Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – February 26, 2018
As we move towards spring, you might be asking if this was the shortest winters on record despite the last few days that required coats and boots in the morning. We all know that there is probably a quick blast of cold still to come…it seems to always do that.
Our wildlife neighbors are looking at this time of year as the opportunity to procreate….babies, babies, babies! I have watched my resident pair of red-tailed hawks as they prepare for housekeeping and look forward to seeing the babies fledge later in the spring. What we know at Liberty Wildlife is that sometimes creatures and a caring public might need our help. And, we stand ready to oblige.
In getting prepared for the onslaught, we have a few things to do. We must staff our Orphan Care team. Let’s us know if you are interested in a shift. We must re-establish the Orphan Care room that has been dark and silent since last year (that will quickly change). Cages are set up, tables re-installed and supplies laid in. Brooders are readied for what the future brings in way of tiny orphans.
This is where the Annual Baby Bird Shower pops up. For many years now, we feather our nests with the generous donations from people like you who may or may not need us this year…or those of you who participate just because it feels so good to help.
Our annual Baby Bird Shower is this Saturday, March 3rd from 10 to 1 at our new facility, 2600 E. Elwood. It should be fun as always. There will be activities for the kids… activities include bird house decorating/paining, pine cone bird feeder construction, coloring/artsy projects, and face painting, to mention a few. Other activities include eagle feeding and opportunities to talk to educator/handlers about the wildlife they are displaying. Entry into the event is designed to really feather our nests. See the flyer attached for details and plan to join us for a very fun, informative, and feathery day (as in our nests).
And, I want to start promoting another very important event that will occur at the end of March on the 30th. It is the first in a series we are calling “Sippin’ the Spirit if the Southwest”. The first in the series is called Spirits. It showcases the soul of the southwest…a blend of wildlife, indigenous foods and spirits exploring the link with native people creating a tapestry that enfolds us all. See the flyer attached and plan for more information to follow.
You will surely want to be a part of this inaugural adventure and signature event. Stay tuned.
This Week @ Liberty – February 26, 2018
Spring – and Liberty’s insanely busy time of year – is rushing at us like Don Garlitz in a funny car (and if THAT doesn’t date me, I’m very lucky!) Another eagle came in, this one with apparent electrical injuries and our Med Services team is doing everything possible to give the bird a chance to recover. We’re starting to get in babies – hummers and bunnies mostly – but the rest are no doubt on the way soon. Let me put in my personal plug for the Baby Bird Shower on March 03. The OC staff will be assembling anon and the north end of the east wing will again resound with the peeps of a thousand baby birds waiting to be fed. Educational programs continue both at the facility and on the road, while the usual suspects (GHO’s, Kestrels) and other birds along with an unfortunate coyote all play a part in what makes Liberty Wildlife (NOT Barnum & Bailey) the Greatest Show on Earth!
Each Education volunteer must get “signed off” on each bird they will be handling in one of our programs. This shows they have the knowledge of that individual bird’s habits and history in order to safely and accurately present them to the public. It’s a milestone each volunteer must achieve and every bird added is an accomplishment. Jenn got signed off on Acoma last week and is looking forward to presenting him and adding to her list soon. Several volunteers and birds were on display at the Arizona Since Center last week for a program about sustainability.
(Look for 3 photos)
A couple of local mallard ducks have set up housekeeping in our wetlands feature of late. The two, a male and a female, have been cruising along each day, dabbling in the shallow parts, and walking along the wall and the sidewalk, leaving their own special calling cards to announce their presence with authority…
(Look for 2 photos)
A little female kestrel arrived last week presenting no serious injury except for the fact that someone had clipped her feathers! Pet birds are frequently clipped like this to prevent them from flying off but it’s both illegal and cruel to do this to a migratory raptor like this little falcon. The little girl will be with us for some time as she molts the damaged plumage and regrows some new feathers.
(Look for 2 photos)
The babies are starting to come in. These two tiny hummingbirds were among the first orphans, but they won’t be the last ones we’ll see. Again, people trimming their trees in the springtime are a huge problem for nesting birds.
This very pretty (very BLONDE) great horned owl was brought down by rangers from the Petrified Forest National Park. He presented a wing injury for which he is now in treatment. When he recovers, they will come back for him since they said he is a resident of the park and therefore a “resource” they want to keep!
The X-ray is of a roadrunner that came in recently with a slightly deformed wing (like Nemo’s fin in the movie!) He arrived infected with avian pox and was X-rayed which revealed the deformity, a smaller than normal wing, most likely caused by a genetic abnormality. He is now outside and doing fairly well.
(Look for 3 photos)
A male kestrel arrived recently with an injury to his wing. As kestrels have fairly small wings, it is sometimes difficult to “feel” the breaks, even with trained hands and fingers. This is where the new digital X-ray unit shines as the fractured bones are easily seen in the radiographs. In this way, the appropriate treatment can be prescribed.
(Look for 4 photos)
An unfortunate coyote was injured in a car collision last weekend and arrived with a broken leg. Luckily, Dr. Lamb was on hand to perform a surgical procedure whereby metal pins were installed in the broken bone to keep them in alignment for healing. Jan was on present to assist Dr. Lamb and from all indications, the surgery was a success. Now if he can just not chew on the pins while he heals, he should be ok!
(Look for 3 photos)
We got in another young bald eagle recently. This one had apparently received an electrical injury from landing on a power pole that had not been refitted with “eagle friendly” technology. His injuries are quite serious and his condition is still critical as we can never tell the full extent of the damage with electrical burns this early in the course of treatment. The burns involve his wing, leg, and foot, which means he will most likely at least lose one toe. But he seems to be a fighter and our Med Services team is top notch so there is always a chance that he’ll recover to some degree. The donated special application designed for burn victims looks like it has been effective so we’re still hopeful.
(look for 6 photos)
Posted by Terry Stevens