This Week @ Liberty – March 28, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

I often go out to visit the new site when there are no workmen around when it is quiet.  I can really imagine (read dream) about what it will be like to move in and be a part of splendor…and it is getting more and more splendiferous.  In addition to that I take a hike down the peace trail, sometimes west and sometimes east.  Yesterday I went east.

There is a wet land, intentional or not, that appears just beyond the 32nd St. bridge.  It always becomes a meditation for me.  On first approach I feel a thrill at a nook of water even though at first glance it seems empty and still.  However, as in any meditation if you stop, be very still, things begin to emerge.  It never fails.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was no exception.  My attention was first snagged by what turned out to be just a reflection.  But we settled in.  Red winged black birds, finches, sparrows flew busily along.  Merganser ducks floated quietly by.  Black necked stilts stood stoically doing their thing.

Settle a little more…a greater egret standing statue-like only feet from another white treasure in a snowy egret.

Settle more…a couple of mallards dive and drift, dive and drift.

Go a little deeper and the prize lifts its heavy body off the shore and does a flap, circle, circle, flap, rise and circle, and indeed the jewel reveals itself like it does in any meditative wisdom…a three-year-old bald eagle was working the wetland.  YAY!

I am in the process of compiling my Peace Trail and Liberty Wildlife bird list.  It is getting more and more impressive.  Harriers, peregrines, great blue herons, cormorants, red tailed hawks, ospreys to name a very few.  Do you think they know we are soon to be there?

And, just in case….

The invitations are out.  Wishes for Wildlife is upon us.  If you didn’t get an invitation in the mail, speak up and let us know where to send one to you.  YOU ARE INVITED!  We would love to have a full house again, and we would love the opportunity to introduce you to our education ambassadors, our silent auction, the beauty of the Montelucia, our fun program, and the dining delights of Chef Michael.

Maybe you would like to add something to our silent auction.  This auction is different.  There are unusual items that you won’t find anywhere else.  The Garden Section will delight the apartment/condo dweller or the manor home and anything in between…something wonderful for everyone.

And it is a way to support the mission of Liberty Wildlife…to nurture the nature of Arizona.  Be a part of our mission by joining in on the fun.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total is now up to 681.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Orphan Care opening is imminent, and training has begun.  The number of baby birds is increasing daily and hopefully this will be one of the first operations that will move and begin activity in the new facility within a few weeks. It was amazing to see the number of people in the OC area last Saturday getting hands on training in feeding babies and logging in new arrivals at the intake window. Preparations for both the move and our fundraising gala Wishes for Wildlife 2016 are moving along in parallel and timing being what it is, both will occur nearly simultaneously. As the move approaches, my ability to be there for all the activity in the ICU is becoming more limited hence the brevity of the updates you’ll see. I’m relying on volunteers to provide photo-journalistic pictures for this blog and with the proliferation of iPhones and their amazingly good quality cameras, so far it’s been working. Keep the pics coming folks!

"Nike" girl doing fine

“Nike” girl doing fine

OK, if you’ve been following TW@L for the past couple of weeks, you’ve seen the progress that was made with this large Harris’ hawk. Her feet were not working well as she came in and special orthopedic shoes were made from styrofoam sheets to correct her malfunctioning toes and talons. Last week, she was moved to an outside enclosure with two other HaHa’s, her feet apparently working as well as ever after her treatment. Another success story for the Med Services team at Liberty Wildlife!

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Alex's info board (photo by Alex)

Alex’s info board (photo by Alex)

Our Daily Care Coordinator, Alex Stofko,  realized some newer volunteers might not be aware of the dangers of some of the things lurking around the property as the temperatures climb. Recently she put this board together to alert the volunteers as to what to be careful of as they go about their tasks at the facility. We’re all hoping that a lot of the creepy crawlies that inhabit the current facility will stay behind when we move to the new property!

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A good crowd for OC training

A good crowd for OC training

Hands on demonstration

Hands on demonstrations

Let the baby feeding begin!

Let the baby feeding begin!

Gail V feeding hummingbird

Gail V feeding hummingbird (no training needed here – she’s been doing this for months!)

The orphans are arriving in larger numbers each day and the training of the new OC volunteers began last weekend. A huge number of volunteers showed up on Saturday for Day#1 of hands on training from Susie and Andrea and some other experienced baby bird handlers. Everyone seemed attentive and excited about the opportunity to help the little creatures survive their first year.

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Dr. Wyman makes a shoe for the prairie

Dr. Wyman makes a shoe for the prairie falcon

Joanie has a way with the animals

Joanie has a way with the animals

It seems as though foot problems are common among birds that we see at Liberty, but since most birds of prey make their living by using their feet to obtain their food, it’s important for these appendages to work properly. The prairie falcon that we got from the vet clinic near Kingman has healed enough that now we are trying to rehabilitate the injured foot (see TW@L February 22, 2016). Since the “shoe” that was constructed fore the injured Harris’ hawk worked so well, Dr. Wyman made some more corrective footwear for this falcon to improve its ability to use the foot that was broken.

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Tim works on a wounded duck (photo by Denise)

Tim works on a wounded duck (photo by Denise)

Another fish hook injury (photo by Denise)

Another fish hook injury (photo by Denise)

Yet another case of discarded fishing gear causing problems to wildlife was brought in last week. This mallard was found with a fish hook complete with a couple feet of monofilament line embedded in his wing. This bird was fairly lucky as Tim and Denise were able to remove the hook and the line before more damage occurred. The duck will be released after a short period of observation and medication.

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Road runner with netting damage to its leg

Road runner with netting damage to its leg

An unfortunate roadrunner came in with a leg injury last week. It appears the bird had gotten inextricably tangled in some netting at a local grocery store. Nylon netting is used for a number of reasons including protecting plants and produce from birds and animals. Sometimes it is used on the roofs of buildings to keep pigeons away but as with poisons, they are not species specific and when it is encountered by any wildlife, there is usually a bad outcome for the animal involved. The prognosis for this bird is currently guarded. We’ll try to keep you posted.

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First orphan GHO of 2016

First orphan GHO of 2016

On the way to meet his new mom

On the way to meet his new foster mom

Dr. Wyman places the baby in Heddy's enclosure

Dr. Wyman places the baby in Heddy’s enclosure

Waiting for momma Hedwig to come down

Waiting for momma Hedwig to come down

Orphan great horned owls are among the most numerous of the raptor babies we see each year and this year promises to be no exception. The first one arrived last week, followed in quick succession by several others including the family of four seen on TV after the mother was shot by a homeowner. This little guy came in alone and was the first baby to take up residence with Hedwig, one of our wonderful foster moms who is now caring for the little one – and a couple of others that arrived later on in the day.

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Some wonderful people help Liberty Wildlife at an Easter event

Some wonderful people help Liberty Wildlife at an Easter event (photo  by Chris Bogus)Sonora greets some Easter visitors to Sharon's event

Sonora greets some Easter visitors to Sharon’s event (photo by Chris Bogus)

Some friends of Sharon and Tom Sneva decided to focus their annual Easter Sunday event on Liberty Wildlife. Sharon is an unbelievable volunteer who never ceases to amaze us all with her drive and attitude and she convinced the people who produce this event to make Liberty the recipient of this year’s proceeds. Joe and Jan took eagles that wowed the attendees, and Sharon released a rehabilitated red tail hawk for the edification of the crowd.So far, $800 has been raised with more on the way.  Thank you, Sharon and Tom! (CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO OF THE RELEASE)

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Progress update on the new facility

Amphitheater seating progresses

Amphitheater seating progresses

Another view of the front of the new facility

Another view of the front of the new facility

Admin corridor

Admin corridor

No more window/wall units for cooling!

No more window/wall units for cooling!

