This Week @ Liberty – November 23, 2015

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Holiday Shopping and Liberty Wildlife. Thanks guest blogger and volunteer , Sunny M.

“We appreciate all you do for Liberty Wildlife in terms of both your time and resources. As you prepare to do your holiday shopping, there is one other way you can help Liberty Wildlife.

If you routinely do any shopping at Amazon.com, please log in to smile.amazon.com instead. (Yes, it’s a real site, not a scam). Once there, you can sign in with your usual Amazon user name and password and select Liberty Wildlife as your designated charity. By doing so, Amazon makes a donation based on your purchases directly to LW and it doesn’t cost you one cent more! Logging in through smile.amazon.com you can still access to all your order history, your Prime account and all the other Amazon features so be sure to log in through smile.amazon.com to help LW every time you shop!

One more thing, would you consider emailing your family and friends to ask them to do the same? Perhaps a post on your Facebook page? To make it easier for you, we’ve included paragraphs below you can simply copy and paste into your email or social media.

Again, we appreciate your ongoing support and your commitment to preserving and protecting the wildlife in our care. Thank you!”

Email cut and paste or cut and paste to social media:

As you may know, I am actively involved with Liberty Wildlife. Our new facility is under construction and soon we will be able to provide even more wildlife rehabilitation and community education. There is one simple way you can help.

Holiday shopping time is here and if you routinely shop at Amazon.com, please log in through smile.amazon.com instead. Once there you can log in with your usual Amazon user name and password and then select Liberty Wildlife as your charity of choice.   You will still have access to your purchase history and all your Prime benefits through this alternate site. If you aren’t familiar with this wonderful program, it is the way Amazon gives back to a wide variety of charities. Whenever you log in through smile.amazon.com, Amazon will make a donation based on your purchases and it doesn’t cost you one cent more!

I’d appreciate your support and please feel free to share this with others !

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Thankful for the opportunity to a part of Liberty Wildlife for 28 years!

Posted by Terry Stevens – Thankful for the opportunity to a part of Liberty Wildlife for 28 years!

The intake total for the year is now at 6394.

TW@L is using this week as a Thanksgiving break to catch up on stuff that needs to be done before the holidays. We’ll return next Monday with a new update!

In the meantime, here’s a video of the cool releases that happened yesterday at the New Facility Pad Party! (CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO)

Have a wonderful, warm, and safe Thanksgiving! Let’s all be thankful that Benjamin Franklin was  not successful in his choice for the national bird. If he had, we’d have a turkey on our money, and we’d be eating bald eagle on Thursday…

-TW@L

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This Week @ Liberty – November 16, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

So, you have a rodent problem.  Who doesn’t?  The critters are around, have been around and will continue to be around like our other nemesis the cockroach.  What’s a poor victim of these “pests” to do?  Well, first let me tell you what not to do to “fix” the rodent problem.

Trust me, I have heard and had the same issues.  In fact, I lost all of the electricity to the front of my house courtesy of the local roof rats.  I wasn’t happy.  I was much poorer.  I was grossly inconvenienced.  So, get over it and take some action.  But, whatever you do, don’t make a plug of poison in the guise of a rodenticide be the answer.  Here’s why.

Rodenticides which are so onerous that they are slowly (that’s the operative here) being phased out because they are so dangerous not only to the target animal, the rat or mouse, they are as dangerous to anything that consumes the compromised rodent or worse yet, accidentally gets into the poison before the poison gets into the target.

Here’s what happens when an animal gets into rodenticides.  Rodenticides are designed specifically to act as anticoagulants…the animal bleeds out.  Sometimes depending on the kind of poison, it takes one hit on it…other times it takes more exposure.  If the unfortunate rodent weakened by a loss of blood wanders into the path of an owl, a hawk, or a puma any self-respecting predator will take advantage of a meal that comes easily…to its ultimate demise.  Two examples of this are a recent discovery of a famously photographed Southern California puma downed by rodenticide, and a Cooper’s hawk newly fledged discovered lying in a puddle of its own blood by a father and his young son.  That is a difficult conversation to have with a young impressionable child.

Just so you don’t get off easily I will tell you what happens when a rodenticide attacks a body.  The animal begins to lose blood into its surroundings or the cavities of the body.  They basically die from continuous bleeding.  Hours after exposure animals bleed from the skin, gums, ears, nose, eyes and feces, urine and saliva.  There will be obvious bruising, weakness, lethargy and a decreased appetite.  Because the lungs are filling up with blood there will be coughing, trouble breathing and often a distended abdomen.  The gums will be pale and there will be signs of shock with eventual collapse and loss of consciousness.  The respiration rate will decrease as will the heart rate.  And, then the animal will die….very slowly!

Here’s the deal.  That scenario is exactly what would happen to the animal who consumed the rodenticide, and it would also happen to an animal who ate the poisoned target species…sadly that might be a puma, a hawk, an owl or YOUR PET DOG OR CAT.  It does happen.  It could happen to you because your neighbor is poisoning or it could happen to your neighbor because YOU have been poisoning.  SO STOP IT NOW.

If you have a rodent problem snap trap them.  It is immediate.  Traps are designed now so that you can release the rodent directly into a trash bin without touching anything but the release mechanism.  If you decide to rid yourself of a pest, have the gumption to do it quickly and get rid of the body safely.

Don’t use anything that has brodifacoum, difenacoum, diphacinone, chlorophacionone, coumachlor, warfarin,or indandione.  And, now there is a new foe on the market.  These rodenticides are so deadly that they are being replaced by Bromethalin which is a neurotoxin causing brain swelling. There is no antidote…sounds like a really bad idea to me. Humans are totally susceptible also.  It seems to be just getting worse.

Use snap traps if you must address a rodent issue.  But perhaps a little care about what is available to attract rodents would be a good place to start. Think beyond your current problem to the repercussions of taking the easy way out.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now up to 6345.

The weather has finally headed into Fall and the intakes reflect the growing number of migrating birds passing through the valley. We’re also still getting some first year birds who are trying to learn their jobs and making mistakes along the way leading to injuries. The Education Team is going full tilt and programs are being accomplished in every corner of the Valley, especially this week as Veterans Day was celebrated last Wednesday. Amidst all this, our senior eagle trainer Joe Miller was laid up with some health issues which lead to a couple of eagle programs being covered by yours truly during the week so as not to disappoint too many people who requested our presence. I was happy to step in, but we’re all hoping Joe returns quickly! On that same subject, Max returned for a brief appearance this week and flew Sonora out front as a first step in getting back into the swing of things. Plus we saw some MAJOR progress on the new facility that should have everyone buzzing as we head into the holiday season in earnest…

Laura gives the peregrine fluids

Laura gives the peregrine fluids

Our two interns from Germany feed the peregrine

Our two interns from Germany feed the peregrine

When Sherrill Snyder went to Kingman last week to retrieve the three barn owl babies, she also brought back an injured peregrine which continues to get care and treatment. The bird was skinny and had some abrasions to its head along with some eye issues indicating a possible collision with some immovable object. Our two German interns, Ann-Kathrin and Jasmin, took a turn at feeding the bird on Wednesday last week after Laura gave the bird some hydrating fluids.

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An injured roadrunner comes in

An injured roadrunner comes in

The "dual-vet" treatment

The “dual-vet” treatment

We don’t take in a lot of roadrunners, but the one we have now got the full treatment last week as both Dr. Orr and Dr. Wyman were in attendance on Tuesday. This bird was the victim of an automobile collision and has an injured wing. Even though they do spend a lot of time on the ground, roadrunners still need both wings working to be successful in the wild.

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Dr. Orr looks at the wing of a GHO

Dr. Orr looks at the wing of a GHO

Joanie holds the owl for Dr. Orr to remove sutures

Joanie holds the owl for Dr. Orr to remove sutures

It’s always great to see progress in the treatment of one of the birds. This GHO came in presenting a wing injury which was repaired and stitched up a couple of weeks ago. Last Tuesday, Dr. Orr removed the sutures and the bird got to move outside to a flight enclosure. This is one of the big steps toward eventual release.

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Dr. Wyman examines a long eared owl

Dr. Wyman examines a long eared owl

They always look surprised!

They always look surprised!

In any case, they are really photogenic!

In any case, they are really photogenic!

Recently a long-eared owl was taken in presenting a wing injury of unknown cause. No fractures were found in X-rays but there is still some impedance to the articulation of one wing. More observation and evaluation is in order. We don’t get in a lot of long-eared owls, and when we do, there is a lot of cell-phone photography going on as these little birds are extremely photogenic.

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Carol at Scottsdale Library show (photo by Kim)

Carol at Scottsdale Library show (photo by Kim)

Kelly and Acoma (photo by Marko) at the Phoenix Summit Challenge

Kelly and Acoma  at the Phoenix Summit Challenge (photo by Marko)

Linda with Sonora at the same program (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Linda with Sonora at the same program (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Sonora was in Goodyear as well and is always a big hit wherever she goes.

