This Year @ Liberty – December 26, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

 

 

 

 

and

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total is now at 6552.

I have once again strung together some of the visuals from this past year, our 35th and final year at the Scottsdale facility. The memories of what took place on that small piece of  Earth over the past three and a half decades will stay in our hearts forever. It could never be adequately recounted in a 2 minute, 32 second video, so I just picked, almost at random, some of last year’s TW@L photos to represent our final few months there. From here, we march proudly into the future…

Please enjoy it, and have a very Happy New Year from TW@L, HHH, and all the wonderful volunteers and staff at Liberty Wildlife!

This Year @ Liberty 2016

(click this link for video)

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This Week @ Liberty – December 12, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

It is the end of the year so quickly and time for me to make a plea for your end of the year giving plan, but here’s the deal.

You don’t have to consider Liberty Wildlife in your philanthropy if:

  1. You aren’t interested in nurturing the nature of Arizona.
  2. You don’t care that the wildlife that shares our world gets the best care possible if needed.
  3. You don’t care about an organization that provides on-site and outreach education for the entire state…to the tune of over 820 programs a year.
  4. You don’t care about an organization that is teaching sustainability to every visitor by using our beautiful new building as a teaching tool, while conserving resources including donations.
  5. You don’t care that our unique Non-Eagle Feather Repository has sent over 3000 feather orders for Native Americans to use in ceremony, regalia, and religious practices which saves wild birds from black market reaping.
  6. You don’t care that our Research and Conservation team has mitigated for negative or potential negative impact between wildlife and civilization and communities’ needs.
  7. You don’t care if our weekly blog, This Week at Liberty and Hoots, Howls, and Hollers, our monthly e magazine, Nature News, and our annual magazine, WingBeats continue to be produced and circulated.
  8. You don’t care that Liberty Wildlife provides internships and residencies to students from all over the world.
  9. You don’t care that thousands of individuals have been privileged to be trained to work directly with native animals.
  10. You don’t care that over 140 species are cared for annually.

I mean, really, if you don’t care about all or any of those things, perhaps you can find someone locally who does more…but I don’t think so.  And key to this entire decision is to make a decision to give locally…where it counts…for your own surroundings, your own services needed, your own personal experience.

Well ok, I guess giving to Liberty Wildlife is a particularly good idea as you consider your personal philanthropy this year.  As you can see we do an awful lot with your donations.

This Week @Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now at 6476.

Things are calming down slightly after the three big events we held over the past few weeks and we ‘re starting to develop a routine at the new facility. The staff and volunteers are learning where things are and what we have to work with. With so much more space, we’re having to map out where individual animals are being held so the daily care people can find who they’re looking for. It’s a new feeling to have so much room to work with! But with all the new things happening, its reassuring to know some things never change, like the level of care and concern the animals all get when they arrive at Liberty’s window. As we approach the end-of-the-year holidays, let’s take a brief look at what we were doing this past week…

A visiting shrike

A visiting shrike

Add another specie to the ever growing list of birds and animals seen around the new Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife – this loggerhead shrike spent some time around the wetlands last week, long enough for me to get out my big glass and grab a couple shots of him as he hunted. The Loggerhead Shrike is a songbird with a raptor’s habits, preying on insects, birds, lizards, and small mammals. Lacking a raptor’s talons, Loggerhead Shrikes skewer their kills on thorns or barbed wire or wedge them into tight places for easy eating. These activities have earned him the name “butcher bird.”

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Jan and Holly tend to an injured peregrine

Gail holds while Jan and Holly tend to an injured peregrine

A peregrine falcon arrived last week with a serious injury to his wing.  Jan and Holly worked on the fractured humerus but as the extensive damage is very close to the elbow joint, the likelihood of this beautiful bird taking to the air again is doubtful. There is a down side to being the world’s fastest living organism: the greater your velocity when you collide with an immovable object, the more kinetic energy has to be dissipated (K=1/2Mv²), usually by bones breaking – especially light, hollow bones. Hopefully the bird will survive and possibly become either an education ambassador or a foster parent.

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A cute ruddy duck

A cute little ruddy duck

Someone's pet oriole

A Bullock’s oriole that was someone’s pet

Two more smaller birds that are in our care as of last week, this very cute ruddy duck with a possible head trauma, and this bullock’s oriole who has been kept as a pet for 8 years. The duck is doing better but is still under observation. The oriole is very pale as you might expect for a pretty songbird held captive in a cage for so long. In the west, this oriole is common in summer in forest edge, farmyards, leafy suburbs, isolated groves, and streamside woods, especially in cottonwood trees. Being held for so long, the bird is not releasable and will live out his days in our care.

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Seriously injured kestrel

Seriously injured kestrel

Another fast flying injury

Another fast flying injury

The little male kestrel and the sharp-shinned hawk probably both suffered the same type of injury as the peregrine – collision damage while hunting. The kestrel’s injuries are very serious and his prognosis is guarded at best. The sharp-shinned hawk is in somewhat better condition but time will tell. It is a young bird and that always helps when it comes to healing broken bones.