Wetlands and rear entrance

Wetlands and rear entrance

The new place as seen from the Peace Trail

A panorama of the new place as seen from the Peace Trail

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This Week @ Liberty – March 21, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Happy spring, and yes, we are in the midst of a baby bunny storm.  Everywhere you look there is a bundle of cuteness…cuteness that demands a lot of volunteer time to do the job that mommy bunny is so well designed to do.  As with many “orphaned” animals, rescue might not have been necessary.  Alex Stofko, our Daily Care Coordinator, has posted to our Facebook page some wise words which I told her I would share with you in case you aren’t a Facebook follower.  First she addresses baby bunnies and next quails, ducks and geese.

With the onslaught of baby bunnies arriving every day at Liberty Wildlife, I wanted to take a moment to talk about what to do if you find a bunny. Baby bunnies are usually found under things such as bushes or debris piles. Mother bunnies feed their babies about two times a day; this means the babies are usually left alone for most of the day. If a baby rabbit is found near a nest, please leave them alone and carefully recover the nest, if you are able to. If your pet finds a baby bunny, try to return the baby to its nest. If the nest cannot be found or the baby bunny is injured please contact the Liberty Wildlife Hotline at 480-998-5550. Hours are 8am-9pm Monday through Friday and 8am-6pm on Saturday and Sunday. If this is after-hours emergency, animals can be taken to the PV Emergency Animal Clinic at 6969 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 150; the patient will be picked up the following morning by a Liberty Wildlife volunteer. Thank you for doing what is best for the baby bunnies!

Alex removes fishing line from a duck

Alex removes fishing line from a duck

Quails, Ducks, and Geese …oh my! Last week we talked about what to do if you find a baby bunny. This week I want to address a different species of baby animal. Quail, ducks, and geese are ground nesters. If you or your pets discover a nest with eggs, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. The parents will most likely return if the nest is undisturbed. Startling a family of quail can lead to the dispersal of the babies. You should leave the area and wait for the parents to call the young back to the group.  If you find truly abandoned young ducks, geese or quail, please contact the Liberty Wildlife Hotline at 480-998-5550 for further instructions.(see above for instructions)  Thank you for your compassion and doing what is best for the baby ducks, geese, and quail! 

At Liberty Wildlife we take pride in our experience in dealing with a wide variety of wildlife species.  We want to serve as a resource to you to help you with your wildlife neighbors.  Don’t hesitate to call us for advice on how best to handle any problems you might run into with wildlife in your area.  We WILL help you do what is best for you and your newly found orphan bunny, duck, goose or quail or any other wildlife in need, for that matter.

Quite often wildlife does need your help.  Stay alert, observant, and caring…and give us a call…our very experienced, Wildlife Hotline, 480-998-5550.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake number for the year is now at 556.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

It’s Spring. It’s going to be 93 degrees today. woo hoo.  OK, enough with my “wah-mbulance.”  It is what it is and if we’ve learned nothing else living in Arizona, it’s how to accept that this is a desert and it’s going to be hot a large part of the year. If the wildlife can adapt to climate extremes, then I/we can as well! So let’s jump into this week’s update…starting with some of the non-natives that were brought to us recently (and contrary to some rumors, nothing really gets turned away from our door.) We can’t release alien species, but we can certainly help those that come to us for help. Nina’s R&C team are doing great work on the west side, and our Education volunteers continue to work at bringing the word of wildlife conservation to the public all over the valley and state. And behind all this, work on the new facility is progressing at mind-boggling speed. Let’s see what was cooking last week…

"Three geese walk up to a duck in a bar..."

“Three geese and a duck walk into a bar…”

BFF's

BFF’s

Following Alex’s informative article above, most of the geese we get in end up being non-native species and as such we try to find permanent homes for them so they don’t get introduced into the local environment. We have three baby geese (goslings) in the waterfowl enclosure right now that have found a friend in one of the domestic ducks that also showed up on our doorstep. We’re not sure what’s going to happen when the geese realize that the duck is NOT one of them, but in the meantime, the foursome are enjoying life and each other’s company. In the same enclosure, these two little ducklings have found each other and although they are not related, they have become inseparable. They spend the day huddled together, sharing shade and preening each other as they grow into whatever they will become.

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Red eared slider with issues

Red eared slider with issues

X-radiology shows the problem(s)

X-radiology shows the problem(s)

Confirmed in the side view

Confirmed in the side view

Another non-native that we see on an all- too-regular basis is the red-eared slider turtle. People must just turn them loose when their kids get tired of caring for them. In any case, they do fairly well in the artificial lakes that abound in the area, at least until they find and swallow baited fish hooks, which this guy did – six times! Dr. Driggers and Dr. Orr are currently discussing what to do to help this little turtle survive.

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A burrowing owl near a burrow on the west side

A burrowing owl near a burrow on the west side

But sometimes they don't have to do much excavating...

But sometimes they don’t have to do much excavating…

"Hmm, this looks like it could be a trap!"

“Hmm, this looks like it could be a trap!”

The Research & Conservation Team has been working out on the west side along I-10 for the past few weeks. ADOT is applying a coating of concrete slurry to the canals in the area which would be problematic for the burrowing owls who often live in burrows and erosion crevices along the canals. To keep them from being covered with sprayed concrete, Nina and her team have been relocating any BuOws they can trap which, given the intelligence of these little birds, is challenging. But in the end, keeping the birds safe is all that counts.

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OK, it actually IS a baby emu!

OK, it actually IS a baby emu!

I received a call from the hotline last week that there was a baby emu near 56th St. and Greenway. I was more than a little skeptical, but when I sent her a cell phone photo of the bird, Jan verified that yes, it really WAS an emu! The Ongs, working their hotline shift went to the rescue and the bird is now at Liberty. We’re attempting to locate the possible owner but no one has come forward yet. She might end up being our “guard emu” at the new facility…

A new Educational ambassador joins the team

A new Educational ambassador joins the team

Another new member of the Education crew is this beautiful king snake donated by Sharon Sneva. Getting the animal here from California turned into an interesting story (ask Sharon sometime) but now that it’s here, it will be a great addition to the display animals we use to educate the public about who’s backyard we live in here in Arizona.

Joe and Jan with Anasazi at the Renaissance Festival

Joe and Jan with Anasazi at the Renaissance Festival

…and since the Renaissance Fair is in town, an opportunity to educate more folks presented itself. Last weekend Joe and Jan took Anasazi to the east side to join Robbie in his educational efforts during his falconry show. This venue is unique and everyone who saw “Sazi” was most likely impressed.

Tiny gapers

Tiny gapers

Almost too small for the tube

Almost too small for the tube

Baby inca dove

Baby inca dove

The orphans are beginning to arrive, signaling the start of “Baby Bird Season” at Liberty. Some of the smallest species that have been taken in so far are the two newly hatched hummingbirds which require feeding almost constantly, and this diminutive nestling inca dove. Orphan Care will be one of the first operations that makes the move to the new site as the individual birds don’t need large special enclosures prior to release and provisions can be made for their care at the new facility.

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GHO stuck in the grill of the car that him him

GHO stuck in the grill of the car that him him

Now months later, "Tucker" joins the team!

Now months later, “Tucker” joins the team!

Several months ago, an unfortunate great horned owl arrived at Liberty after spending an undetermined amount of time impaled on the bumper of a car. Several fractures and a head/eye injury were his most noticeable presentations, and his prognosis was guarded at best. Now, set the Wayback machine for the present day, and take a look at the same owl, one of the newest birds to be trained as an Educational Ambassador! (He has been named “Tucker” in honor of Preston Tucker who started the Tucker Car Company back in the 1940’s. His car incorporated many advances that have since become standard on all automobiles and a 1948 Tucker recently sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction for over 2.5 million dollars!) The owl seems to have a good disposition and should become a great teacher with the Liberty Ed Team.

