox, one of the first mammals to be accepted for care at our new facility.
If you haven’t made plans to attend Wishes for Wildlife 2017 next Saturday, there is still time. Tickets can be purchased through the Liberty Wildlife on-line store.

 Pretty female Northern Phainopepla

Pretty female Northern Phainopepla (Photo by Amyra)

Among the myriad doves, finches, grackles, bunnies and assorted other birds and mammals we get in each year, we do get some rarer visitors like this phainopepla. No matter the size, species, or frequency of the arrivals, they all get the same top level care…

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Dan examines the electrical GHO

Dan examines the electrical GHO

Electric injury

Electric injury

An orphan great horned owl baby came in with an electrical injury last week. As always, they require close observation over time to determine the extent of the damage cause by a surfeit of electrical current passing through their bodies. This little guy has burns around his mouth and on his feet so we don’t know how bad it is yet. The situation around this injury is also being investigated by the R&C team.

Igor and Elvira have a lot of foster kids

Igor and Elvira have a lot of foster kids

Two of our foster parent great horned owls (Igor and Elvira) have accumulated a number of foster kids already. As the season goes on, the list will surely grow, as will the array of tags hanging on their enclosure!

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Little fox arrives

Little fox arrives. (Photo by Alex)

A first examination

An application of flea and tick medicine (photo by Alex)

Lots of fleas, but still cute

Lots of fleas, but still cute (photo by Alex)

Very scared, and very cute

Very scared, and very cute

This little gray fox was brought in from the Encanto area. It is thought he is an orphan as he was very thin and dehydrated. This was aggravated by a huge number of fleas and other parasites that he brought with him. Medicine was applied to alleviate this situation and he is now resting, although he is still very scared of his new surroundings.

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HHH and TW@L will be off next week for work on Wishes for Wildlife 2017.
We will return in two weeks!

 

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This Week @ Liberty – April 24, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

This past weekend brought us the March for Science, Earth Day, and for me some revelations…just when I thought I knew it all (well not really.)

I remember the first Earth Day well.  It was April 22nd, 1990.  I was a teacher in Austin, Texas.  This event was right up my alley.  I engaged my classes to raise money, got permission from my principal, bought, and planted native trees in our school yard.  I often wonder how they are doing…they would be mighty big by now 47 years later.  And, today the drive for environmental teaching is still vital and engaging, taking place this year in 193 different countries.  Thanks Senator Gaylord Nelson.

Who knew it would last?

And, then a new cause has arisen…Saturday’s March for Science was a huge success reaching 600 cities across the globe.  The marchers gathered enthusiastically to defend the importance of science in our lives…no part of our existence is untouched by the role science plays…try to think of one.  I couldn’t.  It was encouraging to see families with their children in support.  Young girls extoling the benefits of science and voicing their desires to grow up to be scientists warmed my heart and gave me hope.

Who knew it would be such a success?

And, then, in conversation with my fellow Liberty pal, Peggy, I had another aha experience around science…another myth dispelled…because of science…and that can only be good.  In a conversation about animal adaptations (no normal conversations for us).  I was informed that my cavalier statement that birds don’t have a truly advanced sense of smell and that really only kiwis and turkey vultures had use for a sense of smell, was not factual.  She referred me nicely to an article about a young woman scientist who, despite being told that her premise about bird’s developed ability to smell would never get funded for research, boldly marched forward with her scientific inquisitiveness and sense of purpose and proved everyone wrong.  She is showing that the myth that birds have a poorly developed sense of smell is not correct.  I will refer you to Audubon Magazine January–February 2014 for your own education.  Hard fast truths can be dispelled by the foraging for facts by scientists.  I wonder what will be next in the march for truth and fact.  Science rules.

Who knew?

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now at 1884.

It’s getting noticeably busier, both at the intake window and in Triage (well, also in Orphan Care and the ICU!) As the education season begins to wind down – we don’t do programs off site in the summer – the rehab wing swings into high gear. Today I had a reptile, a bird, and a mammal in the same brooder in Triage!
We got in another bald eagle last week, a little fledgling who left the nest too early and was lucky enough to be under surveillance by the Nest Watchers! It’s that time of year…
We’re only 11 days from Wishes for Wildlife 2017 and this only compounds the level of activity. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, NOW IS THE TIME! One week from Saturday at the Montelucia is our big gala for the year. It should be a marvelous evening, as always. If you’ve never been, you don’t know what you’re missing!
OK, lets look at last week…

Elizabeth and Erin present at St. Mary's Basilica

Elizabeth and Erin present at St. Mary’s Basilica (Photo by Marko)

Erin and Kelly (photo by Elizabeth)

Erin and Kelly (photo by Elizabeth)

Kelly and Marko at St. Marys Basilica (photo by Elizabeth)

Kelly and Marko at St. Marys Basilica (photo by Elizabeth)

A recent program by Kelly, Marko, Erin, and Elizabeth Farr at the St. Mary’s Basilica was well received by the students at the school. Elizabeth is a new Ed volunteer and she spoke of the dangers of releasing helium balloons into the environment. As always, the birds were the big hit.

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Orphan baby rock squirrel

Orphan baby rock squirrel

Baby round tail ground squirrel

Baby round tail ground squirrel

Our coterie of mammals is growing, albeit slowly. We have a couple of round tail ground squirrels now, a prairie dog (Carl), in addition to the Kaibab squirrel and  rock squirrel in our collection of rehabbing mammals. People still are surprised we take in mammals and once the word gets out, its going to get busy!

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The tiniest of baby birds

The tiniest of baby birds

We don’t officially take “exotic” animals, but these tiny baby Society finches were brought in from a local pet store. Their birds had eggs and they hatched. Usually they just toss the babies in the trash, but these were brought to us. These little birds had no say in how they were born or what they were. No matter what, Liberty never says “no” to life…

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This little gecko came to us and is the star of the day!

This little gecko came to us and is the star of the day! (photo by Amyra)

Not selling insurance, this little gecko was brought in to us for rehabilitation. Found in someone’s back yard, the tiny lizard is doing well and is a good example of his species. We usually see these little guys stuck on glue traps meant for insects and small rodents.

