This Week @ Liberty – March 27, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

I am writing to celebrate the life of Kathleen Lang, a beautiful friend of mine and of Liberty Wildlife. In fact she was more. She was a transformer.  She was a transformer of me and of Liberty Wildlife, and she was my good friend.  Sadly, we lost her last week, and we are all less for it.

Kathleen was my longest friend in Arizona.  We couldn’t have been more different.  And, yet, we couldn’t have been closer on a heart level.  She was always beautiful and elegant.  She was always kind.  She was mid-west hard working.  She was devoted and loyal.  We could go long periods of time without contact and take up right where we left off.  She was never judgmental and was always compassionate and inclusive.  But, mostly she was the perfect mother of Kaitlin, the love of her life.

I learned from her.  She exposed me to family that operated like a village…close-knit,

Kathleen Lang (right) with Melani Walton at Wishes for Wildlife

Kathleen Lang (right) with Melani Walton at Wishes for Wildlife 2016

devoted, strong, and supportive at all costs.  Among many other things, she opened my eyes to the ways to raise money for charities, including Liberty Wildlife.  I might still be sitting in the mail with a little donation jar if she hadn’t come along to share her vast experience in appealing to those with for those without.  She was perfection, poise, and oh so productive.  Those hands were never idle and no job was too daunting.

We shared many experiences from exercising on the canal, to tracking and catching loose dogs, to shopping, sharing hobbies, and deep secrets.  I keep trying to remember what I brought to the table and can only come up with the fact that she knew she could always count on me.

This week a hole opened up in my world and swallowed up my pal.  Because of her love of butterflies, I will always think of her when I see one.  In fact, as I sat by our wetlands processing the loss of my friend, I saw my first butterfly of the season.  It made me smile.

Adieu for now to Kathleen Lang, who taught me most of all what it means to be a friend.  What a valuable person Liberty Wildlife and I were lucky enough to befriend!  She will be sorely missed.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now up to 704.

Traffic at the intake window is picking up noticeably. We are still taking in a lot of bunnies and hummingbirds found by the public, along with other orphan birds. Our own Orphan Care center will be open next week, and not a moment too soon! It seems as if every other arrival is another group of cottontails. But we’re making continued efforts to accommodate the growing bunny population. Our digital X-ray unit is providing an invaluable service in providing care for the animals who are brought to us as we no longer have to wait to confirm diagnoses of trauma. A couple of volunteers have planted some more trees alongside the rehab side enclosures to provide shade for the birds housed there. And, we begin a series of Sunday morning  “Critter Corner” appearances on local TV channel 10. Here’s what it looks like…

And still they come...

And still they come…in ones, twos, threes, fours, and more!

There's just no end to the cuteness...!

There’s just no end to the cuteness…!

Amazing new bunny hutches

Amazing new bunny hutches

It seems like 4 out of 5 intakes now is either a hummingbird or a cottontail. The hummers are small enough that even though they require a lot of care, they don’t take up much space! Bunnies, on the other hand, grow pretty quickly and they need more room to grow and thrive. In answer to the ever increasing lagomorph population at Liberty, Warren Van Dyke (Mare’s husband), recently constructed two wonderful new hutches in which to house the growing bunnies. We know Liberty would be expanding from our new facility some day, we just didn’t count on it happening so soon! Thanks Warren!

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Jan brings in the patient

Jan brings in the patient

The x-ray has touch-screen controls

The x-ray has touch-screen controls

Dr. Orr, Dr. Sorum, and Jan study the picture

Dr. Orr, Dr. Sorum, and Jan study the picture

The eagle is a good patient

The eagle is a good patient

The young bald eagle that was brought in a few weeks ago is still with us. He had reached the point in his treatment last week when he was introduced to a flight enclosure in hopes that he could be released soon. But despite presenting no external indication of anything that would prevent flight, he wasn’t able to take off. He was then brought in for more x-rays to try to determine if he had some other injury that had not been evident earlier in his care. He did originally suffer some internal injuries which might be still healing and this could possibly slow his recovery and delay his return to “flight status” so we are still hopeful he will be released in a short while.

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More shade for the rehab side

More shade for the rehab side

Ed and his helper plant more trees

Ed and his helper plant more trees

These should make it much cooler for the rehabbing birds

These should make it much cooler for the rehabbing birds

When the new enclosures were built last year, we weren’t sure of their exact location and orientation so planning any foliage around them was delayed. Now that they are up, we know where we need shade so volunteers Roger Athey and Ed Weigand came out and dug some holes in appropriate places. Donated trees (all native species) were then planted by Ed and some more students from Scottsdale Community College last week. These should provide some natural shade for the birds in rehab in the months and years to come.

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Darted pigeon

Darted pigeon (photo by Laura)

OK, I don’t care what you think about pigeons – beautiful flyers who aided our war efforts in WWII or rats with wings – nothing deserves this kind of treatment. Apparently someone thought it would be cool to shoot a dart at the bird and it drove the projectile through his lower jaw. That kind of cruelty has no place in a civilized world.

Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty.  – William Ralph Inge
If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.” – Albert Einstein

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Erin with Veto at Dead Horse State Park

Erin with Veto at Dead Horse State Park (photo by Kelly)

Marko displays Rio at DHSP

Marko displays Rio at DHSP (photo by Kelly)

Some more of our volunteers and ambassadors presented at the Dead Horse State Park recently. This program is always well attended and well received by all who come out to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and learn about the nature of Arizona.

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Doris and Snickers with the Sunday Morning crew at Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

Doris and Snickers with the Sunday Morning crew at Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

"Critter Corner" on Channel 10

“Critter Corner” on Channel 10 (photo by Laura)

Two stars!

Two stars! (photo by Laura)

Last Sunday morning, Laura and Doris took Snickers down to the Channel 10 studios in downtown Phoenix for a spot on their “Critter Corner” segment. Once a month, we will have animals on display for early Sunday morning risers to see and learn about Liberty Wildlife. Thanks Laura and Doris – and Snickers! (Catch Liberty’s Critter Corner segment on the 4th Sunday of every month on channel 10 between 6:00 and 7:00 AM)

 

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This Week @ Liberty – March 20, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Sunday was the scene of another great event at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.  Our annual Baby Bird Shower has morphed into a Wild About Wildlife, a free event to the public.  We were fearful that the record heat might dampen enthusiasm, but it didn’t.  We learned that our building is situated in such a way that the building acts as a “shade” to our wetlands area and the daunting weather just didn’t pan out.  The vendors booths were pleasant and busy.

Adding to the Liberty Wildlife activities and collection were The Roosevelt Community School’s Greenhouse exhibit where the guests were encouraged to plant a terrarium with a bean seed to watch the growth in the days to come and were educated about the use of mulching…replete with earthworms!.  Audubon Arizona had information about their mission with samples of bird wings and talons that the guests were allowed to touch, hold, and examine among other activities.  The Young Rembrandts invited kids to display their artsy sides and The Phoenix Parks and Recreation booth was all about sharing information related to the Rio Salado area in which we are located and other relevant park programs.  Each booth seemed busy to me every time I passed.

