Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – January 17, 2023
Poetry in Nature
For those of you who keep up with our public calendar you know that on the second Saturday of each month we provide a free “nature walk” led by Brian Miller, City of Phoenix Park Ranger, Robert Mesta, Liberty Wildlife ornithologist. We traditionally walk down the “Peace Trail” – a bike and pedestrian pathway just outside our back gate – and explore the flora and fauna while discussing other interesting things about the Rio Salado. Every walk is different depending on what is ‘trending’ along the way, but every walk is equally fun…at least they are for me. And I learn something new every time. Perfect!
This past Saturday was no exception. About 15 people showed up for the 8:30 walk, and the weather was delightful, slightly overcast and just a little nippy. Ranger Brian decided to try something new this time and introduced Rio Salado Reflections…an exercise (totally optional for each participant) designed to create a poetic reflection of the Rio Salado using what was observed in a format called a cinquain.
Lest you start to panic with flashbacks to 5th grade English class…this was a fun activity and easily explained. Not surprisingly participants were up for the ‘challenge’ and showed how much they got out of the hike, nature, and the exercise…THIS WAS NOT A TEST!
I got permission to share some of them with you so here goes:
From Manny B.
Rippling, shining, sheltering,
Waiting for the rain.
From Johnathon W. or another one from Johnathon W.
Fragrant, green, Smooth, colorful,
Sprawling, concentric, rising, Breaking, rolling, shifting,
Smelling like the rain. Filling the river bottom.
Building, hiding, chewing,
Reshapes the environment around it.
Hiding under creosote.
Swooping, diving, maneuvering,
Giving us a spectacle.
Restoring, protecting, guarding,
Native habitat’s best friend.
This reconfirms my belief that nature is a great source for awakening our senses and our creative essences…essences that we all have, and all too often forget about.
Here’s to re-engaging with the natural world…and for joining us on our future nature walks. We have plans for extending our adventures to other places, other times, other subjects…stay tuned!
This Week @ Liberty – January 17, 2023
We’re in our third week of 2023 and we’ve already managed to make it to intake 100! I can’t say I’m surprised; with the amount of animals brought in over the past two years, having over 10,000 animals a year is a likely scenario moving forward. Not that we mind…that’s why we’re here, isn’t it?
From a Turkey Vulture to a baby Pigeon, we’re used to seeing all walks of life come through our intake window. And, with baby season coming up soon, we know there’ll be plenty more to come in the upcoming months.
As always, we’re excited for the challenge. For the new stories that come with each animal and their journey from start to finish. 2023 is shaping out to be a wonderful year; I’ve got a good feeling about it, I hope you do, too!
National Bird Day
Started by the Avian Welfare Coalition in 2000, National Bird Day is a yearly ‘holiday’ happening on January 5th. Its goal is to spread awareness of the ethical treatment of captive parrots and other birds, and to serve as an educational resource for those with parrots, lawmakers and the general public. And while this may seem a little at odds with what we do here at Liberty Wildlife, if you break down the message, it’s still the same:
Wildlife deserves our respect, understanding, and consideration. Whether that be a parrot born in captivity or a wild hawk with injuries which prevent its release, they deserve to be treated as fairly as the cats and dogs we’ve taken into our homes just the same.
Laura and I were lucky enough to be invited to Arizona Mid-Day on Channel 12 to talk about this (let me clarify, Laura did all the work, I stood there with Skye!). Laura did an amazing job of talking not only about Liberty Wildlife and our mission, but the importance of National Bird Day and what it means to be a responsible bird owner.
If you’re someone who is looking to have a pet bird, they can be loads of fun! But, like the Avian Welfare Coalition discusses, there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. If you’re new to them, research, research, research. And, if you find a wild bird who needs help, give us a call so we can come get them and get them the care they need.
Find out more about the Avian Welfare Coalition here.
Check out our appearance at Arizona Midday here.
Remember our Pelican friends who dined and hung with us for a few months in 2022 before being shipped back to CA? Well, we have another one who’s decided to join us, though with a vastly different tale than his brethren.
Intake 8 for 2023 is an American Pelican who was found in Gilbert, AZ on January 2nd with a fishing lure and hooks stuck in his throat. It caused a large laceration in his neck and esophagus; enough that surgery was needed to repair both.
With the help of Dr. Attarian and volunteers, the pelican was placed under anesthesia to clean the wound, debride (remove dead skin/etc.) the outer surface, and suture not only the skin but the esophagus as well. Honey was placed (and is continued to be placed daily) over the wound, and wrapped, to help granulate in new skin, and assist in faster healing.
Needless to say, the pelican did great, and continues to be as rambunctious as ever. He managed a quick escape to stretch those wings the other day, but was placed back in his enclosure for safe keeping for the remainder of the day.
As of now, his wounds are getting rechecked weekly by our volunteer Veterinarians, and our volunteers are doing a wonderful job of keeping him fed while he heals. Like all wounds of this caliber, all it takes is time and patience, but I think this big guy will do just fine.
Trash, Trash, Go Away
The world has a funny way of humbling us; sometimes it’s small and simple, and sometimes it’s big and loud. For this, it seems a small and simple thing, but I promise it’s the latter.
On the last blog, I discussed ways to help wildlife in 2023. The day before, our new friend the American White Pelican came in with fishing hooks and line in his throat. And just about that time, one of our volunteers found what was left of a balloon, and the string it’s still connected to, right outside Millie and Marble’s (California Condors) enclosure.
This is the only picture I’ll be showing in this section; it’s powerful enough I don’t think I need anymore. Because this, right here, is exactly why we need to be aware of our footprint. This, right here, is why it’s so important to recognize how one little thing can have a potentially massive impact on another. Because the reality is, if this hadn’t made its way here, if it’d found its place somewhere else, it might have been wrapped around an animal’s throating or a leg, not found in some rocks on the ground.
Mother Theresa once said “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” This is true in all aspects of life, but especially here. You may not see the impact firsthand of these little changes you make; you may not even know what it might do for the future. I promise, somewhere, it will, and that alone makes those little ripples worth all the trouble.
Despite the cold and rainy weather, we’ve managed to stay busy (as always!). So without further ado, here are this week’s notable mentions!
This is why we can’t have nice things (1 picture)
Riley and Doris practice with Skye (Red-Tailed Hawk) (1 picture)
A children’s birthday party on-site had quite a star show up! (1 picture)
A Snowy Egret makes a quick appearance at the wetlands (1 picture)
Cheese and Quackers get some ‘physical therapy’ inside (1 picture)
Emmitt (Red-Tailed Hawk) tells everyone to stay away from the lure and his food (1 picture)
Rio (Zone-Tailed Hawk) hangs in the rain and guards his mouse (1 picture)
Duck squad goals (1 picture) (by Alex)
Remember, even on our not so sunny days we are open to the public! Come check us out on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-1pm and see all your favorite animal ambassadors!
Until next time!
Posted by Acacia Parker
Public Outreach Coordinator