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Baby verdin

Baby verdin

This little verdin came in to the window last week. We have a couple of verdin nesting on a tree outside of the offices at Liberty and we all hope they do well. These little guys are totally beautiful and feed their young through the bottom of a hanging nest.

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Claudia brings in her eagle

Claudia brings in her eagle

Jan gives fluids as Claudia holds

Jan gives fluids as Claudia holds

Jan draws blood for testing

Jan draws blood for testing

Hes a hungry boy!

Hes a hungry boy!

A handsome lad

A handsome lad

A fledgling bald eagle fell from his nest on the west side last week and couldn’t get back in. His parents stayed close, feeding his sibling, but he just couldn’t climb back up. Eventually, he became weak from lack of food and fell the rest of the way to the ground, where the nest watchers were able to find him and bring him in to Liberty. Uninjured except for being VERY hungry, he has progressed from the ICU into an outside enclosure. He is making good progress towards eventual release.

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This Week @ Liberty – April 17, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

The sky is raining baby birds and the ground is grinding out baby mammals, and they are ending up at our intake window.  I think I probably do this every year at this time, but I feel compelled to do it again.

We are warmed that so many people care enough to rescue orphaned babies. We are thrilled that you take the time to find us at our new location. We are hopeful that we can release all of these orphans back into the wild.  We will endeavor to do anything possible to make this happen.

There is a “however”, though.  If I could encourage each of you to make sure the baby is truly orphaned before you rescue it, we could probably save a lot of mothers from watching her nest of babies disappear before her eyes.  Well-meaning folks often misread cues and decide that the nest of babies has been deserted.  The good Samaritan doesn’t watch quite long enough to see the parent bring a food delivery, or see the parent sitting on a branch not far away watching vigilantly….only to see the babies there one minute…gone the next.  And, truly, they can do a much better job of raising their offspring than we can.

The other caveat is that sometimes it is truly necessary for a rescue to occur.  Weather issues are often the culprit.  Wicked winds, blown over trees and broken limbs are not the friend of baby birds.  Construction with large equipment that rips through nests rarely gives time for escape if escape were even an option.  Fires, flooding, and predation can cause total disruption to a breeding attempt. Parents can be lost truly making orphans out of babies. Those are the  times to rescue!

Our records indicate that our numbers are up by 75 animals from this time last year minus four days.  In other words we have 4 more days to make that record go even higher.

Wow!  That is a lot of hard work, by hard working volunteers!  And, for them, I am very grateful.

Be diligent out there; be careful out there; rescue when it is the right thing to do. Entrust us with your wildlife neighbors in need.

Thanks for the part all of you play in the process of caring for this valuable resource.  Everything big and small plays a critical part in the whole.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now at 1551.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intakes have exploded and it’s becoming a full-time job just to log animals in at the window.The bunnies are set up like an assembly line, and today it was all I could do to stay ahead of the arrivals. I felt bad leaving to go do TW@L as we have a few holes in the window coverage (anyone want to do a shift or know of anyone who would?) Some of the education boxes need repair and restringing of their perches, but I just don’t seem to get the time to do it (much less build any new boxes which we also need!) Speaking of Education, some of our stalwart Ed volunteers continue in their efforts at presenting Liberty and our Ambassadors to the public at “Away” venues as well as on-site events. Put all this on top of getting ready for Wishes for Wildlife 2017 and it’s been a very busy week! But hey, we’re in a beautiful new facility and I’m not complaining…really! Here’s how it looked…

Vet students

Vet-tech students tour Liberty (photo by Laura)

Jan speaks to the VT students

Jan speaks to the touring students from Pima Medical Institute (photo by Laura)

Vet tech students came in three waves last week, touring the facility and learning about working on wildlife. The Ed team helped out the folks from Med Services in giving the students some information about the rewards of wildlife rehabilitation.

Presenting to a contingent of retirees

Presenting to a contingent of retirees (photo by Laura)

The next tour we did was a group of Senior Citizens from a local retirement facility who were given the grand tour by Laura and Megan. The Ed Team also got to show off some of our ambassadors to the interested group.

Orphan Care in action!

Orphan Care in action!

Why is this volunteer smiling?

Why is this volunteer smiling?

Orphan Care is in full tilt operation now as the walls are lined from floor to ceiling with mobile racks of berry baskets and brooders, all holding the precious cargo of baby birds of every species and description. For all the work it takes to feed all those hungry mouths on a continual basis, I saw nothing but smiles on the faces of the OC volunteers as they worked to keep tiny crops full and featherless orphans warm.

Marko and Sherrill work the crowd at DHRSP

Marko and Sherrill work the crowd at Dead Horse Ranch State Park (photo by Kelly)

Kelly at Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Kelly at Dead Horse Ranch State Park (photo by Marko)

As was mentioned in a previous TW@L, one of our favorite shows each year is the one at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Marko, Kelly and Sherrill put on an impressive program to a large crowd of avid citizens who appeared to enjoy learning about some of their neighbors in Arizona.

Kim about to release a GBH

Kim about to release a GBH (photo by Laura)

Another successful rehab and release!

Another successful rehab and release! (photo by Laura)

A few weeks ago, Kim and David Lake rescued a great blue heron that seemed to be on the brink of death in Sun Lakes. Unable to stand on his own, the bird was brought in but presented no fractures or other overt evidence of trauma. He was given cage rest and a supply of appropriate food and last week, the two volunteers were able to release him back into his own lake where he rejoined the community! Nice job!

Cotton tail assembly line...

Cotton tail assembly line…

We have taken in 217 cotton tail bunnies so far this season! That number is truly extraordinary considering our move to a new location and all…and the huge volume of lagomorphs required a new method of handling them. Jan set up this array of aquariums which are arranged by weight, starting with the neo-natal bunnies weighing less than 30 grams, increasing by 10gr each until the largest ones are nearing adult size and weight. The system appears to be working well.

