This Week at Liberty – May 12, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I know that I have harped on this before and those of you who read and heed the blog can close your eyes, but better yet you can shout the message out to everyone you know including home owners associations, corporations and businesses, shopping centers and anyone else with trees that they care for.  Here’s the mantra:  “Don’t trim your trees in the spring and summer!”  Plain and simple….no ifs, ands, or buts….just don’t do it.

As if the winds (which we have no control over) weren’t enough, we have recently had many babies trimmed carelessly out of their trees.  Mom and Dad have gone out to gather food or have been driven from the nest by the roar of a saw only to watch or find their homes and babies plummeting to the ground.  And, to add insult to injury no effort is made to correct the “mistake”!  What is the matter with people?  Can you really just walk away and leave a helpless baby to die from heat, starvation or a broken back?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

And, if kindness and compassion isn’t enough, let’s talk about the law.  It is illegal to disturb the nests of native migratory birds….plain and simple….do not disturb them.  If the tree is threatening to fall on your car, your neighbor’s house or your own, you can probably get a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service…but don’t forget that little detail.  Here’s an excerpt from the Migratory Bird Act….just in case you need some ammo.

703. Taking, killing, or possessing migratory birds unlawful.

“…it shall be unlawful at any time, by any means or in any

manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take,

capture, or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to barter, offer

to purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, export, import, cause to

be shipped, exported, or imported, deliver for transportation,

transport or cause to be transported, carry or cause to be

carried, or receive for shipment, transportation, carriage, or

export, any migratory bird, any part, nest, or eggs of any such

bird, or any product, whether or not manufactured, which

consists, or is composed in whole or part, of any such bird or

any part, nest, or egg thereof…”

Plan your trimming for the fall.  For further motivation remember that lusher trees provide shade in the heat of the summer.  Fall trimming is healthier for the tree.  A healthy bird population negates the need for harsh pesticides as they thrive on the insect population and that only increases when they are feeding babies…pest control the natural way.

Spread the word.  For a healthy environment birds’ help is needed.

For a healthy bird population your help is needed!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total is now at 1634.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Hopefully, all of the mothers on our list had a great Mother’s Day, and since we’re in the midst of Baby Bird Season and the foster program is going strong, this posting will rely heavily on the “motherhood” aspect of this time of year.  The treatment of the baby eagle takes a major turn, and a couple of “interesting” patients arrive. There were some great educational programs produced around the state which I’ll cover in more detail next week. (This is one of the few times during the year that I wound up with more photos than I could use in  one post!)

Orphan Care volunteer enjoys her work

Orphan Care volunteer Mandy enjoys her work

Joanie marks some eggs

Joanie marks some eggs

The intake of baby birds remains strong.  Fortunately, we have a great team of dedicated Orphan Care volunteers who spend their shifts feeding and caring for the ever growing number of tiny mouths (er…beaks?) that now line the walls of the OC area. Every once in a while, someone will bring in some eggs that they found and these are marked for identification before they are placed in an incubator. It’s never too early for Liberty Wildlife care!

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Joanie encourages another baby GHO

Joanie encourages another baby GHO

Teddy bear tufts

Teddy bear tufts

Dr.Wyman gives a final check

Dr.Wyman gives a final check

Am I almost done?

“Am I almost done?”

As usual, April saw a huge intake of orphan baby great horned owls. Lots come from windstorms, but far too many are the victims of inappropriate (or at best, untimely) tree trimming. I could probably fill each week’s update for the next few months with nothing but baby GHO pictures, but I won’t – probably. Each orphan is assessed, checked for any injuries, given fluids, weighed, and finally placed with one of our foster parent pairs. Each baby is cuter than the last…

Igor is a proud foster daddy

Igor is a proud foster daddy

 

The "Tombstone" family grows

The “Tombstone” family grows

We are again lucky to have two pairs of faster parent GHOs that are eager to perform the duties required of them. Igor and Elvira are in the frontmost enclosure, with Wyatt and Earp (the Tombstone clan) occupying the enclosure in the back.  Both groups are growing and their efforts are supplemented by Hedwig and Maggie who each are brooding their own small clutches.

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Sharon feeds the baby RTH

Sharon feeds the baby RTH

The little Raccoons now have their masks and striped tails!

The little Raccoons now have their masks and striped tails!

Babies continue to grow.  Our own version of “‘Coon and Friends” (for you South Park fans…)is going strong as the babies are now sporting their  grown-up colors – secret identity masks and stripy tails. The baby red tail is browning like a weed and will soon be ready for the next step in his adventure. And as we go to press with this update, it seems the little bald eagle that was with us and got released is back.  It seems he has more issues than just being skinny. More on this story as it develops…

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Our state bird...

Our state bird…

Now for some rehydration

Now for some rehydration

Yet another cats wren is now in our care, having been the victim of a really big glue trap. This one was even bated with peanut butter!  Luckily, the little bird (our state bird, no less) was found before he sustained more injury in his efforts to escape the sticky snare. I’m gonna say this one more time – DO NOT USE GLUE TRAPS!!!! They are not species specific in their targeting and usually wind up catching and cruelly killing many more unintended victims than the critters they were meant for.

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Baby eagle presents a fractured humerus

Baby eagle presents a fractured humerus

Pin from Dr.Driggers

Pin from Dr.Driggers

The baby bald eagle that we were working with was not doing well so he was taken to Dr. Driggers for surgery on his broken wing last week. Dr. D had to remove about an inch of bone and then installed a pin to maintain alignment in the bird’s humerus. Upon his return to Liberty, the little guy(?) began eating and for the first time, kept his food down! Now he is perking up remarkably and is sitting in Libby’s enclosure to expose her to an adult bald eagle. If he can compensate for the shorter wing, release is still on the table!

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Steel tube sparrow

Steel tube sparrow

A little push and ...PRESTO!

A little push and …PRESTO!

Just after the cactus wren (above) came in, a gentleman who had a piece of thick walled steel tubing in the back of his pickup truck found this little sparrow wedged into it. Not knowing what to do, he thoughtfully brought the tube-0-bird to Liberty’s intake window and with a little push, out he popped!  Reminded me of those old push-up type popsicles when I was a kid. Now when was that…?

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Donna J and Reo

Donna J and Reo

Again, as we went to press, I learned that Donna Jabara, one of our very best veteran Education volunteers, was injured in the line of Liberty duty last week.  She fell while preparing for a program and seriously injured her shoulder.  She’s due for surgery this week and from what we’ve heard, if the pins and screws don’t work, she’ll be getting a bionic replacement! Sounds like a couple of golden eagles we’ve had in. (I wonder if I can get the X-rays for the blog…?!)

RECOVER QUICKLY AND HURRY BACK DONNA!  You will be sorely missed!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week at Liberty – May 5, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I just read about a very cool project initiated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  It is all about citizen scientists (you) helping gather information, improving habitat (you), attracting more wildlife (you), and working to solve the sad fact that “we are losing 21 million acres of habitat every 10 years to residential development.”

Yep, that’s right.  You can be a huge part of the solution.  Here’s how.  The new program is called Yard Map.  It is designed to create bigger patches of connected habitat that is “bird friendly”.  Remember here that everything is really all connected.  If you have habitat that provides food in the way of insects, seeds, water, hidey places, roosting and nesting spots you will attract the birds and in reality the other critters necessary to have a “whole and complete” habitat….balanced, healthy and diverse.

The program has been thoroughly tested out and is now ready for expanded exposure and utilization.  The web site is robust and very helpful.  You can map out your own backyard…and if I can do it you can do it.  Or if you have a favorite birding spot, park site, school yard, you could with permission, I suppose, use it for a “yard map” possibility.