Liberty Wildlife set up two activities for young ones including making a hand puppet of an owl and creating pine cone bird feeders….a little take away for everyone interested.  Our education team along with our educational ambassadors related information to guests about the wildlife they presented and posed for photos and artists drawing their likenesses.  Our Interactive Room was busy all of the afternoon with the presentation of reptiles, our interactive activities, video cams, binocular use, and x-ray examinations.

Needless to say, there was a lot of activity the entire time.  We met many new folks and were particularly excited to see engagement from our neighbors.  Many people voiced an interest in volunteering and showed a robust interest in more of our programming.

A fun day was had by all.  The onset of orphan season is upon us and the donations of seeds, paper towels, and other oft used items will help launch our season well.  There is still room to fill a shift in orphan care, to man the intake window, help with the hotline, or participate with our Rescue and Transport team…in fact there will be training in these areas soon. If you are interested in more information go to www.libertywildlife, volunteer, volunteer application, and fill out the form.  Someone will get back to you asap.

Thanks for all of the enthusiasm from both staff and volunteers and the guests!  I look forward to seeing new faces on campus.

And, happy first day of spring to all of you.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total is now up to 551.

The rate of intakes has increased dramatically in the last week. Maybe its the warm weather, maybe it’s just the time of year, but the number of people arriving at the intake window bearing orphans and injured animals is growing by the day. The Rescue and Transport volunteers are also doing more call outs, and the number of orphaned cottontails and hummingbirds is astonishing. With the rising temperatures, we were not sure what to expect in terms of attendance at the Wild About Wildlife open house on Sunday, but we were ready for whatever showed up – from 4 to 400. The people came out in spite of record temps predicted, and everyone seemed to have a great time visiting the facility, meeting the birds and volunteers, and experiencing Arizona before the real heat sets in! Here’s what the week looked like…

Jan and Alex work on a serioiusly injured RTH

Jan and Alex work on a serioiusly injured RTH

Even though in early spring (yes, today is the first day of spring!!) most of what we take in are orphans and babies, there are always a few adults and juveniles that make mistakes and end up with injuries. Our Med Services team is always there to provide the needed care for animals who are suffering.

First orphan GHO

Our first orphan GHO of the year!

Cynthia feeds an orphan

Cynthia feeds an orphan bird.

Bag o' bunnies

Bag o’ bunnies

Ed color codes the cottontails

Ed color codes the cottontails

This year, we saw a surprising number of orphan cottontail rabbits show up at our intake window. Even before spring officially began, we were getting bunnies, some in groups, some singly, but the stream seems to have no end. As they arrive, each is weighed and color-coded for identification, then they are grouped by age and development.

Another baby hummer comes in "on a stick"

Another baby hummer comes in “on a stick”

The Hummingbird Orphanage

The Hummingbird Orphanage

The other major component of what we have taken in so far are hummingbirds! Requiring almost constant feeding and care, these pretty little birds can thankfully be housed in a relatively small enclosure in which they all seem to get along as they wait their turn at the feeding tube.

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                   Wild About Wildlife and the Baby Bird Shower 2017

A nice crowd on hand

A nice crowd on hand

Growing things naturally is a step toward sustainability

Growing things naturally is a step toward sustainability

Doris and Stella next to the Parks Department display

Doris and Stella next to the Parks Department display

Young Rembrandts were on hand

Young Rembrandts were on hand

Learning must be fun!

Learning must be fun!

Sketching birds from life

Sketching birds from life (photo by Jan)

Artist drawing Rio

Artist drawing Rio

Making owl puppets

Making owl puppets

Adults helping kids make pine cone bird feeders

Adults helping kids make pine cone bird feeders

Kids love the Interactive Learning center

Kids love the Interactive Learning Center

Snakes making new friends

Snakes making new friends

Posing with Stella

Posing with Stella

Joe and Cochise, always a big hit

Joe and Cochise, always a big hit

Birds and Volunteers shine

Birds and Volunteers shine

Yesterday we held our Wild About Wildlife 2017 open house. The event was to announce the upcoming Baby Bird Season and is the outgrowth of the Baby Bird Shower we used to hold every spring. We had several local area environmental organizations present booths to teach people about who’s backyard we’re all living in and what we can do to modify our behavior slightly (and painlessly!) to mitigate our impact on the world around us. As always, the volunteers and education ambassadors at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife were the real stars, and all who attended, no matter their age, seemed to have a wonderful time.

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The Guardians meet at Liberty

The Guardians meet at Liberty

Our own Wildlife Guardians were able to gather at the new facility to plan future events for the first time last week. Perviously, they have had to meet at commercial venues around the valley but now, they can meet in our large conference room at Liberty. Dorothy was right: “There’s no place like home!”

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This Week @ Liberty – March 13, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

There are big happenings this weekend.  And, you are all invited!  Our 2nd Annual Wild about Wildlife Fun Fare and Baby Bird Shower is being held at our new facility from 1:00 to 4:00 on Sunday, March 19th.  The address of the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife is 2600 E. Elwood, PHX. 85040.  That is between 24th St and 28th St. south of University and north of Broadway on the south side of the Rio Salado.

Here’s what will be happening.  Guests will meet Liberty’s wildlife ambassadors and learn about them and our efforts to help injured, orphaned, and ill native wildlife.  Donations for our Orphan Care season are happily accepted (i.e. the baby shower).  We go through an amazing amount of paper towels, toilet paper, birdseed, crumble, mealworms, crickets and other necessities during the season.  To find out more about our wish list visit our web site, www.libertywildlfe.org under How Can I Help?  Cash is always accepted also!!!

Other things happening on the 19th include booths from the Roosevelt School District’s Brooks Community Sustainability Project, the Young Rembrandts, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and Water, Use It Wisely organization.  Each booth will have information about the organization and an activity for the guests to participate in representative of their missions.  There will be a number of “Wild Arts and Craft” activities for kids of all ages.

We look forward to seeing you there.  You can see these majestic animals up close.  You can learn about ways to help.  You might even get involved with one of these organizations who actively support nature, the environment, and sustainable practices.

And, best of all…it is free.  What better and more productive way is there to spend some of your Sunday afternoon?

I hope to see you here.

This Week @ Liberty

Me and Snickers

Posted by Terry Stevens Operations Director

The intake total for the year is now at 446.

Spring has turned beautiful, but its getting warmer fast. The temp is hitting around 90 in the afternoons and its shaping up to be another hot year in the valley. Baby bunnies and smaller birds are coming in more frequently and the intake window is seeing more traffic. We had another bald eagle arrive for care and the condors are still here struggling to get better. The education team is doing endless programs both here and away to educate the public as to who’s backyard in which we live and what we can do collectively and individually to mitigate our impact on the world around us to make it better for the animals, and for ourselves as well.  Let’s see some of last week’s highlights…

Jan and Susie wrap a duck

Jan and Susie wrap a duck

Joanie helps Jan wrap a red tail wing

Joanie helps Jan wrap a red tail wing

Jan and her Med Services team is doing it’s usual fine job of patching up injured birds and mammals of all species. It does seem as though the cleanliness and space in the new facility is a help in getting the job done. I’m thinking it’ll be even more evident when the temps climb into triple digits (as they seem to be heading that way right now!)