Great horned owl fledgeling needs some help

Great horned owl fledgeling needs some help (photo by Joey Patrizi)

Rescue & Transport volunteer Joey Patrizi went out on a GHO call yesterday and found this little fledgeling owl out of his nest. At first it was thought best to leave him in the care of his parents who were watching over the little bird but it turns out he has canker and was subsequently brought in for treatment. It’s always best to let the parents raise the little ones if at all possible, but when it’s not, Liberty is ready to help out…

 

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This Week @ Liberty – April 10, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

With the opening of our campus, we have added needs for volunteers in new areas…thus, new volunteer positions.  Here are a few for you to think about.  Maybe you aren’t interested in the daily care of wildlife or are unable to fill an orphan care shift.  Maybe hotline needs aren’t your cup of tea, but you want to get involved with our mission.  Check out these new opportunities:

Interpretive Guide
Here’s a chance to interact with visitors during public hours at Liberty Wildlife.  Guides greet visitors, help with admission fees and store sales, assist in the Children’s Interpretive Living Lab and provide visitor guidance on the Interpretive Education Trail.  Interpretive Guide shifts are from 9:30 – 1:30PM on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.  Your duties could work into reptile handling if you are so inclined. And, as we grow and expand other interactive skills could be offered.  It is a fun way to interact with the public and wildlife to the benefit of both. Currently, there are two vacancies each day we’re open.

Intake Window
Volunteers at the intake window have an opportunity to assist the public who is bringing hurt or orphaned animals to Liberty Wildlife. They are responsible for all intake paperwork, handling any donations offered and bringing the animal to the triage room for medical assessment. This is a wonderful opportunity to interact with the public; giving them the assistance that they need to get involved in saving a life. This group of volunteers are often the first to see the critters brought in, and that can be very interesting. Our intake window is open from 8:00 AM – 8:30PM every day.   Hours needing volunteers are 8:00 – 11:00AM, 11:00 – 3:00PM and 3:00 – 6:00PM.  Evening shifts have all been filled.

Habitat Guardian
This position is for folks who prefer working out of doors.  We have several acres of native planting that need the TLC of people who are familiar with our native plants and have knowledge and experience in keeping them happily growing.  Our Butterfly Garden and Pollinator Guardians will supply opportunities to encourage the attraction of birds, bees, bats, and butterflies garnering the benefits to the planet for the increase in these busy and beneficial critters.  This is the newest area for volunteering and is in development.  You could be in on the ground level of setting up this valuable group of volunteers.  Days and jobs are to be determined.

 If you are interested and new to Liberty, please go to our website at www.libertywildlife.org, find the volunteer application under “volunteer”.  Our Volunteer Coordinator will provide details etc.  Current volunteers should contact Carol, csuits@q.com

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now at 1154.
OK, I’ve been saying there is a new format for the blog coming for two weeks now, and here we are, the same old format, same old set up.  I wasn’t pulling your leg, it really is going to change, but I found out the new blog can’t go live until the rest of the web site is also up and running. So please be patient, one of these Mondays you’ll see a new style and I think you’ll like it!
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the various happenings from the last 14 days of NUMEROUS intakes, tours of the facility, a killdeer family, and a lot of orphan great horned owls…

Cayden at the intake window.

Cayden at the intake window.

Hayden's birthday invitation...

Cayden’s birthday invitation…

A lady brought Cayden, her seven year old son, to the window last week. It seems Cayden had a birthday party with some of his classmates and friends who were encouraged to visit our website wish list and choose gifts for Liberty in lieu of gifts for him. They had several armloads of thing we needed that the thoughtful kids had brought in to the party. We are grateful for the gifts, and very thankful that there are young people like this in the world who think of others before themselves. There is HOPE for the world after all! THANK YOU, Cayden!
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Alex holds the condor for Dr. Lamb

Alex holds the condor for Dr. Lamb (photo by Dr. Orr)

Dr. Lamb administers the transfusion while Dr. Wyman monitors

Dr. Lamb administers the transfusion while Dr. Wyman monitors (photo by Dr. Orr)

Two of the three California condors in our care are doing well, but the third is not improving as well as we would have hoped. Last week, one of the stronger birds donated some fresh blood via a transfusion to her weaker sister. Dr. Lamb and Dr. Wyman were there to perform the blood transference from the donor bird to the recipient. It is hoped this will allow the weaker bird to gain strength and begin to gain much needed weight. Keep a good thought for these birds.
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Laura leads the touring student group

Laura leads the touring student group

Vet students go behind the scenes in the medical wing

Vet students go behind the scenes in the medical wing

Several groups of veterinary students came to Liberty recently. They were given the royal tour of the facility by Laura and Dan who explained who were are and what we do for the native wildlife of Arizona. They all seemed impressed by the facility and our efforts on behalf of local wildlife.
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Bearded dragon joins the ed team

Bearded dragon joins the Ed team

We have a new member of the Education Ambassador team: a bearded dragon that had been a pet of a student who was going off to college has been donated to Liberty. This is the probable fate of more than one exotic pet whose owner leaves for school and is left with parents who are not thrilled with their new responsibility. Though definitely non-native, the lucky reptile will have a good home with us being a teacher rather than a “pet.”
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TVs are beautiful!

TVs are beautiful!

Meet Soren

Meet Soren

Cochise is a natural educator

Cochise is a natural educator

The open hours programs are doing well. The crowds are not huge yet, but they give both the audience and the presenters a chance to learn more about their species and the place Liberty plays in the grand plan.
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Watchful killdeer parents

Watchful killdeer parents

The little ones take a look at their new world!

The little ones take a look at their new world!

We have been watching the killdeer nest under one of our trees near the wetlands and last week the eggs hatched! I love precocial baby birds like the killdeer: they look just like the adults – only very small! So far, the parents have protected the new kids from grackles, road runners, and volunteers! It’s fun to watch the little ones grow up under the proud eyes of their parents.
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On Sunday morning, Arizona Game and Fish brought in three great horn owl orphans (3 weeks, 5 weeks and 6 weeks old)  that were seized from an ongoing investigation. The information provided says the owls had been in a nest but were then kept illegally  under human care for the past couple weeks and unfortunately, all three owls are showing signs of being imprinted.   Even the seizing officer noticed the abnormal behavior of the owls as he was collecting them. However, we still donned our camo and processed each bird in med services with as little human interaction as possible. They will stay in ICU until they can eat on their own and then we will send them outside and see how they do under foster care. While imprinting is irreversible we are hoping it’s not too late for these three and we can release them back into the wild at the end of the summer. Sara Wykoff

Confiscated babies

Confiscated babies

Lots of caregivers

Lots of caregivers

Careful feeding

Careful feeding

Baby GHO's are remarkably cute...