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Jan enters data for another X-ray

Jan enters data for another X-ray

One of the big advantages to having our own radiology capability is that animals don’t have to wait for their exam. In the past, if we didn’t have the time or the opportunity to drive injured animals 20-30 miles to a facility that offered to allow us to use their x-ray units, the time spent waiting could mean the difference between a full recovery after immediate treatment and a less-than optimal outcome. Now, the images we generate can be sent to specialists or to other displays at Liberty for analysis and recommendations for treatment in a real-time environment.

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The little raccoon goes outside

The little raccoon goes outside (photo by Stacey)

The young raccoon that arrived a several weeks ago is doing better.  Presenting evidence of a head injury, he had been in the new mammal room until last week when he was moved outside, much to his delight. All around better care is what we are able to give all the arrivals at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.

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Libby and I watch the festivities (photo  by Laura)

Libby and I watch the festivities at Highland Lakes (photo by Laura)

Libby meets one of the veterans

Libby meets one of the veterans (photo by Laura)

Posing with some of the kids (photo  by Laura)

Posing with some of the kids (photo by Laura)

Libby went with on a program last week to the Highland Lakes Elementary School with Laura and me. It was a day to honor veterans and it was a moving ceremony. The kids were terrific – well behaved and very respectful of the veterans, one of whom was 100 years old. As always, Libby was a perfect lady and posed with everyone.

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A first grader with a big heart is a scientist in the making! (image by Laura Hackett)

A first grader with a big heart is a scientist in the making! (image by Laura Hackett)

Laura Hackett sent this to me today and I had to include it in this weeks blog. Laura says:

“I had to share because I am so proud of this girl.  She is the daughter of a friend and she has always loved animals.  She and I could talk for hours about the animals I cared for while I was still at the zoo. She had to do a service project for her 1st grade class and she wanted to do something for us.  I showed her around the facility and she loved the idea of talking about pollinators.  So she created a worksheet for kids her age to learn more about pollinators!!!”

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Our annual Volunteer's Christmas tree

Our annual Volunteer’s Christmas tree

In honor of the upcoming Christmas holiday, I’m including this shot of our annual Volunteer’s Christmas tree (with apologies to Charles Schultz and Charlie Brown!)

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A special offer and announcement from Ken Milward

By just using our ID badges Boyce Thompson Arboretum has agreed to offer us free passage to the card holder from this December though May of next year.  Each additional  guest will be required to pay the normal fees $10 for adults and $5 for children.  Boyce Thompson Arboretum is one of our Arizona Sate Parks and is the oldest arboretum west of the Mississippi having been founded in 1924. The arboretum is located just west of the town of Superior on US Highway 60.  Hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM last entry will be restricted at 4:00 PM for it takes approximately an hour to complete the  main trail.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum
3765 US 60
Superior, Arizona 85273
520 639-2723

My contact was Lynnea Spencer who approached the the board of directors with this proposal and gained approval.  I have furnished them with a copy of my Liberty Wildlife ID badge and they will have that there at the cashier’s window for verification of our IDs.  They have given me some free passes that I have been distributing to our volunteers so that they may bring a guest or in the case that they do not yet have an ID badge.  I only have a limited number of these remaining on a first come basis one to each volunteer.

One of the ways that I was able to sell this to the Arboretum was that no one seems to go there alone.  I hope that our staff of volunteers enjoy this place and introduce it to many of their friends over the next few months.

If you have any further questions about this please give me a call.

Ken Milward

(If you need a Liberty ID for this – NOT the new access card – let me know. Terry Stevens)

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This Week @ Liberty – December 05, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Christmas Megan  (photo by Morry Marshall)

Christmas Megan (photo by Morry Marshall)

Another successful event occurred yesterday at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.  Our annual Volunteer Appreciation picnic was held on a splendidly beautiful Sunday afternoon. While the event is all about extoling the accomplishments of the volunteers for the year…it ends up being one more success on their part…and that is all about the scrumptious food that each volunteers contributes to the pot luck fares.  Every year we get the “looked for standards”…John’s Greek salad, Peggy’s pulled pork, whatever Denise brings, and the list goes on.  Then there are always the new surprises and this year’s offerings were off the chart!

At this point I would be remiss if I didn’t mention all of the efforts of Volunteer Coordinator, Carol Suits, and the rest of the staff who worked hours beyond the call of duty to help pull of the event.

Beyond the satisfying consumption of delicious edibles, the event includes yard type games with a little friendly competition, a glimpse at the Interactive room, a trek down the Peace Trail, and a tour of the Education enclosures.  Strolling along the grounds, bird watching, and catching up with other volunteers with the added bonus of meeting friends and volunteers from other days, was all a big part of the afternoon.

The event ended with the announcement of the winners of the traditional counting game, i.e, how many feathers in a jar, rocks in a jar, close pins in a jar, etc. with the winners walking away with some really nice artwork and for one big winner the ultimate prize…the honor of releasing a rehabilitated Cooper’s hawk.  That particular bird made a hasty retreat and showed off his total readiness to be gone from human interaction.  Yes! Just the way we want it.

For those who were unable to attend…we missed you, we missed thanking you for your valuable assistance in our process and in completing our mission, and we missed your company and that of your family who so generously honor your wish to be a part of our team.

An added bonus was Brigette, a Dragon Boater participating in a tour on Saturday, who showed up with bags of her Christmas tree decorations which she most artfully festooned upon our 12 foot lobby tree.  It is beyond the pale.

Come see it for yourself!

