This Week @ Liberty – April 18, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Readers we need to talk seriously about baby ducks.  I know, they are so cute that you really want to snuggle them…please don’t.  In fact, I am going to be a real heavy here and advise you to discourage any potential duck encounter if you can help it…scare them out of your yard.

We get calls all spring long from homeowners who thought the duck couple searching for a honeymoon spot in the back yard…as convenient to the pool as possible…was adorable.  The love affair between the duck couple and the homeowners crested when the babies hatched and waddled around the yard until they successfully found water…the pool.  Even in the beginning it was so cute to see the babies floating around with mom…really adorable.

And then it happened!  The voluminous poop began to fill the pool and to make it worse the babies couldn’t get out of the pool; there was no food in the pool; the chlorine—an issue; and then the first baby got sucked into the skimmer to its peril.  Now the homeowner wants a divorce from the happy couple and their spawn.

Our hotline starts ringing with demands for help.  Here’s the rub.  Ducks are considered migratory birds, and they are protected by the law as are their nests and offspring.  That means you have to get permission from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to do anything with them.  We are bound by permits not to disturb the nest, eggs, and babies without permission.

Now if they are in your pool, you can scoop them out to save them and keep them from doing too much more damage, but the critical thing here is that you really, really need to get the mother duck and get her first.  When you catch her, and it is tricky business, be sure she is secured in a closed box or carrier because they are very slick at escaping containment and once gone you will probably not get a second chance.  Remember ducks can walk, fly and swim and are by far, along with other water fowl, not the easiest birds to capture!

After you have nabbed the mom (remember to get a strategy before attempting the capture) you can get the babies. I would advise putting them in a separate box to keep the mom from escaping when you try to put the babies in.  When you have the mother and babies, give us a call.

Canada geese are a little different.  A Canada goose that nests between March 1st and June 30th in the Phoenix area is not considered migratory and a homeowner can apply to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for a depredation order on line in order to get the geese and eggs out of your yard.  Go to US Fish and Wildlife Service Code of Federal Regulations 50 CFR 21.50 to apply for the order.  Be sure to read all of the conditions of the order before doing anything.

I know, I know.  It is so complicated!  That is why I encourage you to scan your yard for the honeymoon couple and discourage them from choosing your yard for rearing their off spring.  You will thank me for my seemingly cold approach.

 And remember, we usually only send rescue and transport people out to rescue raptors or other potentially dangerous to the public critters.  Save everyone a lot of heart ache.  If you fail at discouraging nesting, be sure you are prepared to catch mom.  It is better for the babies, the mom and for you! If you feel really uncomfortable about catching the mom, call and talk to our hotline first…we may be able to help with that.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake number for the year is now at 1297.

This’ll be another short update as we’re all getting busier by the moment.  This year’s Wishes for Wildlife is in less than 3 weeks and preparations are racing towards another great show. Plus, we are getting really close to finishing work on the new facility and planning for the big migration south is filling up the spare minutes in any day. Along with all this, the rescues are coming fast now, keeping the Hotline and the R&T team hopping. More training along these lines was accomplished last weekend as the temperature and the intake rates both rise. It’s gonna be a long year…

The Prices gets to rescue in some beautiful locations (photo by Carl and Mary Price)

Canada Geese and their goslings at a local lake (photo by Carl and Mary Price)

Canada geese present a special challenge to both the Hotline and the Rescue team. The big question is whether Canada gees are considered migratory or not. Since so many of them have found our area so inviting and live here all year, there are now two official classifications: Migratory and Resident. If a Canada goose is nesting here from March through June, or living here from April through August, they are considered residents and lose some of the protection offered by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Resident Canada geese are subject to having their nests and eggs removed by anyone who has registered with the USFW Depredation Order. This is available online and requires a report each year on what actions were taken under the order.  This rescue and rehabilitation business is getting more complicated all the time!

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Big turnout for advanced rescue class

Big turnout for advanced rescue class

One of the many classrooms that will host future training events!

One of the many classrooms that will host future training events!

Because some rescues are more involved than others, an Advanced Rescue class was held last weekend at Liberty. Among the topics covered were waterfowl in general, fireplace extractions, and duck families in swimming pools (see H3 above!) Attendance was impressive and a team is forming to handle one of the most difficult rescues, a duck family in a back yard pool! The good news is that this will most likely be one of the last training events to occur under the overhang at the present site as several classrooms of various sizes will be available at the new facility.

