Hoots, Howls, and Holler
So, where has the time flown? It has been a long time since our last blog…and it feels good to be back in the saddle again.
We are basically moved in. The last of the animals will be in by Wednesday, so I am told, and the last little dregs of “stuff” will follow soon. Hallelujah!
It is great to look out the window from my office and watch the verdin building a nest so busily. I can look out the conference room window and watch the osprey work the river, the volunteers walk by doing their assigned jobs, and I can stand by the wetlands and count the frogs that flee at the sight of me. I watch the public drive up, exit their cars and wend their ways to the intake window to deposit their foundlings…it works (not without the little hitches here and there, but it works!) It is really fun and enjoyable to go to work.
We had a campaign donor soft opening last Sunday which was lovely. We are planning our Public Grand Opening for this Saturday (see the attached flyer/announcement). We are hoping to see a lot of your faces: your children’s faces, your family’s faces, and your friend’s faces. Needless to say, we are extremely proud of our new home.
The Grand Opening is from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 19th . There will be opportunities to meet the education team and the wildlife ambassadors, tour the Interpretive Trail with a guide, visit the Interactive (Living Laboratory) Room replete with hands on activities, snakes, spiders, and a very cute pocket mouse. There will be tours of the hospital and commissary…both of them off public viewing in the future except through viewing windows in the courtyard. There will be craft activities, grilled hot dogs, chips, cotton candy, popcorn, face painting, release of rehabilitated falcons, and lots of raffle prizes.
For more information check out the attached flyer, or our Facebook page, or ask a staff member or volunteer for details. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.
This Week @Liberty
Posted by Terry Stevens
The intake total for this year has reached 6328.
WE’RE BACK! The move was finally accomplished (mostly) and at last I have time to put the blog out again! I want to thank all the volunteers who have been submitting photos over the past couple months and I promise I’ll do my best to get some of the best ones out for all to see. I felt like I was missing so much not posting each week and between trying to cover all the many details that were required to get the new facility up and running (power glitches, leaking ponds, computer issues, etc.) it feels good to be clicking away again. So much has happened that if I put in everything that we’ve been through it would be several pages long, so I’ll just try to hit the high points and work my way through the events that took place. Here’s some of what has happened recently…
Our first monsoon Haboob…
We saw and survived our first monsoon storm last summer when a haboob, followed by the customary wind and rain hit the facility. As planned, the rainwater harvesting system worked as it was designed. The good news is we don’t have to worry quite so much about enclosures blowing down or roofs blowing off…!
Our German intern on her last day
One of our interns from Germany, Elisa, finished her assignment with us and after working at both facilities for the summer, she returned home in September. We will miss her and wish her good fortune and travels!
The birds begin arriving
Like the first day at Summer camp! Looking for their assigned enclosures…
As the birds and animals made the trip down to 2600, it seemed as though they all knew this was their new home and most of the birds, at least the ones I saw, were very calm and accepting of the change. Well, maybe the corvids were a bit upset, but then, they ARE corvids…!
The OC get-together was held at the new facility
Thanks to all OC volunteers!!
The annual Thanks to OC Volunteers get-together was held at the new facility for the first time. It was a chance for some to visit the new building and see where they will be doing the OC jobs next baby bird season. Hopefully it will be a more enjoyable task with new equipment, a new room, and NO intake window to share time with!
A short display for some supporters
Even with all the setting up going on, we had time for a brief demonstration for some of our supporters and as always, the birds (and the volunteers) were the stars! This type of show portends great things on the horizon as we can now do educational events on the property.
I was amazed at the amount of native wildlife at the site of the new facility. These two kingfishers greeted me many mornings, along with a host turkey vultures, red tails, harriers, Cooper’s hawks, osprey, phoebes, road runners, and at least one bald eagle. That isn’t counting the coyotes, rabbits, Lincoln (our neighborhood beaver), and other mammalian critters who call 2600 E Elwood home.
Marko presents at Boyce Thompson
Claudia educates at the BT Arboretum
While the move was taking place, the Education season kicked off. Even with all the turmoil of trying to figure out how to make the new arrangements work in a new location with new rooms, doors, tables, and hoses to figure out, the Ed volunteers soldiered on and showed how our volunteers can adapt as well as the birds to a new environment. We’re STILL in a learning mode and deciding what goes where and what “works better over here” and “we might want to do it THIS way…” but it’s all part of evolution.
Dr. Orr works with Jan and Sharon at Vet Night No.1
A couple of weeks ago, the first Tuesday night “Vet Night” took place in the new Triage room in the medical wing. With new lights, a clean floor and table, it seemed like we were finally getting down to doing what we do best – provide first class medical care for the wildlife of Arizona!
A select open house for Donors and Supporters
Attendees inspecting the kids interactive classroom
Gathering in the Amphitheater
A Native American blessing
On the 6th of November, the first of two “Grand Openings” was held for those who gave so much to make this a reality. Many supporters including Melani and Rob Walton for whom the campus is named were in attendance and got to experience a beautiful evening at the new facility, complete with a touching Native American blessing for the volunteers, animals, and supporters who made and make it all possible.
The new entrance sign going into place.
At the front entrance
We are home, at last!
With the erection of beautiful new signage on the building and on the street entrance on Elwood, it is official: The Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife has arrived! It has been a long time coming, it has cost a lot of work, frustration, tears, sweat, some blood, and a lot of donations (which we really need to keep coming!) but it was worth it all in the end. We are here.
The first arrival at the intake window of the new Liberty Wildlife!
No, the first intake to arrive at our window was NOT a pigeon. It was this terribly cute, terribly upset, bobcat kitten! Scrappy from the beginning, it was truly a fitting beginning for a former shade-tree, backyard bunch of volunteers who had one thing in common: an unending love for wildlife. (And a willingness to do anything to get the job done!)