The object is to map your yard using the tools on the web site, get help from other participants regarding what is on your property that you can’t identify yourself, add native plants that will attract wild birds to your yard, and report on the activities.

It is quickly apparent that what you do does make a difference.  Many species, like butterflies, could and probably do live their entire existence in your habitat.  If you choose to use pesticides it could be devastating for a very long time to many species and since it is all connected it will power up the food chain and throw your habitat into disarray.

Go for the balance. “Attract more birds.  Help science. Map your yard.”  Go to the Cornell Lab or Ornithology/yard maps and get started today.  Be a part of the bigger solution.

This Week at Liberty

The intake total for the year now stands at 1379.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!  While you’re out having tacos, fajitas, and margaritas, remember all those baby birds that have been rescued (and NEED to be rescued) from the relentless wind of the last few weeks. The stream of orphans has become a torrent of late and this week’s update will mostly cover these little animals that are victims of nature’s fury (not to mention tree-trimmers who have little regard for nesting birds).  The worst aspect of the spring weather for most people is the need to clean their pool skimmers on a daily basis – bothersome, but hardly critical.  For a baby bird, being blown from the safety of their nest is a life threatening event. The truly lucky ones are found and arrive at Liberty Wildlife where they are cared for until old enough to survive on their own. From hummingbirds to bald eagles, the babies are rescued…

Rescued baby black-crowned night heron

Rescued baby black-crowned night heron

Among many orphan waterfowl rescued and cared for by the volunteers of Liberty Wildlife is this baby black-crowned night heron. Just beginning to grow feathers, this little guy is getting care from the Medical Services and Orphan Care groups. Growing fast, this bird will hopefully be released soon and will join the fishing community at lakes around the town.

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Little Chief's sibling is doing well

Little Chief’s sibling is doing well

The bald eagle fledging that turned out to be a sibling of our own little Chief is doing well. According to Jan, he came in “dehydrated and very thin. He arrived weighing 4.3lbs and left at 7lbs! His nest-mate, a female, weighed 9lbs. He was taken back to his nest area last Thursday afternoon where he belongs, learning the ropes of being an apex predator in the Arizona skies.

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Rescued orphan red tail

Rescued orphan red tail

Another “orphan of the storm” is this tiny baby red-tail hawk that was a victim of the violent winds in the last couple of weeks. He was found on  the ground by an individual who was feeding him meat by hand. At this point we have hopes that he wasn’t permanently imprinted by this activity, but only time will tell. This is why it’s so important for people to call Liberty Wildlife when they find an orphan raptor rather than attempt to rehabilitate it themselves. Without proper training, this almost always ends up being unsuccessful.

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Carl rescues another orphan kestrel

Carl rescues a female orphan kestrel

Two more orphan kestrels receive care

Two more male orphan kestrels receive care

The intake of orphan kestrels is rising, as usual for this time of year. These little falcons are fairly common and may be victims of both the weather and inexperienced mothers who may have nested in inappropriate places. By the end of the season, our foster parent kestrels will be caring for dozens of growing fledglings, all looking forward to being released to be hunters in the local area!

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Rescued baby bald eagle gets fluids from Jan and Alex

Rescued baby bald eagle gets fluids from Jan and Alex

A lot of damage from the fall...

A lot of damage from the fall…

The baby bald eagle that came in 9 days ago is still in critical condition.  He was X-rayed last week ands this confirmed a broken wing, but also indicated some internal injuries which cold be life-threatening.  He has a lot of trouble keeping food down and this doesn’t help the healing process. He is now scheduled for surgery on his wing tomorrow (Tuesday) as this might be the only chance we have of repairing the damaged wing. Keep the fingers crossed and a good thought in your hearts for this little guy.

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Tub o'ducklings

Tub o’ducklings

I get a lot of phone calls this time of year that begin, “I have a bunch of ducklings in my pool!” With a growing mallard population, the competition for appropriate nest sites near natural lakes and other water is stiff. Sometimes a pool with nice foliage looks inviting, especially to an inexperienced mother. When this happens, about a month or so later, out pops the mother, trailed by a dozen or so ducklings! Luckily, a few rescue volunteers (Carl, Tony, and myself included) can remove the ducklings from danger, but if the mother eludes capture, the baby ducks wind up in the care of the rehabilitation community. That’s where Liberty Wildlife comes in…

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Little guy with a broken leg

Round tailed ground squirrel with a broken leg

It’s bad enough when your one of the smallest mammals around, being an orphan in the wild in Arizona, but when you have a broken leg on top of it all, you really need some help! This little orphaned round tailed ground squirrel came in last week and presented  a broken leg which required a wrap in order to heal. So, in addition to being bottle (syringe) fed, he needs his wrap changed frequently. Click here to see one of the baby cottontails get some fluids… A baby bunny gets hydrating fluids.  Total care is what all creatures get at Liberty Wildlife!

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Name that rodent!

Name that rodent!

For quite some time now, a burrowing rodent has been leaving small dirt mounds around the facility. We haven’t spent a lot of time trying to get him to move out since we figured eventually he would tunnel up on the wrong side of an enclosure wall and the resident raptor would eliminate the problem naturally. Last week, I was talking to some volunteers near Hedwig’s enclosure and noticed this little guy watching from below. Just 12 inches from oblivion, the gutsy little guy showed not the least bit of concern or fear!  We’re not sure exactly what he is, so if any readers are good on identifying types of gophers or other burrowing rodents, let us know!

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This Week at Liberty – April 28, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I am sure that I have mentioned before my disdain for the wind…my most un-favorite weather condition.  First, it is just annoying.  It blows dust and other particles into my eyes.  It sends detritus throughout my yard and patios as consistently as it rains when I wash my car.  Just finish cleaning the patios and the winds begin their secret pacts to annoy me at all costs.  Ok, I really know that this is shallow and pretentious of me to think the weather Gods have any interest in me and what I do, but I am just saying….

There are other malevolent things that happen when we have angry winds like we did this weekend.  Huge otherwise healthy looking tree branches were snapped at the base and sent hurtling to the ground taking with them anything in the way and surely sending nests of baby birds to their peril.  In fact we catapulted our count over 200 animals and many of them came with the winds.  That is no coincidence.

They came in the form of hummingbird nests, cactus wrens, verdins, and other small song birds…many at the mercy of some kind soul who found them, called around for help, and brought them in with such relief, not wanting the responsibility of feeding every 20 minutes or so.

They also came in the form of baby owls, baby hawks, falcons and two baby bald eagles.  The eagles came from different nests but both hurled from their nests by strong winds charging across vulnerable homes.  The older of the two eagles will be fattened up and sent home to its sibling and parents, hopefully by the end of the week.  The second, much younger 4 week old wasn’t quite so lucky.  It had a long fall which broke two bones in one wing and could possibly have left internal injuries…and will unfortunately take more time to heal if it is even possible…the jury is still out until closer examinations and test results provide the depth of the impact of the nasty winds on a small downy body.

And if that weren’t enough, Leah, a long time nest watcher we have featured in the past, was almost blown from her nest watching vantage point on a peak opposite her assigned nest.  So, from hummingbirds to eagles to humans, the wind can appear to have a vengeance.  Yes, these are much more serious than my shallow worry of the mess on my patio…but I am just saying, the wind isn’t my favorite weather condition!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total now stands at 1143.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The babies are taking over, as is to be expected this time of year (and as Megan pointed out above, springtime winds are almost never a help!)  Almost every day some new orphan owls and hawks show up, along with the doves, thrashers, mockingbirds, bunnies and ground squirrels that arrive at the intake window. As the education season draws to an end, preparations are already in the works for next season only a few short months away. Treatment of the golden eagle in the ICU continues as we hope the medicine works. Speaking of eagles, we took in two new bald eagles yesterday – one was a sibling of our own little Chief! It is hoped these birds will quickly improve enough to be released someday soon. And as we and our fosters care for the helpless orphans, our mommy raccoon cares for her own babies as they grow. Let’s take a look…

Feeding thrasher baby

Feeding thrasher baby

Holding on

Holding on

Feeding babies seems to occupy most of the volunteers right now. From the birds like the thrasher above, to all of the squirrels (round-tail ground, rock, antelope, etc.) these helpless little animals depend on the care of the volunteers at the facility to be feed, kept warm,  and given any medical treatment they might require as long as they are with us.

