Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – August 11, 2020
Just when we thought we had it all down to a finely tuned event machine, COVID-19 happened. We had a fun Halloween theme picked, caterers selected, auction company under contract, auctioneer lined up, decorations planned, invitation in the works…all apparently for naught. Alas, there will be no in-person events/galas as we knew them, for now.
With the game on the line, instead of a big punt, we’re calling for a hail Mary play. For us to succeed in this years’ main fundraiser we are going to a virtual event, and we need your help!
You will be able to “attend” our main event in the comfort of your own home. Yes, tables will be sold and M Catering will be supplying the spread for a cocktail party for you and 9 or your nearest and dearest…socially distanced of course.
At the VIP $750 cocktail party option, you will get the cocktail food and drink, a goody selection of party favors for you and your guests, plates, utensils, napkins, the whole shebang. You will be able to participate in our behind-the-scenes online video program and bid on auction items. And, you will get a guest appearance from the education arm of Liberty Wildlife, a live wildlife ambassador in hand…special for you and your ten (or fewer) guests. There is a $500 cocktail party option that excludes the appearance of wildlife. There is also an individual $25 option if you are attending by yourself in the comfort of your home which allows you to participate in the auction and view the behind-the-scenes program.
I guess the upside of this is there is no bother to dress up. (Unless you want to participate in our virtual costume contest!) No driving across town far away from the comfort of home and no Lyft or Uber required. In fact, introverts will feel more comfortable than at any other event!
More information on this new and experimental event will be coming. But in the meantime, I am reaching out to each of you to see if you have an interest in helping. We are looking for quality auction items in these areas: Gardens, Ladies and Gents (jewelry, unique clothing, etc.), Kitchen and Cooking, Exercise, Camping, Healthy Living, and our ever popular Unique, Antique and Collectibles, as well as gift cards. Donate an auction item at: https://tinyurl.com/wfw20auction. Perhaps you know someone who might want to lend a hand, please let us know. We want this to be a fun and profitable event for the attendees and for Liberty Wildlife.
Remember, it is a fundraiser. It traditionally supplies a quarter of our income for the year and we need your help to make this virtual event a real success. As details are added you can follow us on our web page, or go to www.libertywildlife.org and choose Wishes for Wildlife under Events. Think about participating the night of, donating an item, and helping us spread the word.
I hope to “see” you all then. We are working very hard to make the best out of a “scary” situation.
This Week @ Liberty – August 11, 2020
Yes, it’s finally happened, we passed ten thousand intakes for the year. And the scary part is, we still have four and a half months to go this year! We’re in a quandary as to why we have gotten so many more animals this year, but in any case, we do what we do. Who would have guessed forty years ago that one day we would be able to accept and provide care for so many unfortunate injured and orphaned creatures that live in our state? I hear again and again from people dropping off birds and animals who say, “We’re so grateful that you’re here, doing this!” The volunteers are the real stars in all this. I’m just proud to have been a small part of the operation…
There are several members of rail birds (Rallidae) in North America, one of which is the Sora. One of these turned up recently and stayed a brief period of time at our facility. Once it was determined that it could be released, Susie set it down next to our wetlands pond which proved to be a very attractive spot as the little bird immediately began moving among the tall grasses that ring the water. It’s nice to have a spot so close by for waders to be released.
(Look for 1 picture.)
Another little “water type” bird that was brought to us was this little pied bill grebe. Grebes are not terribly common in Arizona, largely because they need a reasonable expanse of water to become airborne. Every once in a while, one comes in that someone found on the ground, usually a youngster that mistakenly landed away from water and is now stuck because he doesn’t have the required “runway” for take-off. If he’s lucky, like this little guy, he is found and brought in before he gets scraped up and abraded by incidental ground contact. All he required at this point was a ride to a body of water big enough for him to get up speed. Susie provided the transport and away he flew!
(Look for 1 picture)
While we’re on the subject of water fowl, another duck came in with fishing line involvement. I’m not sure if we will ever see the end of this problem, but we’ll keep trying to get the word out to all fishermen: dispose of line and gear in an appropriate receptacle and this type of injury will be eliminated! Along with this mallard, the duck named “Crazy Quackers” by the lady who found it limping at a nearby lake has recovered from her injuries and was returned to the lake. The lady herself received a broken ankle trying to rescue the duck and will probably be out of action a bit longer… And this little snowy egret came in with a leg injury and has been treated over the last few weeks. He now spends a few hours a day in the outside enclosure and will hopefully be released soon.
(Look for 3 photos)
We’ve taken in several nighthawk orphans this year, including a couple of eggs which subsequently hatched in our incubator. These are members of the nightjar family and can best be spotted at night flying through the light of streetlamp, gobbling insects in flight. They nest on the flat ground, often on gravel roof tops, and are frequently brought to us because they were found “on the ground” and were suspected of being injured. Young birds can be difficult to raise as they are usually fed by parents who regurgitate insects. The adults usually only eat in flight and are difficult to feed on the ground. Their beak is deceptive as it looks tiny at first, but their mouth opens almost the whole top of their head to facilitate scooping up flying insects in mid air. This gives them their nickname, “frogmouth.”
(Look for 4 photos)
Since raptors use their feet as an integral part of their hunting techniques, it is extremely important for them to have all of their legs and toes working as designed. We have a couple of Cooper’s hawks in our care with foot and leg injuries which must be repaired before they can go back to work. Often caused by collisions with things like windows etc., these predators are usually chasing other birds and frequently run into immoveable objects and are injured in the resulting deceleration. Our team of vets and techs get a lot of practice wrapping the feet of hawks!
(Look for 3 photos)
Last week a “wildlife service” brought us a juvenile bobcat they had trapped. His brother was also trapped but displayed no evidence of damage so he was released (despite being too young to be viable in the wild.) Naturally, the mother was not captured… This little one presented an eye injury of unknown causes. Unfortunately, Dr. Wyckoff said the eye must be removed which, due to the cat’s age, will make it non-releasable. We’ll keep you posted on subsequent developments.
(Look for 3 photos)
We don’t see many elf owls brought in, despite the fact that they are a very common species in Arizona. Being so small (one of the smallest in the world!), they are frequently mistaken for moths and probably don’t survive injury as well as their larger cousins. That’s why we were surprised when we got in two of them last week! The first was scooped out of a pool by a vigilant family (the Prosniers) who quickly brought him to Liberty. He appears to be doing well after his near-drowning experience. Remember: Watch your Owls around water!
Then a couple of days later, another one showed up after being found on the floor of a local bank. Both are doing fairly well and are currently being housed in the enclosure that was the home of our previous education elf owls. I put in several photos of these little guys as it’s difficult to appreciate how small they are in one shot. They are truly similar to a house sparrow dimensionally. Both of these patients are young, yearlings just hatched this spring.
(Look for 7 photos)
To round out the arrivals last week, a desert tortoise was found in someone’s yard. It seems a few of it’s scutes (the topmost layer of the shell plates) are missing. This doesn’t appear to be life threatening but he’s being kept under observation for now. Many times shell damage or deterioration is the result of a poor diet. And finally, three more almost newborn cottontail bunnies arrived from the west side. Nothing unusual, but too cute to ignore on TW@L!
(Look for 2 photos)
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Posted by Terry Stevens
Thank you LW staff and volunteers for such heroic efforts to save injured wildlife. Over 10k! Amazing.
I wonder if so many animals have been brought in this year because more people are released from work situations and find themselves able to spend more time outside. A silver lining to the pandemic for sure.