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Update on the new Liberty Wildlife on the Rio Salado project:

We have trees!

We have trees!

Another angle

Another angle

We got trees in back, too

We got trees in back, too

Intake window

Intake window

Rehab hallway

Rehab hallway

Amphitheater seating

Amphitheater seating

We are the "Copper State"

We are the “Copper State”

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This Week @ Liberty – March 14, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Thanks to everyone who made our Wild about Wildlife event yesterday such a great success.  Rene and Carol teamed up with Scottsdale Leadership Class 30 to put a new spin on our annual Baby Bird Shower.  All of the Liberty Wildlife volunteers from Orphan Care (thank you Susie) and the Education Team (thank you P.C., Jan) were as always unforgettable.

We had music, snacks, water, give away bags and lots of interesting booths all promoting getting kids to back to nature.  I was so impressed by the parents who brought their children and the children who were so engaged.  Each booth had an activity designed to teach each kid a lesson about nature.  They saw the power of forest fires, they planted seeds, they learned how to draw wildlife, they learned how to properly color animals, they made paper snakes, egg carton tortoises, and peanut butter pine cone bird feeders to take home and hang around the yard.

Every swag bag I saw was filled with fun ‘stuff’.  The Salt River Pima Maricopa Community had the most outstanding handouts that all fit in perfectly with the theme of the day.  Kids learned what it felt like to scurry through a burrow while another group learned how to use binoculars.  And with the completion of many of the activities the kids got “inked” with washable stamps appropriate to the activity…there were snakes, eagles, owls, stars, leaves crawling up the arms of a bunch of excited kids!

And then there were the educational ambassadors and their handlers.  Stationed around the park we had hawks, owl, falcons, vultures and eagles and as usual they were a big hit.  I was impressed by the number of youngsters who could identify the birds and new things about them…methinks that they have seen us somewhere before!!!

I want to personally thank all of the hard workers who exhibited the best of team work to make this Wild about Wildlife Baby Bird Shower such a big success.  It is my hope that our Orphan Care Coordinator, Susie, has the best season ever…and it looks like it might be upon us earlier than usual.  Remember, it isn’t too late to sign up to be a volunteer on one of our very successful teams.

After all, it is team work that makes it all happen.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

This year’s intake total is now at 497.

Since today’s date is 3-14-16, welcome to the “Pi day”edition of TW@L! This will largely be an Education Special posting due to the large number of programs we have been doing. This time of year Liberty Wildlife is always heavily invested in our educational efforts as we approach “Earth Day” and all the environmental awareness that it implies. Our animals and all the volunteers are stepping up and providing program after program to schools and other groups around the area in an effort to get the public to be better informed as to how to peacefully coexist with our neighbor species. From some of the recent rescues, the need for such information has never been more urgent. The good news is, our programs are reaching hundreds of young people who will hopefully carry the message back into the community as they grow and become citizens of Arizona and the world. We won’t save what we  don’t love, we won’t love what we don’t understand, and we won’t understand what we aren’t taught.

Dr. Orr examines the haha

Dr. Orr examines the haha

"HaHa Nikes"

“HaHa Nikes”

"Hey, I got feet that work!"

“Hey, I got feet that work!”

If you go back to last week’s posting, you’ll see the Harris’ hawk that got shoes built to correct a foot/leg problem. Last week Dr. Orr examined the bird and decided the orthopedics had done their job and the HaHa Nikes, complete with their own “Swoosh”, were removed. It seems to have been a successful treatment as the bird began standing immediately and appears to be doing better.

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Newly hatched hummingbird

Newly hatched hummingbird

It’s amazing how small hummers are when they come from the egg. This little bird showed up and is now in our care, being fed continually as he grows from a size smaller than a dime with the smallest feathers imaginable that resemble very fine hair.

Unfortunate mockingbird

Unfortunate mockingbird

Another intake last week was this mockingbird who had some string wrapped around one of his feet. The twine eventually constricted the foot tightly enough to cut the circulation and the foot nearly detached. While not the ideal situation, passerines – especially light ones like mockers – can usually learn to adapt fairly quickly to having only one foot and live mostly normal lives hopping on the good leg and the stump where the other foot was removed.

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Donna and Acoma

Donna and Acoma at the ANG (photo by Claudia)

Craig and Leslie present to the ANG visitors

Craig and Leslie present to the ANG visitors (photo by Claudia)

Liberty made some friends by doing a presentation to our new neighbors at the Air National Guard wing at Sky Harbor recently. Some of the Air Force personnel asked about becoming volunteers!

Liberty program at "Horse Sense" (photo by Carol Marshall)

Liberty program at “Horse Sense” (photo by Carol Marshall)

Touching feathers is a big hit (photo by Carol Marshall)

Touching feathers is a big hit (photo by Carol Marshall)

Another Liberty program took place at the Horsense Equestrian Youth Riding Camp last week. The campers really enjoyed the show which featured Liberty volunteers Leslie, Amy, and Carol and a number of our education ambassadors.

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The Baby Bird Baby Shower at the “Wild about Wildlife” event yesterday at Cactus Park

The weather was nearly perfect and based on all accounts, plus some personal observations, the Liberty Wildlife/Scottsdale Leadership event “Wild about Wildlife” was a huge success. Everyone seemed to enjoy meeting our wildlife ambassadors and the kids really got into making bird feeders from household items, tortoises from egg cartons, drawing birds, and learning about their feathered friends.

Making pine cone feeders

Making pine cone peanut butter bird feeders

Doris explains the adaptations of burrowing owls

Doris explains the adaptations of burrowing owls

Colleen poses with a kestrel

Colleen poses with a kestrel

Kids of all ages making things for birds

Kids of all ages making things for birds

Donna J displays a peregrine

Donna J displays a peregrine

Erin presents Acoma

Erin presents Acoma

Michelle and Rio

Michelle and Rio

Making bird houses and feeders is fun

Making bird feeders is fun!

Marko explains owlishness

Marko explains owlishness

 

 

Sara and SSSimon make a new friend

Sara and SSSimon make a new friend

Serious bird house builders

Serious bird feeder decorators!

Latest Update on the New Facility

Moving along

Moving along

Amphitheater seats

Amphitheater seats

The wetlands coming together

The wetlands coming together

Cabinets and sinks go in

Cabinets and sinks go in

Orphan Care is almost ready for baby birds!

Orphan Care is almost ready for baby birds!

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This Week @ Liberty – March 07, 2016

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Recently, I have been doing some spring cleaning.  I wanted to “do the right thing” and was unsure about recycling some of the discarded items.  There is a plethora of good information on the City of Phoenix web site. I thought it might be a good time to remind everyone who might be on the same spring cleaning binge about what can and can’t be recycled.  Clothes can find a new home at local places who resell or donate to others.  They are easy to find.  Some things can’t find a new life and need to be discarded.  If you don’t live in Phoenix check with your city’s policy, but for what it is worth this is what the City of Phoenix will recycle and what they won’t.  I did learn some things I didn’t know so I am passing it on to you…remember to reduce, reuse, recycle.
These Items Go in the Recycle Bin

  • Telephone books
  • All hard plastic bottles and containers including buckets
  • Food or beverage glass bottles and jars only, with the lids removed
  • Office paper (staples do not need to be removed)
  • Shredded paper (placed in clear plastic bags)
  • Newspapers (remove plastic bags and rubber bands)
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs
  • Comic books
  • Cardboard, if you flatten the boxes to fit in the blue can
  • Cereal, cookie, tissue, and gift boxes (remove any liners)
  • Milk/juice cartons
  • 6- and 12-pack paper soda cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Frozen food boxes
  • Junk mail
  • Aluminum cans
  • Clean pie plates and foil
  • Steel cans – soup, vegetable, pet food. place lids inside can
  • Metal hangers – bound with twist tie
  • Scrap metal under 25 pounds including small appliances, but no TVs
  • Aerosol cans – no spray paint, pesticides, oven cleaners
  • Envelopes with plastic windows

You don’t have to wash them, but recyclable materials must be relatively clean, dry, empty and uncrushed. Do not bag, box or tie recyclables.
There are some items, although made of recyclable material, that can damage the sorting equipment, be harmful to workers in the sorting facility or are too small to be sorted. Do not put these items in your blue trash can. Use the green or black trash can for these.