Sonora was in Goodyear as well and is always a big hit wherever she goes. (photo by Dona Jabara)

Gail and Claudia at the Goodyear Veteran's Day event

Gail and Claudia at the Goodyear Veteran’s Day event (Photo by Donna Jabara)

Sonora at Terramar School (photo by Kelly Corsette)

Sonora at Terramar School (photo by Kelly Corsette)

As noted above, Joe has been out for a couple of weeks and this being the week of Veteran’s Day, it left a notable hole in the schedule. Lots of programs were carried out around the area,beginning with a program at the Freedom Academy near Carefree on Tuesday. Many festivities were scheduled with Eagles to honor the veterans including a Veteran’s Day event on Wednesday in Goodyear along with the Arizona Birds of Prey Show at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library, and a special Veterans’ appreciation gathering at the Terramar School in Happy Valley on Friday morning, all in addition to the Phoenix Summit Challenge on Saturday.

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Max makes a triumphant return!

Max makes a triumphant return!

Another eagle handler who recently had some serious health issues was our own Max Besseler who prior to this season was the scheduler for the Education Team. Max has been out for several months and came to Liberty last week and put in some time working with Sonora out in Dr. Orr’s Flight Arena (front yard!) Welcome back Max! We all missed you (not just your lemon squares…!)

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

First wall goes up (photo by Rain Richard)

First wall goes up (photo by Rain Richard)

The walls begin to rise

The walls begin to rise

Looking into Rehab from the intake vestibule

Looking into Rehab from the intake vestibule

Getting bigger again

Starting to look bigger again

Pano looking south

Panorama looking south at the north end of rehab

A family of quail monitor the progress

A family of quail monitor the progress

 

 

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This Week @ Liberty – November 09, 2015

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

As you will see in This Week at Liberty below, we have now gone vertical at our site.  For so long it seemed like we were just seeing moving piles of dirt and lots of trenches, but now the framework is appearing and the center is taking shape.  I must say….it is so very exciting.

At this point we want to offer all of you who are hoping to be a part of this momentous movement to throw your hats into the ring and materially join the cause.  If you are planning to make a donation and add your name to the cause now is a perfect time.

With that being said, we are rolling out a new opportunity.  Between now and the end of the year we are forming some select groups of donors.

  • At the $4000 level you can become one of a select group…a Parliament of Owls.
  • At the $5000 level you can become one of a select group…a Kettle of Hawks.
  • At the $10,000 you can become a member of the Charm of Falcons.
  • At the $25,000 level you can be a member of the Pack of Wolves.
  • At the $50,000 you can become one of the Convention of Eagles.

These groups are limited in number.  As a member you will be given select opportunities to attend special events like speakers, releases, exhibits, and unique behind the scenes tours not ever open to the public.

Maybe you had in mind a naming opportunity.  There are many.  Maybe you would like to add your family’s presence at the new Liberty Wildlife…gather funds from your family members and be forever immortalized as a supporter of nature, wildlife, and the world we depend on.

Don’t be left out.  Send an email to megan@libertywildlife.org  if you want to be a part of one of these esteemed groups.  And, if by chance, you have another idea in mind to donate towards our new campus, talk to me.  There are so many opportunities.

You can help us build our dream!  You will be proud to be among the acknowledged and Arizona’s wildlife will be grateful for your action.  You, the public, will be able to interact with and learn about the beauty and benefits of our natural world.  Be a part of this movement.

Flood my e mail with offers to participate and be a member of a select group.  I await all of your responses now.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year now stands at 6313.

A few new intakes came in this week from various parts of the state, some from appreciable distances. Again, most of the new intakes seem to be first year birds who are making unfortunate mistakes as they learn the skills they need to survive. The Education season is off to a running start with programs going on nearly daily. A whole new crop of Education volunteers exited the training pipeline and joined the team last week. Welcome aboard folks! The new facility is making slow, steady progress and we toured some representatives from the Gila River Indian Community who have given us some support.  We’ll keep you updated on the latest developments as they occur!

Liberty adopted by Green

Liberty adopted by Green

This could not have come at a better time! Thanks to the efforts of Nina Grimaldi, Liberty Wildlife will be the recipient of a “Thanksliving” donation from the Green New American Vegetarian restaurant in Tempe. Green New American Vegetarian restaurant is an all vegan restaurant that has been hosting an alternative thanksgiving for years called “Thanksliving.” They donate part of the proceeds to an animal group every year and this year they choose Liberty. Thank you Chef Damon, and thank you Nina!

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The Gila River Indian Community tour assembles

The Gila River Indian Community tour assembles

Sonora greets the touring group

Sonora greets the touring group (photo by Rain Richard)

Rain Richard from Okland explains the progress to the tour

Rain Richard from Okland explains the progress to the tour

Tribal leaders tour the facility

Tribal leaders tour the facility

Last week some representatives from the Gila River Indian Community Department of Environmental Quality got a tour of the new Liberty facility. This group has supported Liberty in building our new home and providing services to the community at large. The leaders who toured the construction site appeared impressed with our efforts and we hope they will continue to support us into the future.

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Recently two rehabilitated Harris’ hawks were released by Sharon Sneva and Mare Van Dyke. They got some great video of the event and sent it in to share with the rest of the TW@L readers.

Click here for video of HaHa release

“It was a glorious day in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for this pair of Harris Hawks. Raptor release is a special moment enjoyed by Liberty volunteers.”  – Mare Van Dyke

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A new friend (photo by Debbie Smalley)

Meeting a new friend (photo by Debbie Smalley)

Lisa at Animal Medical Center of Chandler show

Lisa with Darwin at the Animal Medical Center of Chandler open house

One of the recent programs Liberty put on was last Friday at the Animal Medical Center of Chandler Client Appreciation Open House. Liberty will be the recipient of the proceeds from the event which attracted lots of families and kids who enjoyed meeting the animals from Liberty and learning about our organization.

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Sonora and Joe on the VCRR (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Sonora and Joe on the VCRR (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Always a hit on the train (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Always a hit on the train (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

Continuing our partnership with Verde Canyon Rail Road, Joe and Sonora made the ride on a recent Saturday to the delight of the passengers. This outing is one of the most enjoyable “undiscovered secrets” available to citizens and visitors to our great state. Once a month, Liberty adds to the educational aspect of the train ride by sending Sonora to go along and meet the passengers as they roll through some of the most beautiful landscape we have to offer.

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Holly checks a GHO from Coolidge

Holly checks a GHO from Coolidge

Barnies from Kingman (photo by Amyra)

Baby barnies from Kingman (photo by Amyra)

GHO rescue (photo by Marko Virtanen)

GHO rescue (photo by Marko Virtanen)

Alex assesses a GHO (photo bny Marko Virtanen)

Alex assesses a GHO (photo by Marko Virtanen)

Several owls came in last week from various areas around the state. The GHO in the top photo came from a yard in Coolidge, and the three baby barn owls were transported from Kingman by super R&T volunteer Sherrill Snyder. (These guys are either very early – or very late in the breeding cycle!) The bottom great horned owl was a bit more local and was rescued by Marko and Kelly.

Flammulated owl comes in

Flammulated owl comes in

We occasionally take in a flammulated owl for treatment. These pudgy little owls are not common in the valley but do pass through here on their way to wintering grounds. Like a lot of small birds,  sometimes their actual physiology changes when migrating. Organs grow or shrink and how they metabolize foods is modified to accommodate the long flight. Any interruptions can lead to trouble as was the case with this little bird who was attacked by a cat while on a rest stop. Even though he was lucky enough to be found and brought to us, he was unable to cope with the inability to continue his long journey and sadly died from what was most likely fatty liver disease.

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Fluffy Lexi (photo by Donna J)

Fluffy Lexi (photo by Donna J)

Donna Jabara, one of our senior education volunteers, was hand-feeding recently and took this picture of Lexi. The little female kestrel was in mid-rouse and puffed up to nearly twice her normal size making a great photo-op!

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This year's education class graduates: Back row: Alexa Gibson, Dan Scrivener, Erica Ferguson, Patricia Armstrong, Karen McClure, Ann Andrews 3rd row: Doris Pederson, Scott Ballenger, Moe Slaughter, Margaret Van Veldhuizen, Amy Fenex 2nd row:  Erin Farr, Sherrill Snyder, Lori Watts Front row: Heather McLaughlin, Kathy Edwards

This year’s education class graduates: Back row: Alexa Gibson, Dan Scrivener, Erica Ferguson, Patricia Armstrong, Karen McClure, Ann Andrews
3rd row: Doris Pederson, Scott Ballenger, Moe Slaughter, Margaret Van Veldhuizen, Amy Fenex
2nd row: Erin Farr, Sherrill Snyder, Lori Watts
Front row: Heather McLaughlin, Kathy Edwards   (photo by Linda Scott)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Not pictured: Ann Olney, Ashley Czajkowski, Cassandra Kellaris, Dominica Minore

Linda Scott, our Education Coordinator, writes:

“Please join me in welcoming this year’s new education volunteers!  They were a fabulous group as a class, they worked hard, they had a lot of fun, and they have done a great job speaking and getting started parcticing with birds!  Lets make them feel welcome!”

