Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
Wow! This has been a week of wows! We successfully released two golden eagles (unashamedly my favorite animal), two red tailed hawks, one great horned owl, and had a very successful day spent at the Waste Management Phoenix Open where we saw and wowed a lot of people. And finally, we will soon be getting ready to release a California condor back to the rim and ultimately back to the wild.
It is so much more rewarding to blog about so many wonderful things, and I am going to go on about it.
The first golden eagle was found in the Seligman area and was a success story because of a combined effort of a lot of people including the Arizona Game and Fish, the Department of Public Safety, a commercial truck driver and most of all Liberty Wildlife.
The second golden eagle was released near the Buenos Aires Wildlife Preserve in southern Arizona after being found by a Border Patrol agent, taken to the Buenos Aires Wildlife Preserve and the transferred to Liberty Wildlife where it was rehabilitated and readied for release.
Two red tailed hawks were released after one of them was rescued by emissaries of Salt River Project, rehabilitated and released by Liberty Wildlife and both are now back in the wild. A great horned owl brought in as a baby with an injured wing was released in the Phoenix area where it was found. And today, another great horned owl will be released after a period of rehabilitation!
These are all successes that exemplify what we do in the area of rehabilitation.
And, then there is education. On Sunday Liberty Wildlife’s educational ambassadors and our powerful education team greeted the attendees at the Waste Management’s Phoenix Open Golf Tournament all 150,000 (or thereabouts) of them. It is a wonderful event and a wonderful opportunity for us to educate a varied and vast audience about the beauty and benefits of native wildlife.
The way I always know where our booth is at The Open, is that it is where all of the people are. So true yesterday!
It was one week out of a big year and Liberty Wildlife was everywhere statewide. It is one of the many, many things that I love about this organization. I love the volunteers; I love the animals; I love the supporters; I love the mission.
Keep in mind that all of these “wows” went on while we were doing business as usual…see This Week at Liberty below for those updates.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake for the year now stands at 167.
This is usually the slow time of year as we approach Baby Bird Season (don’t forget the Baby Bird Shower event on March 13th!) Some animals come in for treatment, some remain in our care for longer periods, and some get released. We get to see all of these segments of the Liberty population this week as a few new arrivals have been brought in, we continuously care for some more creatures, and a couple got released, which after all, is the goal for everything that crosses our door step. As the temperatures begin to slowly rise, we’re all looking forward to moving to our new facility and work on that area has also progressed nicely as we dash headlong towards Spring. Here’s what we saw last week…
Vet night began with several smaller animals last week. Dr. Orr looked at a robin (not too regular a visitor to these parts), a coot which is far more common, and an adult cottontail bunny – which are VERY common here – and everywhere – and at all times!
Among the native species passing through the facility, Dr. Orr takes time to check out and evaluate the condition of our own education animals including Joya, a sinaloa milk snake that is part of our Education collection. A possible respiratory issue precipitated the exam, but all was found well. Our animals get the best care possible at all times!
In the middle of the Vet Night activity, Carl Price arrived with a little (very little) great horned owl that he had rescued. The bird was immediately checked out by Dr. Orr and given fluids, some food, and then allowed to rest and de-stress in a brooder. More observation is in order to evaluate the extent of any further injuries.
The burned raven was again given one of his frequent exams to check on his condition. This bird has been through a lot since the initial incident and although he has made amazing progress, he is still struggling to survive as the extent of his burns become apparent over time. We’re all hoping for his eventual recovery.
The Harris’ hawk who’s exotic external fixator pin was removed last week (see last week’s TW@L) was checked again and went into an outside enclosure with some other HaHa’s. It’s always rewarding to see a bird with injuries that extensive be repaired and progress to the point where we can start thinking about release. Thanks to Dr.’s Driggers and Sorum for providing this elegant surgery!
Speaking of release, recently we mentioned that long-eared owls historically don’t do well in captivity or rehabilitation. Last week we released an exception to that particular rule. Jen Ottinger and Leah Vader, two of the wonderful Bald Eagle Nest Watchers and friends of Liberty Wildlife took the LeOw in our care down to Coon Bluff on the lower Salt River where the little bird was returned to the wild.
In November of last year, Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers found a golden eagle injured on the shoulder of a highway after it had collided with a commercial truck on Interstate 40 near Seligman. The eagle crashed through the passenger side of the front wideshield of the truck and flew away before Troopers found the injured animal and called Arizona Game and Fish, who assisted in rescuing the creature. The eagle had suffered a broken clavicle and was taken to Liberty Wildlife for medical treatment. Jan and Joe took the bird back home to the Seligman area and released it last Tuesday after three months of rehabilitation.
Reported on the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page: “In early December 2015, an agent with the U.S. Border Patrol found a suffering adult female golden eagle on the roadside of Highway 286 and brought the eagle to the Visitor Center with hopes that the refuge could care for it. As the refuge is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitator refuge staff contacted Liberty Wildlife in Scottsdale, Arizona for assistance. The eagle had collided with a vehicle on Highway 286. (Earlier in the week) we received word that the eagle was healed and anxious to get back home according to Liberty Wildlife representatives. After more than two months of recovery, Terry Stevens with Liberty Wildlife released the eagle near the Visitor Center. It was a beautiful sight to see her go. She landed in a mesquite tree, roused her feathers a couple times while being mobbed by our two resident ravens, and then flew off to the South. We wish her well.”