Dr Lamb performs surgery on a Harris' hawk

Dr Lamb performs surgery on a Harris’ hawk

A badly fractured humerus

A badly fractured humerus

After surgery to install stabilizing pins...

After surgery to install stabilizing pins…

 

Public can now watch surgery taking place

Public can now watch surgery taking place

Dr. Lamb, the most recent experienced vet to volunteer to perform treatment and complicated surgery in our hospital has been doing a wonderful job, even under the watchful eyes of the public. If you didn’t know, we have windows that allow a front-row vantage point to the triage room and the surgical suite. Last week a few lucky visitors got the chance to watch Dr. Lamb as she worked operating on a Harris’ hawk to install steel pins in his seriously broken wing.

A new bald eagle arrives

A new bald eagle arrives (photo by Alex)

AZGFD brought in another injured bald eagle last week. This young male has suffered some serious injuries, most of which are likely from an altercation with another bald eagle. He presents some internal injuries, lead levels in the toxic range, and has been tested for aspergillosis. All this puts his prognosis in the guarded category. Keep your thoughts positive for this kid…

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Joe and Aurora at the Ren Fair (photo by Jan)

Joe and Aurora at the Ren Fair (photo by Jan)

Royal eagle handlers - Joe and Piper

Royal eagle handlers – Joe and Piper (photo by Jan)

When the Renaissance Festival returns to town each spring, one of the highlights is the falconry show put on by Liberty friends the Sinkler family – Robbie, Shannon, and their daughter Piper. Joe and Jan Miller are often guest performers, displaying one of our eagles to the appreciative crowd. If you haven’t had the chance to see their birds of prey presentation, you are missing a real treat!

Roosevelt STEAM festival

Anna presents at the 2017 STEAM Festival  (photo by Laura)

More RSV education

More STEAM festival (photo by Laura)

A festival sponsored by the Roosevelt School district celebrating science and technology was held recently at the South Mountain Community College. It’s title is STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts & Aviation Math) and it hopes to expose kids to this exciting world with hopes of making their futures brighter. Liberty put in an appearance and met some aspiring young scientists in the process.

Marko at Scottsdale Ultimate Play Date (photo by Kelly)

Marko at Scottsdale Ultimate Play Date (photo by Kelly)

Sherrill educates at

Sherrill educates at the Ultimate Play Date at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library (photo by Kelly)

Recently members of our Education team headed to the “Ultimate Play Date” at the Scottsdale Civic Center Library. The weather was beautiful and lots of people and kids got to experience meeting a few of our education Ambassadors up close and personal!

Doris and Cecile present a Zone tail hawk

Doris and Cecile present a Zone tail hawk

Jan flies Lance at Hawks Aloft

Jan flies Lance at Hawks Aloft

In keeping with our new “Themed Weekends,” last Saturday was number two show, “Hawks Aloft” featuring our intrepid Ed volunteers demonstrating the flight ability of a few of our hawks – and one guest eagle!  The crowd seemed to thoroughly enjoy the display and the birds appeared to enjoy performing at home!

Three birds

Three birds (photo by Jan)

This display is on the gabon wall on the west side of the facility. These three handsome young men are the nephews of Joe and Jan Miller who are showing how closely they resemble a California condor, a bad eagle, a turkey vulture, and a hawk! Kids all seem to love a “Hands on” experience!

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Solidarity on International Womens Day

Solidarity on International Womens Day

Last Wednesday was International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. For women unable to participate in more global activities, wearing red was a show of solidarity, and the women at Liberty that day showed they were on board with their counterparts all over the world!

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This Week @ Liberty – March 06, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

It seems like every week something cool happens at Liberty Wildlife and the past week was no exception.

We got an e mail request from an assistant to Joel Satore. That might not immediately jump out to you as exciting news, but if you aren’t in the wildlife world you might not know about the National Geographic photographer who among other things is working on his “life’s work” referred to as PhotoArk. Straight from his web site his message is:

For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Half of the world’s plant and animal species will soon be threatened with extinction. The goal of the Photo Ark is to document biodiversity, show what’s at stake and to get people to care while there’s still time.  Over 6,000 species have been photographed to date, with more to come.

And, some of the more to come, came this weekend. Mr. Satore was on a photographic driving trek which found him in Phoenix and with a little exploration he found Liberty Wildlife. We were asked if we might be interested in being a part of his work. Well, that was a no brainer!

After sending a list of the species that we had on hand, his assistant wrote back that he was very interested in “arkiving” our Gunnison’s prairie dog and our Abert’s Squirrel, two species that he had been searching for…and we could supply them. As a bonus he also got photos of our desert pocket mouse.

His “ride” was a Prius, which was packed to the gills with photographic equipment. If you explore his web site you will see the most amazing collection of wildlife all photographed on either an all black or all white format through the use of a black photo box or a white photo box…the size dependent on the animal featured.

They are stunning….each and every one of them.

We are all eager to see the finished product. He generously will share his work here with us, and he shares his gratitude on line for all of the cooperation he gets from his hosts. Liberty Wildlife will proudly be listed as one of the participants doing our part to be part of the solution. Stay tuned for more information as it is gathered.

And, thanks to all of you who joined us Sunday for our All About Owl program…the first of many to come.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now at 376.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

“It was the best of times…” The weather has gotten better but check out the picture of the river in our back yard! We are taking in some interesting birds and mammals, each one beautiful in its own right, but the stars of the hour are the Education team and the Liberty Wildlife animal ambassadors. From outreach programs to the “All Owls, all the time” show last weekend, we are putting our new home to good use in terms of letting the public know we are here and we are ready to share the wild world with them!
“It was the worst of times…” Sadly, we mark the passing of one of our own. A treasured volunteer and friend over the years, Arlene Powers left us after a several year battle with cancer. I’ve inserted some reminders of her in this week’s update. Beyond that, words fail me…

"A river runs...behind it!"

“A river runs…behind it!”

They are releasing water from the dams upstream and the Rio Salado is a real river, at least for a little while. The scouring floods of springtime are essential for the health of our riparian areas and it’s a great sight to see, if only for a brief period.

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Tiny baby humming bird appears well fed

Tiny baby hummingbird appears well fed

Even tinier hummers show they will gape when hungry

Even tinier hummers show they will gape when hungry

It’s amazing to me how people ever find baby hummingbirds, much less take the time to pick them up and carefully transport them to Liberty for care and feeding as they struggle to survive. Because they require nearly constant attention, we have set up special enclosures to house and feed these babies as well as any injured adults we take in each year.

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White cheeked Turaco

White cheeked Turaco

Hmmm. Not only is this bird not a native of Arizona, but he’s not a native of North America!  Obviously someone’s pet that self-released, this bird turned up last week after being picked up along a road in the area. Apparently healthy, we are hoping somebody hears about him and contacts us so he can be returned to his home.