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A baby screech owl is in the running for the cutest baby of the week...

A baby screech owl is in the running for the cutest baby of the week…

No real damage but too little to be alone

No real damage but too little to be alone

Everybody gets fluids...

Everybody gets fluids…

"I'll remember that needle...!"

“I’ll remember that needle…!”

This terribly cute baby screech owl came to us last week. He doesn’t present any overt trauma, but is much too young to be on his own.  After being examined and cleared to go outside, he was given fluids (MAN that’s a big needle!), a band, and was allowed to go outside with two adult foster parents in the screech owl enclosure. At last check, he was doing fine…

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Love the tiny ear tuft "horns"

Love the tiny ear tuft “horns”

Not all orphans are tiny.  This little GHO (one of many) came in and displayed his burgeoning ear tufts – or “horns” as he was evaluated and banded prior to being placed with Igor, his highly experienced foster dad.

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Fluids for the golden (photo by John Glitsos)

Fluids for the golden (photo by John Glitsos)

We have been treating this golden eagle for a couple of weeks. He came in from up north and appeared very “down” with unknown causes.  After blood tests revealed, among other problems, a very rare blood parasite brought on by exposure to black flies, treatment began. A special medicine had to be procured and a proper dosage fixed. So far his response has been less than stellar, but we have hopes he will eventually improve.  Keep a good thought…

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Washing her food

Washing her food (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

A crawfish meal for momma

A crawfish meal for momma (photo by Nina Grimaldi)

Sleeping together after eating

The raccoon kids sleeping together after eating

Our momma raccoon is doing well, as are her babies. They are still too small to be moved so she is given extra food including some crawfish that was recently donated to Liberty by Laura Bonardi and her husband. She is meticulous in washing all the food she gets before eating it herself, and we are making sure she has enough of the proper diet to allow her to produce sufficient milk for her family of four.

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Jan gets a turn with Aurora

Jan gets a turn with Aurora

Since we are doing lots of eagle programs right now, a couple more people are being added to Aurora’s approved handlers. This included Jan Miller who got a chance to work with our star bald eagle last week. Being the Animal Care Coordinator, Jan doesn’t often get to do the “fun stuff” like eagle presentations, so it was great to see her get to handle the big girl.

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Two Canada goslings

Two Canada goslings

Just a fun shot of two canada goose babies in the outside aviary. Goslings grow pretty fast so we hope it won’t be too long before they are at a local lake and getting acquainted with adults of their species.

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Sleepy kitties make a brief stay

Sleepy kitties make a brief stay

A call to the hotline last Friday alerted us about a bobcat in somebody’s backyard in the area. Since Liberty doesn’t remove healthy animals, we referred the call to a couple of other agencies. Two gentlemen from a local rattlesnake removal service arrived at which point the mother kitty took off into the desert. They collected these two kittens and brought them to Liberty. We then called Southwest Wildlife who came and picked them up. The plan was to try and trap the mom so the family could remain intact as the kittens grow up. Natural moms make the best parents!

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This Week at Liberty – April 21, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan

Wishes for Wildlife number 21 is now in the history books…as a great event and success.  A huge thank you goes out to all of you who helped, attended, and supported Liberty Wildlife’s mission.  The Liberty Wildlife Guardians and Event Chair, Cay Cowie, outdid themselves this year by gathering a plethora of desirable offerings for the Silent Auction and the Super Silent Auction….notice, NO LIVE AUCTION!  There were things for the garden including trees, granite, boulders, and yard art.  There were services for ladies and gents, antiques and collectibles, art and photography, sports including tickets to sporting events and packets of golf galore, but the big seller as always was the trips and travel section. The bidding was fast and furious on the electronic tablets and the system allowed for bidding from the comfort (but not as much fun) of your own couch.

Further, a display of Liberty Wildlife’s new facility introduced the renderings, hot off the press and architect Phil Weddle was present to answer questions and to wax poetic about his design.

But wait there’s more.  The dining area was decorated with home grown succulents-raised locally so that they can take the full sun and remain bountiful and beautiful…and you guessed it they were for sale also.  In case you are interested I still have a few left that could adorn your home for a mere $50.  The entire event was nature oriented and mission driven.  As guests were seated they enjoyed video from the auction…ala…see your face here, so to speak.  And then the activities began.  A stunning video compiled by Terry Stevens and set to dynamic music immediately caught the attention of the audience…but for the music…you could have heard a pin drop until the applause broke out at the end…”but when wildlife gets in trouble, Liberty Wildlife is there to help”!

Dinner was served and Chef Michael Cairns outdid himself again this year.  Just leave it said…no one complained…everyone raved whether or not you chose the vegan entree, the all fish entree, or the surf and turf.  Then there was the desert, wheeled in on carts in the four corners of the room, flames burst forth and the cherries jubilee were served.  Where else could you serve 350 people flambeed ice cream that is still ice cream….but there at the hands of pros.  It was truly spectacular.  During dinner guests could view “This Year At Liberty” shown in silence on the big screens…a view into the incredible work done 365 days a year for Arizona’s wildlife…and ultimately for each of you.

After dinner the raffle tickets were drawn and three lucky people walked away with air line tickets on U.S. Airways, a trip to Cabo San Lucas, or a fabulous piece of jewelry from Molina’s Fine Jewelry. Wow!

Corporate Chairs Victoria and Rod Granberry were introduced and proceeded to introduce Liberty Wildlife’s Legacy Award.  This year’s award went to Dr. Kathy Orr, founder of Liberty Wildlife and long time devotee to the care of Arizona’s wildlife among her many other contributions to nature and animals.  A short video made the audience aware of her devotion to her passion…it was moving, and I didn’t see too many dry eyes in the audience including mine.  A totally well deserved award…!

The wild part of our program was yet to come.  Michael Barnard of the Phoenix Theatre announced the beginning of “Wild Things” our new game show…mission driven and designed to educate the audience about wildlife and Liberty Wildlife.  The room, divided off into teams, Owls, Eagles, Falcons, and Condors, would act as a life line to a contestant from each team.  Questions were asked each contestant and our own Vanna (Stephanie Mullins) kept a “Price Waterhouse” score of the proceedings and the game was narrowed to two.  These two contestants entered a lightning round and the game proceeded.  The final winner won the opportunity to release a rehabilitated animal with the entire team.  Each team supported with deafening applause, answers shouted out, and physical attempts at depicting the correct letters.

It was just fun. Every one learned something about wildlife and about Liberty Wildlife and everyone seemed to stay involved.

Finally the audience was invited out to the back garden in view of the entire resort picking up a glass of champagne on the way out to toast to the release of a rehabilitated great horned owl by Honorary Corporate Chair, Rod Granberry.  It was spectacular as always…what a great end to a very fun and engaging evening.

Again, my thanks to all of you who made this possible.  Thanks for your contribution to our mission to “nurture the nature of Arizona”.

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake number is now at 936. (And if you don’t remember the last update three weeks ago today at which point it was 436, you do the math…!)