This Week @ Liberty 2016 Picnic special

who-is-this-guy

Posted by Terry Stevens (Photo by Stacey)

The intake total for this year has reached 6442.

As the year wanes, operations at 2600 E Elwood begin to ramp up as the volunteers get more familiar with the new facility. Some of us are actually losing weight with all the walking required at the new larger building and grounds!  The intake rate is at its usual low for this time of year and the Intake and Medical Services people have been doing a wonderful job of “keeping up” with what animals have been brought in. Likewise, the Education crew has been presenting all over the area, educating kids and adults alike about whose backyard we’re all living in. 
On Sunday we held the annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic and it was an unqualified success. The first to be held at the new facility, we had over 100 volunteers sign in (and more that didn’t) and most of them brought friends and relatives so the crowd was impressive.  This was the third major event at the new place in 5 weeks and it’s been quite busy for the staff and volunteers alike. But as always, the people of Liberty Wildlife stepped up and went above and beyond all expectations.  Here’s some of what happened last week…

Kelly shows Acoma to some interested young ladies (photo by Marko)

Kelly shows Acoma to some interested young ladies (photo by Craig)

Gayle introduces Veto to a young bird counter (photo by Kelly)

Gayle introduces Veto to a young bird counter (photo by Craig)

Drum Circle dancers (photo by Marko)

Drum Circle dancers (photo by Marko)

One of the shows recently done by the Education team was at the Gila River Indian Community. Gayle, Craig, Anne, Kelly, and Marko presented and Craig reports: 

“Gila River Indian Community, located just south of Phoenix, has an annual Winter Bird Census for the community where families and leaders visit various spots on their lands to see how the healthy the wildlife is. Birds are very important to both the Maricopa and Pima people, and they feature prominently in many of their stories.

Liberty Wildlife was invited to showcase some of our Education ambassadors at the post census celebration which features native songs, dances and stories. We had Liberty, Skye, Rio, Lance and Veto and presented them to 300 visitors. 

GRIC is also the sponsor of the Education Classroom at our new facility and this was an opportunity to say thank you to the members.” 

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I’m not sure what else I can say about the Picnic, so I’ll just post the photos and you can enjoy the event that was!

Official mascot greeter at the Picnic

Official mascot greeter at the Picnic

People are smiling even as they checked in

People are smiling even as they checked in

Our first Christmas tree and our guest decorator, Bridget

Our first Christmas tree and our guest decorator, Brigette Flamm

Soren was immortalized in a cake brought in by Doris

Soren was immortalized in a cake brought in by Doris

The turnout was huge!

The turnout was huge!

Balinda and Kurt open some wine

Balinda and Kurt open some wine

Inching along - the food line

Inching along – the food line

...and it stretched for quite a distance

…and it stretched for quite a distance

Taking it easy on a beautiful afternoon

Taking it easy on a beautiful afternoon

"The WIld Bunch"

“The WIld Bunch”

A little future volunteer who loves birds

A little future volunteer who loves birds

So, who cut the Soren cake?

So, who cut the Soren cake?

Wendy wins one of the prizes

Wendy wins one of the prizes

Katia wins a release

Katia wins a release

Nice toss!

Nice toss!

And another healthy accipiter goes free!

And another healthy accipiter goes free!

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This Week @ Liberty – November 28, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

With our Grand Openings behind us we are down to the nitty gritty of making it all work.  In an effort to always do best at what we do, we are moving slowly into the world of “public”.
Here’s the plan:  Starting on Dec. 7, 2016 we are going to be open to the public for tours on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 1:00 and 1:00 to 3:00.  Tours will be limited to 10 (or thereabouts) and will last about 2 hours. Stops on the tour will include basics on our new sustainable building, a trip to the Interactive/Living Laboratory, and experience in the large classroom, a tour through the educational interpretive trail, an educational program in the amphitheater with a theme for the day, a tour around the wetlands and a view into the triage room and surgical suite, ending back in the lobby for shopping or questions.
Each tour will be guided by a trained greeter and an experienced education personnel so bring your questions and your cameras.
Tour costs:  children under 5 will be free, students 5 through 18 will be $5.00, adults $10.00 each and seniors and veterans $8.00.
For more information on signing up for tours for now send an e mail to laurah@libertywildlife.org.  Include your name and days and times that you are interested in.  She will get back to you with confirmation and details.
We look forward to seeing you at the Rob and Melani Walton Campus of Liberty Wildlife.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The intake total for this year is now at 6,408.

OK, the first major holiday has passed and the intake rate is at a slow trickle,  but as people figure out where we are, that will certainly pick up. The Education team is doing more programs as they settle in to the new facility, and I am getting more people assigned their new access cards. We had a major storm last night and SRP lost a nearby substation causing a somewhat protracted power outage but the automatic emergency system worked as advertised and with a few small exceptions, the structure survived unscathed. Our annual Volunteer Appreciation picnic is scheduled for next Sunday so all volunteers make note and be there! This is always a fun event and this one is the first to be held at the new facility. If you’re not sure how to find it (all you R&T people especially!), call or email me ASAP. Now, let’s have a look at last week and beyond…

Carol marshal talks about diego on the Ed side

Carol Marshal talks about Diego on the Ed side of the new Liberty facility.