  • No ceramics or dishes
  • No light bulbs
  • No books
  • No credit cards
  • No dry detergent or bar soap boxes
  • No loose shredded paper
  • No rubber bands
  • No towel or tissue rolls
  • No facial or toilet tissue
  • No paper towels, plates, napkins,
  • No gift wrap
  • No mylar balloons

These Items Do NOT Go in the Recycle Bin

  • No plastic bags of any kind, whether they have a recycling symbol or not
  • No pool chemical/household hazardous waste containers
  • No clothing
  • No foam peanuts
  • No bubble wrap
  • No windows
  • No mirrors
  • No photographs
  • No diapers
  • No pet food bags
  • No FedEx or self-sealing envelopes
  • No grass or yard waste
  • No food

Basically, if you don’t see an item on the list of items that are allowed to be recycled, above, you should consider it inappropriate for recycling!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year has now reached 389.

As March begins the R&C team is busy with nest relocations, the Rescue and Transport crew are bringing in birds and mammals right and left, and this is all keeping the Med Services crew working late most days, especially Tuesdays. Add to this the increased number of programs by the Education people, and it’s a busy time for Liberty in general. The temperature is rising and work continues on the new facility whetting everyone’s appetite for the upcoming migration south.  We all look forward to more room and a cleaner environment in which to do our work for the animals of Arizona.

RTH nest to be relocated to a safer place (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

RTH nest to be relocated to a safer place (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

One egg is found in the nest (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

One egg is found in the nest (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

Nina was on the road last week doing, among other things, some burrowing owl relocating on the west side (still waiting for some pictures…) and helping APS with this red tail hawk nest which was found in a most inappropriate place. You can see the sticks dangling down and nearly touching the wires which, although they are insulated, is NOT a good situation. Score big time for the R&C team!

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"Does that come in brown?"

“Does that come in brown?”

At least one of our recent kestrel arrivals got to go outside last week, and as always, she was given an identifying band to better locate her in the flight enclosure. Try to imagine ten to fifteen little falcons flying around together in an enclosed environment and trying to pick out just the one you are looking for…! This one will have a note “right leg pink 2″ to make it possible to spot her in a crowd for either future treatment or release.

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HaHa gets some new shoes

HaHa gets some new shoes

Color coordinated...not!

Color coordinated…not!

"But HEY! Now I can stand!"

“But HEY! Now I can stand!”

This Harris’ hawk presented some sort of issue which inhibited her ability to stand on her feet. For a bird who lives by the power and performance of those feet, that is a serious problem in terms of survival. Some “shoes” were fashioned from styrofoam sheet and attached with vet wrap and she was in her enclosure, standing within minutes. Hopefully  workers at the Nike factory won’t complain about this bird taking their jobs… I’m sure a SWOOSH can be added if need be.

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Jan trims the talons on a Zone Tail hawk

Jan trims the talons on a Zone Tail hawk

This might prevent foot  (and other) problems

This might prevent foot (and other) problems

A recent arrival – a zone-tailed hawk – was doing his best impression of an osprey with his long talons. One of the problems with a bird such as this being out of the environment for an appreciable length of time is their talons and beaks don’t wear down naturally from use. When they get overly long, it causes trouble standing and eating properly so they have to be trimmed (or “coped”) manually, much like trimming toenails on a dog. This makes it safer for the bird – and the handlers!

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The raven comes out for treatment

The raven comes out for treatment

Dr. Wyman works on the site of the wound

Dr. Wyman works on the site of the wound

The pellet is removed!

The pellet is removed!

The raven that came down from Kingman was taken out during Vet Night last Tuesday and Dr. Wyman went to work on the site of the wound. We knew from the x-ryas that it was a gunshot which impacted the bird directly in the wrist joint causing a major injury. After some considerable work, she was able to extract the offending projectile but due to the extent and the location of the damage, the prognosis is still not great for this bird.

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Two things an R&T volunteer hates to hear:"It's in a tree...and it's over water!"

Two things an R&T volunteer hates to hear:”It’s in a tree…and it’s over water!” (photo by local resident)

John goes for a swim...to rescue the bird still attached to the branch.

John goes for a swim…to rescue the bird still attached to the branch. (photo by resident)

Injured cormorant  finally goes into the rescue carrier

Injured cormorant finally goes into the rescue carrier

Alex checks the damage

Alex checks the damage

Alas, still more injuries due to fishing gear.

Alas, still more injuries due to fishing gear.

A recent cormorant rescue by John Glitsos was accomplished through great effort and ingenuity. Here’s the account as told by John:

I got a call from Candice McFarland on the Hotline who said there was a Cormorant in a tree over a lake in McCormick Ranch.
Balinda and I went out there and quickly realized this was no ordinary rescue.  It was a good 25 feet up, out over a lake, and it was tied to the tree with fishing line.  It looked like its right wing was broken, but in fact, the fishing hook was in the wing, along with the sinker and line, tying the poor guy to a branch, where he had been hanging for two days.
So Balinda and I went to my house and got an extension ladder, a swimming pool pole, a tree saw, a hand saw, a huge roll of duct tape, a net, box and gloves.  We called the Scottsdale Police to assist because there was nowhere to park nearby.  So two patrol cars showed up and the officers came over to help.  We ended up having to wade out, chest deep, to cut the branch holding the Cormorant with the tree saw.  When he fell along with the entire branch, I swam out and grabbed him (he bit my arm and drew blood – which meant he still had some fight left in him).
Some passerby helped Balinda and I box him, but he bit my face on the way into the box (a way of saying thank you).
At the ICU, the hook had to be cut, he was given lidocaine and the other half was cut out of his wing.  Fluids, antibiotics, and into a brooder with a bowl and some fish.

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"I just wanted a little off the top...!"

“I don’t think I like the punk look…!”

This little female kestrel was brought to our friends at WildWing last week. A landscaper had it for a week in a wire bird cage (think: parakeet!) Her tail feathers got ridiculously trashed and at some point, the person clipped the ends of her wing feathers. Other than that, the bird is intact and might have been released, but as it is, it’ll be months before her flight feathers are replaced by her annual molt. She will be joining us in our move to the new facility before she gets to go free again.

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Progress Update on the New Facility

Walls get painted, floors get polished

Walls get painted, floors get polished

Doors and glass going up

Doors and glass going up

Gabion wall is filled in

Gabion wall is filled in

Copper starts to go on

Copper starts to go on

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 29, 2016

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Look at your calendar. You only see it once every four years…Yep…Happy Leap Year Day to you!

And, while we are at it, here’s an item to put on your calendar.  Mark your calendar for a special event for kid’s and our annual Baby Bird Shower on March 13th.  Even if you don’t have kids at home this is a fun, “don’t miss”, opportunity.

Liberty Wildlife is partnering with Scottsdale Leadership’s Project Leadership Team to present Wild about Wildlife at Cactus Park which is located at 7202 E. Cactus Rd. in Scottsdale.  This free family friendly-event will be held from 1:00-4:00 in the afternoon Sunday, March 13th.