We’re BAAAAACK! After the two week hiatus to complete work on this year’s Wishes for Wildlife, we’re back on schedule with the activity level reaching new highs (note the intake number jump in just a couple of weeks!) Wishes for Wildlife was a major hit, the best fundraiser in memory! We take in a golden eagle from up north, dozens more little mammals show up, along with an increasing number of orphaned owls, hawks , and falcons, and life begins to return to a normal(?) pace – at least for this time of year. The Education season reaches a crescendo as the heat of the summer draws near, and the wonderful, dedicated volunteers keep doing their extraordinary work keeping the animals cared for, fed, and safe while the ambient temperature rises by the day. Thanks for sticking with us and welcome back!

Busy volunteers in OC

Busy Saturday morning OC volunteers Sue, Alana, Elizabeth, and Kathy tending to the babies.

The Orphan Care area is now at full throttle, with feeding and cleaning babies beginning at sunrise and continuing throughout the daylight hours. If anybody ever doubts our need for more space, all they need do is take a look in the “Neonatal Care” wing to get an appreciation for the crowded conditions under which our valiant volunteers work to provide life sustaining care to these tiniest and most helpless of Arizona’s residents. Thanks to you all for your efforts!

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The newly reorganized "Small Bird Isolation Area"

The newly reorganized “Small Bird Isolation Area”

As the number of patients increases, the need for organization goes up proportionally. Recently our volunteers took it upon themselves to rearrange and stratify the area between the Med Services area and the large bird ICU to make it better organized and productive. Darkened camo curtains were made, each with pockets to hold medical and feeding records. These separate tiers of bins , each on heating pads, to hold smaller birds and animals as they are treated by the OC and Med Services teams. As true now as it was in 400BC,  ”Mater artium necessitas” – Necessity is the mother of invention. (Plato)

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Yes, that IS a Q-tip!

Yes, that IS a Q-tip!

Still the baby humming birds come in. A couple weeks ago, these two tiny newly hatched hummers showed up – in their nest. Feeding anything this small is a challenge, but they are doing well and growing rapidly in the hummingbird enclosure in Orphan Care.

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Stacey feeds a tiny rock squirrel baby

Stacey feeds a tiny rock squirrel baby

"I can hold onto this!"

“I can hold onto this!”

Ground squirrel in a tub

Ground squirrel in a tub

We’re still seeing a number of round-tailed ground squirrels showing up, along with antelope squirrels and a couple of rock squirrel babies thrown in for good measure. On a “cuteness scale” of 1 to 10, these little guys score around 12 and sometimes amaze folks who tour the facility that we actually rehab ALL ends of the food chain without discrimination. Nothing is turned away from Liberty Wildlife, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Everything has a place in the environment…

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Heddy and one of her fosters

Heddy and one of her fosters

As the number of orphans grows, our team of foster parents are all stepping up to perform their seasonal duties.  This not only relieves our overworked staff from donning disruptive camouflage clothing and using hand puppets to feed orphaned owls and hawks, it gives the little birds a chance to learn their position in life by observing first hand the behavior of an adult of their own species. Begun over a decade ago, the foster parent program is a big part of “baby bird season” as the youngsters are best cared for by their species and will imprint properly, allowing for eventual release.

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A good mom...

A good mom…

Recently, Joe and Jan rescued a small female raccoon who was in some distress along a local highway. She came to the facility and presented no serious injury – except she was pregnant! At first, we were not sure exactly HOW pregnant she was – until one day last week when it was found she had given birth to four little baby raccoons overnight! She and her little ones will remain with us until the babies are old enough to travel.

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New volunteers meet Aurora

New volunteers meet Aurora

Last Saturday a group of potential new volunteers gathered under the front overhang and were given an orientation by Carol. Following the filling out of forms and the basic introduction to Liberty Wildlife, the new prospects were given a brief tour of the facility. Now they get to decide if they wish to continue on as volunteers and in what area they want to work. During the process, various volunteers from Med Services, Education, and Rescue and Transport (along with your truly) gave short intros to the various opportunities available to the prospective newbies.

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Checking in

Checking in   (photo courtesy of SRP) 

Bidding fun

Bidding fun  (photo courtesy of SRP

The best food ever!

The best food ever!  (photo courtesy of SRP)

Dr.Orr is recognized

Dr.Orr is recognized  (photo courtesy of SRP)

CA is a winner

The game show is a big hit!   (photo courtesy of SRP) 

"Pick A!!!"

“Pick A!!!” Coaching from the Peanut Gallery  (photo courtesy of SRP)

Ready for release...

Ready for release…  (photo courtesy of SRP)

Wishes for Wildlife 2014 put the “Fun” back in “Fundraising!” What has generally been recognized as the best event in memory took place on the 12th and although the final tallies are not yet in, in terms of enjoyment, we knocked this one out of the park!  Check out Megan’s HHH above for a more in depth recap. We’ll have more photos up on the W4W website soon.  Thanks to all who helped make the event truly memorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week at Liberty – March 31, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

Where did March go?  Whoosh and it is gone!  And that means there are only 12 more days until the 21st running of Wishes for Wildlife….and what a great event it is going to be this year.  It is all about our mission.  No Live Auction to sit through.  No cash call to shrink away from.  It is guaranteed to be just a lot of fun, a lot of educable moments, and all of this to support our mission and our wonderful cause.

The best part is that it isn’t too late to buy a ticket.  If you don’t have a table to sit with we can find a lovely group for you to join.  If you have benefited from our services maybe you would want to repay us by joining in the fun.  If you haven’t yet taken advantage of our community service “pay it forward” and show your gratitude for the fact that we are out there waiting to help you when you need it!

If you want to see our educational ambassadors, learn about the species or their particular stories, go now to our store, www.libertywildlife.net, to buy a ticket.  If you want to learn about Liberty Wildlife and our dazzling stats, visit our store and buy a ticket.  If you want to get the first glimpse of the renderings of our new facility, come on down to our store and buy a ticket to Wishes for Wildlife.  If you want to see the release of a rehabilitated great horned owl…be at the Montelucia on April 12th!

Liberty Wildlife 2014_evite.indd
This is a fun event.  You don’t have to come in black tie.  You will be in the company of like- minded folks.  And best of all it benefits our mission to “nurture the nature of Arizona”!

Lots of thrills, never a dull moment all for $250 a person….

This Week at Liberty

The intake total is now at 485.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

Yes, the year is rushing by…and the rate of intakes shows that it will be busier than ever. The babies of all species are coming in, Wishes for Wildlife is upon us, and plans for the new facility are taking up any free time that we might have. All we can do is hang on for the ride – and hope that everyone who is able to can pitch in with whatever help they can provide. If you have a couple of hours a week and you’d like to do your part for the wildlife of Arizona, contact Carol NOW! We have several openings in Orphan Care, Hotline, and Daily Care that need to be filled ASAP. The work is rewarding and fun,  and although it might not be as easy as sitting home watching Dr. Phil,  you’ll feel better when the day is done,  I promise you!

Now let’s see what happened this week…

The peregrine goes outside

The peregrine goes outside

The beautiful tundra peregrine that came in a while ago is finally well enough to be moved to an outside enclosure. It’s still too early to tell if she will be a candidate for release, but we’re always hopeful! She has made real progress but the damage was fairly extensive and since peregrines are so specialized in their mission, she’ll have to be almost perfect in her ability to fly and hunt in order to be considered for release. Time will tell…

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Society finch has leg issues

Society finch has leg issues

Alright, it’s another non-native species, but when we got in this little society finch with deformed legs, the Med Services team went to work anyway. A special wrap was applied that binds the legs together so they form at the proper angle. Now, all we can do is wait and see if the legs will grow into well formed, useful appendages allowing the bird to be placed with someone who wants to keep this pretty little bird in their care.