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Kyrene Aprende Middle School Science Fair

Kyrene Aprende Middle School Science Fair (photo by Kris Berling)

Future programs can be presented at our own Amphitheater

Future programs can be presented at our own Amphitheater

Recently Doris Pedersen and I presented birds at the Kyrene Aprende Middle School Science Fair. The event was well attended by both students and parents who all seemed thrilled and interested by Acoma and Jester as well as the Educational display material. Next season, we hope to be able to put on similar programs in the Amphitheater on our own property.

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Neuton with "false eyes" displayed (photo by Claudia)

Newton with “false eyes” displayed (photo by Claudia)

Newton, "full frontal"

Newton, “full frontal”

Several of our small education birds display Ocelli or “false eyes” on the back of their heads. Long believed to be a defense mechanism, there is another theory of late, recounted here by noted bird photographer Ron Dudley: It has long been presumed by many that the function of ocelli is to provide protection against attack by predators from the rear.   Having been warned that the “owner” of the ocelli has likely seen them coming and will retaliate, a predator may abort an attack.  But another somewhat related alternative theory has also been proposed.

Many raptors with ocelli prey largely on passerine birds.  The “false face” may function in the hunting of small birds by provoking (or manipulating) their mobbing response.  The advantage to the raptor may be immediate because it’s relatively common for mobbers to be killed and eaten by the raptor being mobbed.  It’s also possible that the benefit to the raptor may be postponed if the raptor is actually using mobbing as a method of evaluating hunting prospects in the area.

Proponents of this second theory use research on pygmy owls as evidence.  There are 26 – 35 species of pygmy owls worldwide (the exact number is disputed) and some of those species include a high proportion of small birds in their diets while others do not.  Those pygmy owl species that prey mainly on passerines tend to have ocelli while those that do not, lack them.  It is claimed that these findings are most consistent with ocelli being used to deceive mobbing birds so they can be more easily preyed upon.

You make the call…!

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Another injured orphan GHO comes in

Another injured orphan GHO comes in

Not really injured, this one just needs some time to grow up a bit...

Not really injured, this one just needs some time to grow up a bit…

This time of year we are usually buried in baby great horned owls. Some are injured, some not, but the decision is always if we need to take them in and place them with foster parents or not. It’s always best to allow the parents to tend to them if possible, even if it’s on the ground. What will influence the decision is the situation concerning the surroundings. Kids, cats, dogs, pools, and cars in close proximity to branching GHO babies usually won’t end well for the little owl and our rescue volunteers are trained to evaluate the surrounding conditions.

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Hatchling baby ravens

Hatchling baby ravens (photo by Alex)

Two more baby ravens hatched this morning and got their arrival into the world baby pictures taken by Alex. They will join the crowd that has been growing of late, being fed by volunteers on a regular basis with a special high protein mouse purée. It’s truly amazing how fast the little birds grow!

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Dr. Wyman treats an adult raven with issues...

Dr. Wyman treats an adult raven with issues…

The raven that was severely burned is still with us and gets regular checks on his condition. At least every Tuesday afternoon, the bird is checked for progress in growing feathers and any additional sloughing of tissue due to the burns. It’s going to be a long haul for the bird but he’s trying hard to recover.

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Dr. Orr treats a kestrel leg

Dr. Orr treats a kestrel leg

Dr. Orr is frequently in attendance on Tuesday Vet Night, lending her expertise and knowledge of wildlife in general and birds in particular. From the largest California Condor to the smallest kestrel, any bird getting care from Dr. Orr is lucky indeed!

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New Facility Update

Main volunteer entrance and animal drop off

Main volunteer entrance and animal drop off

Lockers for 27 volunteers at a time

Lockers for 27 volunteers at a time

Main lobby and reception

Main lobby and reception

The north side

The north side

Our first road runner comes to check us out!

Our first roadrunner comes to check us out!

It’s almost scary how close we’re getting to finishing the new structure.