Baby GHO’s are remarkably cute…

Orphan raptor feeding fashion for this season!

Orphan raptor feeding fashion for this season!

One of our foster moms and kids

One of our foster moms and kids

A list of new fosters

A list of new fosters

Each year, dozens of orphaned baby great horned owls are brought to Liberty for care. Since it began over a decade ago, the foster parent program has been working very well, with adult non-releasable GHO’s providing role modeling and mentoring to owlets in the “imprinting” phase. We have been extremely successful in releasing owl babies raised by fosters over the years.

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This Week @ Liberty – March 27, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

I am writing to celebrate the life of Kathleen Lang, a beautiful friend of mine and of Liberty Wildlife. In fact she was more. She was a transformer.  She was a transformer of me and of Liberty Wildlife, and she was my good friend.  Sadly, we lost her last week, and we are all less for it.

Kathleen was my longest friend in Arizona.  We couldn’t have been more different.  And, yet, we couldn’t have been closer on a heart level.  She was always beautiful and elegant.  She was always kind.  She was mid-west hard working.  She was devoted and loyal.  We could go long periods of time without contact and take up right where we left off.  She was never judgmental and was always compassionate and inclusive.  But, mostly she was the perfect mother of Kaitlin, the love of her life.

I learned from her.  She exposed me to family that operated like a village…close-knit,

Kathleen Lang (right) with Melani Walton at Wishes for Wildlife

Kathleen Lang (right) with Melani Walton at Wishes for Wildlife 2016

devoted, strong, and supportive at all costs.  Among many other things, she opened my eyes to the ways to raise money for charities, including Liberty Wildlife.  I might still be sitting in the mall with a little donation jar if she hadn’t come along to share her vast experience in appealing to those with for those without.  She was perfection, poise, and oh so productive.  Those hands were never idle and no job was too daunting.

We shared many experiences from exercising on the canal, to tracking and catching loose dogs, to shopping, sharing hobbies, and deep secrets.  I keep trying to remember what I brought to the table and can only come up with the fact that she knew she could always count on me.

This week a hole opened up in my world and swallowed up my pal.  Because of her love of butterflies, I will always think of her when I see one.  In fact, as I sat by our wetlands processing the loss of my friend, I saw my first butterfly of the season.  It made me smile.

Adieu for now to Kathleen Lang, who taught me most of all what it means to be a friend.  What a valuable person Liberty Wildlife and I were lucky enough to befriend!  She will be sorely missed.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now up to 704.

Traffic at the intake window is picking up noticeably. We are still taking in a lot of bunnies and hummingbirds found by the public, along with other orphan birds. Our own Orphan Care center will be open next week, and not a moment too soon! It seems as if every other arrival is another group of cottontails. But we’re making continued efforts to accommodate the growing bunny population. Our digital X-ray unit is providing an invaluable service in providing care for the animals who are brought to us as we no longer have to wait to confirm diagnoses of trauma. A couple of volunteers have planted some more trees alongside the rehab side enclosures to provide shade for the birds housed there. And, we begin a series of Sunday morning  “Critter Corner” appearances on local TV channel 10. Here’s what it looks like…

And still they come...

And still they come…in ones, twos, threes, fours, and more!

There's just no end to the cuteness...!

There’s just no end to the cuteness…!

Amazing new bunny hutches

Amazing new bunny hutches

It seems like 4 out of 5 intakes now is either a hummingbird or a cottontail. The hummers are small enough that even though they require a lot of care, they don’t take up much space! Bunnies, on the other hand, grow pretty quickly and they need more room to grow and thrive. In answer to the ever increasing lagomorph population at Liberty, Warren Van Dyke (Mare’s husband), recently constructed two wonderful new hutches in which to house the growing bunnies. We know Liberty would be expanding from our new facility some day, we just didn’t count on it happening so soon! Thanks Warren!

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Jan brings in the patient

Jan brings in the patient

The x-ray has touch-screen controls

The x-ray has touch-screen controls

Dr. Orr, Dr. Sorum, and Jan study the picture

Dr. Orr, Dr. Sorum, and Jan study the picture

The eagle is a good patient

The eagle is a good patient

The young bald eagle that was brought in a few weeks ago is still with us. He had reached the point in his treatment last week when he was introduced to a flight enclosure in hopes that he could be released soon. But despite presenting no external indication of anything that would prevent flight, he wasn’t able to take off. He was then brought in for more x-rays to try to determine if he had some other injury that had not been evident earlier in his care. He did originally suffer some internal injuries which might be still healing and this could possibly slow his recovery and delay his return to “flight status” so we are still hopeful he will be released in a short while.

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More shade for the rehab side

More shade for the rehab side

Ed and his helper plant more trees

Ed and his helper plant more trees

These should make it much cooler for the rehabbing birds

These should make it much cooler for the rehabbing birds

When the new enclosures were built last year, we weren’t sure of their exact location and orientation so planning any foliage around them was delayed. Now that they are up, we know where we need shade so volunteers Roger Athey and Ed Weigand came out and dug some holes in appropriate places. Donated trees (all native species) were then planted by Ed and some more students from Scottsdale Community College last week. These should provide some natural shade for the birds in rehab in the months and years to come.

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Darted pigeon

Darted pigeon (photo by Laura)

OK, I don’t care what you think about pigeons – beautiful flyers who aided our war efforts in WWII or rats with wings – nothing deserves this kind of treatment. Apparently someone thought it would be cool to shoot a dart at the bird and it drove the projectile through his lower jaw. That kind of cruelty has no place in a civilized world.

Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.  – William Ralph Inge
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” – Albert Einstein

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Erin with Veto at Dead Horse State Park

Erin with Veto at Dead Horse State Park (photo by Kelly)

Marko displays Rio at DHSP

Marko displays Rio at DHSP (photo by Kelly)

Some more of our volunteers and ambassadors presented at the Dead Horse State Park recently. This program is always well attended and well received by all who come out to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and learn about the nature of Arizona.