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Susie helps Dr. Wyman work on a kestrel

Susie helps Dr. Wyman work on a kestrel

Cooper's hawk gets checked

Cooper’s hawk gets checked

It’s always a bonus to have Dr. Wyman attend the Tuesday “Vet Night” activity. As the staff goes through the birds in the ICU area, each patient gets the benefit of a well trained, experienced group of volunteers who check on their progress. Current status is checked and each individual is evaluated for the need for further care or changes in it’s treatment in order to move the patient along towards release.

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Another baby mocker gets a good diet

Another baby mocker gets a good diet

The baby birds are coming in steadily and growing explosively! As Orphan Care opens officially, the care and feeding of the little ones (like this baby Northern Mockingbird) will be taken over by the OC volunteers. Let the peeping begin!

What have we here?

What have we here?

Carl brings in two GHO babies

Carl brings in two GHO babies

One baby gets weighed

One baby gets weighed

Jan begins the assessment

Jan begins the assessment

Cleaning baby's ears

Cleaning baby’s ears

Carl Price went down south to rescue some baby great horned owls that had been somehow removed from their nest last week.  The smallest one didn’t survive the fall, but the larger two arrived at Liberty and were immediately treated for the effects of the fall and the separation from their parents. After being weighed, cleaned of certain creepy things in their ears and nostrils, hydrated and fed, they were allowed to de-stress before being placed with a new foster mom for raising and proper imprinting.

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Two baby round tail ground squirrels from Casa Grande

Two baby round tail ground squirrels from Casa Grande

Laura and Jan feed the new arrivals

Laura and Jan feed the new arrivals

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

It’s not “mom” but it’ll do…

Now to the other end of the food chain. I went down to Casa Grande last week to bring in these two orphan round tail ground squirrels. Some caring people found them along a road and didn’t want to see them die alone so they took them home and made a cool little habitat for them from a sock and a toilet paper tube. They made the long trip north and are doing well so far, with loving(?) care  from Jan and Laura, and I’m sure, all of the volunteers in the ICU!

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Dr.Wyman's shirt makes a statement

Dr.Wyman’s shirt makes a statement

Dr.Wyman made the staff smile last week as she wore a T-shirt with this statement on the back.  Just wearing it as she helps out proves it to be questionable as maybe not all humans are gross… Thanks for the laugh, Dr. W!

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This Week at Liberty – March 24, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

Okay…a couple of things….I am not seeing any comments to the blog…Are you reading it?  Just wondering…”cause I have another important thing to push.”  Our big fund raiser, Wishes for Wildlife is close to happening.  And, it is going to be a very fun event this year.  I do realize that not everyone can come, can participate, can show the colors by supporting the event…but maybe you can support (in the comfort of your home) by buying some raffle tickets.   There are three really great prizes to win…a piece of jewelry from Molina’s Fine Jewelry or $7500 gift certificate…now who couldn’t find something to thrill their hearts here?  Also, a terrific trip to Cabo San Lucas….whales, beach, golf, NATURE all at your fingertips and in luxury….or US Airways/American Airlines vouchers worth $1500 anywhere the airline goes, no block out dates, no end to the value…I can’t believe you aren’t already punching the Liberty Wildlife store to buy your raffle tickets now….pop up 2.0

It is so easy… one ticket for $20.00 but why stop there?…10 tickets for $100 makes quite a deal….Think of the sparkle around your neck or the piece of glitz of your choice worth $7500….Think of white sands, luxury accommodations, golf, wildlife, fine dining…or just that opportunity to blast off to destinations of your choice…what are you waiting for?

Go to www.libertywildlife.net  and buy your tickets now….your chances are as good as the next guy….and the more you buy the better your chances are.  To top it all…..you don’t have to be present to win.  Now, you might miss the fun of the draw if you aren’t there….and you will miss the camaraderie and fun of the event…but that has nothing to do with your chances to win…

As they say….”You can’t win if you don’t play”!  Get with it….buy your tickets now…

Play and possibly win…really big!  And, you know what?  No matter what the outcome of the raffle, you are supporting the mission of Liberty Wildlife and that is a win all by itself!!!!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total is now up to 392.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The tide of babies is rising with each day. Our foster parents are either actively raising orphans or eagerly awaiting the arrival of their own foster kids. In the middle of all this, we are preparing for Wishes for Wildlife 2014 and doing lots of education programs as Earth Day approaches. Last Saturday was the annual Baby Bird Shower at Cactus Park and the weather was great, as was the opportunity to present our Orphan Care program to the public. Then later on, Liberty had a large presence at the EFAZ Wildlife Benefit Concert at The Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek. Let’s take a look at what went on…

Feeding the baby Towhee

Feeding the baby Towhee

Until the official opening of the Orphan Care wing, our babies are being feds by inside Daily Care volunteers and some Medical Services people. This little towhee is routinely fed his own special diet while being kept in a warm brooder near the office as we outfit the OC area.

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Cooling baby off

Cooling baby off

Lots of new feathers growing in

Lots of new feathers growing in

"But I'm hungry NOW!"

“But I’m hungry NOW!”

Another orphan baby GHO arrived and this one is in pretty good shape.  He was observed, evaluated, fed, and cooled off before he was placed in the enclosure with Hedwig, our new “senior foster mom”…

Mamma Heddy and two fosters

Mamma Heddy and two fosters

Two foster kids doing fine

The two kids are doing fine

"I'm still waiting…!"

“I’m still waiting…!”

Hedwig is performing well as our primary foster mom right now.  She gently feeds, broods, and protects her two young charges as Maggie, a few doors down, still waits in her enclosure that she set up as a “nest” for her sure-to-be-arriving soon orphan chicks. I’ll have lots of baby pictures in the weeks to come…

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Patricia displays Diego at the Baby Bird Shower

Patricia displays Diego at the Baby Bird Shower (photo by Leslie Guenther)

Anasazi wows the crowd

Anasazi wows the crowd (photo by Leslie Guenther)

Making bird feeders

Making bird feeders (photo by Leslie Guenther)

The Baby Bird Shower was a success by all accounts. The weather was perfect and the crowd was interested and enthusiastic. The kids participated in making bird feeders and learned a lot about birds in general and Liberty Wildlife in particular. Thanks to Susie and her staff for making the event a hit!

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Jan and Lance do a show in Cave Creek

Jan and Lance do a show in Cave Creek

Stevie and Einstein make a friend

Stevie and Einstein make a friend

Joe and Aurora are always stars

Joe and Aurora are always stars

The Environmental Fund for Arizona held a wildlife benefit concert (see the March 10th HHH ) in Cave Creek on Saturday evening and Liberty put in a large effort as educators. Volunteers Jan, Joe, Stevie, and Stacey as well as several education birds were the stars of the show at the Buffalo Chip. Thanks to all who attended and gave their support!

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Grampa is waking up...slowly

Grampa is waking up…slowly

Rex and Rosie - BFFs

Rex and Rosie – BFFs

And, just because the opportunity for some good shots presented themselves, here’s a couple of “Kodak Moments” from the facility. Our senior desert tortoise, Grampa, is up from his winter hibernation, although he is still a little sleepy as he moves around the eagle area where his home is. Our two gila monsters, Rex and Rosie, are enjoying life in their enclosure between education presentations. This shot shows the differing patterns of their “beads” which are unique to the individual animals.

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This Week at Liberty – March 17, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

I have a great opportunity for you.  Come to our annual Baby Bird Shower.  It is this Saturday at Cactus Park, 7202 E. Cactus Road in Scottsdale (NE corner of Scottsdale Road and Cactus).