Joanne and Sundance at Arizona Humane Society mini-camp on 101416

Joanne and Sundance at Arizona Humane Society mini-camp on 10/14/16 (photo by Claudia)

Claudia and Sundance at the Flagstaff Arboretum

Claudia and Sundance at the Flagstaff Arboretum  (photo by Kelly)

Marko presents at the Advanced Rehab Healthcare of Scottsdale (photo by Kelly)

Marko presents at the Advanced Rehab Healthcare of Scottsdale  (photo by Kelly)

Claudia and Carol work the Veterans' day event (photo by Melanie Herring)

Claudia and Carol work the Veterans’ Day event  (photo by Melanie Herring)

The kids loved the Veteran's Day show (photo by Melanie Herring)

Kids of all ages loved the Veteran’s Day show  (photo by Melanie Herring)

Kim and Doris display their birds at the Verde Canyon Rail Road (photo by Carol Marshal)

Kim and Doris display their birds at the Verde Canyon Rail Road  (photo by Carol Marshal)

Laurah has a way with kids...

Laura has a way with kids…

The Education team has been doing programs since early September all over the state – and some right at Liberty. If I missed giving the proper credit to anyone who took photos or presented animals, I apologize. The bottom line is, Education is one of the words on our logo  and the volunteers who present to the public are as critical to the success of the organization as the Medical Services and Daily Care people who provide rehabilitative services to the animals we help. Thank you all for being the voice of Liberty Wildlife!

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A beautiful northern flicker comes in

A beautiful red shafted flicker comes in

It’s no wonder why the feathers of the flicker family are so much in demand from the Non-eagle Feather Repository. The plumage on these birds is absolutely gorgeous and as “highly strung”as they are, rehabilitating them can be quite difficult. Luckily, our Medical Services team is adept at managing this task and provides top-notch care when they arrive injured.

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This is what people  buy from a reptile dealer...

This is what people buy from a reptile dealer…

...and this is what they grow into in a few years!

…and this is what they grow into in a few years!

Lots of people have adopted desert tortoises and appreciate what really cool animals they are. Some people can’t wait to adopt and get a non-native African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata), often called  a “sulcata tortoise” from a reptile dealer or pet store. At first they are cute little turtle-like animals a couple of inches long, but they grow very rapidly and will be  up to two and a half feet long and 80-150 pounds or more in 5 to 10 years. This 200lb guy escaped his home and was out wandering the streets. Luckily he was found and brought to Liberty where we held him until his owner was found and reclaimed him. The baby on its back is also here and was included as an illustrative comparison.

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A new golden eagle arrives...

A new golden eagle arrives…

Jan holds her for Dr. Orr's examination

Jan holds her for Dr. Orr’s examination

Checking the business end of the bird...

Checking the business end of the bird…

Dr Orr examines a wing

Dr Orr examines a wing

She's a pretty bird

She’s a pretty bird

Recently Arizona Game and Fish Department came into possession of an injured adult golden eagle. The bird had a fractured humerus and ruptured tricep tendon along with assorted related issues. Surgery was performed at the first medical facility it went to by Dr. Stephanie Lamb who pinned the wing bone. At that point, I was dispatched to bring the bird to Liberty for further treatment and rehabilitation. Dr. Orr has examined her and according to Jan, she is doing well at this time. She remains under observation and is getting cage rest until the wing is totally healed. We’ll keep you updated on her condition.

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Blow dart through a pigeon

Blow dart through a pigeon

OK, so pigeons are NOT the most revered birds around, but shooting them with blow darts is still not something that should instill us with pride at human activity towards wildlife. The dart passed all the way through the bird and had apparently been there for some time when it was apprehended and brought to us for care. No, non-native species are NOT turned away out of hand by Liberty Wildlife. A suffering animal always receives help when they arrive at our window.

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Don’t forget the Volunteer Appreciation picnic next Sunday!

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This Week @ Liberty – November 21, 2016

Megan Mosby -  Managing Director

Megan Mosby -
Managing Director

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Thanksgiving is upon us and once again I am asking myself “Where did the time go?”  The year is in its winding down mode which zips by from this point on.  Currently, I am going to think about how much I have to be thankful for…I’ll take on the rest of the holidays as they come…and they will come fast and furiously.

Today AT LAST, I can be thankful for our new beautiful building and for all of the people who came together to make it happen.  There are way too many of you to start naming them but you know who you are, and if any of you have been around me in the past year, you will know also.  It took so many good and giving people to make a dream come true…board members, donors, architects, construction crews, Liberty staff members and hard- working volunteers.

And, we are finally whole again.  For almost 6 months the operation was split into two groups.  Those of us not crucial to the day to day handling of animals moved in during June and July.  Those of our group who did the hands on work with animals finally got totally moved in last week…just in time for our Grand Openings.

Our first Grand Opening was a beautiful evening event for donors and those people intimately involved in the facility creation.  Two hundred and fifty folks got introduced to the new Liberty Wildlife and all seemed…here’s everyone’s term…BLOWN AWAY!  That isn’t the first time I have heard those words.

The second Grand Opening was for the public.  Once again…BLOWN AWAY…was the overriding mantra.  We had a great crowd of over 800 people who took the time to get the tour, do crafty things for wildlife, grab a hot dog, cotton candy, popcorn and camaraderie.  There were educational tours and programs; there were tours through the hospital and Non-Eagle Feather Repository; there were raffles; there was a release.  We finally had to close the doors…and yet the people kept coming.