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Doris and Snickers with the Sunday Morning crew at Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

Doris and Snickers with the Sunday Morning crew at Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

"Critter Corner" on Channel 10

“Critter Corner” on Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

Two stars!

Two stars! (photo by Laura)

Last Sunday morning, Laura and Doris took Snickers down to the Channel 10 studios in downtown Phoenix for a spot on their “Critter Corner” segment. Once a month, we will have animals on display for early Sunday morning risers to see and learn about Liberty Wildlife. Thanks Laura and Doris – and Snickers! (Catch Liberty’s Critter Corner segment on the 4th Sunday of every month on channel 10 between 6:00 and 7:00 AM)

 

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This Week @ Liberty – March 20, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Sunday was the scene of another great event at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.  Our annual Baby Bird Shower has morphed into a Wild About Wildlife, a free event to the public.  We were fearful that the record heat might dampen enthusiasm, but it didn’t.  We learned that our building is situated in such a way that the building acts as a “shade” to our wetlands area and the daunting weather just didn’t pan out.  The vendors booths were pleasant and busy.

Adding to the Liberty Wildlife activities and collection were The Roosevelt Community School’s Greenhouse exhibit where the guests were encouraged to plant a terrarium with a bean seed to watch the growth in the days to come and were educated about the use of mulching…replete with earthworms!.  Audubon Arizona had information about their mission with samples of bird wings and talons that the guests were allowed to touch, hold, and examine among other activities.  The Young Rembrandts invited kids to display their artsy sides and The Phoenix Parks and Recreation booth was all about sharing information related to the Rio Salado area in which we are located and other relevant park programs.  Each booth seemed busy to me every time I passed.

Liberty Wildlife set up two activities for young ones including making a hand puppet of an owl and creating pine cone bird feeders….a little take away for everyone interested.  Our education team along with our educational ambassadors related information to guests about the wildlife they presented and posed for photos and artists drawing their likenesses.  Our Interactive Room was busy all of the afternoon with the presentation of reptiles, our interactive activities, video cams, binocular use, and x-ray examinations.

Needless to say, there was a lot of activity the entire time.  We met many new folks and were particularly excited to see engagement from our neighbors.  Many people voiced an interest in volunteering and showed a robust interest in more of our programming.

A fun day was had by all.  The onset of orphan season is upon us and the donations of seeds, paper towels, and other oft used items will help launch our season well.  There is still room to fill a shift in orphan care, to man the intake window, help with the hotline, or participate with our Rescue and Transport team…in fact there will be training in these areas soon. If you are interested in more information go to www.libertywildlife, volunteer, volunteer application, and fill out the form.  Someone will get back to you asap.

Thanks for all of the enthusiasm from both staff and volunteers and the guests!  I look forward to seeing new faces on campus.

And, happy first day of spring to all of you.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total is now up to 551.

The rate of intakes has increased dramatically in the last week. Maybe its the warm weather, maybe it’s just the time of year, but the number of people arriving at the intake window bearing orphans and injured animals is growing by the day. The Rescue and Transport volunteers are also doing more call outs, and the number of orphaned cottontails and hummingbirds is astonishing. With the rising temperatures, we were not sure what to expect in terms of attendance at the Wild About Wildlife open house on Sunday, but we were ready for whatever showed up – from 4 to 400. The people came out in spite of record temps predicted, and everyone seemed to have a great time visiting the facility, meeting the birds and volunteers, and experiencing Arizona before the real heat sets in! Here’s what the week looked like…

Jan and Alex work on a serioiusly injured RTH

Jan and Alex work on a serioiusly injured RTH

Even though in early spring (yes, today is the first day of spring!!) most of what we take in are orphans and babies, there are always a few adults and juveniles that make mistakes and end up with injuries. Our Med Services team is always there to provide the needed care for animals who are suffering.

First orphan GHO

Our first orphan GHO of the year!

Cynthia feeds an orphan

Cynthia feeds an orphan bird.

Bag o' bunnies

Bag o’ bunnies

Ed color codes the cottontails

Ed color codes the cottontails

This year, we saw a surprising number of orphan cottontail rabbits show up at our intake window. Even before spring officially began, we were getting bunnies, some in groups, some singly, but the stream seems to have no end. As they arrive, each is weighed and color-coded for identification, then they are grouped by age and development.

Another baby hummer comes in "on a stick"

Another baby hummer comes in “on a stick”

The Hummingbird Orphanage

The Hummingbird Orphanage

The other major component of what we have taken in so far are hummingbirds! Requiring almost constant feeding and care, these pretty little birds can thankfully be housed in a relatively small enclosure in which they all seem to get along as they wait their turn at the feeding tube.

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                   Wild About Wildlife and the Baby Bird Shower 2017

A nice crowd on hand

A nice crowd on hand

Growing things naturally is a step toward sustainability

Growing things naturally is a step toward sustainability

Doris and Stella next to the Parks Department display

Doris and Stella next to the Parks Department display

Young Rembrandts were on hand

Young Rembrandts were on hand

Learning must be fun!

Learning must be fun!

Sketching birds from life

Sketching birds from life (photo by Jan)

Artist drawing Rio

Artist drawing Rio

Making owl puppets

Making owl puppets

Adults helping kids make pine cone bird feeders

Adults helping kids make pine cone bird feeders

Kids love the Interactive Learning center

Kids love the Interactive Learning Center

Snakes making new friends

Snakes making new friends

Posing with Stella

Posing with Stella

Joe and Cochise, always a big hit

Joe and Cochise, always a big hit

Birds and Volunteers shine

Birds and Volunteers shine

Yesterday we held our Wild About Wildlife 2017 open house. The event was to announce the upcoming Baby Bird Season and is the outgrowth of the Baby Bird Shower we used to hold every spring. We had several local area environmental organizations present booths to teach people about who’s backyard we’re all living in and what we can do to modify our behavior slightly (and painlessly!) to mitigate our impact on the world around us. As always, the volunteers and education ambassadors at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife were the real stars, and all who attended, no matter their age, seemed to have a wonderful time.