This is a very fun event for you and/or your entire family.  It is most delightful to see the number of people who go out to the park on a Saturday morning and this Saturday between 10:a.m .and 1:00 p.m. they will be greeted by birds of prey from our Educational group.  You can pull out your camera and pose with your favorite avian beauty. After learning about all of the birds that are present, you can explore the other displays and exhibits.

BBS 2014And, best of all, it is an opportunity for you to see what goes on in our Orphan Care department.  You can talk to experts, get the details on what to do if you find a baby bird (and thousands of you will….trust me).  There will be pine cone feeders and plastic carton bird feeders for the kids…crafts and all.

Now, you might be asking yourself, “What does one bring to a baby bird shower?”  Well our gift registry includes the following:  Paper towels (we go through astronomical numbers of paper towels), toilet paper…same here….wild bird seed, dry cat food, and dog food help in the chow line.  And if you want to take a totally safe route, monetary donations will allow us to purchase the crickets, meal worms, crumbles and other specialty foods needed by the diverse number of species that we deal with every spring and summer.

Dial up your friends, gather up your family and make a morning out of the Baby Shower for orphan baby birds.  You will be so glad that you did; we will be glad to see you; and the orphans needing your help will be the happiest.

Can we count on you to join us?

So mark the Liberty Wildlife Baby Bird Shower on your Saturday, March 22nd calendar.  The babies have already started raining from the skies….sign up to volunteer and get some great hands on experience for just a few hours a week and feel good about yourself all year,

See you there.  And, Happy Saint Patrick’s Day….continue to stay green on the 22nd, by attending the Concert for Wildlife benefiting EFAZ at the Buffalo Chips in Cave Creek starting at 4:30!

This Week at Liberty

Happy St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patty’s Day

The intake total for the year now stands at 336.

This might be the “calm before the storm” period at Liberty as we approach the official opening of Baby Bird Season. We have taken in a few early arrivals as the current crop of older birds and mammals continues to receive care.  Dr. Sorum’s mobile X-ray machine shows some interesting developments, and the staff tries hard to save our first orphaned GHO that arrived with serious injuries…

Slider or mud turtle…?

Slider or mud turtle…?

Ahh,  the red ears finally come out!

Ahh, the red ears finally come out!

So last week I got a call about a turtle in a trash can at El Dorado Park.  I went down there and sure enough, this big turtle was at the bottom of a blue trash barrel. He looked like a red eared slider but since I couldn’t see the characteristic red “ears,” there was some doubt. Someone said it was a Sonoran mud turtle, which would have made it a native.  But eventually when he stuck his head out, the red stripes appeared and the verdict was in: a red-eared slider! But even a non-native deserves better than dumping in the trash…

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It's really too early for a baby mocker...

It’s really too early for a baby mocker…

And the baby cotton tails keep stacking up

And the baby cotton tails keep stacking up

It’s a bit early for baby birds but you can’t tell nature to wait.  We already have a couple of baby mockingbirds to go along with the baby thrashers and we’re still accumulating baby bunnies, so I guess the season has begun – whether we want it to or not! (Don’t forget the Baby Bird Shower on Saturday morning!!)

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Little male kestrel has his wing splinted

Little male kestrel has his wing splinted

The gunshot burrowing owl gets a name

The gunshot burrowing owl gets a name

As usual, the parade of yearling birds picks up in late fall and continues to supplement the influx of true babies in the spring. This kestrel showed up presenting a broken wing, and the little burrowing owl with the buckshot in his wing is officially not a candidate for release and therefore qualifies for a name. Because of the skull damage he received in addition to the gunshot wound, we are calling him “Divot!”

Jan examines a cactus wren

Jan examines a cactus wren

A tiny broken wing gets wrapped

A tiny broken wing gets wrapped

Although the bigger birds (like hawks and owls) might be more dangerous to deal with, the smaller birds present their own unique problems.  Wrapping a broken wing on a cactus wren takes skill and patience, both of which our Medical Services people possess. This little example of our State Bird got that care last week as Jan wrapped his wing which had been broken when he was caught in a “sticky trap.”

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Remember this GHO from last week?

Remember this GHO from a previous posting?

We finally found out why his feet were infected

We finally found out why his feet were infected – lead pellets!

And then another X-ray showed 8 more!

And then another X-ray showed 8 more!

We were somewhat perplexed as to what was causing the infection in the foot of this great horned owl that came in recently. When the bird’s feet were X-rayed by Dr. Sorum, the answer became obvious: he had been shot!  And when the rest of the bird was also scanned, we were shocked to see that the bird had been peppered with lead pellets (10 in all) – and survived the attack.

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Jan and Joanie check a cooper's hawk

Jan and Joanie check a cooper’s hawk

Deep red eyes of age

Deep red eyes of age

Cooper's hawk xray

Cooper’s hawk xray

Cooper’s hawks (in fact ALL accipiters) present a challenge to rehabilitation. They tend to be very active, very aggressive, and very prone to collision damage as they hunt other birds for food. Head injuries are not uncommon, usually caused by hitting windows and walls as they fly fanatically after their prey. Or, as the above X-ray shows, they can receive other structural damage from colliding with immovable objects. The birds also don’t take kindly to being kept in cages or other enclosures and require special care and handling while in rehab.

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Jan and Denise work to save the baby

Jan and Denise work to save the baby

Looking for help

Looking for help

John Glitsos brought in our first orphan baby great horned owl last week. The little bird was not only separated from his parents, but it appears to have been attacked by some local harris’ hawks living in the same territory. This is not uncommon when the habitat is limited and sharing of limited resources becomes obligatory.  Jan, Denise, and the other Medical Services volunteers tried valiantly to save him, but sadly, the damage was too severe and the little bird lost his battle. Life in the big world is extremely harsh…

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This Week at Liberty – March 10, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

All, please see and heed the flyer below.  You have a chance to help environmental organizations across the state…for a mere $25.00 ($ 10 for kids younger than 15).  The 28 organizations that are members of Environmental Arizona Fund for Arizona (soon to be Earth Share AZ) will benefit from your generosity, your chance to have a really good time, your chance to be at a party/concert with people whose values you share.  There are no pretences here.  Wear your comfortable duds and bring the whole family to meet wildife up close and personal.  Dance to the live music from The Mindy Harris Band.  Dine on burgers (including veggies for those so inclined).  Have a night in the desert under the stars.  All of this fun rolled up in the cloak of benefiting “a greener” Arizona.

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

You can buy tickets by going to www.environmentalfundaz.org or at the door of the event.  Easy, easy, easy to do good, have fun, enjoy your friends and family, see live wildlife….Now I ask you, “what could be better?”

Commit now, buy your tickets now, feel good about what you have done the rest of the day!

This Week at Liberty

The intake total is now at 282.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The pace is starting to pick up around the facility as we rapidly approach the official beginning of Baby Bird season 2014 (Check out the Baby Bird Shower, March 22, 930am at Cactus Park).  The OC (Orphan Care) staff is gearing up with new brooders, new equipment, and some new techniques to better handle the influx of orphaned baby birds. We’re also getting ready of the 2014 edition of Wishes for Wildlife on April 12. Amid all this, preparations for our new home on the river are proceeding apace. And while this flurry of activity is going on, the one-on-one care for all our patients goes on as always guaranteeing that the animals that show up at the facility continue to receive the very best medical care possible…

New bunny habitat

New bunny habitat

Colored spots identify the patient

Colored spots identify the patient

Jan releases another new member of the cottontail family

Jan releases another new member of the cottontail family

As we continue to receive new orphan cotton tail rabbits, we are trying a new form of identification for each little bunny. We used to apply a small dab of nail polish on their heads but with so many new patients – plus the fact that the polish wore off fairly quickly – we are now placing small color coded dots inside each bunny’s ear. This seems to be working well in keeping track of the ever growing crop of small lagomorphs that inhabit our newly assembled “Bunny World” habitat.