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

Structural trusses arrive

Structural trusses arrive

Framing begins

Framing begins

20,000lb machine to lift our waste water

Our name on the water lift unit

120 ft flight enclosure footing

120 ft flight enclosure footing

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This Week @ Liberty – November 02, 2015

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

A big shout out goes to Carolyn L. for organizing a Meet up: Cleanup to Save Wildlife event for Liberty Wildlife.  If you remember earlier in the year volunteer John Glitsos started a meetup to clean-up the local park lakes to alleviate the need for constant rescues of turtles and other water loving birds who inevitably get tangled in the detritus left in parks particularly from fishing.  Our first Meet up was at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale.  It resulted in bags of fishing line, hooks, lead sinkers and other leftovers from park attendees.

Over the many years that Liberty Wildlife has been offering rescue and rehabilitation services to the community we are saddened by the large number of herons, ducks and geese and even some turtles that come in with swallowed hooks, fishing line so tightly tangled around legs, necks, even tongues that appendages are compromised and in many cases like those found hanging from fishing line, dead after struggling for days, lives are lost.  And, it is totally unnecessary for these animals to suffer as they do.

As a result of these constant calls, John started the Meetup Clean up to Save Wildlife.  The idea is to have local users of the lakes take ownership of an area and be the organizers of the clean-up events.  We have thought that this could be a great activity for youngsters who aren’t old enough to actually do hands on work at our facility but want desperately to help the environment and our wildlife.

So, volunteer Carolyn L. stepped up to the task and took on a huge chunk of clean-up locale.  Her daughter Olivia and friends had community hours to complete, and this sounded like the perfect way to go!!!  Here’s what Carolyn had to say about their endeavors to clean-up for wildlife:

We went to Bartlett Lake on Sunday to do the trash pickup, and fishing line/hook/weight removal. It was a total mess, there is trash everywhere there. We got 18 bags of trash (bottles, cans, and FIVE pair of men’s underwear which I don’t even want to think about), and a huge mess of fishing line, hooks, and weights from approximately 100 yards of shoreline only. The kids got to meet a Sheriff’s deputy who came out and said that he would suggest to the forest service that organizing a regular patrol like this would be a great idea. We had a lot of fun actually; it was like an Easter egg hunt, but for old underwear!

I would like to see others take on a lake, stream, or other waterway, or just an area of wild land that is an attractant to people who sometimes don’t realize what their “leave behinds” can do to hurt unsuspecting wildlife…not to mention the blight it leaves to greet the next folks who happen out to enjoy a bit of pristine nature.

Go online to Meetup and find Cleanup to Save Wildlife to see how you can help keep the momentum going.  Take on a lake, stream or other area and cleanup to save wildlife.  You will have stars in your crown, and you will save innocent wild animals.

Perfect!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year now stands at 6282.

Another Halloween has passed and we’re running towards the holidays at full speed! (They have to be getting close, as Costco has had their Christmas stuff out for two months already!)  The temps are finally dropping, at least at night, and we can turn off the A/C units when the day is done. Now is when we see the arrival of first year birds who have not fared well as they learn to cope with what nature and man can throw at them. Some are migratory and on the way to wintering grounds, and some are locals who are trying to set up their own territories after dispersion. But they all have to learn – and learn fast – how to adapt to a world filled with power lines, glass, cars, dogs, cats, and kids. Then again, some of the long term permanent residents at Liberty were getting help dealing with things that the wild population never sees – old age problems! But with a few exceptions, life goes on, and work progresses on the new facility as steel begins to rise…

Denise and Stacey dress for Halloween

Denise and Stacey dress for Halloween

We only had two (that I know of!) volunteers who dressed for Halloween this year. Denise was a decomposing witch and Stacey looked like a character from Mad Max. Thanks for bringing the spirit to Liberty!

International interns in Prescott

International interns in Prescott (photo by Stacey)

Then, on Saturday, Stacey and Claudia provided our two international interns, Ann Katherine and Jasmine, a trip north for a ‘cultural’ outing.  Stacey writes: “Claudia and I took the internationals to Prescott on Saturday to experience some Arizona history & culture. We spent the day exploring Whiskey Row, the Sharlot Hall Pioneer Museum, & Watson Lake. Downtown Prescott also had a Halloween costume contest.”

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New baby tortoise with a nickel for scale)

New baby tortoise (with a nickel for scale)

Recently another really new baby desert tortoise arrived at Liberty.  Even as we prepare our tortoises for hibernation (see last week’s TW@L), this little guy is too small to be allowed to go through the hibernation process and will be allowed to “stay up” through his first winter.

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Jesse holds a young RTH from Havasu

Jesse holds a young RTH from Havasu

One of our good friends in the Lake Havasu called last week and told us she had taken in an injured red tail hawk. The yearling bird had been trapped and released at an airport in Southern California and made it to the Havasu area before he had an encounter with electricity and ended up in a backyard pool. Our wonderful long-distance rescue volunteer Sherrill Snyder made the several hour trek over and back to bring him in, but sadly, the  damage was extensive and he would have lost a foot and a wing from the electric burns. This beautiful young hawk became one of the 80% who didn’t survive his first year.

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Injured gilded flicker

Injured gilded flicker

A gorgeous gilded flicker was brought in last week and received treatment for injuries of unknown origin. It’s easy to see why this bird’s feathers are so prized by patrons of the non-eagle feather repository.

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Mystery bird gets examined

Mystery bird gets examined

Survey says... "Swainsons!"

Survey says… “Swainsons!”

Another good looking hawk came to us for a wing injury last week and due to his unusual feather coloration, his true identity was slow in coming. It was finally determined that he was a Swainson’s hawk, probably on his migration to South America. One of the only true classically migratory hawks that pass through Arizona twice a year, these hawks travel from the middle of the United States where they summer, down to Argentina where they spend the winter months. We hope to get this guy back in the air soon so he can join the others heading south.

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Collision kestrel is checked

Collision kestrel is checked

Another window collision coopers

Another window collision Cooper’s hawk

Joanie holds the Cooper's for Dr. Becker

Joanie holds the Cooper’s for Dr. Becker

Dr. Orr checks a wing wrap on a HaHa

Dr. Orr checks a wing wrap on a HaHa

Jan studies the xray showing catastrophic damage

Jan studies the xray showing catastrophic damage

Several birds we treated recently were the victims of collisions with immovable objects, usually windows. A kestrel, another Cooper’s, and a Harris’ hawk all made the collision list last week with varying prognoses. The Kestrel is doing well, as is the Cooper’s, but the Harris’ hawk will not fly again as its wing has a devastating fracture right at the wrist. Being so close to a major joint makes repair nearly impossible so this bird will be forced into a career change.

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Dr. Orr checks the amputation on the kestrel

Dr. Orr checks the amputation on the kestrel

Joanie holds the peregrine for Dr. Becker

Joanie holds the peregrine for Dr. Becker

Getting a band before going outside

Getting a band before going outside

Sharon helps Dr. Becker examine a harrier

Sharon helps Dr. Becker examine a harrier

Checking for blood in the mouth

Checking for blood in the mouth

This was record week for collision injuries. The kestrel that had the wing amputation was in that category, but he’s doing well, as is the peregrine who got to go into an outside enclosure. The harrier was checked over extensively and also seems to be improving after an apparent collision with something.

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Igor has an eye problem

Igor has an eye problem

Not bad a for 28 year old foster parent

Not bad a for 28 year old foster parent

Jan checks Digger closely

Jan checks Digger closely

Dr. Becker checks out Digger

Dr. Becker confirms the diagnosis

Two of our long time resident birds were in the ICU last week receiving care for various issues. Igor was an educational GHO for several years until he became one of our best foster parents successfully raising hundreds of great horned owl orphans each year. He is now 28+ years old and has developed an eye issue that will require surgery which is scheduled for this Monday. Digger, one of our permanent burrowing owls, was also a foster parent adept at raising orphans of her species. Arriving at Liberty as an adult in 2007, she had also developed age related eye issues which had compromised her vision. Burrowing owl’s don’t usually live as long as great horneds overall and we estimate Digger may have been quite old. In her case, it was decided to let her rest after a long and stellar career taking care of hundreds of orphan baby burrowing owls and she was quietly and gently helped over the rainbow bridge at the end of the day last Tuesday. “Fairfarren little Digger.”