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The Guardians meet at Liberty

The Guardians meet at Liberty

Our own Wildlife Guardians were able to gather at the new facility to plan future events for the first time last week. Perviously, they have had to meet at commercial venues around the valley but now, they can meet in our large conference room at Liberty. Dorothy was right: “There’s no place like home!”

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This Week @ Liberty – March 13, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

There are big happenings this weekend.  And, you are all invited!  Our 2nd Annual Wild about Wildlife Fun Fare and Baby Bird Shower is being held at our new facility from 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday, March 19th.  The address of the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife is 2600 E. Elwood, PHX. 85040.  That is between 24th St and 28th St. south of University and north of Broadway on the south side of the Rio Salado.

Here’s what will be happening.  Guests will meet Liberty’s wildlife ambassadors and learn about them and our efforts to help injured, orphaned, and ill native wildlife.  Donations for our Orphan Care season are happily accepted (i.e. the baby shower).  We go through an amazing amount of paper towels, toilet paper, birdseed, crumble, mealworms, crickets and other necessities during the season.  To find out more about our wish list visit our web site, www.libertywildlfe.org under How Can I Help?  Cash is always accepted also!!!

Other things happening on the 19th include booths from the Roosevelt School District’s Brooks Community Sustainability Project, the Young Rembrandts, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and Water, Use It Wisely organization.  Each booth will have information about the organization and an activity for the guests to participate in representative of their missions.  There will be a number of “Wild Arts and Craft” activities for kids of all ages.

We look forward to seeing you there.  You can see these majestic animals up close.  You can learn about ways to help.  You might even get involved with one of these organizations who actively support nature, the environment, and sustainable practices.

And, best of all…it is free.  What better and more productive way is there to spend some of your Sunday afternoon?

I hope to see you here.

This Week @ Liberty

Me and Snickers

Posted by Terry Stevens Operations Director

The intake total for the year is now at 446.

Spring has turned beautiful, but its getting warmer fast. The temp is hitting around 90 in the afternoons and its shaping up to be another hot year in the valley. Baby bunnies and smaller birds are coming in more frequently and the intake window is seeing more traffic. We had another bald eagle arrive for care and the condors are still here struggling to get better. The education team is doing endless programs both here and away to educate the public as to who’s backyard in which we live and what we can do collectively and individually to mitigate our impact on the world around us to make it better for the animals, and for ourselves as well.  Let’s see some of last week’s highlights…

Jan and Susie wrap a duck

Jan and Susie wrap a duck

Joanie helps Jan wrap a red tail wing

Joanie helps Jan wrap a red tail wing

Jan and her Med Services team is doing it’s usual fine job of patching up injured birds and mammals of all species. It does seem as though the cleanliness and space in the new facility is a help in getting the job done. I’m thinking it’ll be even more evident when the temps climb into triple digits (as they seem to be heading that way right now!)

Dr Lamb performs surgery on a Harris' hawk

Dr Lamb performs surgery on a Harris’ hawk

A badly fractured humerus

A badly fractured humerus

After surgery to install stabilizing pins...

After surgery to install stabilizing pins…

 

Public can now watch surgery taking place

Public can now watch surgery taking place

Dr. Lamb, the most recent experienced vet to volunteer to perform treatment and complicated surgery in our hospital has been doing a wonderful job, even under the watchful eyes of the public. If you didn’t know, we have windows that allow a front-row vantage point to the triage room and the surgical suite. Last week a few lucky visitors got the chance to watch Dr. Lamb as she worked operating on a Harris’ hawk to install steel pins in his seriously broken wing.

A new bald eagle arrives

A new bald eagle arrives (photo by Alex)

AZGFD brought in another injured bald eagle last week. This young male has suffered some serious injuries, most of which are likely from an altercation with another bald eagle. He presents some internal injuries, lead levels in the toxic range, and has been tested for aspergillosis. All this puts his prognosis in the guarded category. Keep your thoughts positive for this kid…

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Joe and Aurora at the Ren Fair (photo by Jan)

Joe and Aurora at the Ren Fair (photo by Jan)

Royal eagle handlers - Joe and Piper

Royal eagle handlers – Joe and Piper (photo by Jan)

When the Renaissance Festival returns to town each spring, one of the highlights is the falconry show put on by Liberty friends the Sinkler family – Robbie, Shannon, and their daughter Piper. Joe and Jan Miller are often guest performers, displaying one of our eagles to the appreciative crowd. If you haven’t had the chance to see their birds of prey presentation, you are missing a real treat!

Roosevelt STEAM festival

Anna presents at the 2017 STEAM Festival  (photo by Laura)

More RSV education

More STEAM festival (photo by Laura)

A festival sponsored by the Roosevelt School district celebrating science and technology was held recently at the South Mountain Community College. It’s title is STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Aviation Math) and it hopes to expose kids to this exciting world with hopes of making their futures brighter. Liberty put in an appearance and met some aspiring young scientists in the process.

Marko at Scottsdale Ultimate Play Date (photo by Kelly)

Marko at Scottsdale Ultimate Play Date (photo by Kelly)

Sherrill educates at

Sherrill educates at the Ultimate Play Date at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library (photo by Kelly)

Recently members of our Education team headed to the “Ultimate Play Date” at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. The weather was beautiful and lots of people and kids got to experience meeting a few of our education Ambassadors up close and personal!

Doris and Cecile present a Zone tail hawk

Doris and Cecile present a Zone tail hawk

Jan flies Lance at Hawks Aloft

Jan flies Lance at Hawks Aloft

In keeping with our new “Themed Weekends,” last Saturday was number two show, “Hawks Aloft” featuring our intrepid Ed volunteers demonstrating the flight ability of a few of our hawks – and one guest eagle!  The crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the display and the birds appeared to enjoy performing at home!

Three birds

Three birds (photo by Jan)

This display is on the gabon wall on the west side of the facility. These three handsome young men are the nephews of Joe and Jan Miller who are showing how closely they resemble a California condor, a bad eagle, a turkey vulture, and a hawk! Kids all seem to love a “Hands on” experience!

