Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – December 08, 2020
‘Tis the season! Indeed it is…For me it is a season to express my gratitude to our very caring supporters and stewards of the planet…gratitude to all of you who donate time, bring in animals in need and who help support the mission of Liberty Wildlife. I can’t say it enough, without you we would be strapped.
Come Visit Us
I am hoping that over the holiday season that you can find a time to come to our campus and see the results of what all you have done. Many of the animals are already healed, grown up and released back into the wild. That is what it is all about! But we also share your values through our educational endeavors. Our wildlife ambassadors, non-releasable animals, are on display and with handlers to share their stories and interesting information about their species and their places in the natural world. It is fun. It is beautiful. It is safe. Perhaps you will have time over the holidays to be out of doors…we are your go to place! The weather is perfect. Come on down.
Go Shopping at Liberty
Maybe you still have some shopping to do. You could combine a shopping outing with an informational and nature outing. Now that is a great combo! We have potential gifts from sponsorships, memberships, and experiences for the person on your list who already has EVERYTHING! Or, if you have a need for “stuff” we can oblige. Our collectible 2020 Liberty Wildlife ornament could be front and center on your tree. There are t-shirts, stuffed owls and eagles, note cards, tote bags, insulated water bottles, jigsaw puzzles, books, hats, wildlife information cards, kids socks and jewelry.
We are open for public hours from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. So, along with a fun visit with the animals, an eagle feeding and duck experience on most Open Hours days, you can meander around the grounds, meet a number of native wildlife life, perhaps pet a goat, and DO YOUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING!
More Than Just a Good Read
On another note, if you have kids at home and are looking for some fun nature ideas to occupy them, check out our Nature News magazine Kids Stuff section. The issues are archived on our web page, or you could sign up to receive these emails monthly. It is good reading with fun activities. Don’t miss it another day.
No matter what…everyone at Liberty Wildlife wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday. Let’s make it a splendid ending to a very trying year.
This Week @ Liberty – December 08, 2020
As we work through the holidays, the intake rate is dropping but we are still expecting to hit the 12k mark sometime before Christmas. The next question would be, is this an aberration or the new norm? The best we can do is press on and keep doing what we do, providing the top quality care for all the sick, injured, and orphan birds and other animals that come through our door. Our volunteers always seem willing to do whatever needs to be done to make the operation work. I am continually impressed by the public taking the time to bring animals to us, frequently accompanied by donations to help cover the cost of their care. Despite the layoffs, the business failures, the wage cuts, and the overall economic gloomy outlook, almost everybody chips in a little something to help. I guess human kindness is not dead. Happy Holidays to all, whatever they may be!
As we noted when it happened, one of our irreplaceable volunteers, Sharon Sneva, left this Earth a few months ago. Recently a celebration of her life was held at Liberty Wildlife to commemorate her love of animals and her dedication to the organization she worked so hard to support. Many members of her family and friends from Liberty attended. A Native American ceremony was conducted by our own Robert Mesta and feathers from a Eurasian Eagle Owl (non-native) were given to all who attended before a rehabilitated red-tail hawk was released by her grandson Jake in her honor. Fairefarren, Sharon. You’ll always be with us…
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Even in the “COVID 19” world, Liberty is still able to impart a love and appreciation of nature and wildlife to kids of Arizona. A couple of weeks ago, a number of Field Trips were held hosting a number of kids from the area, giving them a chance to experience nature in general, and some of our wildlife ambassadors in particular. They got to meet some birds in person, tour the interactive classroom, and learn about observing and identifying animals in the wild using binoculars. Education never stops in life, or at Liberty Wildlife.
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With all the turmoil caused by the pandemic, one bright spot has been the Verde Canyon Railroad. In spite of closures, restrictions, and mask requirements, the wonderful people at the VCRR have remained a supporter of Liberty Wildlife every month. We still set up our displays and bring some of our birds up to Clarkdale to let the passengers get a first hand look at some of what they might get to see while riding the train along the river. Volunteer Mare Van Dyke also instructs the public on the operation and function of the Non-Eagle Feather Repository which everyone always finds fascinating. If you haven’t taken this ride, you’re missing a true Arizona treasure!
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Once in a while, we see the arrival of some not-quite-so-usual animals at Liberty. OK, the screech owl is fairly common, but he was too cute to ignore in this update. But the belted kingfisher definitely caused a small stir as they are fairly rare visitors to the intake window. (Although we did have a couple living near the facility when we first opened up in 2016…!) Most of the lagomorphs we see are of the cottontail variety, so when a true jackrabbit comes in, it was a small surprise. It seems as though the people who found it a a baby were trying to raise it – until they decided that wasn’t a good idea and brought him to us. And as always, red-tail hawks are extremely common through out most of North America, but they still get first class medical care from the Med Services team.
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A new California condor came in recently. Unlike most, this one did not present symptoms of lead poisoning. He was an early fledge bird, still being fed by his parents, but when the people at the Peregrine Fund decided he should have been flying short hops but wasn’t, they moved in. It appears he had somehow injured his wing and it wasn’t improving so they brought him to Liberty for treatment. His elbow has some fairly serious damage, though the severity has yet to be determined. It has been decided that he needs an MRI of his wing and we are still trying to find a facility that will do that job affordably. He remains with us for the foreseeable future. Keep your fingers crossed for this kid…
(Look for 7 photos)
Posted by Terry Stevens