Hoots, Howls, and Hollers
I often go out to visit the new site when there are no workmen around when it is quiet. I can really imagine (read dream) about what it will be like to move in and be a part of splendor…and it is getting more and more splendiferous. In addition to that I take a hike down the peace trail, sometimes west and sometimes east. Yesterday I went east.
There is a wet land, intentional or not, that appears just beyond the 32nd St. bridge. It always becomes a meditation for me. On first approach I feel a thrill at a nook of water even though at first glance it seems empty and still. However, as in any meditation if you stop, be very still, things begin to emerge. It never fails.
Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was no exception. My attention was first snagged by what turned out to be just a reflection. But we settled in. Red winged black birds, finches, sparrows flew busily along. Merganser ducks floated quietly by. Black necked stilts stood stoically doing their thing.
Settle a little more…a greater egret standing statue-like only feet from another white treasure in a snowy egret.
Settle more…a couple of mallards dive and drift, dive and drift.
Go a little deeper and the prize lifts its heavy body off the shore and does a flap, circle, circle, flap, rise and circle, and indeed the jewel reveals itself like it does in any meditative wisdom…a three-year-old bald eagle was working the wetland. YAY!
I am in the process of compiling my Peace Trail and Liberty Wildlife bird list. It is getting more and more impressive. Harriers, peregrines, great blue herons, cormorants, red tailed hawks, ospreys to name a very few. Do you think they know we are soon to be there?
And, just in case….
The invitations are out. Wishes for Wildlife is upon us. If you didn’t get an invitation in the mail, speak up and let us know where to send one to you. YOU ARE INVITED! We would love to have a full house again, and we would love the opportunity to introduce you to our education ambassadors, our silent auction, the beauty of the Montelucia, our fun program, and the dining delights of Chef Michael.
Maybe you would like to add something to our silent auction. This auction is different. There are unusual items that you won’t find anywhere else. The Garden Section will delight the apartment/condo dweller or the manor home and anything in between…something wonderful for everyone.
This Week @ Liberty
The intake total is now up to 681.
Orphan Care opening is imminent, and training has begun. The number of baby birds is increasing daily and hopefully this will be one of the first operations that will move and begin activity in the new facility within a few weeks. It was amazing to see the number of people in the OC area last Saturday getting hands on training in feeding babies and logging in new arrivals at the intake window. Preparations for both the move and our fundraising gala Wishes for Wildlife 2016 are moving along in parallel and timing being what it is, both will occur nearly simultaneously. As the move approaches, my ability to be there for all the activity in the ICU is becoming more limited hence the brevity of the updates you’ll see. I’m relying on volunteers to provide photo-journalistic pictures for this blog and with the proliferation of iPhones and their amazingly good quality cameras, so far it’s been working. Keep the pics coming folks!
OK, if you’ve been following TW@L for the past couple of weeks, you’ve seen the progress that was made with this large Harris’ hawk. Her feet were not working well as she came in and special orthopedic shoes were made from styrofoam sheets to correct her malfunctioning toes and talons. Last week, she was moved to an outside enclosure with two other HaHa’s, her feet apparently working as well as ever after her treatment. Another success story for the Med Services team at Liberty Wildlife!
Our Daily Care Coordinator, Alex Stofko, realized some newer volunteers might not be aware of the dangers of some of the things lurking around the property as the temperatures climb. Recently she put this board together to alert the volunteers as to what to be careful of as they go about their tasks at the facility. We’re all hoping that a lot of the creepy crawlies that inhabit the current facility will stay behind when we move to the new property!
The orphans are arriving in larger numbers each day and the training of the new OC volunteers began last weekend. A huge number of volunteers showed up on Saturday for Day#1 of hands on training from Susie and Andrea and some other experienced baby bird handlers. Everyone seemed attentive and excited about the opportunity to help the little creatures survive their first year.
It seems as though foot problems are common among birds that we see at Liberty, but since most birds of prey make their living by using their feet to obtain their food, it’s important for these appendages to work properly. The prairie falcon that we got from the vet clinic near Kingman has healed enough that now we are trying to rehabilitate the injured foot (see TW@L February 22, 2016). Since the “shoe” that was constructed fore the injured Harris’ hawk worked so well, Dr. Wyman made some more corrective footwear for this falcon to improve its ability to use the foot that was broken.
Yet another case of discarded fishing gear causing problems to wildlife was brought in last week. This mallard was found with a fish hook complete with a couple feet of monofilament line embedded in his wing. This bird was fairly lucky as Tim and Denise were able to remove the hook and the line before more damage occurred. The duck will be released after a short period of observation and medication.
An unfortunate roadrunner came in with a leg injury last week. It appears the bird had gotten inextricably tangled in some netting at a local grocery store. Nylon netting is used for a number of reasons including protecting plants and produce from birds and animals. Sometimes it is used on the roofs of buildings to keep pigeons away but as with poisons, they are not species specific and when it is encountered by any wildlife, there is usually a bad outcome for the animal involved. The prognosis for this bird is currently guarded. We’ll try to keep you posted.
Orphan great horned owls are among the most numerous of the raptor babies we see each year and this year promises to be no exception. The first one arrived last week, followed in quick succession by several others including the family of four seen on TV after the mother was shot by a homeowner. This little guy came in alone and was the first baby to take up residence with Hedwig, one of our wonderful foster moms who is now caring for the little one – and a couple of others that arrived later on in the day.
Sonora greets some Easter visitors to Sharon’s event (photo by Chris Bogus)
Some friends of Sharon and Tom Sneva decided to focus their annual Easter Sunday event on Liberty Wildlife. Sharon is an unbelievable volunteer who never ceases to amaze us all with her drive and attitude and she convinced the people who produce this event to make Liberty the recipient of this year’s proceeds. Joe and Jan took eagles that wowed the attendees, and Sharon released a rehabilitated red tail hawk for the edification of the crowd.So far, $800 has been raised with more on the way. Thank you, Sharon and Tom! (CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO OF THE RELEASE)