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4th Annual Scottsdale Play Date

4th Annual Scottsdale Play Date (photo by Sherrill Snyder)

Liberty had a booth set up at the Scottsdale 4th Annual Play Date on Saturday. Sherrill Snyder said they were expecting over 7,000 people but she thinks they may have passed that judging by the crowd at the Liberty booth.  Kelly and Marko were also there with Snickers, Diego, and Veto. Good job guys!

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In the amphitheater as the show begins...

In the amphitheater as the show begins…

"All Owls, All the Time"!!

“All Owls, All the Time”!!

Wendy displays Diego

Wendy displays a GHO to the crowd

Claudia, Wendy, and Leslie demonstrate the difference between individuals

Claudia, Wendy, and Leslie demonstrate the difference between individuals

It was all smiles and cameras in the audience

It was all smiles and cameras in the audience

The first of our “Themed Weekend” shows was the ‘All Owl’ event last Sunday. The turnout was beyond our expectations as we ran out of Visitor badges before the show began. All the attendees seemed to enjoy the program and many are looking forward to returning for future theme days including special Eagle, falcon, and hawk programs (which is the next in the series.)

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Arlene examines an injured turkey vulture

Arlene examines an injured turkey vulture (2009)

A young hawk is gently examined by Arlene

A young hawk is gently checked by Arlene (2010)

For many years, Arlene Powers was an outstanding volunteer at Liberty Wildlife. She could perform any task assigned to her from Daily Care to Medical Services. She was even a designated “drop point” for Rescue/Transport volunteers to deposit animals that were too far from Liberty to make in one trip.

"Are you my mommy?"

“Are you my mommy?”

At a young age, one of her teachers in grammar school  told her she should never pick up a pencil with the aim to draw a picture as she had no talent whatsoever. Despite THAT piece of bad advice, she began to work at her love of art and became an accomplished wildlife artist in recent years. I was honored that she picked one of my photos of an orphaned baby owl to do as a water color painting which is now one of the cards we sell in our store at Liberty.

She fought a long difficult battle with cancer and never uttered a word that wasn’t upbeat or positive during the struggle. She was thankfully able to come to the new facility last fall and see where we had come after all the supportive work she had done over many years. As she toured the new buildings, she was as always, all smiles and the picture of optimism and hope.

“Fairfarren” Arlene, from all the volunteers with whom you worked, and animals you helped. We already miss you.

Painting by Arlene now hanging at the new facility

Painting by Arlene now hanging at the new facility

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 27, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

This blog is all about education and how many avenues our team can venture down now that we are finally able to provide programming in outreach and on-site. See the following comments from a Facebook post.

Peggy Gamble-Scott
February 20 at 2:02pm “Hello, I would like to thank Liberty Wildlife for your continued contributions to the communities of Arizona. I am Peggy Sue Scott, I live in South Phoenix, long-awaiting the opening of your new facility. I have had the chance to benefit from your educational exhibits on two separate occasions. Once during a “Dragonfly” event at the Audubon on Central Ave with my grandchildren. And, the most memorable and intimate event happened during our “Belcher Family Reunion, 4th of July 2015″, on board the Verde Canyon Railway, Cottonwood, AZ. Our family chartered a couple of cars, and to our surprise unforgettable learning experiences were created. It is incredible what your organization does for the community. Tremendous educational opportunities for young and old. Thank you on behalf of our entire family & South Phoenix Community, welcome.”

And, now we can provide the same educational successes at our new facility.  We had our first real field trip last week with over 50 kindergarteners whirling around our campus.  Five teams with ten small learners in each group made the rounds from encounters with reptiles, to mingling through the Interactive room, to craft making in the large classroom assembling  great horned owl bags, googly eyes and all, a lesson in binocular use, a trip through the Interpretive Trail and a flighted bird of prey and natural history program all made the field trip a hit.

To add to the offerings a program on Owls of Arizona will be presented on Sunday, March 5th in our amphitheater.  The program starts at 11:15 so be sure to come early in order to take in the rest of the campus.  The hours open will be 10:00 to 1:00.  The cost is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and veterans, $4 for children….a smoking deal for such an experience.

One more event needs to be advertised and that is our second annual Wild About Wildlife (formerly known as the Baby Bird Shower) which will be 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 19th.  The following groups will be participating:  Roosevelt Center of Sustainability program, Arizona Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, The South Mountain Environmental Education Center, Water Use It Wisely, and the Young Rembrandts.  Activities will be provided by each group, and the best part is that the admission is FREE!  See the attached flyer.

Come join the fun, educational, and environmental activities at the new Liberty Wildlife, 2600 E. Elwood, Phoenix, AZ 85040.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now at 314.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

Making good use of the nice (if a bit cool) weather, a couple of events last week were held at the facility. Volunteer Ken Milward brought a group of classic car enthusiasts out to visit, and our first bus load of school kids arrived for a tour and some activities! Our outreach programs are still proceeding as usual, and the tour arrivals are slow but should get better with better, warmer weather. We’re within a week or two of being totally out of the old facility and things are slowly coming together at the new place. Small changes and improvements are taking place daily so if you haven’t seen the Elwood St. facility and want to come out, please come and see us!
Here’s the latest from Liberty…

An injured zone tail is examined

An injured zone tail is examined

We don’t see a lot of zone tails, so when one comes in, our interest is piqued. Zones have a very useful adaptation in that unlike the other hawks, they fly with their wings displaying a marked dihedral angle (a characteristic “V” arrangement.) If you want the scoop on the aerodynamic advantage to this, ask me sometime, but as for hunting strategy, it fools the small mammals who think they are turkey vultures and no danger to them – until it’s too late!

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Dr. Orr examines a red tail

Dr. Orr examines a red tail’s wing

As always, we take in a lot of RTH’s every year. They are so common across all of North America that if you see a broad winged hawk anywhere in the US, bet somebody it’s a red tail and you’ll get rich. It’s safer than counting cards in Las Vegas. They are very skilled at adapting to human activity which sometimes is a bad thing for the individual hawk…

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Younger bunnies

Tiny baby bunnies (photo by Alex)

Older cotton tail orphans (photo by Alex)

Older cotton tail orphans (photo by Alex)

Another specie we see in great numbers are, of course, cotton tail rabbits.  Let it be known by all that Liberty Wildlife will work hard to save all links in the food chain, from top to bottom!

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Laura also presents at the Dons

Laura also presents at the Dons (photo by Claudia)

Marko in Gilbert

Marko in Gilbert (photo by Kelly)

Erin at the Gilbert Outdoor Expo

Erin at the Gilbert Outdoor Expo (Photo by Kelly)

Marko and Michelle with Hedwig and Lexi at the Arabian Horse Show (photo by Kelly)

Marko and Michelle with Hedwig and Lexi at the Arabian Horse Show (photo by Kelly)

The Education team is doing a great job at getting the word out to the public at larger venues. The Gilbert Outdoor Expo and the Arabian Horse show provided a couple of chances recently to present to a lot of people who all seemed to enjoy the Liberty message…

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Awesome vehicles visit Liberty

Awesome vehicles visit Liberty

Totally cool cars...

Totally cool cars…

...and some really nice people!