There will be arts and craft activities relative to nature and the mission of Liberty Wildlife.  There will be live wildlife educational ambassadors from Liberty Wildlife’s education team.  There will be other similarly missioned organizations to share their missions and efforts to help the public interact with nature.  And, there will be a Baby Bird Shower to assist our Orphan Care department to prepare for the busy upcoming Orphan Care Season.

Scottsdale Leadership cultivates leaders in the community inspiring them to make a difference in the community.  We have found their enthusiasm refreshing and hopeful.  The event plans have been detailed.  Now it is up to you to put the date on your calendar and join the fun.  If your kids are grown-up bring your grandkids.  If they are grown-up, bring a neighbor’s kids.  Or, come without kids and bring your own energy and have a great time learning more about Arizona’s wildlife and how you can help.

There will be information on volunteering in our orphan care department for caring people who want to have a hands on experience with native wildlife.  Or you might just want to drop off supplies needed to get through this very busy season.

A brief wish list (our own registry) for this shower includes paper towels, toilet paper, wild bird seed, dry dog and dry cat food.  Or, a monetary donation allows us to purchase specialty foods such as mealworms, crickets, fruit flies.

We hope you are able to join us and take advantage of the efforts of a wonderful group of leaders and the volunteers and staff at Liberty Wildlife. Remember Sunday, March 13 from 1:00-4:00!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this leap year is now at 315.

The temperature is going up – we’ve set a record for heat in February – and this never bodes well for the coming summer. But hey, we live in the desert so just know it’s coming and press on, like the volunteers at Liberty! We’re getting in more orphaned and injured bunnies every day, and we’re still seeing one of our old favorites – gunshot wounds to protected species of native birds although progress is made daily in treating the injuries. We’re doing more education programs to let people know what kind of harm we inflict on the world around us (unwittingly in a lot of cases), and our hope is to get people – especially kids – to appreciate our wildlife and possibly how we can modify our own behavior to mitigate our impact on the planet. It all works together…

"How much do I weigh?"

“How much do I weigh?”

Toooo cute!

Toooo cute!

It seems like everytime the bell at the window rings, it’s another baby bunny arriving! These two came from a nest that was inundated by a sprinkling system in someone’s back yard (a third came in later). They are a little bigger than a lot of the orphans that come in so they were placed outside with others after being examined and fed. Fortunately,  we have yet to find a volunteer who doesn’t love to feed and care for these fuzzy little guys.

Injured gopher

Injured gopher

Gopher with broken face

Gopher with broken face

Recently a pocket gopher arrived with injuries to his face.  He had broken teeth and a possibly broken jaw. We don’t know what happened to him to cause such devastating damage, but he was with us for almost a week before, sadly, he succumbed to his injuries.

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Grebe

Pied-billed grebe arrives

Water fowl come in all varieties and sizes, including this little pied-billed grebe. The Med Services team works very hard to get them outside as soon as possible as most water birds thrive better in their natural environment. Some, like loons, can’t take-off at all when forced to operate from land. The Wetlands feature at our new facility will be a big help in getting wasterfowl back in shape and into the environment again.

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Joanie has a great way with the birds

Joanie has a great way with the birds

Dr. Orr works on the prairie falcon's foot

Dr. Orr works on the prairie falcon’s foot

Raven from Kingman

Raven from Kingman (photo by Alex)

Raven wing with pellet in wrist joint

Raven wing with pellet in wrist joint

The raven and prairie falcon from Kingman (see last week’s TW@L) are still in our care. The prairie has a fractured leg just above the foot and was treated by Dr. Orr last Tuesday. The raven, as can be seen in the x-ray, presented a wing injury which turned out to be a gunshot wound. The pellet is visible in this wrist joint and is in a bad spot for his candidacy for release, but time will tell.

Another RTH wing with evidence of a gun shot

Another RTH wing with evidence of a gun shot

And as long as we’re on the subject of gunshots, I thought I’d run this radiological image of a recent red-tail hawk intake. The fragments of the projectile are visible near a catastrophic fracture which most-likely cannot be repaired by a pin. There are only a handful of bird species that are not protected by law from being shot and there is no way someone could misidentify a red tail hawk as a non-native or game bird. This points out the continued need for the education we do around the state.

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I'll be going outside now

I’ll be going outside now

...but first the band goes on.

…but first the band goes on.

It’s always cause for smiles when a bird can progress in it’s rehabilitation from being inside the ICU to an outside enclosure. This allows them to acclimate to ambient temperatures and get some exercise  in the process. For those that are flighted, it’s also the next step on the road to eventual release for those lucky candidates. Last week this pretty young red tailed hawk made the move after being deemed healthy and given an identifying leg band.

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Jan and Dr. Orr study the x-ray to evaluate the pin

Jan and Dr. Orr study the x-ray to evaluate the pin

Here's what it looked like

Here’s what it looked like

Joanie holds the HaHa for Dr. Orr

Joanie holds the HaHa for Dr. Orr

The pin is extracted

The pin is extracted

Our group of volunteer vets are always ready to help out a bird, reptile, or mammal who might be repaired by a steel pin to hold a fractured bone in place while it heals. A couple of weeks ago, this Harris’ hawk presented an ugly break to it’s wing, but Dr. Driggers took the challenge and inserted a pin into the fractured bone which eventually healed nicely. Last week during the Tuesday afternoon “Vet Night” activity, Dr. Orr removed it to complete the operation.

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Marko presents to a large crowd at Lost Dutchman State Park (photo by Kelly)

Marko presents to a large crowd at Lost Dutchman State Park (photo by Kelly)

Claudia with Diego at LDSP

Claudia with Diego at LDSP

As we head into the really busy part of the education season, more pictures of this activity will hopefully come in. These were submitted by volunteers Kelly and Marko Virtanen who, along with Claudia, presented to the crowd at the Lost Dutchman State Park last weekend. Everyone was totally enthralled by the birds and animals as they enjoyed the perfect weather in this beautiful spot for a walk in the desert.

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"So this is what a "selfie" is..." (photo by Laura)

“So this is what a “selfie” looks like…” (photo by Laura)

A couple of “Pre-Easter” ducklings came in recently, one of which has been auditioning for the role of Liberty’s answer to AFLAC. Laura Hackett sent this picture last week which was too cute to pass up.

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Progress Update on the New Facility

The Aviary is looking good

The Aviary is looking good

Work progresses on the Wetlands

Work progresses on the Wetlands

Materials for the Gabion wall

Materials for the Gabion wall

West side gabion wall going in

West side gabion wall going in

It's all moving along

It’s all moving along

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This Week @ Liberty – February 22, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Sadly, I must acknowledge another of our stalwarts who has left us.  Mona Berrier is surely soaring with the birds she so adored.

I can still see her sitting at the table patiently measuring food amounts to be hand fed to the education birds in her charge.  I can see her packing up items to take to an educational program she was headed to.  And, there she is looking into the eyes of her favorite education birds. I will always remember her as a steady, no drama, strong, giving person with a perpetual “Mona Lisa” smile.

She was a “steady pace wins the race” kind of gal.  She was a natural born caretaker. She wore that crown with unbelievable dignity.  She was gentle and quiet.  She was the salt of the earth.

A loving gift for Mona

A loving gift for Mona

She is free.  And she will be sorely missed by her own family, her Liberty Wildlife family, and by all of the critters she saved through her efforts on this planet.

From her partner at Liberty, Joanne, “she was an amazing woman, and it was my privilege to get to know her and work side by side with her doing hand feed and education programs for so many years…I will miss her.”

From fellow educator, Claudia:  A lovely lady, much admired.  Joanne and I shared many good memories today of the three of us in our early education team years together getting lost on the way to programs in the east valley and Florence, maps in hand before GPS on phones….all our times at The Don’s ….the list goes on and on.