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This Week @ Liberty – April 11, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

Sometimes a person needs to speak up, to act when injustice rears its ugly head.  When things seem to go this awry, a person just can’t be silent.  That would be wrong.  Climbing on my soap box now…

Recently, we have found out that Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center is under attack.  The sanctuary has been in existence in its current home for 22 years.  On ten acres near the McDowell Mountains reside around 300 animals including mountain lions, bobcats, bears, wolves, coyotes, javelina and other desert mammals that have for no reason of their own been deemed non releasable, and will never see wild places again.

Southwest Wildlife has provided these animals with medical care, habitat, and nourishment that makes this life of captivity as quality and tolerable as possible and has also provided people from near and far a glimpse up close of these charismatic creatures…creatures that would not be alive otherwise.

Here comes the rub.  A neighbor, one man, moved in next door fully aware of the fact that he was sharing the habitat with a wildlife rehabilitation center and a sanctuary…fully aware!  One lone man who decided that having to listen to the melodious howls of wolves and coyotes was keeping him awake.  It goes without saying that most of the people that I know would find great pleasure in snoozing to music from the wild…but then we aren’t that one man.

He continued to froth about yet another gripe…the dust on the road stirred up by visitors to the sanctuary.  Perhaps he could have helped with a solution to this problem, but instead he, this one man, had the sanctuary’s touring rights snipped off, excising a major part of their ability to care for the animals and successfully maintain the sanctuary with the help of tourist donations.

Now, through emergency funding from the Nina Mason Pulliam Foundation and donors including other neighbors, the sanctuary is able to continue to cover its needs, but hearings with the county supervisors in early June will decide whether or not the tourist activity will be allowed to continue with its needed revenue stream.  The Sanctuary is now drastically reduced in the number of tours that can come through which not only limits the funding that is needed but also limits the education and exposure that the public needs and deserves.

If the sanctuary found that it had to close its doors, what would happen to all of those animals already displaced once?  They all have names; they all have histories; they all have fans in the public who have visited them.  What will happen to them?  Liberty Wildlife couldn’t take them.  No place else that I know of has that kind of room.  Euthanasia????  That isn’t acceptable.  They are in captivity through no fault of their own, and they deserve better than this.

Hmmmmmmmm…all because of one lone man.  Speak up now for voiceless animals and for the folks trying to do right by them…one lone man…really!  Baaaaad Karma!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year now stands at 1017.

Yes, we took in the 1000th intake on Sunday, which puts us ahead of last year’s intake pace. Maybe the animals know we’re going to be in a bigger place soon… In any case, the day of our migration is fast approaching, as is Wishes for Wildlife 2016. If you haven’t gotten your tickets, you might want to get them soon Last year we sold all tables! This year’s event has lots of fun scheduled so don’t get left out! Most of the pictures this week are orphans and the like. I was doing a program last Tuesday during Vet Night and didn’t get many shots. On top of that, it was raining on Sunday when I went to get updates from the new facility, but it didn’t matter as the place is now locked up and we have no keys as yet. We’ll have to work on that. Just know that it’s getting very close to being done so don’t lose enthusiasm! Thanks to everyone who sent in photos for the blog. I’ll try to do better next week.

Number 1,000 for the year (photo by Alex)

Number 1,000 for the year (photo by Alex)

Young hummingbird comes in

A beautiful hummingbird comes in

Two of the smallest intakes we get, a hummingbird and a newly hatched duckling arrived recently. It’s always amazing to me that these diminutive birds are actually found by the public as they are so easily missed unless you know what you’re looking for. Of course, the duckling will grow into a full sized duck in a few months and the hummer won’t get much bigger, but both sometimes require help to make it through the night and Liberty is there for them.

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Sick little orphan

Sick little orphan

Jan and Dr. Wyman work on the baby gho

Jan and Dr. Wyman work on the baby gho

Flushing out his eyes

Flushing out his eyes

"That feels better"

“That feels better”

It always seems that at some point in the spring, the sky opens up and it begins raining baby great horned owls. Most of them can still be cared for by their parents in a process called “branching out” but sometimes there are other factors involved. Sometimes the places the parents decide to raise their families are inappropriate and unsafe for the babies (and people nearby), and sometimes disease is present in the nest. Avian canker (or trichomoniasis) is brought home by parents feeding infected food to their young and if caught in time, can be treated and cured. Periods of drought such as we have seen in Arizona can exacerbate the spread of this by limiting the availability of water supplies which are often prime sources of the organism. Owls, kestrels, doves, hawks, are all susceptible to this potentially deadly condition. Our new facility will provide a special “isolation” room to better treat these animals and keep others from acquiring the disease.