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

Main entry

Main entry

The aviary goes up

The aviary goes up

Getting ready for the floor on the rehab side

Getting ready for the floor on the rehab side

Amphitheater structure

Amphitheater structure

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This Week @ Liberty – October 26, 2015

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Our education season is well under way and our education class is busy grooming our new educators to continue in the footsteps of our veterans.  This is such a great time of the year.  Enthusiasm reigns both on the side of the newbies and the experienced educators.  Natural history, individual stories of each wildlife ambassador along with the specific knowledge of the temperament of each animal and how to handle it is passed on to eager learners.  It is crucial that each of the new “teachers” is aware of the power of the role they are preparing to assume.

We take advantage of our ability to bring a charismatic animal into a class of students who probably never have seen such beauty beyond the screen…certainly never in real life and real time.  We have an opportunity to do so many things not possible from the pages of a book or the ethereal nature of the electronic gizmo. These special creatures are real, breathing, active, stunning, powerful, and that makes such a huge difference.

For example a group of Liberty Wildlife educators recently presented an educational opportunity to a middle school class.  The teacher was kind enough to send a thank you as many of them do.  This one was particularly meaningful to me.  She wrote:

The students and teachers absolutely loved your presentation. Some of the boys I teach, who struggle in science, came to my class afterwards to ask me more questions about the birds and wanted to learn more about Arizona animals. You definitely helped to inspire our students to learn more about desert animals around them! We are working on fundraising for Liberty Wildlife and would love to donate supplies and money soon.

 Thank you so much for your time and energy!

It is obvious to me that in this era of STEM emphasis…science, technology, engineering and math…that our efforts are and have been a gateway to the sciences.  It is a small step from enchantment with the natural world to seeking ways to help keep our environment sustainable.  The first steps into the study of one of the sciences very often begin with falling in love with a wild creature.

I commend our educators for their commitment to learning their subject, learning how to handle the educational ambassadors, and to honing in on the best ways to light a fire in a student’s eyes…and that is students of all ages.  I applaud these people for their dedication of time, effort and for the overall impact they will have.

They, in their own big ways, make a huge difference in our world.  Thank you for all that you do.  And, good luck to the new educators….may you inspire and open the gateway to greater learning in every presentation that you do.

And, don’t forget to make a pledge to Liberty Wildlife at www.birdiesforcharityaz.com.  Click on Make a Pledge and then select Liberty Wildlife from the drop down menu. Do it now. Thanks!

Thank you for your support!

 

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year now stands at 6239.

The ambient temperature is still high, but the word is that is might be headed downward this week.  We are all hopeful! A long-eared owl was brought in over the weekend, and several other previous patients were treated and were showing signs of improvement. The education season is in full swing and shows are being provided to schools and events all over the state. In looking forward to a drop in the thermometer readings, new hibernation habitats for our resident desert tortoises were prepared last week by Alex and her team of eager volunteers. The cool thing is the dirt for the “hibernatoriums” was supplied from the site of the new Liberty facility! The work on the new Liberty Wildlife is also progressing, and we got a real boost from a long time friend and volunteer, Art Smith, who pushed us within striking distance of our goal of a digital X-ray unit to better serve the wildlife of Arizona. All-in-all, a pretty good week!

A major step forward

A major step forward

Our campaign to acquire our own digital X-ray unit for the new facility took a giant leap forward last week as Liberty friend and long-time volunteer Art Smith donated a large amount towards the purchase of the machine. This leaves a much smaller amount yet to raise for the complete unit which will be a state-of-the-art digital radiology device.  We’re hoping this will inspire others to chip in and make this dream a reality. Having a unit like this will improve the survival chances for the birds and other animals that find their way to Liberty Wildlife after traumatic injury. Art, the wildlife of Arizona and the volunteers of Liberty are forever in your debt.  Thank you!

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Peregrine gets checked by Dr. Orr

Peregrine gets checked by Dr. Orr

A young Cooper's hawk gets a wrap

A young Cooper’s hawk gets a wrap

Meadowlark gets an exam

Meadowlark gets an exam

Dr. Orr gives fluids

Dr. Orr gives fluids

A variety of patients were provided some top notch service last Tuesday during the weekly “Vet Night” at Liberty. Dr. Orr was in attendance and lots of birds got the full experience of Liberty care as they were examined and their treatment reviewed and statuses checked. From burrowing owls to red tails, from Cooper’s hawks to peregrines, and from ducks to meadowlarks, everyone was checked over and notes taken and reviewed to reflect adjustments to the prescribed care.

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Long eared owl gets the master wrap from Kayla and Sara

Sara holds while Kayla wraps the long eared (photo by Bonnie)

with Long eared owl (photo by Bonnie)

Sara with the Long eared owl (photo by Bonnie)

A not-so-common visitor arrived last weekend as this long-eared owl was brought in. Presenting an injury to his left wing, the Med Services volunteers assessed the damage, then carefully wrapped the wing until an X-ray could be taken. Another reason for everyone to contribute to the Digital X-ray fund! (See above!)

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Kelly and Marko at the Lost Dutchman program (photo by Park Ranger)

Kelly and Marko at the Lost Dutchman program (photo by Park Ranger)

Dual Harris' hawk release at the Lost Dutchman (photo by Park Ranger)

Dual Harris’ hawk release at the Lost Dutchman (photo by Park Ranger)

Another Liberty program that took place last weekend was an educational display and double release of two Harris’ hawks at the Lost Dutchman State Park. The scenery is breathtaking and a memorable backdrop to a Liberty program culminating in the spectacular release of two native hawks returning to the Arizona skies after several months of rehabilitation at our facility!

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Remodeling for our desert tortoises residences for their winter hibernation…

New dirt from the new site (Thank you, Rain and Troy at Okland!)

New dirt from the new site (Thank you, Rain and Troy at Okland!)

Work begins on the tortoise habitat (photo by Alex)

Work begins on Speedy’s winter habitat (photo by Alex)

A safer place to hibernate! (photo by Alex)

A safer place to hibernate! (photo by Alex)

Speedy surveys the new digs (photo by Alex)

Speedy surveys the new digs (photo by Alex)

Alpo gets a new winter habitat too (photo by Claudia)

Alpo’s habitat gets a makeover too (photo by Claudia)

Looks good for the winter! (photo by Claudia)

Looks good for the winter! (photo by Claudia)

Shellter checks the progress (photo by Alex)

Shelly checks the progress (photo by Alex)

"I'll take it" (photo by Alex)

“I’ll take it” (photo by Alex)

Susie and Kenny build a new winter hideout for Grandpa (photo by Claudia)

Susie and Kenny build a new winter hideout for Grandpa (photo by Claudia)

Grandpa is already inside for his winter snooze (photo by Claudia)

Grandpa is already inside for his winter snooze (photo by Claudia)

Our permanent desert tortoise population all had their winter residences upgraded last weekend. We got some dirt from the new site courtesy of Rain and Troy, the managers from Okland Construction who are building our new facility, to enhance the four habitats. This will keep the tortoises from digging into adjoining enclosures (keeping them out of trouble) and also protecting them from potential flooding in El Nino rain that might be coming our way this winter. Alex wrote: “Today we built tortoise hibernation enclosures! I had 9 amazing volunteers come out to help and we powered through it! They all look terrific!  Speedy, Shelly, Alpo and Grandpa are set for the winter! Grandpa crawled right in and went to sleep. I’ll actually be surprised if we see him again before spring. The volunteers that helped were: Claudia, Susie, Kenny (Susie’s husband), John A, Jon H, Amy F, Camila, Kelly and Marko. I brought in bagels and orange juice and we all ate and celebrated our awesome enclosures!”

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Balinda and John show two falcons

Balinda and John show two falcons

Sharing a territory

Sharing a territory

John displays Chaco

John displays Chaco

A photogenic show

A photogenic show

Last Saturday some Liberty Education volunteers (including John and Balinda) did a great program at the Highland Center for Natural History near Prescott. The weather was perfect producing a good crowd and everyone seemed to enjoy the educational opportunity from experienced birders to 1st time visitors. This is what the Education team does best!

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

Water and sewer going in

Water and sewer going in

Aviary and Education wing

Aviary and Education wing

Future home of the X-ray unit!

Future home of the X-ray unit!

Flight enclosures footings

Flight enclosures footings

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This Week @ Liberty – October 19, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

I have a few reminders for you.  Please read on. You may be weary of fund drives if you listen to NPR like I do.  But, I am going to risk it and hope that you continue to read.  There are some easy ways for you to help us continue to work for you and for our wildlife neighbors…and it does take all of us to be involved to make the community and ultimately our world a better place.