Our Mona with her Anne Peyton painting

Our Mona with her Anne Peyton painting

Recently another caretaker duty called, and she was forced to leave her position at Liberty to follow her call to help others who needed her.  She was presented with this piece of art from Anne with the signatures of her friends and co-volunteers.

It was a very small but meaningful token of how greatly she was appreciated as a volunteer, as a teacher, as a friend, as a saint.

She finished her last assignment of care taking and took leave herself.  So long sweet lady.  Please watch over us all.  The caretaker in you will make it impossible to do anything else!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year is now at 274.

It’s staring to warm up again as we approach the busy season at Liberty. More and more baby bunnies are being brought in and we’re expecting another bumper crop of orphaned baby birds to begin descending on us in the weeks to come. The condor went home and freedom last week as Dr. Orr drove the bird back north, and a couple of other birds (not condors!) were brought south from Kingman for our medical care and rehabilitation. we welcomed one of our Education volunteers back from surgery, and as Megan reported above, we sadly said “Farewell” to a beloved member of our Liberty Wildlife family…

VCRR program (photo by Ellen Roberts)

VCRR program featuring Cecile and Kim presenting some wildlife ambassadors (photo by Ellen Roberts)

Donna is back!! (Photo by Ellen Roberts)

Donna is back!! (Photo by Ellen Roberts)

Some of our favorite continuing programs are the ones we put together for the Verde Canyon Railroad. In addition to the Eagle rides in which we take our bald eagle Sonora along on the train ride to better educate the public about our state’s wildlife, we also do once per month programs of other birds at the Clarkdale station prior to the departure of the train on it’s regular run. The VCRR ride is a wonderful event which should not be missed by anyone who wants to experience Arizona!  (Recently Liberty put on a program at the station which included our long-time Education volunteer Donna Jabara who recently underwent major surgery but was chomping at the bit to return to duty as a hand-feeder and educator.  Welcome back, Donna!)

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The Condor goes home!!

Perfect condor country (photo by Peregrine Fund)

Perfect condor country (photo by Dr. Orr)

The condor facility (photo by Peregrine Fund)

The condor facility (photo by Dr. Orr)

Chris and Tim attach a transmitter (photo by Peregrine Fund)

Chris and Tim attach a transmitter (photo by Dr. Orr)

Hanging around the hack cage (photo by Peregrine Fund)

Hanging around the hack cage (photo by Dr. Orr)

This is what we like to see! (photo by Peregrine Fund)

This is what we like to see! (photo by Dr. Orr)

Last week the young condor which had been in our care for a couple of months was taken back to the Vermillion Cliffs by Dr. Orr. The facility there, operated by Chris Parrish and his team from the Peregrine Fund has been in operation since the first release back in 1996. They periodically recapture the birds and treat them for lead levels (the number one cause of death in the condor population in Arizona) and other issues. These are now mostly treated on site and only the most serious cases are brought down to Liberty Wildlife for care and rehabilitation.

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Little prairie falcon from Kingman

Little prairie falcon from Kingman

A foot injury is presented

A foot injury is presented

Last week our long-distance rescue champ Sherrill Snyder made another run up to Kingman to retrieve an injured raven and this little Prairie falcon. The falcon presented an injured foot which was confirmed by x-rays. This is another example of the benefit of having instant radiology on hand which we will have in the new facility, thanks to Art Smith’s fabulous donation. Thanks, Mr. Smith!  And thank Sherrill for going the extra mile (actually 400 extra miles!)

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Injured pipistrelle is rescued

An injured bat is rescued

Pipistrelle getting some food

Pipistrelle getting some food

Tony administers fluids

Tony administers fluids

An unfortunate little bat was injured last week as it tried to get home in the attic of an apartment complex in Tempe. The pipistrelle somehow fractured it’s wing but managed to hang onto a wall over a hallway until I rescued it with the help of the apartment staff. Bats are usually quite small and, like hummingbirds, their bones are very difficult to repair when broken. This little guy got fluids and a good meal before our bat expert, Rebecca took him home for further treatment. Unfortunately, his wing was damaged beyond repair and he was gently and humanely euthanized. Bats are critical pollinators here and all over the world and their colonies should be protected whenever possible.

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Renee feeds a baby bunny

Renee feeds a baby bunny

It's not mom, but it'll do...

It’s not mom, but it’ll do…

Even bunnies get fluids

Even bunnies get fluids

Color coded bunnies - "Orphan Care - It's not just for birds!"

Color coded bunnies – “Orphan Care – It’s not just for birds anymore!”

Orphan Care doesn’t officially open for several weeks, but it seems the cottontail rabbit population didn’t get the memo. We have had a steady stream of baby bunnies arriving at the intake window for some time. Believe it or not, these little lagomorphs take more time and care than baby birds. It’s a good thing that most volunteers don’t find this a daunting task to be avoided… Each tiny bundle of fur is marked with non-toxic nail polish to identify  them, fed every couple of hours, and monitored for hydration and level of intake – and outflow (which must be manually stimulated!) Anyone want to sign up for Orphan Care?

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Our last gift to Mona – bird caretaker, wildlife teacher, fellow volunteer, and friend.

A gift for Mona - Anne Peyton's painting of her favorite bird, Duncan
A gift for Mona – Anne Peyton’s painting of Mona’s favorite bird, Duncan

Words cannot express the feelings….

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Weekly Progress on the New Facility

East wall

East wall of Rehab

Entry walk

Entry walk

Bike rack

Bike rack

Ceiling and lighting going in

Ceilings and lighting going in

Painting begins

Interior painting begins

Front facade

Front facade panorama

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 15, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

My friend, Gail (blog, One Lookout), sent me a YouTube link the other day.  It gave me goosebumps.  It was about a murmuration of starlings in the United Kingdom.  I was so taken with it and with the narrator that I was compelled to write about it.

I tried and just couldn’t do it justice.  Some things just need to be seen.  With that being said, here’s the link for you to see for yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/88UVJpQGi88

After watching this wondrous clip I found myself following ‘just one more’ link in the series called “Flight—The Genius of Birds”.  Each one of the videos had its own marvels that left me awed in different ways:  the efficiency of the hummingbirds tongue, embryonic development, flight, feathers, etc. What was also so enchanting was the passion of each scientist, photographer, naturalist…it was inspiring.

One after another they extolled the magic of nature, the explorations of science, the beauty and efficiency that each species has developed over eons to be a successful part of the whole.

Check it out.

I bet you can’t watch just one.

Enjoy!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now up to 214.

This update will be a tad short as I’m kinda stuck in Seattle trying to get back to Phoenix (the perk of free flying for retirees is NOT all it’s cracked up to be…) So let’s just go over one or two of the big events of last week. We are getting in a lot of bunnies and hummers which is no surprise since the weather has been somewhat cold. But now that it’s warming up some, there might be a shift in the species count. Our R & C people are doing some more burrowing owl relocations, and more Ed birds are joining the team as they come out and learn to behave in public. The condor had some exploratory surgery and a pile of junk was removed from her crop. Hopefully the bird will be released soon. Let’s see what it all looked like…

Dr. Orr splints a kestrel wing

Dr. Orr splints a kestrel wing

Anna's humming bird resting

Anna’s hummingbird resting

This is why we wear gloves...!

This is why we wear gloves…! Free-tail bat arrives

Feeding the tiniest bunny

Feeding the tiniest bunny

This week we were taking in a lot of very small animals, including some kestrels, some hummingbirds, a free-tail bat, and several cottontail bunnies. The good news is our volunteers love to work with these little guys and we are getting more and more experience with these species. They are happily very photogenic and give me an opportunity to add some cute pictures to TW@L.

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Now THAT'S a vulture!

Now THAT’S a vulture!