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Raven nest in a bad spot (Photo by Nina)

Raven nest in a bad spot (Photo by Nina)

Climbers are called in (photo by Nina)

Climbers are called in (photo by Nina)

The ascent (photo by Nina)

The rescue box goes up (photo by Nina)

It's a long way up (photo by Nina)

It’s a long way up (photo by Nina)

Baby birds and eggs are collected (photo b y Nina)

Eggs are collected and lowered to Liberty R&C staff (photo b y Nina)

Recently ADOT was planing to replace the deck on a bridge on I-40 just west of Seligman. Upon inspection, an active raven nest was discovered under the old deck and the decision was made to relocate the contents of the nest, 6 eggs. Since the nest was in an inaccessible spot on a trestle under the bridge, a professional climbing crew was employed to retrieve the eggs and lower them to Nina and the R&C team she was heading. The eggs were transferred to a portable incubator for the trip to Liberty and then placed in one of our high-tech incubators in the ICU. Hatching has been occurring since their arrival!

Baby Raven starts to emerge

Baby Raven starts to emerge

An hour later, he's here

An hour later, hatching is done

"Welcome to the world"

“Welcome to the world”

Feeding is nearly continuous

Feeding is nearly continuous

As the baby ravens hatch, they are placed in a brooder and fed a special diet of mouse purée (yes, we’re not kidding!) at regular intervals. They are accompanied in the brooder by a stuffed raven to reinforce the natural imprinting process as the camouflaged hand feeders distribute the food.

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Darwin with foster

Darwin with her foster

Thankfully, most of the orphan baby GHO’s we take in don’t require hand feeding by volunteers. Instead, we have several adult great horned owls who serve as foster parents for the rapidly developing owlets who get the benefit of having the proper species caring for them during this critical phase of their lives. If there is a down-side, it’s the depletion of GHO’s from the Education team this time of year. Normally we have 5 great horned owls on the Ed team, but given the needs of foster care, we now have one!

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Update on the New Facility

I was unable to get new pictures this week as A) It was raining. And B) the doors are all locked now and I don’t have a key as yet. These are from last week.

West wing north side

West wing north side

Wetlands panorama

Wetlands panorama

 

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This Week @ Liberty – April 04, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby - Executive Director

Megan Mosby – Executive Director

We see a lot of feathers at Liberty Wildlife.  What an amazing structure, the feather…amazing, functional and powerful.  For the birds, feathers offer an outer covering of vaned feathers with downy feathers beneath them and next to the body.  These provide the birds with insulation and waterproofing as well as color and are critical to the intricacies of flight.  They also play a part in communication with other birds and offers a means of protection.  If you look at an owl in a tree it pretty much can disappear due to the patterns of the feathers…camouflage. Or, on birds like Kestrels fake eyes made by feather patterns on the back of their heads misdirects predators from the real eyes.  Sweet!

Feathers that are off the bird have assumed other purposes.  For one thing, they line nests.image2  In some cultures, they are used in traditional medicinal practices.  In the past they were used as fashion statements for hats and coats and other décor.  Fishing lures and hair ornaments have also made use of feathers.

However, many of the early uses of feathers caused a negative impact on certain bird species and eventually laws were passed to protect migratory birds from the rapacious demand on feathers, molted or mostly taken from carcasses of birds killed to feed these trendy purposes.  This was a great move for the protection of species, but it created a hardship on Native Americans who depended on the use of these feathers for religious and ceremonial purposes.  The sad outcome was that birds were taken illegally when no other source of feathers was available.

image5The eagle feather was considered particularly sacred by many of these cultures so The National Eagle Repository was created by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to provide feathers to legally recognized tribal members.  But, since the 1990s there wasn’t a legal method of obtaining feathers from all of the other native species.  In 2010 in an effort to address the issue, Liberty Wildlife signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the USFWS to start a pilot program, the Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository (NEFR).  At the end of the pilot period and after being awarded the Partners in Conservation Award, NEFR was made a permanent program.