…and some really nice people!

Car folks meet the birds

Car folks meet the birds

Classic car enthusiasts in the amphitheater

Classic car enthusiasts in the amphitheater listen to Doris

Rescue and Transport volunteer Ken Milward arranged for a group of classic car aficionados to come out to our facility recently. The members of the “Vintage Cruisers” drove some of their totally cool vehicles out to Elwood after breakfast and met some of our wildlife ambassadors in the parking lot. After that, they came in and toured the facility and heard one of our presentations in the amphitheater with a few more birds on display. Feedback has all been positive, both on the birds – and the cars!  Thanks Ken!

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Kindergarden in the Amphitheater

Kindergartners in the Amphitheater learn more about Arizona wildlife

Laura introduces a king snake

Laura introduces a king snake

Carol trains some future birders

Carol trains some future birders

The Eagle Pavillion is a big hit

The Eagle Pavillion is a big hit

The kids made their own owl puppets

The kids made their own owl puppets

Lots of smiles!

Lots of smiles!

Last week we hosted 50 kindergarten kids from the Freedom Charter Academy in Scottsdale. The kids were  divided into groups that moved from activity to activity including making owl puppets from paper bags, instructions on how to use binoculars to spot wildlife, learning about desert animals, and viewing our collection of wildlife ambassadors as they toured the grounds. Again, the reviews were universally positive! Thanks to Laura and all who helped in this first ever school tour at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Widlife!

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Feb 26, 2017

Feb 26, 2017

Joe and Cochise

Joe and Cochise

2017Feb26_9289

 

 

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This Week @ Liberty – February 20, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Robert Mesta

Robert Mesta – Non-Eagle Feather Program Coordinator

Guest Blog 2-20-17 by Robert Mesta

Every year Pectoral Sandpipers, a medium sized shorebird, travel from their Arctic tundra breeding grounds to winter in the pampas grasslands of Argentina, an 18,000-mile round-trip. On their annual migration, they fly over portions of 3 hemispheres, two continents and 36 countries, using critical stop-over areas; fresh and saltwater marshes, mudflats and wet meadows to rest and refuel to continue their journey. They are a fall migrant in Arizona, best seen in Maricopa County during the month of September.

Birds did not evolve to recognize political boundaries for their survival, yet they depend on countries along their migration routes to protect and preserve their full life-cycle habitats; breeding, wintering and stop-over, for their existence. Understanding the complex movements and habitat needs of these long-distance migrants is the foundation upon which countries develop range-wide conservation plans to maintain sustainable bird populations.

A significant source of that critical information is the citizen driven Christmas Bird Count Program (CBC). The CBC is one of the oldest and largest active data bases of bird population information, it is an invaluable resource for understanding the long-term trends in bird movements and population status.

Native Future is a non-profit organization that helps preserve the inextricable link between indigenous people and the ecosystems in which they live. Native Future is partnering with the Wounaan people of Panama’s Darian tropical rainforest to conduct the first Wounaan Community based CBC in the winter of 2017-2018. Since early 2016 I have been part of a Native Future team that is donating their time and resources to plan the CBC, train participating Wounaan Community members, and conduct the CBC.

To make this CBC project a reality we need optical equipment for the participating Wounaan. Therefore, I am making an appeal to all friends of Liberty Wildlife for the donation of any binoculars, spotting scopes, or tripods that you are no longer using and would like to donate to a good cause.

If you would like to donate any of your old optical equipment or have any questions about the Wounaan Community CBC Project, please contact me, Robert Mesta, LWNEFR Coordinator at robertm@libertywildlife.org. Better yet, drop by the Feather room and we can chat.

Sometimes we must reach out and support distant peoples and landscapes to help preserve the birds we enjoy on our weekend birding trips or even our own back yards.

Keep Soaring – Robt

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for the year is now up to 270.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

It’s been a wet couple of days again as our brief winter hangs on a bit longer. It’s difficult to complain about the rain and cold weather when we all know that in a very short time we’ll long for days of clouds and cool winds…but the desert is our home and we’re adaptable. We’ll make the best of whatever nature throws our way.
Currently we’re caring for three California Condors, all of which present symptoms of lead poisoning. The other species are beginning to come in with a little more regularity and our new “Intake Window” volunteers are seeing an incremental increase in traffic. Hummingbirds are still arriving as are bunnies and the ubiquitous great horned owls and red tail hawks.
We are also continuing to retrieve the last few usable items from the Scottsdale facility and bring them south to our new home at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.  It’s beginning to look like a ghost town up north but we still have some stuff that will be heading our way. Opening to the public is working nicely as even with threatening skies (and more!), we had a bunch of folks come out to see what we’re doing last weekend. Just wait until word gets out and the weather turns nice again!
Let’s see what it looked like last week…

Young condor in treatment

Young condor in treatment

Hoping for a lead-free future

Hoping for a lead-free future

Dr. Orr Jan and Alex treat a condor

Dr. Orr Jan and Alex treat a condor

They really are pretty birds

They really are pretty birds…

As a ban on lead ammunition on federal land is considered in Congress, we continue to treat California condors who suffer from this. And if the plight of California condors doesn’t move you, think of this: over time, we have seen many more eagles of both species suffer protracted painful deaths from ingestion of lead bullet fragments. (Eagles…you know, the symbol of our country? The bird that dominates the logo on the seal of the NRA? That eagle?) But then again, using cheaper (in some cases) ammunition is obviously easier than caring about America’s national bird. The voluntary program offered by AZGFD seems to be producing results and is to be commended.

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Gaping hummer

Gaping hummer

I’m not sure how people even find baby humming birds, but they do. And who knew they gaped when they are nestlings? This just shows that all species, from the largest to the smallest get complete care at Liberty Wildlife!

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People even come out in the rain

People even come out in the rain

Marko carries on inside

Marko carries on inside

Our public access program seems to be working as even in the rain and cold last weekend, people came out to visit the facility. Between rain events, the folks were able to walk around and tour the enclosures on the Education side, but in deference to any continued precipitation, the wildlife presentations were moved into the big classroom.

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The old office(s)

The old office(s)

The old ICU

The old ICU

Just a couple of shots of what the old facility looks like as we approach the final “Last person out” stage of our presence at 11825 N 70th in Scottsdale. It’s amazing how much stuff you accumulate in 36 years, and the memories of all that happened and all we did still hang like echos in the wind. What we used to accomplish in these two rooms is now done in separate rooms dedicated to the tasks. Progress is rarely easy, and never cheap!

The old Ed trailer moves to the new facility

The old Ed trailer moves to the new facility

Tim finally gets the "Ed Trailer" on the road

Tim finally gets the “Ed Trailer” on the road

One of the major accomplishments in the process of vacating our old facility was moving the old”Education Trailer” that sat alongside the walkway inside the front gate. We are going to use this as weather-proof storage for various materials at the new facility. Moving it was no small task and took Herculean effort and great perseverance on the part of Tim who kept doggedly gnawing on the governmental red-tape and mechanical logistics that seemed to thwart every attempt to resurrect it. It had not been mobile in over two decades and was more-or-less a permanent adjunct to the old facility.