One of my board members drove up and thought there was a football game going on!  It was a huge success.  I believe the people who knew our humble beginnings got the best WOW experience, but those who are new to Liberty Wildlife were thrilled at a new (to them) resource in the Valley.

We will be officially open to the public starting in December on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until we get our bearings.   We will be working hard to provide stunning experiences that change seasonally so each of you will have new reasons to visit our little piece of heaven.  Bring your family and friends and certainly all of your out of town visitors for an easy and splendid view of Arizona’s nature.

You come along and get your own BLOWN AWAY experience.  We look forward to providing it.  Visit our web site in December for details of our programming, events, and opportunities.

Once again, let me be thankful for all of you who made it happen!  AT LAST!

This Week @ Liberty – Grand Opening Special

Posted by Terry Stevens - Operations Director

Posted by Terry Stevens
- Operations Director

The total intake number now stands at 6360.

Well, it’s official: Liberty Wildlife has gone public!  We had our Grand Opening to the public on Saturday with over 800 people attending. The 4 hour event went very well with everyone smiling and seeming to enjoy the hot dogs, popcorn, activities, birds, and tours of both sides of the facility. We saw lots of old friends, made lots of new friends, and had lots of kids learning about the what we do here at 2600 E. Elwood St. The volunteers all performed above and beyond their normal duties making this an unqualified success. Thanks to all who worked so long and hard to make it happen. And all this took place while accomplishing our normal tasks of rehabilitating injured animals and educating the public about their environment and our wild neighbors in whose back yard we all live. As Humphrey Bogart said, “This is the start of a beautiful friendship” between Liberty Wildlife and the community around us! If (hopefully) you’re feeling like sharing with the world this holiday season, think about this: Support us when you shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. #StartWithaSmile at smile.amazon.com/ch/94-2738161 and Amazon donates to Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation, Inc.  Thanks to you all!!

Now, here’s what the event looked like…

Kim greets and counts the visitors

Kim greets and counts the visitors (photo by Morry Marshall)

Throngs of interested people...

Throngs of interested people…

Heading into the Interactive Classroom

Heading into the Interactive Classroom

Kids enjoying face - or arm - painting!

Kids enjoying face – or arm – painting!

Stevi acts as a tour guide on the Education side (photo by Morry Marshall)

Stevi acts as a tour guide on the Education side (photo by Morry Marshall)

Tim presents Acoma to the crowd

Tim presents Acoma to the crowd

Anne and Armi are all smiles (photo by Morry Marshall)

Anne and Armi are all smiles (photo by Morry Marshall)

Laura is a great TV spokesperson!

Laura is a great TV spokesperson!

Joe and Aurora are always a big hit

Claudia helps Joe and Aurora put on a show

The line for Education tours looked like Disneyland...

The line for Education tours looked like Disneyland…

Dr. Orr enjoys a hot dog at the Wetlands wall with her group.

Dr. Orr enjoys a hot dog at the Wetlands wall with her group.

Great release of a rehabbed red tail!

Great release of a rehabbed red tail!

It must feel good to go free...

It must feel good to go free…

All eyes were on the newly released RTH - look at the smiles!

All eyes were on the newly released RTH

A sub-adult bald eagle flew overhead just before the release - it was like a blessing from the raptor world!

A sub-adult bald eagle flew overhead just before the release – it was like a blessing from the raptor world!

As Megan said, the reaction by everyone was…

 BLOWN AWAY!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Liberty Wildlife and TW@L!

 

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This Week @ Liberty – November 14, 2016

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

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.

16-liber-2637-liberty-wildlife-kids-grand-opening-flyer

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

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...

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…!

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Our German intern on her last day

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!

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The birds begin arriving

The birds begin arriving

Like the first day at Summer camp! Looking for their assigned enclosures

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…!

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The OC get-together was held at the new facility

The OC get-together was held at the new facility

Thanks to all OC volunteers!!

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!

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A short display for some supporters

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.

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The resident-kingfishers

The resident-kingfishers

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.

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Marko presents

Marko presents at Boyce Thompson

Claudia educates at the BT Arboretum

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.

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Dr. Orr works with Jan and Sharon at Vet Night No.1

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!

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A select open house for Donors and Supporters

A select open house for Donors and Supporters

Attendees inspecting the kids interactive classroom

Attendees inspecting the kids interactive classroom

Gathering in the Amphitheater

Gathering in the Amphitheater

A native American blessing

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.

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The new entrance sign going into place.

The new entrance sign going into place.

At the front entrance

At the front entrance

We are home, at last!

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.

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The first arrival at the intake window of the new Liberty Wildlife!

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!)

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This Week @ Liberty – September 12, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

This is a short post, but one with an enormous feeling behind it.  I am so impressed and grateful to all of the staff, volunteers, and family and friends of staff and volunteers who have given up their days off to help finalize our site and ready it for the final push…the rest of the move to our new home.

The heat has been unhelpful, to say the least.  The jobs, not easy, to say the least.  But the attitudes have been nose to the grindstone and festive at the same time.  Special thanks go to Joe and Jan Miller as the organizers of these last two Sundays and their troops of supporters…too many to name.