Since October 2010 we have received 3276 applications for feathers filling 2506 for an average filled of 76.5%.  We have sent feathers to 43 states to about 200 federally recognized tribes of which there is a total of 567; therefore, 35.6% of all federally recognized tribes have feathers from Liberty Wildlife.  The youngest person to receive an order was 20 while the oldest was 81 years old.  In 2015 alone, we sent out feathers of 38 different species.

Feathers, recycled legally, are a success story for the species, the Native Americans, and our shared world.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now up to 821.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

We’re all getting pretty busy around the facility as Baby Bird Season ramps up into full swing and our move to the new facility gets closer. We pride ourselves on providing training for our wonderful volunteers so they have the experience to provide the best service for the wildlife we are called upon to help. This begins with a call to the Hotline, followed closely by a rescue effected by an R&T volunteer. We also provide continuing care for our animals by keeping them safe from diseases they might acquire from exposure to the environment. All of this was displayed last week with training classes for Orphan Care, Rescue & Transport, and West Nile Virus vaccinations provided for the animals in our care. And while all this is going on, planning for this year’s Wishes for Wildlife is on everyone’s mind…

It's not just raptors who get shoes

It’s not just raptors who get shoes

If you’ve been following TW@L over the last few weeks, you’ve seen a couple of hawks receiving specially constructed “shoes” made to help treat foot and leg problems. Just so you don’t think we only provide this specialized care for the larger birds, I took this picture of a little dove last week who had a “shoe” fashioned for it to help correct a foot deformity which interfered with its ability to walk properly.

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Gun shot raven gets an exam from Dr. Orr

Gun shot raven gets an exam from Dr. Orr

The gunshot raven that arrived from Kingman recently was checked by Dr. Orr last Tuesday and appeared to be healing. As you remember, a pellet was lodged in the bird’s wrist and the joint was severely damaged by the projectile. The bird will, unfortunately, not be able to fly when the wing is healed, but since he is otherwise intact, he will be placed in either Education or another facility doing similar work.

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Two of Maggie's foster kids

Two of Maggie’s foster kids

The population of babies being raised by our teams of foster parents is growing rapidly. Here are only a couple of orphan GHO’s who will be imprinted by Maggie and eventually be released as strong, aggressive, and fully fledged great horned owls. This program is vital to our efforts to safely raise orphans that can be released into the wild with every chance to successfully join others of their species in the skies of Arizona.

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WNV vaccine

WNV vaccine

Ready to innoculate

Ready to innoculate

Birds are protected

Birds are protected

Talon trimming is also accomplished now

Talon trimming is also accomplished now

Beak coping is an art

Beak coping is an art

Once each spring, all of our birds are inoculated against Wet Nile Virus. This disease showed up in Arizona a few years ago and a few of the wild birds that have come in since then have presented symptoms of the virus. With this in mind, Dr. Sorum has been providing Liberty with enough vaccine to protect all of our resident birds each year. Usually they are all done on the same day and are injected on an “assembly line” arrangement by Jan Miller and her staff. While each bird is in hand, their talons and beaks are also trimmed during this visit to the “Day Spa” to prevent overgrowth and the problems this might cause. Living in the wild, birds wear down their own beaks and talons through normal activity but when in captivity, we often have to help nature along with this process.

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More Orphan Care training

More Orphan Care training

As the Orphan Care season moves along, new volunteers are continually being trained to join the team. The classes include species identification, types of food for each, and how to handle basic medical questions. We truly appreciate all of our Orphan Care volunteers and the effort they make to provide care for these fragile little lives.