  • Remember that you can pledge as little as a penny per birdie at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.  Go to www.BirdiesforCharityAZ.com and make your voice heard through your pledge.  It is very simple and you pay nothing until the birdies are counted at the Open.  It is so easy, and it will help us make it to the big tent where we will be able to spread our mission internationally.  We have been a huge hit for the past three years…help us get back again this year.
  • When you have the need to order something from Amazon, be sure you go to Amazon Smile and choose Liberty Wildlife as your charity to support.  You can create an account at www.amazon.com.  Shop away and .5% of your dollars will be credited to Liberty Wildlife.
  • While you are at Amazon check out our “Wish List registry” to supply us with items we need which will be sent to us directly.
  • If you use a search engine, consider GoodSearch.  Open an account and select Liberty Wildlife as the charity you want to support.  Search away and benefit us!
  • Locally Fry’s Food Community Rewards Program is yet another easy way to help.  It is so easy to create an account and shop while supporting our community services.  The bottom of your receipt will indicate that your contribution will go to Liberty Wildlife.

Face it folks.  We cannot do this without your participation!  Face it we need you!  Face it our wildlife needs you!  Face it our world needs you!  Take some action right now.  Go to Birdies for Charity and make your pledge.  Here are four other easy ways to help.  Make a commitment right now!  You can and will make a difference.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intakes for the year now total 6198.

Well, it’s the past the middle of October and the Monsoon has officially ended – so why do we still have temps in the low 100’s and a haboob rushing up from Ahwatukee on Friday? (It can’t be climate change since that’s just an environmentalist plot!) In any case, the weather has been “changeable” at best and this might explain some of the off-season breeding we’ve seen lately. We took in some interesting patients this week, plus a surgical procedure was performed on a male kestrel that might join our education team in the future. Speaking of Education, the season has begun and presentations are going on almost daily around the valley. And even with all the recent storm activity, the new facility is progressing as the photos will show. It’s all coming together…!

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Baby goldfinch

Baby goldfinch

Even the smallest birds need fluids

Even the smallest birds need fluids

Will the arrival of baby birds never end this year?  Probably not, as evidenced by this tiny nestling gold finch. He’s hanging in there after being found on the ground by a gentleman who brought him to our window a few days ago. The Med Services team is caring for the little guy and as fragile as he seemed on arrival, he appears to be improving slowly.  Our work never stops as long as the animals keep breeding!

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Dr. Sorum holds a Wilson's snipe

Dr. Sorum holds a Wilson’s snipe

Contrary to popular legend, there really is a snipe! The Wilson’s snipe is a widely dispersed shore bird with crypsis plumage and a long bill. This particular example presented a fractured wing and is now in our care until he recovers.

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Its a female kingfisher - is that a "Queenfisher"?

Its a female kingfisher – is that a “Queenfisher”?

Dr.Orr explains how their toes work

Dr. Orr explains how their toes work

We don’t get a lot of belted kingfishers at Liberty but when they do arrive, it’s interesting to get a close look at them.  This female arrived recently presenting a wing injury which is being treated by a wrap from Dr. Orr.  As she was wrapping the wing, Dr. Orr took time to explain the syndactyle toe arrangement of this bird.  This is where the middle and outer toe cohere for most of their length and have a broad common sole. This is most frequently seen in birds who don’t use their feet for walking as much as for sitting motionless on a perch.

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Sharon holds the big canker RTH for banding

Sharon holds the big canker RTH for banding

The big RTH who presented with canker finally went outside. It’s good to see such a great specimen getting ready to rejoin the gene pool! It’s uncertain if sure exposure to canker and survival leads to immunity but that would be a great thing. Such a big beautiful bird has a lot to offer the species so let’s hope she does well in the “graduation enclosure” and demonstrates her ability to do her job.

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The beat-up GHO is making progress

The beat-up GHO is making progress

Ultrasound image of the injured eye

Ultrasound image of the injured eye

A few stitches are removed

A few stitches are removed

The great horned owl that came in looking like a fighter who lost the decision is actually getting better.  Dr. Sorum performed an ultrasound exam of his eye and it appears there is little if any damage to the retina or other structures within the eyeball itself. Dr. Wyman did a great job of suturing the patagial damage and Dr. Orr removed some of them so that area is also looking much better. We’ll keep you posted on his progress.

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Joanie holds a young TV for Dr. Orr

Joanie holds a young TV for Dr. Orr

Dr. Sorum's x-ray of the TV wing

Dr. Sorum’s x-ray of the TV wing

How many volunteers does it take to wrap a turkey vulture wing?

How many volunteers does it take to wrap a turkey vulture wing? (NOT a joke…)

We recently got in a young injured Turkey vulture. The bird has a fractured ulna evident from the x-ray provided by Dr. Sorum’s portable unit. This brings home the absolute necessity of having the capability of real-time radiography for the new facility. This bird now has a chance for survival!

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Male kestrel with a seriously damaged wing

Male kestrel with a seriously damaged wing

Anesthesia is administered

Anesthesia is administered

Dr. Orr inserts the intubation tube

Dr. Orr inserts the intubation tube

Jan and Susie monitor as surgery begins

Jan and Susie monitor as surgery begins

Recovering nicely!

Recovering nicely!

A short while ago took in a young male kestrel with a badly fractured wing that was beyond repair.  Dr. Orr decided that the end of the wing outside of the wrist had to be amputated and since this was within the allowable limits from USFW guidelines, the surgery was performed last Tuesday. Since this bird is young and our team of non-releasable ambassadors is getting older, we are contemplating adding this youngster to the education team if he turns out to be agreeable to the new lifestyle and accepts his career change.

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Ed show set up

Ed show set up at the Desert Rivers Audubon at the Gilbert Riparian area

It’s always a great event when the Liberty Education Season begins. Last week our team took several birds to Gilbert to do a program for the Desert Rivers Audubon at the Riparian Area to get people to better appreciate and understand all the great species that can be seen there. The Education Team is one of the most important groups within Liberty and the people who do these programs are extremely dedicated.

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

More plumbing and electrical lines are installed

More plumbing and electrical lines are installed

Lots of lines in the IT room

A “Connectitude” of lines in what will be the IT room

Heavy duty plumbing

Heavy duty plumbing

Rehab enclosure footings ready to pour

Rehab enclosure footings ready to pour

Despite the rain, Okland is making great progress at the new facility!

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This Week @ Liberty – October 12, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

We met some really great people last week.  It seems that 6 years ago we were called out to the Arizona Toyota Proving Grounds to rescue a baby red-tailed hawk.  The adult had met with an electrical accident and died.  Our Research and Conservation group with the power company located a safe place for the nest which was moved out of harm’s way. 1_Toyota_test_track_1_1024-600x400

Fast forward 6 years to last summer when we got another call about the nest with a baby nearing fledgling age on the ground.  Our Rescue and Transport team made the trek out to the Proving Grounds and retrieved the baby.  She spent a few months finishing her growing, learning to fly and to kill prey and was ready to go back to the area.

To begin with this is a wonderful place for wildlife.  Not only is the habitat perfect, but the people who work for Toyota are totally into the wildlife on their land.  They have several watering areas so a clean supply of water is always available for the bob cats, occasional mountain lion, badgers, foxes, coyotes and other native critters.  They are hoping to install motion sensing cameras to get a good documentation of who is showing up to get a drink in a thirsty desert.

TAPGThe more we talked to the folks the greater our understanding of Toyota’s efforts to support the environment and biodiversity.  They had a film crew who flew out from Kentucky to document the efforts of Liberty Wildlife and Toyota relative to the restoration of this baby to its natal land.  The fact that they knew that 8 babies had fledged from the relocated nest in the last 6 years lent credence to how important the health of the environment and the strength of biodiversity is to them locally and to the corporate entity.

It was so refreshing to be surrounded by folks who just get it.  Thanks Toyota for your contribution to a better world.  The three main initiatives for them are environment, education, and car safety!

Go Toyota and other corporate entities like SRP, APS, Freeport-McMoRan, Iberdrola who invest in helping wildlife.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for this year is now up to 6147.

Well, Monsoon 2015 is officially over and we’re all waiting for the temperatures to finally drop – for real! The forecast is for triple digits this week again so summer is not over yet. Orphan Care is empty and the equipment is packed and stored, but some babies still show up now and then. Rescues continue to arrive and the education season is upon us. New volunteers being trained, equipment is being cleaned and refurbished, and new training videos are rendered and posted. Progress is fairly steady on the new facility so on this Columbus Day 2015, let’s take a quick look at what went on last week…

OC is empty...

OC is empty…

Orphan Care is officially closed now, with the only activity the arrival of animals through the intake window. Our fervent hope is that when the time arrives to reopen next year, we’ll be able to have the volunteers (and the baby birds!) show up at the new facility on Elwood St.! The new OC area will be twice as large plus the intake window will be in a separate place so the Orphan Care volunteers won’t have to work around the incoming patients.

