Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – August 30, 2022
It is a crisp fall evening, October in Phoenix, Arizona. Across the Valley, there are gatherings of friends, new and old. As a matter of fact, one of the gatherings is occurring at my home, and the guests are a blending of two groups of old friends. The ambiance is simple… but invasive. The patios are festooned, and the refreshments were beautifully laid out inside. Simple, but elegant… PIZZAs and charcuterie boards, a variety of beverages… all simple, all good, all festive… all what I like best about a party with friends–with very little work attached. A party with lots of fun and not a lot of fuss….Perfect!
At some point in the magical evening, the doorbell rings and voila! Liberty Wildlife’s award winning educational volunteers arrive, each with a wildlife ambassador in tow. It is pretty certain that many, if not most, of the people attending have never been so close to a great horned owl, a red tailed hawk, a turkey vulture, or a peregrine falcon… Maybe a crested caracara makes her way to another host’s patio…OR…maybe a bald or golden eagle is the icing on the cake. These trained ambassadors and their educational handlers give a thrilling experience, answer questions, perhaps provide a photo opportunity for guests…who knows???
And, imagine the luck! The stars just have aligned, because there may be an opportunity to participate in the release of an owl into the area from which it came…maybe, maybe, maybe….ONCE IN A LIFETIME experience.
This is the unique model for fundraising that Liberty Wildlife grew from the ashes of the pandemic. Determined to carry on our tradition of a fall “party” for funding our mission, we pivoted two years ago to create a unique, virtual, remote event. And we’re sticking with this format again this fall for our annual Wishes for Wildlife fundraiser on October 22nd.
You too can host a party, like the one I did last year, and described above. Host any friends or neighbors who might enjoy the evening. And we’ll provide the entertainment and wildlife education program. In addition to the in person team coming to your home, there will be a short online, virtual program.
On the big screen, in the living room, or even on a laptop or cell phone, you and your guests can enjoy short “behind the scenes” videos that take you to see intimately the important work done at Liberty Wildlife. You’ll be introduced to a new educational ambassador… watch the happenings in the daily care as animals are brought in for rehabilitation… and see an animal returned to the wild, back to the rip in the tapestry from which it was temporarily removed…and now returned back home!
Let’s not forget that you and your guests can all participate via smart phone in our one-of-a-kind silent auction with hundreds of unique items…trips to wondrous places, antiques and one of a kind treasures, services, jewelry, sporting events…something for everyone…and you can bid on line vying against others across the country…how fun is that?
Think about it…have you brought animals in for Liberty Wildlife to care for; have you visited our campus; have you participated in our educational programs or tours? Maybe now is the time to let us know how much you care. Schedule a gathering at your home, watch our virtual program, bid on the unique Wishes for Wildlife auction…AND, host the party of your life at the same time.
For more information on how you can turn your patio or yard into an unforgettable experience for you, your neighbors, your best buds…or your favorite gaggle, check out our event website and register today!
I look forward to seeing all of you virtually and experiencing your participation and support of Liberty Wildlife…for real!
This Week @ Liberty – August 30, 2022
When I first came to Liberty in January of 2019 as an intern, I knew close to nothing about birds. I knew they flew (sometimes), but that was about the extent of my knowledge. I’d always been interested in animals (mostly mammals) and the ecosystem but didn’t have the math skills to make it through a biology or ecology degree. I didn’t know there was a difference between hawks and falcons, what a coati or ringtail were, or the vital importance of vultures, to name a few.
The incredible thing about Liberty Wildlife; whether you’re a donor, someone who dropped off an animal at the window, a visitor, or a volunteer; is that there is an incredible wealth of knowledge this place makes available to you. My friends and family now know me as a “bird person”, who gets excited when I can identify a new bird I haven’t seen before.
But it’s more than just the opportunity to learn. When you start to get more involved at Liberty Wildlife, you’ll see that it’s a community of like-minded people, eager to learn and passionate about the environment.
It’s been a short ride for me on the TW@L blog. This time next week, I’ll be hurdling toward Dallas, Texas with all my belonging in tow. I’m sad to leave Liberty, but excited for a change in scenery and new opportunities. Acacia P, a new staff member and very talented writer, will be taking over the blog for me.
Thank you to everyone reading this blog, the staff, the volunteers, and everyone else who has made my time at Liberty unforgettable. May we meet again one of these days!
Gila Monster Update
A few weeks ago we talked about a Gila monster that was brought to us after being caught in netting under a house for an unknown period of time. Since then, it was found that he didn’t have use of one of his arms, and the tissue was dead. This past Saturday, Dr. Lamb amputated the front left arm to give it a better chance of survival.
We are unsure yet if the Gila monster will be releasable. If it is not, we will transfer it to a sanctuary where it can live out the rest of its days.
Animal Ambassador of the Week – Poppy
Poppy came to us in February of 2022 as a juvenile. Poppy was found by a member of the public as a baby, and raised until she got to be too big. As a result, poppy is imprinted and non-releasable. Similar to Groot, she is inside during the summer to enjoy the A/C, and will be moved back outside once the temperatures cool off.
Virginia Opossums are not native to Arizona, but they do sometimes make their way here as hangers-on via cars, trucks, or trains. They are the only marsupial found in North America. They are sometimes seen as “dirty” animals, but they are actually very beneficial to have around. Their core body temperature is kept low, making it hard for the rabies virus to take hold, so they are not a high rabies vector species. Possums are opportunistic scavengers, and typically eat fruits, grains, and insects with the occasional fish, bird, or small mammal if they have access. They can also eat up to 5,000 ticks a year!
Posted by Nathan Thrash
Public Outreach Coordinator