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Not a great place for ducklings

Not a great place for ducklings

The release

The release

A better home

A better home

I’ve always said that of all the animals I’ve rescued in the past 26 years, ducks are the hardest with duck families in swimming pools heading the list. Here is a story by volunteers John and Balinda who did a fantastic job last weekend with just such a rescue: “Candice called around 11 AM with a duck in the pool relocation request.
The manager, Rick, would meet us to let us into the pool area.
When Balinda and I got there, there were a number of people from the surrounding apartments who wanted to see us capture the ducks.  Rick had tried numerous times and could not catch the mother, much less the 12 babies who were swimming in 12 different directions including down to the bottom of the pool.  They must have thought it would be an easy job for “professionals” from Liberty Wildlife.  Little did they know that this is one of the hardest rescues we do… there is nothing like a Mallard duck mother when she is threatened.  They can shoot out of the water straight up, or along the ground like a bottle rocket.  You just never know what they will do, and they are incredibly fast.
Balinda approached the mother from one end. She flew under my swinging net, and into a patio area next to the pool.  This gave me a bit of cover so I was able to sneak up on her and do a quick netting as she took off.  Balinda ran over with the box and some gloves to wrestle her in.  
Now for the babies.  We both started scooping them up every time they surfaced.  One by one we were catching them, but Balinda’s net was a little too big and they were squirting out after being netted.  So we used my net to capture all 12 of the little ones.  Then, into the box with mom… or so we thought.  Even though we were careful, mom flew out as the babies went in.  I was lucky to grab her in mid air as she flew!  Back in the box for the long ride to Scottsdale.
Balinda said, “too bad we didn’t bring some food for them so they have something to eat when they are released.”  I remembered Wild Birds Unlimited at Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend.  About a year ago they called and I had captured a hummingbird that was inside their store and moved it outside.  So we took the box ‘o ducks in and talked to the owner, Gretchen.  She took one look at the cute little guys and handed us a bag of wild bird food, on the house!  Thank you Wild Birds Unlimited!
Off to Marguerite lake, where Balinda carefully turned the box on its side, and released the box latches, but did not open the box (per your directions, Terry).  The mom stuck out her beak then made a break for the water, stopping to look over her shoulder to see that the babies were following.
In the mean time, we had told an elderly wheelchair-bound lady and her caregiver what was about to happen. They stopped and were watching with delight. 
All of us were spellbound as the momma duck sat by the water’s edge until all 12 babies scooted across the grass to her.  Then, into the water the whole brood went!  Wow!  A couple of smart baby ducks were riding on mom’s back as they went along the shore and checked out their really cool new digs in the huge Scottsdale lake that is their new home.
The elderly lady and her caregiver were ecstatic and thanked Liberty Wildlife for what we do.  A great feeling, a great day, and hopefully a grateful mother duck and 12 babies.”

Here’s a small video of the release by John:

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Peggy with Anasazi

Peggy with Anasazi Photo by (Doris Pedersen)

Doris and Diego

Doris and Diego (photo by Rodie Purcell)

Duck rescued by two young  boys

Duck rescued by two young boys (photo by Sherrill Snyder)

Peggy Cole and Doris Pedersen did a program on the west side last week. But there was more to the story as Doris writes:

“We did three programs on 4/1 at Estrella Mountain Elementary School. These boys were part of the 5th/6th grade presentation. That afternoon, they saw a hurt duck and called the LW hotline. The call went out to Sherrill. When she asked them how they knew to call LW, they told her that they had just had a program at school today. She walked them through how to get the duck without getting hurt. They got a towel, did a dumpster dive for the box and called back. By that time it was getting dark, and even though Sherrill had been on other calls and running around all day and was tired, she drove all the way out to Goodyear to get the duck that night. She really wanted the boys to feel like they were making a difference.  

Between Sherrill, Alexa and I we are keeping an eye on the duck and will give it back to the boys for release once it is ready. it’s just awesome to see everything come full circle!”

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"Chim chim cheroo..."

“Chim chim cheroo…” (photo by Paul Halesworth)

And while we’re talking about rescues, last night I went out to Laveen around 7PM. There was a bird in a chimney that turned out to be a grackle stuck in the draft box over the fireplace. The ashes had been removed from the floor of the fireplace, but the top (flue, chimney, etc.) had not been cleaned in some time. I finally got the bird out, but it took me around 40 minutes in the shower to get in shape to go to bed, and I’m still sneezing black gunk this morning! Hey, it’s cheaper than Grecian Formula!

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Progress Update on the New Facility

Parking areas and more foliage

Parking areas and more foliage

Water in the wetlands

Water in the wetlands

The north side of the west wing

The north side of the west wing

Amphitheater takes shape

Amphitheater takes shape

We had our first avian visitor!

The wetlands has its first avian visitor!

The new trees included this nest

The new trees included this nest

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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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