Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – August 2, 2022
August 2nd …midway through the monsoon season in the desert. Monsoons are so awaited by the inhabitants of this arid biome. The monsoons are the bringers of bounty. Monsoons recharge the precious commodity of water, the necessity of life…who in their right minds wouldn’t celebrate the arrival?
Simultaneously, at Liberty Wildlife we take a moment… (a month actually) to recharge our commodities. This time of the year we are bringing major projects to culmination. Orphan intakes are fusing with orphan releases. The nursery begins to thin out…at least for now…and the pre-flight enclosures burgeon with activity. Soon the releases come to a high point, and all of those second-chance babies get to go free to attain their best lives. Thanks to all of you who took the time to help provide a second chance by caring enough to give of yourselves and your resources to help them out. It couldn’t happen without you.
Also, during the time to recharge, we are completing our WingBeats magazine and Annual Report through which we announce our successes to an inquiring public. We are, as usual, proud of our accomplishments and hope that you recognize them too. Stop by and pick up a newsletter or check it out electronically on our website under our publications later in September.
The long-awaited documentary about our work, The Weight of a Feather, is winding up to completion. Its narration by the acclaimed Peter Coyote will be completed this week. The rough cut that I have seen so far, makes me more and more excited to share it with all of you. We plan to premier the film (most unusual in this day of instant streaming) at the Cine Capri at Tempe Marketplace the first week in October and then feature it in a theater there the following week. In November or December, the hope is for AZ PBS to pick it up. More details on this will follow. The Weight of a Feather…keep it on your radar.
As if that isn’t enough to add to our monsoon enrichment, we are finishing up the touches for our annual fall fundraiser, Wishes for Wildlife. Instead of a large gathering at a resort or on our campus, this year’s event will once more be a virtual auction experience. But with the added benefit of offering you a chance to host a small gathering at your home for your “gaggle” of families, friends, and neighbors. The experience includes online access to the virtual event for all your registered attendees, and an in-person cadre of educators and animal ambassadors who will come to your door for an up-close personal experience for all your guests! All for a modest sponsorship fee, of course. You will have a successful gathering while helping Liberty Wildlife gather funds for its coffers! And, once again, you can help. Watch for more information on this fun idea.
Lastly, please note that we will close our Open Hours for the month of August. It is a time to give our hard-working animal ambassadors time to rest and “vacation” for the year. The heat puts the kibosh on outside programming as it is too stressful on the critters and the handlers, not to mention the visitors…so everyone gets a little break. For those of us at Liberty Wildlife, it isn’t vacation time, but it is review, renew, re-do time. We have great plans for new programming and the addition of educational ambassadors. We are looking to grow our Teen Group and enrich that experience. We take the opportunity to clean up, spruce up, and renew the campus…yep, that means windows are in my future. If any of your volunteer groups are looking for a project, we need the cattails removed from the wetlands. What could be more fun than bobbing in the wetlands ridding it of the invasive cattails??? Just let us know if a project is in your future. We have them aplenty.
We look forward to cooler days, greener deserts, and replenished programming in September. Remember that our hospital DOES NOT CLOSE at this time and remains open all year with Intake Window hours 8 to 6. We look forward to seeing all of you at Open Hours in September, reading our new magazine, and attending our viewing of The Weight of a Feather in the fall.
Right now, we welcome the monsoons and all of the enrichment that occurs during this season. Let it rain, literally, figuratively, and metaphorically!
This Week @ Liberty – August 2, 2022
As we move into August, things are starting to wind down at Liberty Wildlife after a busy summer. The Orphan Care and Bunny Care departments are starting to have less and less patients. This time of year, we are averaging about 35 new patients a day. That’s a stark difference from our busiest month, May, when we averaged about 90 new patients a day.
Liberty Wildlife is closed to the public for the month of August. We take this time off from our regular open hours every year to conduct facility maintenance and make improvements for the fall. We can’t wait to share our new and improved programming with you in the fall!
Our intake window is till open every day from 8 AM to 6 PM, as is our Hotline which is available every day from 8 AM – 8:30 PM.
Inca doves are one of my favorites of the birds commonly found in the Valley. They are one of the smallest doves we have here in Arizona and are easily identified by tan feathers edged in dark brown creating a scaling pattern across their body.
All doves are seed eaters, so we feed them different food as babies than we feed insect eaters such as grackles, finches, etc. Rather than the typical soaked cat food, doves get tube-fed food until they are old enough to feed themselves. We feed them a high protein mixture called “Exact”, which has the consistency of pancake batter (but doesn’t taste nearly as good).
This past week we had a Gila monster come to us for care after being caught in netting under someone’s home. Gila monsters are one of three venomous lizards in the world. But, these slow-moving lizards pose minimal danger to the public. Gila monsters are somewhat of a rarity to see, as they spend most of their time underground in burrows. They typically only leave their burrows after heavy rains when there is plenty of food around.
Upon assessment by one of our veterinarians, Dr. Lamb, the Gila monster was found to have no significant injuries. It was thin and likely had been caught in the netting for an extended period of time. There were no fractures, and the blood work came back clear. The prognosis for this unique creature is good!
Animal Ambassador of the Week – Cassidy
Swainson’s Hawks are starting to pass through Arizona again on their way to South America for the winter! These hawks undertake an incredible migration twice a year. In the spring they fly up from South America (Argentina, Brazil, etc) to North America (Texas, Arizona, etc) where they spend the summer, then head back in the late summer or fall to South America. Swainson’s hawks are social raptors and can almost always be found in groups outside of breeding season. It isn’t uncommon to find “kettles” of them soaring the skies.
Cassidy came to us in 2020 as a first-year bird with a badly fractured wing. After a week in our Intensive Care Unit, Cassidy began having severe sloughing of the tissue, an indication that her injury resulted from electric shock. Eventually, the left-wing tip was amputated, limiting her full flight capabilities. She was classified as non-releasable and assigned to the education team.
Posted by Nathan Thrash
Public Outreach Coordinator