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This Week @ Liberty – February 13, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to the Arizona Chapter of the Wildlife Society for bestowing on Liberty Wildlife the 2016 Conservation Award.

Founded in 1968 the Arizona Wildlife Society’s mission is “To be the preeminent resource for Arizona’s community of scientists, managers, educators, students, technicians, planners and others working to manage and conserve wildlife and habitats in the state.”

The organization is dedicated to promoting management and conservation of Arizona’s wildlife resources.  Because of the organization’s reach they are able to maintain communication among professionals in the field of wildlife conservation by supporting efforts toward continuing education, providing grants and workshops with a strong emphasis on fostering student participation.

The state of Arizona is indeed lucky to have such a stalwart organization assisting in the oversight of our valuable wildlife resource and its habitat.

Liberty Wildlife couldn’t be prouder than to have been recognized by such an important and successful organization.  We thank you for your support of our programs and look forward to working with you in whatever ways we are able to dovetail our activities.

Thank you!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total is now at 222.

As we go to press tonight, another California condor was brought in. I hope to have an update on the bird next week. It’s one we have seen before which is disheartening, but at least we are able to keep providing these birds with what they need in terms of care.
Great horned owls are breeding as we speak, and it shows in the number of these that come in for help.
This is also the time of year for a great influx of cotton tails, both injured adults and orphan baby bunnies.
We are doing more tours now as the word gets out that we offer this form of interactivity with the public, and our usual outreach education programs are also going on full tilt.
To cap off the week,, Boy Scouts from Troop 869 were here as a team to build a  platform for our Education hand-feeders! Lets take a look at the activity…

Joanie examines a new GHO intake

Joanie examines a new GHO intake

Treatment begins at once

Treatment begins at once

This GHO was rescued in the Globe area and was brought in presenting an injured wing. The bird was capable of limited flight which gave the R&T volunteer (Anna Ouztz) an interesting challenge in apprehension, but she finally prevailed. The owl is awaiting further examination and possible x-rays.

Janice holds another GHO for Denice

Janice holds another GHO for Denise

This one will join the Ed team

This one will join the Ed team

You might remember this great horned owl from a previous TW@L. He is a bit on the small side but his “horns” are remarkably large! He has a career-ending injury to his wing, but he has a bright future as an Education Ambassador with Liberty Wildlife. Look for him again once he is named and trained!

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Claudia at The Dons (photo by Kelly)

Claudia at The Dons (photo by Kelly)

Marko and Ace

Marko and Ace (photo by Kelly)

Claudia gives some sun time to Bailey

Claudia gives some sun time to Bailey (photo by Kelly)

One of the programs we do consistently each year is the Don’s Interactive Discovery Camp. Claudia writes: “It’s held near the Peralta trailhead in the Superstition mountains. As well as learning about Liberty Wildlife, and seeing our avian ambassadors up close, the children also hike, pan for gold, learn about ranching and how to lasso, plus Native American lore. The non-profit Dons of Arizona offers the experience of Arizona and Southwest history, legends and lore to Valley 4th grade students every Friday in January and February each year”

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The tours go on

The tours go on

Speaking of education, our own series of tours is progressing nicely. As word gets out, the attendance is slowly building and it gives our Ed volunteers a chance to hone their skills as presenters. We have big plans for the upcoming months so watch for announcements in this area.

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Mexican free tail bat

Mexican free tail bat

Yellow bat feeding

Yellow bat feeding

We have been experiencing a larger number of bats of all species in recent weeks. These two little guys are now in our isolation quarters until they are ready for release down the road. Have i mentioned that of the approximately four thousand species of mammals on the planet, almost a quarter of them are bats? If you can fly, you have an advantage over ground-bound animals!

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New baby bunnies

New baby bunnies

More bunnies, color coded for identification

More bunnies, color coded for identification

And as I said, we’re getting in LOTS of baby bunnies from all over. Totally cute, and unfortunately, very fragile. They all get loving care from the Medical Services volunteers each day.

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The foundation for the feeding deck is prepared

The foundation for the feeding deck is prepared

Cement mixing begins

Cement mixing begins

Troop 869 puts in some long hours

Troop 869 puts in some long hours

Careful planning and building is the rule of the day

Careful planning and building is the rule of the day

Hand feed station

Hand feed station

Some of the members of Boy Scout Troop 869 were present this weekend to build a platform for our hand-feeders to use. On Saturday they dug the footers and poured the concrete to support the deck, and on Sunday they used the Trex (recycled plastic lumber) that was donated to us last year to build the structure. The young men were helped by some of the fathers and other leaders who instructed the boys on proper engineering and construction techniques. As soon as the overhead shade material is added, it will be ready for use by the Hand Feed team.

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This Week @ Liberty – February 06, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

A big thank you goes out to each of you who supported our efforts to show our stuff in the big tent at this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.  As always, our education team with their “ambassadors” stole the show.  Ten people deep around the booth was the fastest way to tell where we were.

Guests were wowed with information about each of the species present:  a turkey vulture, a great horned owl, a red-tailed hawk, and a bald eagle.  It is hard to deny the presence of each of these animals.  It seems like every year onlookers mention seeing the great horned owls hooting in their neighborhoods, others have related stories of seeing the red-tailed hawks doing a courtship flight overhead, and have spoken of seeing a turkey vulture cleaning road kill at the side of the highway. Their excitement and focus is undeniable.

The value of seeing wildlife up close is important in many ways.  The pull to engage first hand with such charismatic creatures is hard to deny.  It has always been my belief that people value what they see in nature once they have been vividly exposed to something as magical as a great horned owl or as majestic as a bald eagle.  There is just no way to look at nature in the same way after a first-hand interaction and that is what we provide almost every day of the year.

The other part of this dynamic is that you are never too young or too old to appreciate an up- close encounter with a wild animal.  Their beauty is undeniable.  Their energy is palpable.  Their design is perfection.  Nature has no throw-aways.  Everything is part of the plan.

And, the plan needs to be respected and protected.

This is why we do what we do.  This is why we strive to make a public appearance with our wildlife ambassadors whenever possible.  If our love and understanding was shared with the rest of our species all of our jobs would be easier.

The take away is that our job is to make you all fall in love with our neighbors who happen to be wildlife.  Our job is to make sure there is mutual respect.  Our job is to make each of you a part of the solution to the sometimes off the chart struggle that many wild animals can suffer at the hand of unknowing folks.

Again, thanks to you who helped us make it to the big tent, who helped us do our part to assist wildlife and the balance of nature.  We hope we were able to make the impact that is our intent.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now at 175.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

Beautiful weather prevails during the days now and this allows the coming busy time a graceful approach. Liberty once again attended the Waste Management Phoenix Open Golf Tournament (boy, that’s a mouthful!) and the crowds seemed to love our birds as always. The rate at which animals show up at the intake window has increased slightly, but the benign weather is keeping the increase manageable – for now. This is giving us time to get used to the new facility and time to train and give some experience to the newly instituted “Intake Window Volunteer” staff. It’s slow now, but it’s going to pick up noticeably in the near future. I have been covering some open shifts at the window and it has mostly been small birds and of late, cotton tail bunnies. The larger birds are being brought in by the Rescue and Transport people, as the system was designed. Unlike the Game of Thrones ominous prediction that “Winter is coming,” we all know that “Baby Bird Season is Coming!”

