Lucky student if you were in school in Bagdad, Arizona this past week. Liberty Wildlife participated in a scavenger hunt for the students at Bridle Creek created by the folks at Freeport-McMoRan. The following is a write up about the event sent to us by Tara Woodcock who is an environmental scientist for Freeport-McMoRan in Bagdad.
“Bridle Creek is a 27 acre, fenced riparian habitat, wholly owned by Freeport-McMoRan Bagdad Inc., that is managed both for habitat enhancement and education outreach. The habitat is certified through the Wildlife Habitat Council under the Wildlife at Work and Corporate Lands for Learning programs. The photo scavenger hunt event was just one example of how we try to get the school and various other community groups involved in the habitat. The idea for the program was to have students bring parents to the habitat and have both students and parents participating in the program by taking photos of items that can be found in the habitat, along with the birds that Liberty brought and the items that AZ Game and Fish had to display. This gets students out in nature and learning first-hand about the habitat and animals they can find there as well as gets their creative and thinking juices flowing. The program was a great success and we hope to make it an annual event and invite schools from the surrounding communities to Bagdad.”
First of all I applaud Freeport-McMoRan for putting aside the 27 acres of Riparian land. We have little of it in the state so each acre is special. And, add to that the emphasis on getting the community involved in learning about it, appreciating it, and enjoying it is a homerun.
You can see from the accompanying photos that the children were involved and excited. I am particularly fond of the clever scavenger hunt format. Each one was given a clue sheet with rhyming clues that had to be deciphered. …”I am big and I’m bald, and sometimes a buzzard I’m called.” Bingo, they guessed a turkey vulture, and around the bend there was one to take a picture of. Then, adding more depth to the scavenger hunt, a best photo, a second award, was given for the most creative photograph.
They hit on three of the things we seek to address in our educational programs with the schools, problem solving, creativity and the love of getting outside and being in nature. It would be great to do a program like this every day. I commend the folks at Freeport-McMoRan for recognizing the importance of these things and then acting on it.
Like I said, it was a great day to be a student in Bagdad, Arizona…and a great day for the education group at Liberty Wildlife. Fulfilling our mission always feels good! That is what we call a win-win situation!
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total for the year is now at 4857.
Ahhh, a week without a violent rainstorm! So unusual for Arizona…and as the mornings get cooler, we can sense that just maybe, the season is changing. Orphan Care is now closed and only a few small artifacts remain to be wrapped and packed away for a few months until they’re needed again. For now, we treat the juveniles with their accidental injuries and cut back slightly on the expensive food and supplies for a few weeks as we regroup for one more year (hopefully!) at this facility. Let’s take a slow look at what’s going on right now…
Empty bins and berry baskets are now packed away until next Baby Bird Season, and the joyful peeping of the hungry orphans are a ghostly – but happy – memory for 2014. Susie, Stacey, Andrea, Cindy, and all of the OC volunteers did a wonderful, tireless job and should be congratulated by all. Well done, folks!
The GHO that rode on the car bumper (latest name is “Buick” but that’s subject to change…) continues to heal. Jan has high hopes of recruiting him for the foster care program as we always get over a hundred orphans each year, stressing the team to the limit. The black vulture with the multiple pellet wounds is acting more like a real vulture every day, barfing on the volunteers as they get him out to treat him – it’s a GOOD sign – really! And the latest desert tortoise we took in with the blown-out knee is still being observed. Dr. Orr and Dr. Driggers are still deciding what the best plan of treatment will be for her. Her leg isn’t broken, but her knee is not able to remain in place with any stress, much like a football injury.
A few weeks ago, we posted some pics of the cool black-hawk that came to us after being shot. The pellets are quite visible in the X-rays and the fracture of the leg bone happened in a fortunate spot that allowed Dr. Driggers to insert the pins that will hold the bones in place as they grow together and heal. These fixators also show up well in the X-rays. THIS IS WHY WE NEED A DIGITAL X-RAY UNIT FOR THE NEW FACILITY!
Last week we got a call about what was supposed to be a cooper’s hawk out west. When the rescue volunteer went to pick it up, it turned out to be this beautiful prairie falcon. It’s leet was badly fractured, but again, the break was mid-shaft and well suited for a pin. Once again Dr. Driggers got the call and stayed late to do the surgery. We hope this pretty bird will make it back to the wild!
One of the best parts of what we get to do is the release. Last week, Claudia and Donna Jabara made the trek to Casa Grande to release a Swainson’s hawk that recently completed it’s rehab. Swainson’s are migratory in the classic sense and this one was lucky enough to complete it’s treatment while the migration was in progress. Sometimes, if they have to stay in our care past the end of the migration, they must remain with us until the next cycle so they can join with the thousands of others. This bird was lucky indeed!