Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – August 27, 2018
Sadly, this summer, we had to say good-bye to a very good friend of Liberty Wildlife. Dick Frye.
As project manager, he was my right (and left hand) hand guy… start to finish… in the process of building the new Liberty Wildlife. He ever so patiently walked me through all of the processes necessary starting with a bare piece of land to an award winning building…and beyond. When Liberty Wildlife received notification that we might get ticketed because someone dumped old tires on our vacant lot, Dick and I and his trusty truck and trailer removed them all and hauled them to a safe disposal. One of them was so big we couldn’t lift it and had to engineer a process for getting it above our heads and into the back of the truck. He was just that kind of guy.
When we had to go to the City for our Use permit, it was Dick that walked me through the scary process. When we talked to the bankers, he was at every meeting. When we dealt with construction folks and architects, he was there with the pertinent questions and an explanation to me about the meanings and repercussions. He was just that kind of guy.
When the Board of Directors had questions, he had the answers. When the architects had programming questions, he interviewed the right Liberty Wildlife person to get the facts. When potential donors wanted a tour or more information. He stood up to the task. He was just that kind of guy.
Beyond all of the professional stuff, he was quick to smile. He loved a good story and a good joke. He was a very smart man with a wide repertoire of talents, and he so generously shared them. He loved his family, the horses and the dogs. He loved a good challenge. He shared his knowledge and vast experiences without hesitation. He was a good friend to many, but particularly to me.
On a regular basis, I wish I could call to pick his brains about a current issue. At Liberty Wildlife, we all miss him.
He was just that kind of guy!
This Week @ Liberty – August 27, 2018
The intake rate has dropped noticeably, recent monsoons notwithstanding. But even with the slower rate of arrives, we have still surpassed last year’s total – and we still have over four months to go in 2018. Now we will begin seeing yearling birds coming in, having made mistakes in judgment common to first year birds – hitting cars and windows, landing on electric wires, and in general, getting too close to humans. Now our plans turn to Wishes for Wildlife 2018 and continuing to refine our operation to reach more people and treat more animals at our new facility. Please, if you think we are doing a worthwhile job, consider attending W4Won October 20th. We do have a nice new home, but now we have to pay for it!
Although most people who deliver birds to the intake window at Liberty Wildlife will tell the volunteer that the bird “has a broken wing,” that is not always the case. A bird’s legs bear the brunt of collisions and other unfortunate contact with things like cars, windows, fishing line and toxic foliage. Whether its fishing line cutting into a goose’s leg, or Jan walking through poison oak, nothing works like a good leg wrap!!
(Look for 2 photos)
Heavier birds (those with larger wing loading like eagles and larger falcons) are more likely to fall victim to a systemic infection called “Bumble foot.’ Frequently caused by inappropriate perching or favoring one leg due to injury to the other leg or foot, this condition can become life threatening if left untreated. One of the two peregrine falcons that arrived last week shows signs of this issue but hopefully it was caught in time to be successfully treated.
(Look for 5 pictures)
Although the rate that orphan animals arrive at Liberty is tapering off, we still get baby birds and mammals brought in for care. Many are common visitors, such as doves and grackles, but some are less frequent visitors, like this baby roadrunner and kangaroo rat. I have included a picture of a newly hatched road runner to illustrate what babies look like, along with a view of how an immature bird appears. The newborn kangaroo rat is not something we see often as individual animals at this age are rarely found and brought in as they are far too easily the victims of predators.
(Look for 3 picture)
Recently we received an injured Caspian tern from the northwest part of the state. This is the largest species of tern who’s population is widely dispersed around the world. Their breeding habitat is large lakes and ocean coasts in North America (including the Great Lakes), and locally in Europe (mainly around the Baltic Sea and Black Sea), Asia, Africa, and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). North American birds migrate to southern coasts, the West Indies and northernmost South America. This individual bird presented a fractured wing that might preclude his release, but he is eating well and doesn’t appear “down” while he is fast becoming a favorite of the rehab staff at Liberty.
(Look for 3 photos)
Besides helping injured animals, Liberty Wildlife also provides invaluable training for aspiring wildlife medical trainees. We have produced several veterinary students and continue to offer an opportunity for Medical Services volunteers to get hands-on experience in all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Working with veterinarians like Drs. Orr, Wyman, Lamb, Sorum, and Tantiyatyanon lets these volunteers see and assist experienced wildlife vets and learn the skills they use to help the animals in our care. The technique of radiology is just one of many useful abilities the new Med Service volunteers get to experience.
(Look for 9 photos)
We see hundreds of people each week bringing in injured and orphaned birds and mammals. All of them care about wildlife or they probably wouldn’t have made the effort. Some come long distances with all different species with all kinds of issues (broken wings?). But none were more concerned than this young man who brought in this orphaned dove after a big monsoon. He wanted to make sure “his bird” got all the care we could give it.
I assured him his bird was in good hands…
Look for 1 photo
(I am having some surgery today and will be away from the facility for a couple of weeks. Hopefully the rest of the staff and volunteers will supply enough photos so TW@L will continue in two weeks without interruption!)
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Posted by Terry Stevens
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