Getting ready for the scope

Getting ready for the scope

The procedure continues

The procedure continues

Everybody watches the monitors

Everybody watches the monitors

The image starts to come in

The image starts to come in

Looking for foreign matter

Looking for foreign matter

Lots of flotsam and potentially harmful items, including a couple of teeth

Lots of flotsam and potentially harmful items, including a couple of teeth

The kid condor comes out of surgery

The kid condor comes out of surgery

Last week the condor as taken to Hillside Animal Hospital where Dr. Rosonke and his staff were assisted by Dr. Orr, Jan, Alex, and Heidi in an endoscopic surgical procedure in order to see what might be blocking the digestive system of the big bird. A lot of grass and other non-digestible stuff (including one or two teeth) was found and removed. It’s hoped that this will allow the condor to retain more of the good food provided and gain some weight. Another round of chelation is also scheduled to drive the lead levels down a bit more.  Keep you fingers crossed.  (All photos of the procedure taken by Dr. Rosonke’s staff)

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The Weekly Progress on the New Facility

Wet lands wall

Wetlands wall

Main entryway

Main entryway

Driveway first pour

Driveway first pour

Uhh, it looks like the T-Rex enclosure is coming along...

Uhh, it looks like the T-Rex enclosure is coming along…

 

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 08, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

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.

Enough said!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

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…

A robin comes in - the harbinger of Spring!

A robin comes in – the harbinger of Spring!

A coot gets examined

A coot gets examined

Cottontail with a head wound

Cottontail with a head wound

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!

Dr. Orr examines our king snake

Dr. Orr examines our king snake

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!

Susie checks a GHO that Carl brought in

Susie checks a GHO that Carl brought in

Dr. Orr examines his feet

Dr. Orr examines his feet

Getting fluids from Dr. Orr

Getting fluids from Dr. Orr

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 still faces a long rough road

The burned raven still faces a long rough road

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.

HaHa leg with External fixator pins (prior to removal)

HaHa leg with External fixator pins (prior to removal)

Joanie holds a HaHa as Dr. Orr checks his leg

Joanie holds a HaHa as Dr. Orr checks his leg

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!

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Long eared wants to go free

Long eared wants to go free

Leah Vader prepares to release the LEO (photo by Jen Ottinger)

Leah Vader prepares to release the LEO (photo by Jen Ottinger)

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.

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Jan launches the Seligman Golden eagle

Jan launches the Seligman Golden eagle (photo by Tim Macy)

"I am sooo going to avoid trucks!"

“I am sooo going to avoid trucks!” (photo by Tim Macy)

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.

The golden from Buenos Aires NWR was also ready to go home.

The golden from Buenos Aires NWR was also ready to go home.

I bet her wings work better than mine...

I bet her wings work better than mine… (photo by a friend of the NWR – Hey, I can’t release and take pictures!)

The neighborhood welcoming committee weighs in.

The neighborhood welcoming committee weighs in.

Leaving the ravens behind, she soars off into a brilliant clear sky

Leaving the ravens behind, she soars off into a brilliant clear sky

One final fly-by before departing

One final fly-by before departing the area

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.”

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Weekly progress update on the New Facility

Interior drywall is taped

Interior drywall is taped

The east exterior wall gets a finish

The east exterior wall gets a finish

Glass starts to go in

Glass starts to go in

The east fence is hung

The east fence is hung

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This Week @ Liberty – February 01, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

I don’t like to write about negative things that happen, but sometimes it gets a grip on me and won’t let go until I put it down on paper.

This weekend I was along the canal where I often go to exercise and watch the birds and other wildlife.  Usually it is relaxing.  Not so this time.  I was on the opposite side of the canal from a group of small boys who were all members of a group that will go nameless.  They were having a great old time throwing rocks at the ring-necked ducks that I see regularly.  But, this time the ducks, instead of serenely paddling along with the occasional dive, were madly flapping, and fluttering, diving and paddling wildly…. obviously in distress.

I couldn’t help myself.  I hollered across the canal for them to stop throwing the rocks and harassing the ducks.  All I got in return was more rocks and the look that says, “What is wrong with that woman?”  I wasn’t the only one attempting to stop the behavior as I passed two gentlemen who said that they had also tried to stop them.

OK, so maybe I should have let it go, knowing that boys will be boys, but what really got to me were the adults, men and women, standing watching and laughing.  This could have been a teachable moment.  It wasn’t.

Let’s look past the danger to native, protected wildlife part of the issue.  Let’s look past the potential danger of throwing rocks; let’s look past the crazy woman telling them to stop harassing the ducks; let’s look past the two nice gentlemen asking the adults to oversee the kids they were supposed to be leading.  Let’s look past a missed opportunity.

But let’s not look past a simple lesson in compassion and respect for other living things….a pretty incredible lost opportunity….a teachable moment to mentor young boys about respect for life, for helping not hurting innocent things.  I shudder to think of what will happen when they get their first bb or pellet guns.

Instead, my outrage resulted in being called a sociopath.  That kind of made me laugh, and I restrained myself from telling him that he should better understand the meaning of a word before using it…incorrectly.  I did chuckle a bit as I turned and left, but at the same time I felt so sorry for these young boys who had no guidance, who should have had a wiser leader who could have used the moment so much better than seeing their leader yelling “sociopath” at the back of a somewhat irate woman….maybe ‘enraged one’ would have been a better choice….it would certainly have been more correct.

Poor limited leader of impressionable young boys.  Sad as it seems; it does, however, sort of frighten me.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 144.

A few interesting stories this week as the intake rate is still on the slow side – which, in view of our impending migration to the new facility, is a good thing! The condor is still with us though her improvement is not all we had hoped at this point. She will go in for an endoscopic exam which will be posted here next week. A couple of interesting waterfowl came in this week as packing (and some actual moving to a new storage unit) has begun. We got in another glue trap victim, this time a Mexican free-tail bat who sadly didn’t survive his ordeal. And speaking of repeat injuries, we received a duck with fishing gear involvement and a Canada goose that had been shot with a very expensive arrow. Let’s take a look, and hopefully learn something…

Alexa holds an injured duck

Alexa holds an injured duck

Fish hook in his bill

Besides the fishing line nearly cutting off his leg, there is also a fish hook in his bill

Looking like a stand-in for Aflac, this white duck was brought in with fishing line wrapped tightly around his leg and a discarded fish hook in his bill. There’s not much more to be said about fishing gear vs wildlife, especially water fowl. Mixing the two never turns out well for the animal and there can’t be much in it for the fisherman either. Please pass the word along to everyone you know who goes fishing: don’t discard gear – line, hooks, sinkers – any fishing gear, in any place other than a defined refuse container. It’s heartbreaking to come across these birds and animals suffering from someone’s carelessness.

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Canada Goose waiting for rescue

Canada Goose waiting for rescue

John holds his rescue

John holds his kayak rescue

The goose arrives

A sad, painful arrival

John holds as Dr. Orr examines the goose

John holds as Dr. Orr examines the goose

The arrow shaft is cut

The arrow’s carbon fiber shaft is cut

Goose X-ray with arrow highlighted

Goose X-ray with arrow highlighted

After removal by Dr. Orr

After removal by Dr. Orr

Let’s move on to another waterfowl injury, this time not from some accidental encounter with fishing equipment. This one was a Canada goose that had been shot with a hunting arrow – no accident here! The shaft pierced the bird’s pelvis and pectoral muscle, narrowly missing the aorta and trachea. If there was anything lucky about this, it was that the arrow didn’t have a hunting tip which are designed to cause more damage when they penetrate. The bird is now resting in the ICU and we’re watching closely for signs of infection from water in the wound.

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Cormorants can be dangerous!

Cormorants can be dangerous!

Some waterfowl present their own danger – to rescuers and rehabbers. This feisty cormorant has bitten and scratched a few volunteers already and Joanie wisely took precautions by donning the recommended hand and eye protecting gear while holding the bird for this week’s Vet Night activities.