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Carl brings in a sooty owl

Carl brings in a sooty owl

Our star rescuer, Carl Price, performed another chimney/fireplace extraction last week and brought us this very sooty GHO who found his way down a local chimney. Aside from some scuffs on her elbows and wrists and a coating of soot, the bird was relatively intact. Usually the birds who get trapped in a fireplace chimney box are not terribly injured, but suffer from dehydration, starvation, and feather damage from trying to escape. The key to a happier outcome is the speed at which the rescue can be accomplished. Nice job, Carl!

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Another tortoise becomes a chew toy

Another tortoise becomes a chew toy

This little tortoise (identified as a Russian tortoise) came in after being found by somebody’s dog who decided he liked roast beef on a hard roll. Tortoises are members of the land-dwelling vertebrates known as Testudinidae. They are prone to pulling in their heads and extremities when stressed or frightened making treatment – and even diagnosis – difficult at times. Most likely an escaped pet, this animal found it’s way into a yard with a hungry or curious dog. This is why people who want this type of pet must be made aware of the dangers of having these cool animals in proximity with other pets until they are large enough to no longer be at risk from this type of attack.

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Number 6100

Number 6100

Peregrine Xray shows a wing fracture

Peregrine Xray shows a wing fracture

Our milestone intake (number 6100 for the year!) is this young male peregrine falcon. Early x-rays showed a broken bone in his right wing very close to the elbow joint. The break was wrapped and our hope is that this won’t cause fusing of the joint which would compromise his ability to fly well enough to be a successful peregrine if freed. Keep your fingers crossed for this little guy!

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Injured roadrunner

Injured roadrunner

Dr. Sorum and Dr. Orr study the X-ray

Dr. Sorum and Dr. Orr study the X-ray

A bad break, but it might be repairable

A bad break, but it might be repairable

As we’ve said before, there’s nothing sadder than a roadrunner with a broken leg. They are capable of flight and do so quite well, but they also do spend lots of time on the ground chasing lizards and other prey (and eluding coyotes?) making it essential that their ability to use both legs well is maintained. This little bird has a badly fractured leg as shown by Dr. Sorum’s X-ray, but after studying it with Dr. Orr, it was decided that if the bone was viable, it could be repaired with surgery which was scheduled for today.

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Jan and Megan tour the Toyota team

Jan and Megan give the Toyota team a tour.

Toyota videography

Toyota videography

Recently we were able to partner with the Toyota Test Facility on the outskirts of Phoenix where some young RTHs were relocated. Toyota is rightfully proud of their environmental efforts and had their internal AV team put together a video so their employees could learn about this program. (see Megan’s HHH above for more details)

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Sonora rides the VCRR!

Sonora rides the VCRR! (Photo by Kelly Virtanen)

The only rail-riding eagle around!

The only rail-riding eagle around! (photo by Kelly Virtanen)

We’re proud to have the only (as far as we know) train-riding bald eagle in the state! Joe and Jan take Sonora for a ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad once a month to provide an educational component to this wonderful Arizona adventure. The train riders get to see a bald eagle close up while learning about the life of these birds from handlers Joe and Jan Miller, all the while scanning the skies for wild examples of our national bird that live along the river traveled by the VCRR. If you have never made this trip, give yourself a treat and take a ride!

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Chaco and Aurora go to the Show

Chaco and Aurora go to the Show

Last week, Joe and I took Aurora and Chaco to the AZGFD facility on Care Free Highway for an event to get employees to sign up for the AZ State Employees Charitable Campaign for this year. In this program, State employees can sign up to donate a given amount to various charitable organizations, one of which is Liberty Wildlife. For almost three hours, Chaco and Aurora displayed their talents to the AZGFD people at lunch so they could learn about our program.

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A wonderful letter...

A wonderful letter…

This was posted on Facebook last week. I just thought it had a great message that was learned by a youngster who obviously cares for nature and all that implies…

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Weekly progress at the new Facility

Electric conduits are positioned

Electric conduits are positioned

Water and effluent pipes

Water and effluent pipes

Things are going up

Things are going up

Pads for the Amphitheater

Pads for the Amphitheater

Each week more progress is made on the new Liberty Wildlife on the Rio Salado! I’ll try to give weekly updates on what is going on at the site.

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This Week @ Liberty – October 05, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Our Cruise for Wildlife is in the history books.  We cruised on the Out of the Blue luxury houseboat (somehow, houseboat and Out of the Blue shouldn’t be in the same phrase) out of Ten Lane dock on Lake Pleasant, and it was truly lovely.

Out of the Blue arrives for the event

Out of the Blue arrives for the event

I always marvel at the possibility of driving through miles of Sonoran desert, beautiful on its own, and rounding a corner in the road to be confronted with the likes of the lake.  Everything about it is stunning.  Maybe it is that the awareness of luxurious water in the middle of the desert is an incongruency that our brain celebrates.  And, celebratory moments are always welcome.

Catered by Michael Stavros, the following menu was provided to guests:

Fine food and accommodations

Fine food and accommodations

Tortellini, Tomato & Olive Saté, Szechwan Beef Mini Tortilla Wheel, Baja-Style Shrimp Cocktail– with cocktail sauce, Grilled Vegetable Platter, Hummus Platter with Pita Bread, Charcuterie Board with Fresh Fruit and Artisanal Bread & Crostini, mixed salads and sandwich rolls. Cookies for desert and beverages of your choice framed the dining experience.

The guests arrive

The guests arrive

The cruise was attended by a delightfully

diverse group of people and conversations were lively.  The stars were popping as we were away from the light pollution of the city.  Lucky guests were greeted by constellations and shooting stars…a first for one of our guests from the Seattle area…how cool is that!

Aurora comes out

Aurora comes out

And the piece de resistance was the appearance of Aurora, the bald eagle.  She was magnificent on her perch totally unflappable while she posed with guests for portrait after portrait.  She seems to be totally at ease about being a boat riding eagle…maybe she was taken by the ambiance of the lake air and the shooting stars.

As guests stepped off the excursion boat

Posing for pictures

The Langs posing with Aurora

they were gifted with a Tammie Coe Out of the Blue cookie and a Liberty Wildlife key chain flashlight.  They loaded the bus and made their ways back to the starting point.  It seemed like everyone was smiling.  I like it when that happens.  Thanks to the hard work and generosity of Susie Alofs and Kathleen Lang another Liberty Wildlife event is launched.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year has reached 6108.

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

As we continue to accumulate intakes for the year (each one sets a new record!), the pace is slow enough that each one gets a lot of personal 0ne-on-0ne care leading to a speedy release in some cases. The event on Saturday went well and now we’re looking forward to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on December 6th. The animals seldom show their appreciation and we hope this event tells the volunteers that everything they do is a great service to the wildlife of Arizona! The Birdies for Charity campaign is on again for this year (which you’ve seen if you visited the website recently – don’t worry, the pop-up goes away after the third appearance.) so sign up and chip in a penny to get us a good spot at the event. A couple of releases are spotlighted in the update this week, so relax with the rest of us and take a look…

Big bunny gets better

Big bunny gets better

Not all the rabbits we get in are babies.  This adult cottontail was in for some treatment and now is nearing release. Yes, we do care for ALL ends of the food chain including prey species, whether it’s Easter or some other holiday – or not.  A rabbit that has gotten this big has been doing a lot right and needs to have his genes in the pool!

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Dr. Wyman checks a burrowing owl

Dr. Wyman checks a burrowing owl

This little BuOw was rescued from a parking lot down near Sky Harbor. Probably a car or window collision, he would have had a much shorter ride in after we move early next year. This bird is also nearing release as his condition is monitored by Dr. Wyman and the Med Services team.

"ADRIAAAAAN!!!!" (remember the last scene in Rocky?)

“ADRIAAAAAN!!!!” (remember the last scene in Rocky?)

Its not as bad as it looks

Its might not be as bad as it looks

Dr. Wyman irrigates the eye

Dr. Wyman irrigates the eye

The wing is actually worse than the eye

The wing is actually worse than the eye

Dr. Wyman is an artist with sutures!

Dr. Wyman is an artist with sutures!

Joanie holds as Jan wraps the wing

Joanie holds as Jan wraps the wing

A sad looking GHO was brought in last week after what was most likely a serious automobile collision. His right eye and left wing were injured and he really looked like he was in a bar fight. Dr. Wyman examined him and did some work on the eye which may not be the worst injury he has to deal with. The tissue of the patagial area was shredded and the supreme skill of Dr. Wyman came in handy as she sewed the pieces back into shape before he was put in an enclosure for cage rest and recuperation.

The big female RTH is checked for canker

The big female RTH is checked for canker

Another happy outcome was this big female red-tailed hawk. She came in with canker and was treated for that issue which can be fatal if not caught in time or treated properly. Now she can get back into rotation for the upcoming breeding season and start making big strong RTH chicks!

"Why yes, I can fly!"

“Why yes, I can fly!”