Kestrel with "shoe"

Kestrel with “shoe” (photo by Dr.Wyman)

Another kestrel with an eye injury

Another kestrel with an eye injury

Kestrels are some of the cutest (as well as the most ubiquitous) raptors in North America. Consequently, we get quite a few of these diminutive falcons in for medical treatment each year. This year is starting off the same way, including these two little girls. One has an eye injury that we hope will not be career threatening, and the other has a leg/foot issue that it is hoped will be remedied by the application of a corrective “shoe” to straighten things out. Time will tell in both instances.

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A beautiful merlin comes in

A beautiful merlin comes in

Getting ready for X-ray

Getting ready for X-ray

Dan and Anna perform the radiology

Dan and Anna perform the radiology

Fractured radius merlin

The radiograph reveals a fractured ulna

Another small falcon we see not nearly as frequently as the kestrel is the merlin (Falco Columbarius). One came in last week with a wing injury which, by virtue of our new digital X-ray unit, was quickly confirmed as having a fractured ulna. Hopefully this early diagnosis (and the fact that the fracture is mid-shaft) will lead to a successful outcome of the treatment.

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Peggy explains Turkey vultures at the WMPO

Peggy explains Turkey vultures at the WMPO

Aurora is always a star at the Golf Tournament

Aurora is always a star at the Golf Tournament

Each year Liberty Wildlife puts on a booth at the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. It is a good opportunity to display some of our ambassadors to the public and to do some education as to who’s backyard in which we live and what we can do to mitigate our impact on the world around us.

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Orphan brothers (photo by Jesse Brown)

Orphan brothers (photo by Jesse Brown)

These two über cute bunny siblings came in for care after their nest was unearthed by some construction equipment at the site of the Renaissance Festival on the far east side. They joined a couple others of nearly the same age and will be cared for by the best Liberty has to offer to them and ALL Arizona wildlife!

*********************************SAVE THE DATE!!!***************************

PA170524-001 INVITATION Liberty Wildlife Wishes For Wildlife

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This Week @ Liberty – January 30, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Every year we are obliged to provide end of the year reports attached to each of the permits that we have with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish.  They are always very impressive as they account for the “numbers and activities” that we provide to the community and to wildlife in a given year.  This year I want to start by bragging on our Non –Eagle Feather Repository.  The accomplishments of this program are staggering when you consider it is one very part time employee (Robert Mesta) and a very hard working volunteer, (Mare VanDyke).  I am copying their accomplishments in total as each category breaks a record. Each year it gets better.  The service to the Native American community grows annually and the impact on the black market in feathers is daunted.  Because we can provide, with the help of agencies and private donors, feathers to Native Americans for their religious and cultural uses, they are no longer pushed toward black market access to feathers that are critical for their religious and cultural activities.  See below the results of their efforts.

Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository Program

2600 E. Elwood St,
Phoenix, AZ 85040
2016 Annual Report
In 2010 Liberty Wildlife in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 2, established the Liberty Wildlife Non-Eagle Feather Repository Program (LWNEFR). Its mission is to provide Native Americans from Federally recognized tribes with a source of non-eagle feathers from Federally regulated migratory birds for religious and ceremonial purposes. 

LWNEFR Guiding Principles

Liberty Wildlife recognizes the significance of feathers and/or parts of birds to Native Americans and will operate the LWNEFR with sensitivity to Native American religious and ceremonial needs. 

Liberty Wildlife will insure that all feathers, carcasses or parts will be stored and handled in a manner that will maintain their integrity.

Liberty Wildlife will insure that all feathers, carcasses or parts donated to the LWNEFR come from authorized sources.

Liberty Wildlife will distribute feathers, carcasses or parts equitably on a first come first  serve basis.

LWNEFR Inventory

In 2016, the LWNEFR inventory included up to 114 species of hawks, owls, falcons, condor, vulture, corvids, water-birds, shorebirds, upland birds and songbirds.  This number of species feathers, carcasses or parts fluctuates depending on the number and type of species that come into the repository and species that are sent out.  A complete list of repository species is attached.

LWNEFR Donors

In addition to the feathers, carcasses or parts that come from Liberty Wildlife, in 2016 the LWNEFR received donations from 35 donors; the top three donors were 1.) wildlife rehabilitators, 2.) Arizona Game and Fish Department, and 3.) USFWS.  These donors provided the LWNEFR with 65 different bird species.  A complete list of donors and species are attached.

2016 Operational Summary

In 2016 the LWNEFR received 320 applications for feathers, carcasses or parts, we filled 265 of those applications – 83% of applications received.  A complete list of applications received in 2016 is attached.

In addition, we filled 190 older applications submitted between 2013 to 2015.

In 2016 the LWNEFR filled a total of 510 applications; 42.5/month, 10.6/week.

In 2016, 37 different species were sent out. 

The top five species, from most to least, include;

1.) RTHA (red-tailed hawk), 2.) COHA (Cooper’s hawk), 3.) GHOW (great horned owl), 4.) HAHA (Harris’s hawk), 5.) CACO (California condor).

In 2016, 81 tribes from 24 states received feathers, carcasses or parts.

The top five tribes, from most to least include; 1.) Navajo, 2.) Hopi, 3.) Sioux, 4.) Klamath, 5.) Yurok.

The top five states, from most to least include; 1.) Arizona, 2.) New Mexico, 3.) California, 4.) Oklahoma, 5.) Wisconsin.

This Week @ Liberty

The intake total for this year is now at 173.

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The weather is pretty nice, albeit a bit cool in the morning and overnight. In another couple of months, we’ll all long for the days of cool evenings and crisp mornings. We’re slowly easing into a rhythm at the new facility. Condors, great horned owls, red tails, peregrines – all the usual suspects…er, patients! And as always the level of care is top notch as evinced by the success of some of our recent intakes. Who would have thought that a hawk with seven or eight gunshot wounds would live to fly again?
We have been getting a lot of hummingbirds in and the contrast between them and the condors never ceases to amaze anyone who sees them, myself included!
Since we have the capability of doing our own radiology now, I have included some interesting slides from the X-ray room. It underscores just how critical it is to be able to accomplish this on a nearly real-time basis. we use every tool we can from the arsenal of modern medical science.

GSW red tail recovers

GSW red tail recovers

Ready to get on with life out of the crosshairs

Ready to get on with life out of the crosshairs

Remember that X-ray from last week of the RTH with the 8 pellets? Well, he wasn’t turned into a newt, but “he got better!” (For all you Monti Python fans…)
In just a short time at Liberty Wildlife, this courageous young bird seems ready and eager to return to work as an apex predator in the Arizona skies. Two thumbs up for the Med Services team!

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Little owl with big horns!

Little owl with big horns!