I have it on good authority that there might be another work day on this coming Saturday.  If you are interested in leaving your mark on 2600 Elwood, let us know.  You won’t be sorry.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total for the year is now at 5935.

It’s been a few weeks since the last update and I want to thank all the volunteers who have been sending in the pictures of what’s going on at the Scottsdale facility. Since I have been mostly down at 2600 E Elwood, I have not been able to get the photos I need to do a decent TW@L update so a big thanks goes out to all who have helped me with photography! Hopefully we will once again be doing TW@L and HHH regularly each week. In the meantime, here’s a taste of what has been happening in both locations for the past couple of weeks…

Sticky snake!

Sticky snake! (photo by Laura Hackett)

Carefully removing the little guy

Carefully removing the little guy (photo by Laura Hackett)

Free from the glue!

Free from the glue! (photo by Laura Hackett)

OK, so how many times have we posted pictures and stories about innocent animals being needlessly tortured by glue traps? These items are so cruel and inhumane they have been banned in some areas – and with good reason. Not only do they subject their victims to a painful death by immobilization, starvation, and dehydration, they are NOT species specific and even when used as specified in the directions, they frequently trap and kill a myriad of species not targeted by the user. This harmless little gopher snake was brought in recently still adhering to the glue card to which he was stuck. Our skilled volunteers were able to detach him from the cruel incarceration and allow him to return to the wild to remove unwanted rodents and the like from their habitat AND ours. Please, DO NOT use glue traps – for anything!

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Owl burrito brought in by the public

Owl burrito brought in by the public (photo by Susie Vaught)

When a new patient arrives, the first thing that is done is usually obtaining a weight on the animal. This determines a baseline for future evaluation of treatment and also dosages if medicine is appropriate. Most birds find it difficult to sit or stand still on a scale for weighing in, so they are wrapped in a cloth of known weight to hold them gently immobile while a weight is read on the digital scale. Recently this great horned owl arrived already for the weighing in process. The Medical Services volunteers call this a “Bird Burrito” and it takes some practice to get the folds right.

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Juvie road runner arrives

Juvie road runner arrives (photo by Stacey Rohr)

A young cardinal has some issues

A young cardinal has some issues (photo by Stacey Rohr)

It’s really late in the season for “Baby birds” to be showing up with issues, but never say ‘never’ around Liberty. A fledgling road runner and a northern cardinal came in a few days ago, each with a presentation that leads to a “premature departure from the nest” diagnosis. Both birds were malnourished and dehydrated but responded well to dietary supplements and fluid therapy. Both should be released in short order.

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Little raccoon runs afoul of traffic

Little raccoon runs afoul of traffic (photo by Alex Stofko)

This little raccoon was brought in presenting head trauma indicative of an automobile collision. His head and face were severely damaged and before we were able to stabilize him prior to transporting him to the surgical facility, he succumbed to his injuries. At our new campus, mammals will not have to be outsourced as we will have the room and facilities to properly treat, perform x-rays, surgery and provide extended care for such injured mammals on site.

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Lesser long-nosed bat is brought in from down south

Lesser long-nosed bat is brought in from down south (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Among our recent arrivals were a couple of lesser long-nosed bats from the southern part of the state.  The long nose is a medium-sized, migratory nectar bat native to the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico and is an important pollinator for agaves, saguaro, and organ pipe cacti. One of the interesting things about this flying mammal is the fact that it’s tongue, used for nectar extraction, can be as long as it’s body! One of the arrivals had a broken wing which has been set and appears to be healing satisfactorily. This is important as the lesser long-nosed bat is considered a vulnerable species and would be a welcomed addition to the gene pool in the wild.

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Grandpa loves the shade

Grandpa loves the shade (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Speedy finds some raven food - and likes it!

Shelly finds raven food to be quite tasty!  (photo by Stacey Rohr)

Speedy joins the Uber team...?

Speedy joins the Uber team…? (Photo by Marko Virtanen)

Three of our resident desert tortoises, Grandpa, Shelly and Speedy, have been enjoying the warm summer months at the Scottsdale facility. Grandpa has become adept at finding shade when the temperature reaches triple digits, but otherwise is doing well for a gentleman of such “advanced years.” Shelly, one of our younger education tortoises, recently discovered a plate set out for rehabilitating ravens and found she liked some of the items on the menu. Speedy shares his enclosure with great horned owls and one of them decided the tortoise would make a fun park ride as he ambled around looking for food. This seemed like a memorable “Kodac moment” to Marko who took the photo above.

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Work party

Work party (photo by Jan Miller)

Another work weekend

Another work weekend!

The last couple of weekends we had work parties at the new facility with volunteers raking gravel in the new enclosures and building and installing perches for the birds. Snacks and drinks were provided for the groups who pitched in as if painting Becky Thatcher’s fence – a good time being had by all! There are future work events planned so check with Alex, Carol or Jan for the upcoming schedule.

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This Week @ Liberty – August 08, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Holler

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

I did a release yesterday, of a red tailed hawk, an orphan this year raised by foster parents.  She had never seen the vastness of the sky beyond the slats of her large enclosure.  But freedom must be hard wired in the brains or cellular components because when she sensed no boundaries she flew like the wind.  There is something profound about that to me.  She rode the winds around Camelback Mountain, circling over and over even joining in a non-confrontive kettle that rode thermals joyfully…at least that is what it looked like to me.  We watched her for a long time.  It was thrilling.