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Hummers in their new enclosure

Hummers in their new enclosure

Baby thrasher has yet to see the world

Baby thrasher has yet to see his new world

Not to be outdone, the staff has built a new humming bird enclosure to facilitate both feeding the diminutive birds and allowing them to practice their new flying skills. Again, it seems to be working well as we have fledged several hatchling hummers this year. On the larger side, we also have a couple of newly arrived thrashers who also require special handling as do all of the altricial babies that we see each year.

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Hedwig in a motherly way

Hedwig in a motherly way

Maggie is also feeling the urge to be a mother

Maggie is also feeling the urge to be a mother

Abba broods eggs and young as Titus watches over her

Abba broods foster eggs and young as Titus watches over her from above

As the influx of real orphans grows, our staff of foster parent owls is also getting into the “family” mood. Hedwig and Maggie are both sitting on infertile eggs, awaiting the arrival of the first orphaned great horned owls that we expect soon. Titus and Abba, our foster barn owls, are also caring for some eggs that arrived in a hay bale from out of the area. It’s amazing how strong the instinct to reproduce is in the natural world…

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Lily feeds a GBH

Lily feeds a GBH

Volunteer provides emergency care

Sara provides emergency care

Two new patients (among many!) were treated recently including this great blue heron and an african goose. The heron has a wing injury and is doing fairly well. I rescued the goose yesterday (Sunday) down in Gilbert, where it was most likely hit by a car and is in serious condition.

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Joan holds the peregrine for Dr. Orr

Joan holds the peregrine for Dr. Orr

The peregrine continues to improve after surgery

The peregrine continues to improve after surgery

The tundra peregrine continues to improve after the recent surgery. Dr. Orr checked on her work this week and the bird’s wing appears to be healing well after the operation to repair the electrical damage to its structure. Though mostly out of danger, the falcon’s candidacy for release is still in question as electrical injuries are notorious for developing problems late in the rehabilitation process. Time will tell…

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Sharon helps Dr. Orr work on a GHO foot

Sharon helps Dr. Orr work on a GHO foot

That should feel better!

That should feel better!

One of the great horned owls currently in our care had a puncture wound in its foot checked examined by Dr. Orr this week. Reacting stoically as the dead tissue was removed, the bird had the foot rewrapped after being treated with medication. Because of the architecture of an owl’s foot, if the bird loses the use of one toe, it can still be viable in the wild and remains a candidate for release following rehabilitation.

 

 

 

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This Week at Liberty – March 03, 2014

 

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

So this week we had a party at Liberty Wildlife.  The point of the party was to send off our long-time volunteer, Art Smith, who has kept us together body and soul for a very long time.  He has decided to retire…again… and plans to continue his wonderful exotic travels….but he also promises to lend a hand when needed in Medical Services and a little Rescue and Transport.  I am hopeful that both of these activities will happen soon as he has become an integral part of the team.  The party was themed Mexican because Art always brought in the best smelling lunches of the Mexican genre warmed up lovingly in the microwave leaving all of us salivating….we’ll miss that also!

The pot luck party food was wonderful and promises of recipes were heard everywhere.  Someone came up with the idea that we publish the recipes in the blog so everyone could share the wealth.  So far two have come my way, and I am including them in the blog.  Hopefully more will surface.

Chili Relleno Casserole                                                                      Leslie Ahrens

18 whole green chilies, not hot (I used 2 26oz cans Casa Fiesta mild whole green chilies)

1 lb Monterey Jack cut in strips (I used 1 ½  lbs.)

½ lb cheddar cheese shredded

5 large eggs

¼ cup flour

1¼ cup milk

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper, paprika, & tobasco to taste

Remove seeds from chilies, place on paper toweling, pat dry (If using canned chilies drain first in colander before patting dry) and stuff green chilies with Monterey Jack.  In a greased 9 x 13 casserole dish arrange half of the chilies and cover with half of the cheddar.  Repeat.  Pour egg mixture over all.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Jalapeño Corn Bread                                                                                       Carol Marshall                        

  • SERVINGS: MAKES ONE 12-BY-4 1/2-INCH LOAF       •VEGETARIAN

This sweet and hot corn bread is delicious on its own or topped with a creamy spread. If you don’t have a 12-inch loaf pan, make the corn bread in two 8-by-5-inch pans.

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeños
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  4. 1/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  5. 3/4 cup sugar
  6. 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  7. 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 1/4 cups medium-grind cornmeal
  9. 1 tablespoon baking powder
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  11. 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter a 12-by-4 1/2 -inch loaf pan. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the jalapeños, red pepper and corn and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Scrape the mixture onto a plate and let cool completely.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1/2 cup of water. Stir in the vegetable oil. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, beat the dry ingredients into the sugar mixture. Add the eggs and the cooked vegetables and beat until just blended.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean; if the top browns too quickly, cover it with foil. Turn the corn bread out onto a rack to cool before slicing.

Make Ahead. The corn bread can be wrapped well and frozen for up to 1 week or kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.

So Art, thanks for all of your excellence and your hard work at keeping the place from melting before our eyes.  Hopefully we will keep everything together until we move to a new home.  We will expect to see you regularly between adventures with tales to wow the homebound group….Happy travels…we know a second retirement will not see you slowing down a bit.

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 242.

As we say “Thanks for a job well done!” to Art Smith, the work goes on as we get in some more hummers and bunnies, and some other patients get continued treatment. This week, we also take a look at the technique of “Imping” feathers on a bird who has broken their natural plumage. The peregrine gets continued treatment after surgery, and a red tailed hawk is the possible victim of an angry eagle. Here’s what it looked like last week…

"Best buds!"

“Best buds!”

Humming bird nest

Humming bird nest

The parade of hummers continues (and with the storm of this weekend, we expect lots more…) The new enclosure is working nicely and the success rate seems high so far. The nest is to illustrate the size of this structure – so you know what to look for when the storms shake the trees!

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Stacey holds a baby bunny

Stacey holds a baby bunny

We’re also getting a constant supply of new baby bunnies each week. We’ve decided to use a new manner of identifying the little guys as the colored tab on the head seems to wear off. We’re now using a colored marker dot on the inside of the ears to tag the baby bunnies. I’ll try to get a shot of this technique for next week…

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Bedraggled looking kestrel

Bedraggled looking kestrel

This little kestrel has some eye issues and has been getting eye ointment. This treatment can lead to some “migration” of the medication causing a temporary greasiness of the feathers. Since he was set to go to the eye specialist, he was given a bath before his trip to the clinic. This picture shows him as he was drying off after cleaning up.

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Possible bald eagle attack

Possible bald eagle attack

This red tail hawk came in recently and it was reported that it had been attacked by a bald eagle which was seen in the trees above the hawk. The veracity of this has yet to be determined as it’s possible that the hawk was injured in some other way and the eagle was just waiting for an opportunity to attack it for an easy meal.  More to follow…

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Jan and Joanie check on the peregrine

Jan and Joanie check on the peregrine

Dr. Wyman removes some sutures

Dr. Wyman removes some sutures

The gorgeous tundra peregrine continues to be treated for her injuries. It has been determined that they are electrical in nature and even after surgery by Dr. Orr, the true extent of the damage may yet to be seen. Last week, Dr. Wyman removed some of the sutures around the injury site to inspect the healing process.

