Meet our Education Ambassadors
By Claudia Kirscher
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer
The Red-tailed Hawk (RTH) is one of the most widespread soaring hawks throughout North and Central America. They are the most common hawk found in Arizona. Odds are that large raptor you see sitting on a telephone pole is a RTH. There are 14 different subspecies color variations, the most common in Arizona is the Western RTH with brick-red tail, dark bar at the leading edge of the underlying, and a light buff-colored body with dark streaks across the lighter belly. They weigh 1-1/2 to 3 pounds.
The RTH is one of the most-commonly injured raptors admitted to Liberty Wildlife, with a variety of injuries. Liberty has 8 nonreleasable RTH Education Ambassadors.
(Photo – left) Duncan came to us in 2002 as a 1st year bird. He was found with a broken wing along the side of a road in Duncan, AZ. The break was not repairable. He has become a favorite for his proud good looks and cooperative demeanor.
(Photo – right) Chaco came in 2003. She had been taken illegally from her nest and raised by humans, therefore she is imprinted. Chaco is called a rufous-morph RTH, her dark coloring occurs in about 10% of the RTH population. She is fully flighted and part of Liberty’s on-site flight program as well as our flight program at the Hyatt Gainey every Friday at 4 p.m.
(Photo – below) Scout came to us in 2013 as a 1st year bird with an impact injury to his head from a golf ball at a golf course. The head trauma had a lasting influence on his behavior, becoming unafraid of humans plus lingering effects from the damage.
Other RTH Education Ambassadors you will meet at Liberty are: Arya (arrived 2014), Ryder (arrived 2020)), Skye (arrived 2004), Bagheera (arrived 2009), and Emmit (arrived 2015).
Come on down to visit and hear their stories!!
By: Carol Suits
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer
Calling all Superheroes!
You know who you are because you take action to help nature! We’ve been working on nature’s habitat needs to make our backyards wildlife friendly, a place living things can call home.
To help you think about all you’ve done to help nature, I’ve made a checklist of ideas from the past two Kid Stuff issues. You can use it to see what you have done and what else you’d like to do.
When you’ve done as much as you can, showing your actions in your journal, and in photos, or posters, or by bringing an item you made to our Superhero Club meeting, I will celebrate your Superhero work in a Kid Stuff article for everyone to see!
|Actions Needed||September Nature News/Kid Stuff – Habitat Intro||Actions I finished|
|Make||Make a Nature Notebook for your habitat work|
|Draw||Draw a habitat map of your backyard or schoolyard|
|Habitat need= food||Make an orange cup feeder|
|Use recycled stuff to make bird feeders|
|Make a pumpkin or Cheerios bird feeder|
|Mae a one-stop bee café|
|Habitat need = water||Make a puddle patch for butterflies|
|Make watering places for bees and butterflies|
|Habitat need = shelter||Get help to build a wildlife home for birds, bats, bees, toads,|
|insects, butterflies. Pick animals you’d like to help.|
|Actions Needed||October Nature News/Kid Stuff – Pollinators||Actions I finished|
|Make||Create a pollinator garden in a pot or spot in your yard|
|Find out||Find out and draw or list which plants are pollinator friendly|
|Draw||Draw or list pollinators you see in your nature journal|
|Take photos||Take photos of the pollinators visiting your yard|
|Make posters||Make pollinator posters to put up in school and bring one|
|to the next Superhero Club meeting|
|Make||Make a Puddle Patch for butterflies|
|Make||Make a bee house for solitary bees.|
|All items with links and explanations can be found at|
|www.libertywildlife.org under Nature News/Kid Stuff section|
Our next Superhero Club meeting is Saturday, December 10th, 9:00 AM at Liberty Wildlife. See you there! For inquiries about Liberty Wildlife’s Superhero Club, please contact Carol Suits at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cold Blooded Creatures
By Gail Cochrane
Liberty Wildlife Volunteer
In winter, ectotherms seek hibernaculums, cozy places to curl up and avoid the chilly weather. Ectotherms are the cold-blooded critters; snakes and lizards, tortoises, frogs, toads and invertebrates such as moths and butterflies, bees and spiders. Ectotherms’ body temperatures stay only slightly higher than the ambient air, so as temperatures drop, they spend more time in underground burrows where both the temperature and humidity are moderate.
We humans are endotherms; we create body heat by breaking down food. Our high metabolism keeps our core temperature right around 97.8 degrees. This body temperature indicates how fast the molecules in our cells are moving. Although we experience cold and hot seasons, the difference in temperatures doesn’t affect how our bodies work.
To remain active, cold-blooded creatures such as lizards and snakes must seek sunshine in the morning. Reptiles get their muscle cells working and overcome the sluggishness brought on by cooler night time temperatures by absorbing heat from sunbeams or sun warmed rocks. (Some of us endotherms drink coffee to the same effect.) When it gets too hot, cold-blooded animals move into the shade or retreat to burrows, which is why you won’t see reptiles out at midday in the summer.
Amphibians such as frogs, toads and salamanders also seek the sun’s warmth to get moving, basking on the sunlit banks of streams. Butterflies and moths are languid on chilly mornings and settle at sunrise with their wings positioned for maximum absorption of the early rays. Honey bees and bumble bees vibrate flight muscles to quickly warm up and fuel their nectar finding expeditions.
Once body temperatures are brought into their sweet spot, cold-blooded animals enjoy lightning fast reflexes. The attainment of perfect body temperatures also aids digestion, allowing ectotherms to gain the most nutrients from their food.
We don’t have wood frogs around here, but these amazing amphibian ectotherms freeze solid in the winter. Ice crystals actually form in their body cavities and their hearts stop beating. As the chill of winter sets in, glucose floods their systems, keeping vital organs viable. Come spring wood frogs thaw out good as new. See frogsaregreen.org for more on amazing frogs.
In case you are wondering, the phrase cold-blooded murder came about in the 1700’s when it was believed that emotions affected the temperature of one’s blood. A person who appeared detached and ruthless was considered cold-blooded, while a hot-blood was ruled by their passions.