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Solidarity on International Womens Day

Solidarity on International Womens Day

Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. For women unable to participate in more global activities, wearing red was a show of solidarity, and the women at Liberty that day showed they were on board with their counterparts all over the world!

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This Week @ Liberty – March 06, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

It seems like every week something cool happens at Liberty Wildlife and the past week was no exception.

We got an e mail request from an assistant to Joel Satore. That might not immediately jump out to you as exciting news, but if you aren’t in the wildlife world you might not know about the National Geographic photographer who among other things is working on his “life’s work” referred to as PhotoArk. Straight from his web site his message is:

For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Half of the world’s plant and animal species will soon be threatened with extinction. The goal of the Photo Ark is to document biodiversity, show what’s at stake and to get people to care while there’s still time.  Over 6,000 species have been photographed to date, with more to come.

And, some of the more to come, came this weekend. Mr. Satore was on a photographic driving trek which found him in Phoenix and with a little exploration he found Liberty Wildlife. We were asked if we might be interested in being a part of his work. Well, that was a no brainer!

After sending a list of the species that we had on hand, his assistant wrote back that he was very interested in “arkiving” our Gunnison’s prairie dog and our Abert’s Squirrel, two species that he had been searching for…and we could supply them. As a bonus he also got photos of our desert pocket mouse.

His “ride” was a Prius, which was packed to the gills with photographic equipment. If you explore his web site you will see the most amazing collection of wildlife all photographed on either an all black or all white format through the use of a black photo box or a white photo box…the size dependent on the animal featured.

They are stunning….each and every one of them.

We are all eager to see the finished product. He generously will share his work here with us, and he shares his gratitude on line for all of the cooperation he gets from his hosts. Liberty Wildlife will proudly be listed as one of the participants doing our part to be part of the solution. Stay tuned for more information as it is gathered.

And, thanks to all of you who joined us Sunday for our All About Owl program…the first of many to come.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now at 376.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

“It was the best of times…” The weather has gotten better but check out the picture of the river in our back yard! We are taking in some interesting birds and mammals, each one beautiful in its own right, but the stars of the hour are the Education team and the Liberty Wildlife animal ambassadors. From outreach programs to the “All Owls, all the time” show last weekend, we are putting our new home to good use in terms of letting the public know we are here and we are ready to share the wild world with them!
“It was the worst of times…” Sadly, we mark the passing of one of our own. A treasured volunteer and friend over the years, Arlene Powers left us after a several year battle with cancer. I’ve inserted some reminders of her in this week’s update. Beyond that, words fail me…

"A river runs...behind it!"

“A river runs…behind it!”

They are releasing water from the dams upstream and the Rio Salado is a real river, at least for a little while. The scouring floods of springtime are essential for the health of our riparian areas and it’s a great sight to see, if only for a brief period.

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Tiny baby humming bird appears well fed

Tiny baby hummingbird appears well fed

Even tinier hummers show they will gape when hungry

Even tinier hummers show they will gape when hungry

It’s amazing to me how people ever find baby hummingbirds, much less take the time to pick them up and carefully transport them to Liberty for care and feeding as they struggle to survive. Because they require nearly constant attention, we have set up special enclosures to house and feed these babies as well as any injured adults we take in each year.

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White cheeked Turaco

White cheeked Turaco

Hmmm. Not only is this bird not a native of Arizona, but he’s not a native of North America!  Obviously someone’s pet that self-released, this bird turned up last week after being picked up along a road in the area. Apparently healthy, we are hoping somebody hears about him and contacts us so he can be returned to his home.

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4th Annual Scottsdale Play Date

4th Annual Scottsdale Play Date (photo by Sherrill Snyder)

Liberty had a booth set up at the Scottsdale 4th Annual Play Date on Saturday. Sherrill Snyder said they were expecting over 7,000 people but she thinks they may have passed that judging by the crowd at the Liberty booth.  Kelly and Marko were also there with Snickers, Diego, and Veto. Good job guys!

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In the amphitheater as the show begins...

In the amphitheater as the show begins…

"All Owls, All the Time"!!

“All Owls, All the Time”!!

Wendy displays Diego

Wendy displays a GHO to the crowd

Claudia, Wendy, and Leslie demonstrate the difference between individuals

Claudia, Wendy, and Leslie demonstrate the difference between individuals

It was all smiles and cameras in the audience

It was all smiles and cameras in the audience

The first of our “Themed Weekend” shows was the ‘All Owl’ event last Sunday. The turnout was beyond our expectations as we ran out of Visitor badges before the show began. All the attendees seemed to enjoy the program and many are looking forward to returning for future theme days including special Eagle, falcon, and hawk programs (which is the next in the series.)

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Arlene examines an injured turkey vulture

Arlene examines an injured turkey vulture (2009)

A young hawk is gently examined by Arlene

A young hawk is gently checked by Arlene (2010)

For many years, Arlene Powers was an outstanding volunteer at Liberty Wildlife. She could perform any task assigned to her from Daily Care to Medical Services. She was even a designated “drop point” for Rescue/Transport volunteers to deposit animals that were too far from Liberty to make in one trip.

"Are you my mommy?"

“Are you my mommy?”

At a young age, one of her teachers in grammar school  told her she should never pick up a pencil with the aim to draw a picture as she had no talent whatsoever. Despite THAT piece of bad advice, she began to work at her love of art and became an accomplished wildlife artist in recent years. I was honored that she picked one of my photos of an orphaned baby owl to do as a water color painting which is now one of the cards we sell in our store at Liberty.

She fought a long difficult battle with cancer and never uttered a word that wasn’t upbeat or positive during the struggle. She was thankfully able to come to the new facility last fall and see where we had come after all the supportive work she had done over many years. As she toured the new buildings, she was as always, all smiles and the picture of optimism and hope.

“Fairfarren” Arlene, from all the volunteers with whom you worked, and animals you helped. We already miss you.

Painting by Arlene now hanging at the new facility

Painting by Arlene now hanging at the new facility

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 27, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

This blog is all about education and how many avenues our team can venture down now that we are finally able to provide programming in outreach and on-site. See the following comments from a Facebook post.