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Dr. Orr studies an X-ray

Dr. Orr studies an X-ray

The digital X-ray unit we have for the new facility should speed things up considerably as we move into the future. Currently, we have to either take the birds and animals to another facility for radiography, or wait until Sunday when Dr. Sorum arrives with his portable unit. Then the files are reviewed by Dr. Orr or one of the other vets when they have the opportunity to be in the office to bring the picture up on Jan’s computer. We’re looking forward to accelerating the whole process when we move into our new home!

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Joanie holds a HaHa for Dr. Orr

Joanie holds a HaHa for Dr. Orr

The external fixator is cut for removal

The external fixator is cut for removal

The last pin is pulled

The last pin is removed

"That feels pretty good..."

“That feels pretty good…”

Recently we sent a couple of Harris’ hawks down to Dr. Driggers for surgery to put pins in  their fractured legs. Dr. Sorum attended and actually did one of the surgeries with Dr. Driggers assistance and the result was a resounding success. Both vets seemed to be pleased and this added skill for Dr. Sorum will be most useful in the new facility. Last week Dr. Orr removed the external fixator (stabilizing pins) as the fractures are healing well. The pins must be cut from the external brace and then extracted using some tools normally used by a mechanic in a garage. In this case, they were wielded skillfully by Dr. Orr as she performed the operation on the more delicate structures of the bird’s leg.

This Week’s progress update on the new facility

Footers for mammal enclosures

Footers for mammal enclosures

Getting ready for stucco

Getting ready for exterior stucco finish

The north side walkway is in

The north side walkway is in

The permanent fence begins to go up

The permanent fence begins to go up

The wetlands viewing bench is ready for pouring

The wetlands viewing bench is ready for pouring

 

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This Week @ Liberty – January 25, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Fear seems to be huge on the minds of people today.  Fear of foreigners, fear of financial disaster, fear of all kinds of foods, fear of diseases, fear of….., fear of……  And, now there is a new villainous fear to fret about—the Zika virus, and by all accounts it is heading our way on the wings of the aedes mosquito recognized by the white markings on its leg and the lyre shape on its thorax.  I hope to not get close enough to identify one of them.

Maybe you haven’t yet been bombarded by information about this nasty little virus spread by a dreaded mosquito, but it is burgeoning in Brazil and other countries in South and Central America with several cases seen in Florida and Texas.  These are thought to have been caused by travel in South America, but the fear is that it is coming our way.

The nasty little mosquito has had its way with pregnant women in Brazil possibly causing death in at least 46 babies from microcephaly and the resulting malformed skulls and brains.  There is also thought to be a connection with Guillain-Barre’s Syndrome which causes paralysis with potential long term crippling and/or perhaps eventual death.  The connection here isn’t confirmed, but studies are finding disturbing possibilities.  The Zika virus has up until now caused discomforts and milder symptoms similar to dengue fever, but the suppositions that it has caused these advanced horrors is fostering the panic.

Are you frightened yet?  The thing that frightens me is the steps that will be taken to rid us of this creepy little mosquito.  Extreme use of poisons to take out the culprit will no doubt have many secondary losers in the process.  And, the fragile connection between all of these things could catapult into a disastrous break in the chain of connectedness.

This is one of many reasons why we need to honor the bat.  In a very natural way bats, so wrongly vilified, could come to the rescue.  The little brown bat is a consumer of moths, flies, midges, mayflies and mosquitoes.  Research shows that the bat can’t snatch all of the pests out of the skies, but a colony of little brown bats could consume hundreds of thousands of aedes mosquitos over a number of weeks.  This and the potential use of genetically modified mosquitos might help suppress the population of mosquitos.  That would be a good thing.

Using other normal techniques to discourage the breeding and spreading of mosquitos…with the elimination of standing water and other breeding grounds denied to them, coupled with the use of mosquito netting to further deny predators of food sources, there might be a dent made in the of the spread of the mosquito population. I guess I should mention use of deet.

People fear bats for silly reasons like having bats getting tangled in one’s hair or more serious reasons like the possibility of rabies exposure, but I can assure you that more people are injured, sickened, or killed by the spread of diseases at the hand (or proboscis) of the mosquito than ever contract rabies from a bat.

Bring on the bats.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year is now at 117.

The drywall is being hung in the new facility and we are starting to box up some books and other material for the move. Among this activity the regular work of medical care and rehabilitation goes on. We have a few long-term patients in the ICU and the intake window is getting busier. The golden eagle is approaching release and some final preparations are being made for that event. As we go to press this morning, we heard that a small helicopter made a safe emergency landing in the river bottom  just a few feet north of our new facility. I guess flying things of all types just naturally seek out Liberty Wildlife!

Burned raven gets another check

Burned raven gets another check

Sharon holds the raven as Dr. Wyman rewraps

Sharon holds the raven as Dr. Wyman rewraps

The burned raven continues to make incremental progress. Each week his level of recovery is checked and his wraps are changed. He actually has some new feathers coming in and that is a very encouraging sign. But even then, it will still be a long process before he looks more like a raven than a character from a Tim Burton movie. The good news is that he is still with us at all and seems to be keeping his “I WILL survive” attitude.

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A cute sharp-shinned has a wound cleaned

A cute sharp-shinned has a wound cleaned

Dr. Wyman and Jan examine a GHO

Dr. Wyman and Jan examine a GHO

We never seem to run out of great horned owls who need some help. From the hundreds of orphans in the spring to the yearlings in the fall and winter, it’s easy to see that these birds are some of the most common birds of prey in North America. It’s always a thrill when they get to move into an outside enclosure in preparation for their eventual release. We also get in a large number of Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks including the little sharpie pictured above. Prone to hitting things (like windows) in their single-minded pursuit of other birds, we see a lot of wing and head injuries presented by these ubiquitous accipiters. The lucky ones get brought to Liberty for care.

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Dr. Orr checks the red shouldered hawk

Dr. Orr checks the red shouldered hawk

The red-shouldered hawk is a pretty bird

The red-shouldered hawk is a pretty bird

The red-shouldered hawk that came down from Kingman last week was taken for x-rays on Thursday morning. The digital film showed no fractures so the bird is still under observation to determine it’s problem. Possible nerve damage is just one suspect. More updates will follow…

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Tools used for the "imping" process

Tools used for the “imping” process

The golden relaxes before the procedure

The golden relaxes before the procedure

Cleaning the interior of the receiving feather shaft

Cleaning the interior of the receiving feather shaft

Filing the strut to size

Filing the strut to size

Cyanoacrylate glue is aplied

Cyanoacrylate glue is applied

The strut is inserted into the shaft

The strut is inserted into the shaft

The new feather is permanently attached

The new feather is permanently attached

The golden eagle in our care incurred some noticeable feather damage in her close encounter with a semi-truck. In order to give the bird the best chance to survive after release, we want her to have all the wing and tail area she can get to provide maximum maneuverability. Rather than wait months for the broken feathers to naturally molt and be replaced, we used a process of implanting feathers from similar birds. This is known as “imping” and is standard practice in the avian rehabilitation world. Last week Jan held the bird while Rebecca performed the operation. The shaft of the broken feather is trimmed and cleaned as is the shaft of the donor feather. Then a strut of a suitable material is fitted then glued into both the ends of the feather with cyanoacrylate glue. The permanently bonded feather will perform just as a natural feather and help the bird fly normally after release.

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Weekly update on

Main entrance from Elwood

Main entrance from Elwood

Front walkway goes in

Front walkway goes in

Main hallway in Rehab

Main hallway in Rehab

A classroom on the Education side

A classroom on the Education side

The new "Orphan Care"

The new “Orphan Care”

 

 

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