A quick road to release was in the cards for this young Cooper’s hawk. She came in with some abrasions over her eyes but little else in terms of injury. Last week after being assessed, she was placed in a flight enclosure and showed us she could fly very well, thank you very much! This led to a release which again placed her in the wild hunting other birds as all the migrations are taking place!

Fishing line goose continues to improve

Fishing line goose continues to improve

He's walking better too

He’s walking better too

"Heres lookin' at you kid!"

“Here’s lookin’ at you kid!”

The Canada goose with the dual leg fishing line involvement continues to improve. The circulation to his feet is returning and he is again learning how to walk on two feet. He seems to be getting along with the other goose in his enclosure but we want to get him back to the lake in Scottsdale where he came from.

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Tim examines a grackle that was attacked by a cat

Tim examines a grackle that was attacked by a cat

And the smaller, passerines still get injured and rescued.  The window is our prime source for these little birds which are most often found by people who rescue them from their pets and kids. This little grackle was brought in by the family who said they found her on the ground in the back yard near their cat.  Audubon estimates over one billion birds fall victim to house cats every year.

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APS employees ready for a dual release

APS employees prepare for a dual release (photo by Jen Moore)

Getting ready...

Getting ready… (photo by Jen Moore)

Two more hawks back in the wild! (photo by Jen Moore)

Two more hawks back in the wild! (photo by Jen Moore)

Story by Jennifer Moore, APS:

In early April, Terrance O’Connor identified an active red-tailed hawk nest on an APS pole in Casa Grande. The nest was situated in a dangerous location for the hawks and had the potential to cause an outage or damage our equipment. I worked with Manuel Escarcega to coordinate a time in the when our Liberty Wildlife biologist, Nina Grimaldi, could meet the Casa Grande crew to assist with a nest move.  On Friday, April 17, Liberty Wildlife met the crew, including Manuel Escarcega, Michael Karpelenia, Anthony Wauer, Kenny Salinas, Mark Eide, and Dylan Hrober on site. Adult red-tailed hawks were observed perching in the nest, indicating we would likely find eggs or chicks upon closer inspection. The crews approached the nest and observed 2 eggs which they carefully removed and transported to the biologist on the ground. The eggs were held in an incubator while the crews worked to remove the nest while keeping it intact. The original nesting pole could not safely accommodate a nesting platform, so the platform was installed one pole to the south. The original nest was placed on the platform so the red-tailed hawks could safely make future nest attempts. This was a difficult pole to work on and I believe we had to take an outage so time was limited. To keep everyone safe and limit the egg’s exposure to the environment without an adult on the nest, Liberty Wildlife and the crews determined the best course of action would be to transport the eggs in the incubator to the rehabilitation facility. We typically are less successful in getting the adults to return to their eggs after a nest relocation. Adults will return to live chicks more often which was not what we were dealing with in this circumstance. We move forward with a nest move regardless of the stage of development when the hawk’s safety is at risk. We received word from Liberty Wildlife on April 30 that our eggs had hatched in their incubator. The chicks are being raised at the Liberty Wildlife facility and we received a 2nd update that they are growing fast. The chicks will be cared for by Liberty Wildlife staff and volunteers until they are strong enough to move to the outdoor aviary. On September 30 Lineman Journeyman Anthony Wauer and Kenny Salinas released two hawks with assistance from Nina. The 2 juveniles were released approximately 2 miles from the original nest site to avoid any conflicts with their adult parents’ territory. Stories in the local Casa Grande paper and internal APS Newsline are expected in the coming weeks.

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The latest from the new site:

Progress each week

Progress each week

More steel to go

More steel to go

Plumbing begins

Plumbing begins

"Orphan Care - 2016"

“Orphan Care – 2016″

 

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This Week @ Liberty – September 28, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

Here’s yet another way to help Liberty Wildlife’s mission.   Anne Peyton, has an offer that is hard to ignore.

As we approach the official beginning of the Education season, our Liberty Wildlife Avian Ambassadors have spent the summer getting ready to wow their public. Most of the birds are completing their molts and are looking absolutely fabulous with new tails and bright plumage. Soon, each Education bird will have their talons tipped, their beaks coped and get their leather checked and possibly replaced.

The leather expense is third only to the food and medical costs for the Education birds. Many birds spend the summer standing in their water bowls and the constant wet/dry action and the desert heat can leave the anklets and jesses cracked and brittle or shrunken to the point where it may become tight. Bad leather means no public appearances.

Here is a way you can help Liberty with the leather bill: Education team member Anne

"The Boys"

“The Boys”

Peyton, who is also an award-winning wildlife artist, has created a new gicleé print featuring our two Barn Owls, Soren and Henry.

The print image is 7.5” high X 10” wide and printed on high quality art paper. The price is $55. A portion of each print will be donated to Liberty Wildlife. This donation will help supplement the increasing costs of purchasing the leather we need for nearly 50 birds from kestrels and screech owls up to our bald and golden eagles.

To order a print, contact Anne at Liberty Wildlife (Monday/Wednesday/Friday hand feed) or by email at annepeytonart@cox.net.  All print orders will be available for pick up only at Liberty Wildlife; shipping is not an option at this time.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 6066.

The temps are still in the triple digit range so even though it’s officially Fall, you’d never know it by taking a stroll outside in Phoenix. But just as the folks to the northeast are looking forward to breaking out their snow shovels and ice scrapers, at the same time we will be having the most pleasant time of our year! The good news for now is the intake window is pretty slow and the hotline folks are getting a slight break in their level of activity as well. This gives us a chance to do some repairing and shoring up of our aging facility and for me to build some new transport boxes for our Education animals. Still, we got in a few new patients this week, including the cutest baby collared peccary (javelina to real Arizonies). This update will cover some of the progress some previous intakes have made, plus some of the progress our new facility is making.

The fishing line goose improves

The fishing line goose improves

The Canada goose in last week’s update is getting better and is now outside. He is able to walk and interact with another Canada as well as feed himself in the waterfowl enclosure on the north side. As soon as his wounds heal satisfactorily, he’ll be returned to his own lake and be able to rejoin his friends.

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Tim rescues a baby peccary

Tim rescues a baby peccary (photo by Julie – Tim’s daughter)

"Got milk?"

“Got milk?”

Sometime during the big monsoon deluge in Ahwatukee last week, this little javelina got separated from his parents. The hotline was called and Tim Coppage was scrambled to rescue the little guy. When he got to Liberty, he was tired, scared, and very hungry! After getting some bunny milk, he curled up with a toy stuffed eagle and went to sleep before being transported to SWW for further care.

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Fractured wing screech

Fractured wing screech

Radiography before surgery

Radiography before surgery

After the operation

After the operation

Here’s one more update on the little screech owl with the fractured humerus (from last week’s TW@L) I just received some new X-rays from Dr. Driggers showing the wing pre- and post surgery. This is one more good example of what having digital radiography available can mean for the ultimate success rate of what we do. The little bird is doing well and we’re hoping the pin might be removed in the coming weeks. Thanks again, Dr. T!

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Dr. Orr checks wing extension of a young red tail hawk

Dr. Orr checks wing extension of a young red tail hawk

Jan and Susie trim a beak

Jan and Susie trim the beak

Sometimes there’s more to rehabilitation than just mending broken bones. Even after the fracture has healed, the degree of mobility of any affected joints must be carefully evaluated prior to release. If the designed articulation can’t be restored, it might make the difference between a releasable bird and a new Educational ambassador. Then, after sometimes weeks of care, a hawk’s beak and talons might become overgrown which might present a problem for a bird in the wild. These must also be checked and remedial action taken (beak and talon coping with a file or other abrasive tool) to give the bird every advantage when it is released.

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Dr. Wyman examines a burrowing owl

Dr. Wyman examines a burrowing owl

"What are YOU looking' at?"

“What’re YOU lookin’ at?!”

Besides successfully relocating many burrowing owls over the years, our Medical Services Team is also experienced in taking care of a variety of medical problems encountered by these diminutive owls. Because they spend so much time on (or under!) the ground, they are at risk from dangers that pose no problems to their larger cousins in the owl family. Fortunately our people are adept at providing the unique care they sometimes require.

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Susie holds a young coopers hawk

Susie holds a young Cooper’s hawk

The feathers are in good shape - now...

The feathers are in good shape – now…

Sharon makes and installs a tail guard

Sharon makes and installs a tail guard

Safe for a stay in an enclosure

Safe for a stay in an enclosure

Some birds present quite unique care. This young Cooper’s hawk is in fine feather now, but if he is placed in an inside enclosure for any length of time, he will undoubtedly damage his plumage prolonging his stay at our facility. To prevent this “brooming” of his tail feathers, a special tail guard is fashioned and attached to minimize any feather damage caused by his close quarters housing. This seems especially prevalent in accipiters such as Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks.