Peggy Gamble-Scott
February 20 at 2:02pm “Hello, I would like to thank Liberty Wildlife for your continued contributions to the communities of Arizona. I am Peggy Sue Scott, I live in South Phoenix, long-awaiting the opening of your new facility. I have had the chance to benefit from your educational exhibits on two separate occasions. Once during a “Dragonfly” event at the Audubon on Central Ave with my grandchildren. And, the most memorable and intimate event happened during our “Belcher Family Reunion, 4th of July 2015″, on board the Verde Canyon Railway, Cottonwood, AZ. Our family chartered a couple of cars, and to our surprise unforgettable learning experiences were created. It is incredible what your organization does for the community. Tremendous educational opportunities for young and old. Thank you on behalf of our entire family & South Phoenix Community, welcome.”

And, now we can provide the same educational successes at our new facility.  We had our first real field trip last week with over 50 kindergarteners whirling around our campus.  Five teams with ten small learners in each group made the rounds from encounters with reptiles, to mingling through the Interactive room, to craft making in the large classroom assembling  great horned owl bags, googly eyes and all, a lesson in binocular use, a trip through the Interpretive Trail and a flighted bird of prey and natural history program all made the field trip a hit.

To add to the offerings a program on Owls of Arizona will be presented on Sunday, March 5th in our amphitheater.  The program starts at 11:15 so be sure to come early in order to take in the rest of the campus.  The hours open will be 10:00 to 1:00.  The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and veterans, $4 for children….a smoking deal for such an experience.

One more event needs to be advertised and that is our second annual Wild About Wildlife (formerly known as the Baby Bird Shower) which will be 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th.  The following groups will be participating:  Roosevelt Center of Sustainability program, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, The South Mountain Environmental Education Center, Water Use It Wisely, and the Young Rembrandts.  Activities will be provided by each group, and the best part is that the admission is FREE!  See the attached flyer.

Come join the fun, educational, and environmental activities at the new Liberty Wildlife, 2600 E. Elwood, Phoenix, AZ 85040.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now at 314.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

Making good use of the nice (if a bit cool) weather, a couple of events last week were held at the facility. Volunteer Ken Milward brought a group of classic car enthusiasts out to visit, and our first bus load of school kids arrived for a tour and some activities! Our outreach programs are still proceeding as usual, and the tour arrivals are slow but should get better with better, warmer weather. We’re within a week or two of being totally out of the old facility and things are slowly coming together at the new place. Small changes and improvements are taking place daily so if you haven’t seen the Elwood St. facility and want to come out, please come and see us!
Here’s the latest from Liberty…

An injured zone tail is examined

An injured zone tail is examined

We don’t see a lot of zone tails, so when one comes in, our interest is piqued. Zones have a very useful adaptation in that unlike the other hawks, they fly with their wings displaying a marked dihedral angle (a characteristic “V” arrangement.) If you want the scoop on the aerodynamic advantage to this, ask me sometime, but as for hunting strategy, it fools the small mammals who think they are turkey vultures and no danger to them – until it’s too late!

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Dr. Orr examines a red tail

Dr. Orr examines a red tail’s wing

As always, we take in a lot of RTH’s every year. They are so common across all of North America that if you see a broad winged hawk anywhere in the US, bet somebody it’s a red tail and you’ll get rich. It’s safer than counting cards in Las Vegas. They are very skilled at adapting to human activity which sometimes is a bad thing for the individual hawk…

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Younger bunnies

Tiny baby bunnies (photo by Alex)

Older cotton tail orphans (photo by Alex)

Older cotton tail orphans (photo by Alex)

Another specie we see in great numbers are, of course, cotton tail rabbits.  Let it be known by all that Liberty Wildlife will work hard to save all links in the food chain, from top to bottom!

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Laura also presents at the Dons

Laura also presents at the Dons (photo by Claudia)

Marko in Gilbert

Marko in Gilbert (photo by Kelly)

Erin at the Gilbert Outdoor Expo

Erin at the Gilbert Outdoor Expo (Photo by Kelly)

Marko and Michelle with Hedwig and Lexi at the Arabian Horse Show (photo by Kelly)

Marko and Michelle with Hedwig and Lexi at the Arabian Horse Show (photo by Kelly)

The Education team is doing a great job at getting the word out to the public at larger venues. The Gilbert Outdoor Expo and the Arabian Horse show provided a couple of chances recently to present to a lot of people who all seemed to enjoy the Liberty message…

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Awesome vehicles visit Liberty

Awesome vehicles visit Liberty

Totally cool cars...

Totally cool cars…

...and some really nice people!

…and some really nice people!

Car folks meet the birds

Car folks meet the birds

Classic car enthusiasts in the amphitheater

Classic car enthusiasts in the amphitheater listen to Doris

Rescue and Transport volunteer Ken Milward arranged for a group of classic car aficionados to come out to our facility recently. The members of the “Vintage Cruisers” drove some of their totally cool vehicles out to Elwood after breakfast and met some of our wildlife ambassadors in the parking lot. After that, they came in and toured the facility and heard one of our presentations in the amphitheater with a few more birds on display. Feedback has all been positive, both on the birds – and the cars!  Thanks Ken!

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Kindergarden in the Amphitheater

Kindergartners in the Amphitheater learn more about Arizona wildlife

Laura introduces a king snake

Laura introduces a king snake

Carol trains some future birders

Carol trains some future birders

The Eagle Pavillion is a big hit

The Eagle Pavillion is a big hit

The kids made their own owl puppets

The kids made their own owl puppets

Lots of smiles!

Lots of smiles!

Last week we hosted 50 kindergarten kids from the Freedom Charter Academy in Scottsdale. The kids were  divided into groups that moved from activity to activity including making owl puppets from paper bags, instructions on how to use binoculars to spot wildlife, learning about desert animals, and viewing our collection of wildlife ambassadors as they toured the grounds. Again, the reviews were universally positive! Thanks to Laura and all who helped in this first ever school tour at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Widlife!

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Feb 26, 2017

Feb 26, 2017

Joe and Cochise

Joe and Cochise

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