Another GSW victim

Another GSW victim

And just when you thought it was safe for owls and hawks, this diminutive great horned owl comes in with, you guessed it, another pellet wound! Once again, the value of having x-ray capability on site is invaluable in determining the cause of inconclusive symptoms. This allows the Med Services team to properly plan treatment from day one.

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Little ruddy duck with crippling injury

Little ruddy duck with crippling injury

Sometimes, the damage is so devastating that you look at the image and wince. This pretty little ruddy duck has a career ending fracture of his humerus and hopefully can be placed with an educational facility when the injury has healed. with all those fragments, no repair to his shoulder is possible.

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Holly and Amyra bring a condor in for treatment

Holly and Amyra bring a condor in for treatment

Holly and Amyra hold the big girl for Alex

Holly and Amyra hold the big girl for Alex

Holding on tightly

Holding on tightly

We’re still treating the two California condors in our care. Each day, they are brought in, weighed, examined, and given medicine and fluids to overcome the effects of lead poisoning. Beyond the chelation treatments, the protocol is to keep them warm, hydrated, and fed in an attempt to build up their weight which will help them survive. All this could be prevented by using ammunition other than lead for hunting in the areas known to be inhabited by California condors.

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Peregrine gets great care (photo by Alexa)

Peregrine gets great care (photo by Alexa)

This shot was submitted a while back in December but since I have some rarely used e-mail addresses, I didn’t get it until last week. In any case, the shot was too good to pass up and here is another shot of the peregrine we have been treating for a while. (Thanks Alexa!)

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Laura has a birthday

Laura has a birthday

We try to recognize accomplishments of our volunteers and staff as best we can. Having said that, I am a firm believer that passing a birthday is truly an accomplishment! So when  our Education scheduler (and general Jill of all trades) Laura Hackett had a B’day last week, we had to recognize the fact that she celebrated it with us. Keep that smile, Laura. Thanks for being here!

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This Week @ Liberty – January 23, 2017

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

So, you are minding your own business when suddenly you are confronted with an injured or orphaned wild animal.  There is no way you are going to turn your back and walk away ignoring the possibility of hours of suffering and the eventual demise of the animal.  No, you take the bull by the horns and make the rescue.  If it is beyond your capacity or if you have fears, you start the search for help.  If you are lucky of if you have done this before, you call Liberty Wildlife’s Hotline (480-998-5550).

Depending on the case, either you are directed to bring the rescue in or a rescue volunteer is dispatched to pick it up for delivery to our facility.

What you need to know follows, and it couldn’t be said better than the words of Terry Stevens.  It goes like this:

Thank you!  This animal got its best chance for survival when you made the phone call to Liberty Wildlife.  You have done a commendable service for it and all wildlife in Arizona by caring enough to make this effort.  Now, your job is done and ours begins.  Liberty’s well-trained staff and volunteers will do their best to take the next step in this animal’s journey back to health and freedom.  They will attend to the necessary medical requirements of the animal, care for it during its recovery, and hopefully, release it when it again becomes healthy enough to be viable in the wild.

Because Liberty Wildlife takes in over 6,500 animals per year, our volunteers’ time is a precious commodity.  In order to devote this limited resource to the task of treatment and rehabilitation, we are unable to provide personal updates as to the medical status of individual animals.  We hope you understand this limitation.  Please know that they are in the best of hands and will receive outstanding care administered with skill and love.  Again, thank you for doing your part in providing this animal the chance you have given it today.

Remember to be aware of your surroundings; be alert to issues with the wildlife that shares your neighborhood and be willing to take the time and effort to help.  We will take over at that point and do the best we can to return the animal you assisted back into the wild.  We couldn’t do this without your help.

Thank you for caring.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total so far this year is 106.

And then the rains came…  Let’s all try to remember this weather in July! And after all, it did just show us the real meaning of “Waterfront property!”
In other news…we opened up for our first public tours last weekend and it went extremely well. The crowds are small, but the word is slowly getting out and should grow with time. In the meantime, we are learning the ropes of being open to the public and how to refine our program. Both the people attending and the volunteers presenting had a good time – and the animals seemed to take it all in stride.
The digital X-ray unit is proving its worth with timely radiographs, allowing for speedy diagnoses and treatment. And the intakes and rescues come in…

Yes we do have waterfront property

Yes we do have waterfront property

The rains presented a swollen Rio Salado on the north side of the new Liberty facility. We found out about some drainage issues that will soon be remedied, but gave the waterfowl a fun day in their enclosure.  There’s nothing happier than a duck in a few inches of water!

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Ed and Cynthia examine a great blue heron

Ed and Cynthia examine a great blue heron

Jan applies special bandage to a  GHO

Jan applies special bandage to a GHO

Our volunteer Medical Service staff are enjoying the roominess and cleanliness of our new facilities. From the Sunday crew (above with a GBH) to the Tuesday Vet Night staff, everyone is slowly settling into the new digs. The great horned owl presented an electrical burn on its wing so Jan used a special bandage/dressing designed for burns to good advantage.

Holly and the Reeve's pheasant

Holly and the Reeve’s pheasant (photo by Patricia Quinn-Ortiz)

John Glitsos rescued and brought in a Reeve’s pheasant that had flown into someone’s window pane. Most likely a pet, the Reeve’s is a beautiful bird native to central and eastern China. This pheasant is mentioned in the 2008 edition of Guinness World Records for having the longest natural tail feather of any bird species. John had to cut a hole in his rescue box to fit the bird in without damaging his tail! The bird is still in treatment for trauma sustained in the window collision.

Red Tail with multiple gun shot wounds

Red Tail with multiple gun shot wounds

Yet another red tail, victim of someone who pumped eight projectiles into the hapless bird. REALLY?!?! C’mon people, let’s use our heads – and our hearts…

Roadrunner that ingested a fish hook

Roadrunner that ingested a fish hook

This road runner ate something that had been involved with some fishing gear, including a large hook.  The unfortunate bird swallowed the hook which became hopelessly entangled in his internal organs. Sadly the bird could not be saved and proves once more the importance of not leaving fishing equipment in the environment.

Raccoon head with multiple fractures

Raccoon head with multiple fractures

This raccoon came in recently with some head trauma, possibly from a car collision. His skull is fractured in several places and he is still fighting to survive. This once again points up the value of having radiology capability on site.

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Cindy with Veto

Cindy with Veto (photo by Barry Ziegler)

One of the upsides of doing programs on-site (see below) is the Education volunteers don’t have to spread astro-turf under the birds to protect carpets and floors (even if the tarps DO blend in with the ambient color schemes!)

Linda has an attentive audience

Linda has an attentive audience

Lisa presents a burrowing owl

Lisa presents a burrowing owl

The public tours debuted last week and despite poor weather, the folks who braved threatening skies and cold temperatures had a great time.

Anita Roman  from Cannel 10 spreads her wings! (photo by unk)

Anita Roman from Cannel 10 spreads her wings! (photo by Laura Hackett)

Several of the people here for the tours said they heard about Liberty on Channel 10 earlier in the week. Day time reporter Anita Roman was on hand to do a morning spot which went over very well with local audiences. The word about Liberty is getting out!

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