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TS Elliot gets trimmed

TS Elliot gets trimmed by Jan and Donna

As we approach the start of the 2015-2016 Education season, all the Ed birds will undergo inspections and well-checks to prepare them to once again become teachers.  Since our birds don’t have to hunt and kill on their own, their tools (beaks and talons) become too long and sharp which is problematic to the performance of their duties as wildlife ambassadors to the public. Our Education volunteers are knowledgable about what is acceptable and what needs maintenance and they bring it to the attention of the Med Services people for action. This is the type of teamwork that typifies the staff at Liberty!

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Progress at the site of the new Facility

The cement begins to arrive

The cement begins to arrive

The rehab wing

The rehab wing

The Education wing

The Education wing

The grand entrance to the new Liberty on the River

What will be the grand entrance to the new Liberty Wildlife on the River

Pouring the concrete footings for the new facility began on the educational side last Friday and continues on the rehab wing this week. As it begins to take shape, we’ll be presenting weekly updates on construction progress.

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This Week @ Liberty – September 21, 2015

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby

Megan Mosby

We keep breaking records and this year’s Orphan season has blown all previous records off the charts.  Starting April 12th and to end September 26 (later than years before), our intrepid Orphan Care Department has done the best job ever.  Here are a few statistics to date to give you an idea why they were so busy all of the time.

Intakes at the window            5402         Total Hatchling                                  669

Total avian (birds)                   4961         Total Nestling                                  1424

Total mammals                         396          Total Fledgling                                 1151

Total reptile                                43           Total Juvenile                                    973

Total amphibian                           2            Total Infant                                       140

Different species                        60            Total Newborn                                   64

Total Adult                                   981

All of these animals (excluding orphan or adult raptors) were taken care of by our hard working Orphan Care Team.  It consists of the following elements:

75 total people a week

3 shifts most days

7 days a week

From 7:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

The busiest month of this season was June with 1469 total animals for the month.  Some days almost 100 animals were received.  Our Orphan Care area is small and was chocked full most of the time with hungry mouths needing cleaning and/or medicating.  It was filled with 3 or 4 volunteers a shift and bumping into each other was common place.  Under those circumstances it is amazing to be able to say with all honesty that this year was seamless, efficient, and totally filled with expertise and compassion.

And when I speak of expertise and compassion I must mention the leadership of Susie Vaught, the Orphan Care Supervisor and her Daily Care Coordinators, Cindy Zeigler and Andrea Feiler.  They made a huge difference and need to take a bow.  Thank you all for the leadership and hard work.  It was a great season for native wildlife!

I am remiss if I don’t recognize the role the Hotline played in this successful year as well as their esteemed leader, Carol Suits.  It does indeed take a village!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year has reached 6029.

As unbelievable as it once seemed, we passed 6,000 animals last week with the arrival of a cottontail with an injured leg. The truly incredible part is that we still have 100 days to go this year. This remarkable milestone is in no small part due to the outstanding dedication of the Orphan Care team which dutifully cared for almost 80% of that total. Within the week, the OC center will be closing down until next spring when we will be opening  again at our new facility. In the meantime, the usual work goes on even as construction progresses on the new Liberty Wildlife on the Rio Salado!

Number 6000!

Number 6000! (photo by Liberty volunteer)

The six-thousandth intake arrived last Wednesday, a cottontail rabbit with an injured leg. Quite a milestone for such a little creature!

One of two baby desert tortoises that arrived

One of two baby desert tortoises that arrived

In keeping with the theme of unassuming arrivals, two tiny baby desert tortoises were brought in last week.  They are too small to hibernate this year and will be kept in their enclosure until they are large enough to be transferred to another facility for adoption. (That’s a small square tissue box in the left foreground.)

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The baby barn owl continues to grow.

The baby barn owl continues to grow.

The baby barn owl is getting bigger by the day. This is confirmed by tracking his weight to make certain he is getting sufficient food to support his explosive growth. In the wild, his parents would be feeding him between five and six mice each night.

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Screech owl is checked prior to surgery

Screech owl is checked prior to surgery

Dr. Driggers and screech owl pre surgery

Dr. Driggers and the screech owl pre surgery (with his talons embedded in Dr. T’s shirt!)

He came through the operation in good shape!

He came through the operation in good shape!

Our little screech owl with the fractured wing was taken down to Dr. Driggers last week for surgery to pin his broken humerus. The surgery went well so he returned the next day and is now in recovery at Liberty. He has a good attitude (for a predator) as he grabs everything within reach with his diminutive but sharp talons, including Dr. Driggers’ shirt!

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Dr. Karen examines a barn owl's eye.

Dr. Becker examines a barn owl’s eye.

We had what seemed like an overabundance of eye issues recently. One is a barn owl who presented some problems upon arrival but seems to be doing a little better with the care he is getting. Having three experienced vets on duty on Tuesday afternoon plus Dr. Sorum on Sunday morning is a big help!

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A gun shot Harris' hawk gets an X-ray

A gun shot juvenile Harris’ hawk gets an X-ray

The offending projectile shows up well

The offending projectile shows up well

It’s disturbing how well bullets and pellets show up in X-rays – almost as disturbing as how often this type of injury occurs. In this case, the fracture is in a good place being mid-shaft and only involves the one bone. The prognosis for this bird is very good right now, aided by the early X-ray by Dr. Sorum. This underscores why it’s so imperative that  we acquire a digital X-ray unit for the new facility. In many cases, early and accurate diagnosis leads to a more successful outcome to the treatment.

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A nice turnout for the OC wrap-up

A nice turnout for the OC wrap-up

Susie has some words of  thanks for the team

Susie has some words of thanks for the team

An appropriate cake (actually several cupcakes!) for the OC team

An appropriate cake for the OC team

Becoming an annual event, the Orphan Care team had an End-of-the-Season get together last Saturday with pizza (provided by Liberty and Oregano’s), salad, soft drinks, and the cutest cake – (actually several cupcakes!) Organized by Susie, the OC Coordinator, the event was well attended by the volunteers who worked tirelessly in less than perfect conditions since April to feed and care for thousands of baby birds and mammals. The best news is that at the new facility, OC will be twice as large and they won’t have to work the intake window along with their usual duties! Thanks, OC, for all you do!!

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A TV gets hit by a car

A turkey vulture/automobile collision

As the OC event was winding up, an adult turkey vulture was brought in. As is often the case with carrion eating species, the bird was involved in an automobile collision. Many scavengers love cars as they seem to be the perfect predator – killing things and not eating them! This leaves an inviting carcass on the road as a perfect free meal without expending energy. Unfortunately, another of these mechanical instruments of carnage will be coming along soon and if the scavenger is still eating, he might well be the next victim! This TV has a very serious compound fracture in his wing. The wound was wrapped and splinted pending X-rays which will dictate the type of further treatment.

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More fishing line problems...

More fishing line problems…

Alexa works to remove the line

Alexa works to remove the line as Tony holds

The wound in the right leg is cleaned and flushed

Kayla irrigates the wound after the line is removed

Then the leg is medicated and wrapped

Then the leg is medicated and wrapped

Team work on the second leg

Med Services team removes the fishing line from the second leg

Two toned leg warmers - how 70's!

Tony holds the goose with two toned leg warmers – how 70’s!

Fluids before cage rest

Fluids are administered by Alexa before Tony places the bird in an enclosure to rest

An unfortunate Canada goose was rescued and brought in just prior to the OC event. A concerned lady living on the lake cared enough to call the hotline and remained on site to assist with the rescue. The bird was living at a golf course lake just south of the Liberty facility and had serious involvement with fishing line on both legs. Upon arrival, Med Services volunteers Alexa and Kayla carefully removed the line. The wounds were then cleaned well, medicated, and wrapped. After hydrating the bird, it was placed in an inside enclosure to minimize stress. Hopefully it will be moving outside and eventually returned to the lake and released when it heals.

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A series of photos and videos showing releases and birds who returned after release!

Kestrel foster after release (photo by Cindy Ziegler)

Kestrel foster after release (photo by Cindy Ziegler)

Cindy Ziegler writes:  “A few months ago, Barry and I released a pair of kestrels that Liberty’s foster parents raised. You always wonder how they’re doing – and today the male paid us a visit. Our fosters obviously did a good job with this one, look at that crop, and how beautiful he looks! Don’t you love it when things turn out this way? :-)”

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Lesley Guenther sent this video of a dove she released that didn’t want the free meals to stop. The bird surreptitiously peeked in from an open window to steal cat food left inside. CLICK HERE for the video.

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Marko ready to launch (photo by Kelly)

Marko ready to launch (photo by Kelly)

Another successful release! (photo by Kelly)

Another successful release! (photo by Kelly)

Liberty volunteers Kelly and Marko Virtanen did a Harris’ hawk release at the Lost Dutchman State Park on Saturday. Kelly sent in these pictures.  Nice job!

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The latest from the site of the new facility as of Sunday morning

Steel for the foundation

Steel for the foundation

It's starting to take shape now...

It’s starting to take shape now…

 

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