It was as if with every strong wing beat she sucked up the airs of freedom and got farther and farther away from her captors.  It made my heart sing.  It reassured me that our process is good.  It works.  It makes a difference.  Now it is up to her to make it in the world.

As good as it is now, I am looking forward to how much better the process will be when we are finally established in our new facility.  There will be no more musical chairs with enclosures where potential releasees are moved to bigger enclosures to get the flying practice that they must have to prepare for the big world out there.  At the new site there are impressive flight cages for practice flying for each specie that we deal with, but the granddaddy of them all is the 180-foot flight enclosure. 

This structure is just cool.  It is designed to allow large birds with impressive wing spans especially the eagles, herons, condors, to fly distance with a banking possibility mid-way.  It is designed to be stepped down so catching the large fliers isn’t difficult or stressful for the bird or the captor, and it is also possible to step it down into two large flights if the need occurs.  It is designed with a drainable concrete body of water to allow for fishing experience for eagles and herons.  And, yes, there is a ramp to allow for access if needed by the rehabilitating inhabitant.

But, one of the coolest parts about this new flight enclosure is the prototype utility pole stationed at one end with cameras to be directed at all angles at the structure.  SRP is doing an experiment to see why and how large birds are being electrocuted despite all of their efforts to keep this from happening.

We will be gathering data and reporting these back to the engineers and environmental department at SRP.  It is the hope and intention that the information gleaned from this study will be used to design the perfect pole to alleviate any electric shock injuries.  Further, this could be disseminated to utility companies across the country…solving a world-wide problem…right from our site.

I believe this is just the beginning of the possibilities awaiting us at our new facility.  I can hardly wait until we are totally moved in…it shouldn’t be long now.  Look for news of the big event.

And, oh yeah…look for a new red tail in town.  She will be the one smiling on an outcropping on Camelback Mountain, loving her freedom every second of the day.

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total is now up to 5495.

The intake rate has slackened a bit as the summer grinds on. Two major monsoon events have left the facility damaged, but still in operation, a large testament to the dedicated volunteers who show up every day to care for the animals who need help to get through the day. Orphans are still arriving although not in the super high numbers of last month. We’re seeing some of the same injuries we’ve always seen (sigh, some people never learn…) and again, the volunteers stoically tend to each and every animal with the greatest care imaginable despite the conditions. We are coming close to the end game at the new facility and the finish line is in sight. Every volunteer deserves a heartfelt “THANK YOU!” for gutting it out until we move the last bird to the new home!

Little owl gets skimmed

Little owl gets “skimmed”  (photo by unidentified caller)

I hate taking a bath

“I hate taking a bath!”  (photo by unidentified caller)

A local gentleman called recently about a small owl that he found in his pool skimmer. He plucked the bird out and waited patiently until our rescue volunteer arrived to transport the bird to Liberty for rehabilitation and eventual release. Nice job!

Baby mockers all look like they're angry at the world!

Baby birds often look like they’re angry at the world…

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Baby needs a new pair of shoes! (photo by Susie)

11 olive pits removed from this young dove's crop

11 olive pits removed from this young dove’s crop (photo by Sara)

OK, the “Baby Bird Season” isn’t over just yet… Little mockers, doves, and lots of other local species just seem to keep on coming, some with bad feet (?), some full of inappropriate food (olive pits!?!) but all get the best treatment possible – and all with no health insurance. Our cadre of volunteers is the best anywhere!

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OK, that's NOT a gopher snake...

OK, that’s NOT a gopher snake… (photo by Team Price)

Carl shows again why he is "DA MAN" when it comes to diamondbacks.

Carl shows again why he is “DA MAN” when it comes to diamondbacks. (photo by Team Price)

We are so lucky to have a man of Carl Price’s caliber on our team to safely handle the real rattlesnake calls that come in. People are generally terrified of snakes – any snakes – and usually run for the shovel when they see a snake close by. It’s part of our educational mandate to tell the public about the place reptiles – even venomous ones – have in the environment. The rattlers are gently removed from harm’s way and relocated to a place safe for them and the public. Thanks, Carl for being a friend to all creatures!

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Turtle with hook and 11 eggs

Turtle with hook and 11 eggs (photo by Sara)

Another case of careless fishing causing great harm and pain to a gentle species who deserves better at the hands of mankind. This turtle has swallowed a fish hook which endangers not only her, but the 11 eggs she is carrying. The sad part is that it is so easy to pick up after yourselves when you’re out in nature that this needn’t happen ever again. Let’s get the word out to all we know.

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And on a happier note...

And on a happier note, a Cooper’s hawk goes free! (photo by Balinda)

Peggy, Claudia, John, and Balinda went north to the Pinetop Show Low area recently to do the summer Fool’s Hollow program. On the way, they stopped in the Sitgreaves National Forest and released 2 Cooper’s hawks and and a sharp-shinned hawk. Later on at the program, they released a couple of barn owls. What a wonderful day for Arizona wildlife and Liberty!

2 bald eagles head to Texas

2 bald eagles head to Texas

Dan Scrivener helped us out by driving the two bald eagles (the ones in the back enclosures) that had been with us for some months to their new home. They are heading for the Texas Zoo in Victoria, Texas. It’s nice that the two got to travel together after spending so much time in each other’s company!

