Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – Jan 27, 2019
I settle in my seat at the Mesa Arts Center and listen for the introductory music announcing Nat Geo Live. I have been looking forward to this live experience since the last one…one of a series of programs that is sure to please. Blue Cross Blue Shield has presented this powerful series for years now, and I have been fortunate to attend many of them. The series is Nat Geo Live. It is presented at the Mesa Center for the Arts which is also a must see if you haven’t been already.
The Nat Geo Live series presents the zenith in science (earth and space and the denizens), mixed with a splash of adventure and a healthy serving of sheer delight. Each one I go to is my favorite one ever….at least until I see the next one. Presented on the big screen, the horror, I mean thrill, of seeing scuba divers shinny through tight little tunnels with their tanks scraping the oppressive tunnel walls on their ways to an underground jewel of a cave…My heart starts pounding just remembering the scene. And, I will add, that will be the closest I get to that kind of adventure. Or, it could be a lovely female ex-Tampa Bay cheerleader/explorer in pink boots and a machete who finds herself sleeping on the sheer cliff in a sling-like platform or visiting a tribal chief in her little black dress….however, don’t let this description plant any seeds that she is a sissy…she isn’t! Then there is Joel Sartore, and his PhotoArk series with his heart stopping photos and stories. He even came to Liberty Wildlife to photograph some of our animals for his life’s work. Read more about it…It is fascinating. I am sitting in my office looking at the signed photo collage he sent to some of us for helping him. Now that is an unexpected treat!
Last week’s program was no exception. My Wild Life, presented by a Brit, Bertie Gregory, was all time favorite…heard that before, right? What he did, however, was reinforce the mission of Liberty Wildlife, and that is always reassuring to hear on the big stage, by a real celeb.
I loved Bertie’s presentation. He was funny, poignant, and right on. He championed among other things urban wildlife and brought an awareness through his stories and photos. He, basically, made the case for looking around even the busiest cities to find that stunning examples of wildlife abounds. One of his focuses was on the peregrine falcon with its amazing adaptations that make city living quite comfortable….nice for them…nice for us…maybe not so nice for the downtown pigeon. It is all about keeping the balance. He photographed foxes making homes in landscape closely aligned with humans. Everyone benefits. And, of course, with a closer look at the hood, there is way more.
As with most wildlife photographers, much of his work encompassed the charismatic bears, wolves and eagles. As with most of these apex species, not all of the stories are happy, but they do provide a springboard for discussions about how valuable, beautiful, and connected wildlife is to the survival of all…including, you know who.
If you haven’t been enjoying this wonderful series, perhaps now is a good time to start. National Geographic Live! At the Mesa Arts Center in the Ikeda Theater. You are pretty much guaranteed to gasp, laugh, cry, shout and ponder. What could be better?
This Week @ Liberty – Jan 27, 2019
The rate of arrivals at the intake window is still slow, but that is to be expected in January. Within a few weeks, people bringing in injured and orphaned birds and animals will be backing up on the sidewalk. It is difficult to comprehend the level of effort expended by the volunteer veterinarians and technicians who work tirelessly to provide the very best medical care for whatever comes to us for help. Sparrow or eagle, squirrel or coyote, nothing is turned away out of hand. Most people wouldn’t believe the dedication of our Medical Services team who use all of our state-of-the-art equipment in often extraordinary efforts to save the injured wildlife that finds its way to our door. Sadly some won’t survive, but even then, they depart from a warm, quiet place among people that care for their comfort until all possible measures to help them have been exhausted.
Vet Night last week had Dr. Orr and her helpers providing care for several recent intakes. An injured osprey was examined and then fed, along with a couple of great horned owls and a red tailed hawk with an injured wing. Ospreys don’t eat well in captivity so one of the main problems with rehabbing them is keeping them fed. Kathy Edwards did a great job getting fish in this one’s mouth.
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We get a lot of kestrels over the period of a year. It’s one of the few birds we take in that we can accurately fill in the “sex” box on the intake form! No matter what the size of the patient, nearly every one that arrives gets fluids, and kestrels get treated for trichomoniasis pretty much as a rule.
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A lot of folks don’t realize that we have so many species of owls in Arizona (13 to be close) and most of them are small. this little western screech owl came in unknown injuries and was treated with the same type of care an eagle or a condor would get – including receiving fluids on first arrival. At this posting, he is still in the ICU but seems to be doing well.
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Continuing with the theme of “small owls in Arizona”, this little saw whet owl came in recently presenting some leg problems. These little birds are notoriously difficult to rehabilitate but this one seems to be doing well in our care. We’ll try to keep you posted on his progress.
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Last week I drove to Arizona City to rescue a golden eagle that had been in a man’s yard for a day. We got back to Liberty around 7PM and Alex weighed him (only 4 1/2 lbs), gave him fluids and drew blood for testing. He was extremely thin so food was left in his enclosure and he was allowed to rest overnight to relieve stress. The next morning, Dr. Lamb received his blood tests and decided that a blood transfusion was required. We had another golden in our care from whom we harvested the donor blood. The procedure was accomplish by mid morning but sadly the eagle peacefully died soon after. A necropsy was subsequently performed and it was determined he had a head injury of unknown origin that damaged his brain. This coupled with his anemia and emaciation meant any long term rehabilitation would not have been successful, despite the heroic efforts by our medical team.
Our thanks to Mr. Higgins for making the call to the hotline and standing watch until I arrived.
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In keeping with Liberty Wildlife’s mission to further sustainability, one of our volunteers – Aurora Beans – has established an apiary at our facility. As she puts it, ” One of the main benefits of keeping bees (besides the yummy honey) is the pollination services they provide. Honey and wild bees pollinate 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of native plants. So by keeping them healthy and happy, Liberty is now able to contribute to the conservation of Arizona native plants, as well as food crops we humans like to eat and use!”
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We are currently working with the Phoenix Parks Dept. to create an Interpretive Trail between our property and the river. Our own Laura Hacket writes: “Park Ranger Brian Miller is helping Liberty Wildlife create our interpretive trail down to the Rio Salado. Friday January 25th was our first of many work days to get it completed. The team who showed up for this volunteer effort had so much energy and were able to get an amazing start for us! They will be continuing Friday Feb 1 starting at 8am and welcome others to come join us!!! Volunteers get free passes to Liberty Wildlife’s Open Hours!!@”
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Posted by Terry Stevens