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Tools of "imping"

Tools of “imping”

Rebecca cleans out the broken shaft stump

Rebecca clears out the broken shaft stump

Sterile CA glue is applied

Sterile CA glue is applied

The new feather is inserted

The new feather is inserted

Two down, eight to go

Two down, eight to go

When a bird breaks a major feather such as a primary or a tail feather, usually they have to wait until that feather molts out and is replaced naturally. We currently have a red tail in our care who is otherwise healthy and ready of release except he is missing his tail feathers (retrices). In order to accelerate his return to the wild, Jan and Rebecca “imped” a new tail onto the broken shafts. These new feathers will allow him to go back to the wild and will be replaced naturally as the bird molts the shafts normally.

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Gifts for Art

Gifts for Art

A big spread

A big spread

Art gets a gold tool belt

Art gets a gold tool belt

Not exactly a gold watch…but fitting!

Not exactly a gold watch…but fitting!

Joanie brought a cake that says it all

Joanie brought a cake that says it all

Carolee stops by

Carolee stops by

Art Smith began volunteering at Liberty back in the mid 1990′s. He quickly became invaluable as a Med Services volunteer, along with his skill at construction and almost anything we asked him to do. His life in Arizona and his work history made any conversation with him an interesting time for anyone lucky enough to be so engaged. Last Wednesday was his last day as an active volunteer and we hope the cards, gifts, and food (lots of beans!) showed him how highly we all thought of him. His contributions to the organization will be missed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Week at Liberty – February 24, 2014

Hoots, Howls, and HollersMegan and Libby

It is time for me to do some bragging.  We have been accumulating our end of the year statistics for 2013, and you need to know what they are.  This week I plan to brag on our Education group.  First these folks volunteer.  Keep that in mind when you read the following facts.  And, remember that they have gone through an intensive training class including “practice partnering” with skillful volunteers to learn the facts, to learn the stories, the natural history of all of the education ambassadors, and finally how to handle each particular animal.  This is a well-thought out program, and it produces great educators who did the following last year, mainly from October to May.

Here are some highlights.

Number of programs completed                                                                                827

Total Audience Number                                                                                              247,414

Number of Program Hours Provided                                                                          1,049.2

Volunteer’s Program Times including travel to and from program,

program and set-up (does not include travel time to/from Liberty                          1913.7

Number of Education Volunteers Providing Programs                                              53

Number of Education Program Coordinators Providing Programs                           22

Number of Educational Ambassadors                                                                        68

It is critical that as many people as possible become aware of the beauty and benefits of our wildlife neighbors.  It is amazing how easily we can slip in lessons related to problem solving, observation, compassion and other desired basic skills when you have in your presence the mighty power of a stunning animal…hard to beat that as a reason to pay attention.  People ‘get it’ so much better, faster, deeper, easier.

We need to know how all things are connected.  We need to realize that the loss of one species from a niche impacts all of us from the bottom of the food chain to the top (that would be us).  There is no getting away from the tapestry nature has woven…intricately, colorfully, thoughtfully.  No thread is indispensable without weakening the whole.

That is what our Education team teaches using the splendor of wildlife.  If you haven’t seen them in action, make a point of doing so.  Check our public calendar atwww.libertywildlife.org, education.  You won’t be sorry.

 

This Week at Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year now stands at 202.

Things are definitely picking up as we get deeper into the year.  The early rise in temperatures are also probably helping to increase the activity around the facility as we get closer to the start of Baby Bird Season. In this week’s large update, we’ll see some more X-rays from our gunshot birds, the latest updates on a few of our current patients, and a couple of interesting intakes that are currently in our care. And don’t forget that Wishes for Wildlife 2014 is less than 7 weeks away! Here’s what happened last week…

Jan, Anasazi, with Joe and Aurora at the Eagle Expo

Jan, Anasazi, with Joe and Aurora at the Bald Eagle Workshop

Joe and Jan took two of our star eagles (Anasazi and Aurora) up to the Bald Eagle Workshop sponsored by Arizona Game and Fish Department at the Willow bend nature Center. I’m not sure who took this photo but since nobody else has eagles trained to present this type of display, they were the stars of the show, as always!

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Mexican free-tailed bat

Mexican free-tailed bat

Our resident bat expert, Rebecca, brought in this little Mexican free-tailed bat with a badly de-gloved wing (you can see his exposed bone in the photo.) Otherwise not structurally damaged, the little mammal is being treated in hopes he will be able to heal properly. It’s not known what caused the initial injury, but he lucked out by finding his way to Liberty!

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A little house finch with avian pox

A little house finch with avian pox

This little red houses finch came in with a bad case of avian pox last week. Though not a danger to humans, cutaneous pox virus is transmitted from bird to bird via direct contact and sharing food, water, and perches etc., as well as via mechanical vector by mosquito bites. It is survivable through proper care and supportive treatment of the lesions.

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Maike, unser Deutsch intern speist einen Babyhäschen

Maike, unser Deutsch intern speist einen Babyhäschen

Maike Mosaner, one of our wonderful interns from Germany, has been helping out in almost every area since she came to Liberty Wildlife. From daily care to feeding some baby bunnies, she has been invaluable to the operation. We’re so grateful that she is part of our team!

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X-ray of GHO (from last week) shows the pellet in his shoulder

X-ray of GHO (from last week) shows the pellet in his shoulder

A new wrap for the gunshot burrowing owl

A new wrap for the gunshot burrowing owl

X-ray shows the lead fragments in his little wing

X-ray shows the lead fragments in his little wing

Gunshot HaHa gets its wound checked

Gunshot harris’ hawk gets its wound checked

The pellet in his wing shows up well

The pellet in his wing shows up well

Jan removes a BB from the wing of a kestrel

Jan removes a BB from the wing of a kestrel

OK, so how many times do we have to tell people that shooting native birds is not only stupid and cruel, but illegal! Last week we showed a great horned owl with a pellet that was removed from his wing. This week we have the X-rays from that bird and two other birds plus a new one (a little kestrel) who were also shot. This is totally unacceptable! If anyone witnesses an occurrence of this type of activity, please contact either AZGFD or Liberty Wildlife with the details.

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Jan listens to a cooper's hawk

Jan listens to a cooper’s hawk

The cooper's gets a tail guard

The cooper’s gets a tail guard

We are currently treating a cooper’s hawk for what appears to be an injury from a window collision. Almost ready to go outside, the bird sounded strange to jan’s trained ears. Closer exam showed the bird had some unexplained “crackly sounds” (a precise medical term…) from one of its lungs, so it got a new tail guard and will stay inside for a few more days. Nice catch, Jan!

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Punctured mama owl

Punctured mama owl

Brood patch with numerous puncture wounds

Brood patch with numerous puncture wounds

Picture of a mother interrupted

Picture of a mother interrupted

A beautiful female GHO came in last week with several puncture wounds in her abdomen – around a large brood patch. When female birds are incubating eggs, they sometimes lose feathers in a spot on their bellies to increase the  surface area that contacts the eggs in order to facilitate heat transfer. this is called the “brood patch” and signifies a mother who is sitting on a clutch of eggs. This bird presented numerous puncture wounds indicating she might have been attacked by another raptor (RTH?) while incubating. The sad implication is that although she will probably recover, whatever eggs she was sitting on most likely did not survive.

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I'm goin' home tomorrow!

I’m goin’ home tomorrow!

Eddy is smiling too!

Eddy is smiling too!

I have never before seen a bird that was so obviously smiling,  but last Tuesday I got this shot of our female California condor in her enclosure. It almost seemed that she knew she was going to be taken back to the Vermillion Cliffs the next day to be released. The next day, Eddy from the Peregrine Fund loaded the bird into the carrier and with Alex’s help, into his car for the trip north. More smiles!!

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