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Storm damage

Storm damage (photo by Mike Aiken)

The first big monsoon took down a lot of foliage around the old facility, including this mass of palm fronds back by the education area.

It happens at least once a year...

It happens at least once a year…

Then the torrent came, causing this backup of water, this first rain we’d seen in months! It even came up in the freezer room necessitating some freezers to be unplugged to prevent anyone from having an electrical injury…

While at the new facility, we happily harvest the rain.

While at the new facility, we happily harvest the rain.

We have two huge cisterns as part of the new facility’s efforts to maintain a light ecological footprint. As the rain falls, it is channeled off of the roof and falls into the openings on top of the cisterns to used to irrigate the landscaping around the facility. We waste nothing, use little, and recycle all we can. (You may have noticed we have added the word “Sustainability” to our logo…)

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The first modular arrives

The first modulars arrive

Just prior to the first rains of the monsoon

Just prior to the first rains of the monsoon

Going into place a couple of days later...

Going into place a couple of days later…

We had no rain for months, then on the day the first modular structure arrived, Sky Harbor got almost 2.5 inches of rain, filling the scrape that was to hold the modular buildings. This caused a couple days delay as the structures couldn’t be placed due to the mud in the hole! But, it dried up fairly soon and then it was on with the show!

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The next big arrival was the walk-in freezer.

The next big arrival was the walk-in freezer.

Next, the pieces of our new walk-in freezer arrived from New York. These will be assembled over the next week or so and then we can start bringing food down. The animals will follow shortly thereafter.

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R&T volunteers get a preview tour

R&T volunteers get a preview tour

Education begins

Education begins

The senior Medical Services staff and volunteer vets attend training on the digital X-ray machine (Thanks again, Mr. Smith!)

The senior Medical Services staff and volunteer vets get trained on the digital X-ray machine (Thanks again, Mr. Smith!)

Our first Staff meeting at the new facility!

Our first Staff meeting at the new facility!

Due to the size of the facility, these electric carts will provide mobility for the volunteers

Due to the size of the facility, these electric carts will provide mobility for the volunteers

It’s all coming together. There actually IS a light at the end of this long tunnel…

Thanks to you all for your patience and help to make it all possible!

 

 

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This Week @ Liberty – July 11, 2016

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan is on sabbatical (meaning, she’s buried in moving details – and there are so many, many details!)

HHH will return as time permits!

 

 This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

The intake total has now reached 4809.

Actually I am also somewhat buried in the details of finishing the new facility and moving, but I wanted to get a quick update so you all knew we were still here and still doing what we do – saving animals! Plus there were some great photo ops of the moving process so here’s a brief look at what took place in the past week or two…

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One more baby barn owl

One more baby barn owl

Baby bat comes in

Baby bat comes in

Four little night hawks

Four little night hawks

Little raccoon

Little raccoon

The orphans keep coming in, mammals and avians alike. The OC people are champing at the bit to move to the new facility, as are we all. The facility is largely ready, we just need to have a few more little touches added to make it usable. Keep your fingers crossed!

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A major move

A major move

It was there a long time

It was there a long time

The large metal trailer we were using in the front of the facility got moved Today. We are keeping the unit and had it moved to the property on the river for our storage needs at the new operation. There were several multi-legged residents in the ground underneath and they were not happy to see their home leave, but progress is progress!

Boy Scouts helping with the Ed enclosures

Boy Scouts helping with the Ed enclosures

The new 180ft flight enclosure

The new 180ft flight enclosure

It comes complete with a fish trough for eagles to practice hunting

It comes complete with a fish trough for eagles to practice hunting

 

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This Week @ Liberty – July 04, 2016

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers

Megan Mosby Managing Director

Megan Mosby
Managing Director

Sadly, another hole has been torn through the heart of Liberty Wildlife.  Our long-time volunteer in education and rescue/transport, Donna Jabara, unexpectedly left us. We are devastated by her loss.  She was a permanent feature on Monday, Wednesday and Friday sitting at the table logging in weights of her charges and computing food amounts for the education birds that she worked with and loved.

She was all sweetness and kindness.  A cherubic smile never left her face despite the heat, flies, and difficult conditions that face us in the out of doors in the Valley in the summer.  She was a worker.  No, she was a delightful worker.  No grumbles, no negatives, no beefs…just pure sweetness.  And she was loved.

It won’t be the same arriving in the parking lot without seeing her HHR parked under a tree.  It won’t be the same without seeing her leaving to do an education program.  It won’t be the same without her glorious energy gracing our events.  She was a huge part of who we are, and she will be sorely missed.

Donna, you are an integral part of us.  You are a trooper.  Your spirit will always be around.

We send you eternal love and friendship on the wings of one of your beloved creatures.  Your body might be away, but your spirit is always a part of the Liberty Wildlife family.  We are better for the time you were with us…way better!

This Week @ Liberty

Posted by Terry Stevens

Posted by Terry Stevens

My heart is heavy as I post this 4th of July edition of TW@L. All I had the spirit to do is put together this very short, but heartfelt tribute to one of my favorite volunteers, Donna Jabara. We all loved you Donna, and we will all miss you, especially the birds you cared for so much. Fairfarren my friend…

A short tribute to Donna J

TW@L and HHH will return next week.

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