Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – November 7, 2023
Thankful for This Busy Time of Year
As I think about the approach of Thanksgiving, I realize how much I have to be thankful for. This past weekend highlighted some of the many things that come to mind.
Our Condors & Cocktails event on Saturday evening was hugely successful. To begin with, the night was resplendent. It finally cooled off to a comfortable temp…very Goldilocks…not too hot and not too cool…just perfect…for me anyway. The campus looked lovely. The trees were light lined and the candle-lite tables sparkled.
The tunes from Jeordie and her band are always a big hit around here, and it appears to be true with our guests, as well. She was terrific and along with that she is also a genuinely nice person. It is said that competing with the animals for attention of guests is not easy, but she certainly holds her own when she is here.
Several annual members of Liberty Wildlife took advantage of the opportunity to attend the event 30 minutes earlier than the rest, and were able to see more of the campus and a little “behind the scenes” activity. That should give the rest of you something to think about if purchasing a membership is on your “to do” list. This was simply not your ordinary twilight event. It is unique, includes a bit of wildlife education, and is very fun. That seems to check all of the boxes. Keep an eye out for the next event!
And, the competition for the weekend excitement including the Rocky Mountain Emmy® Awards, which I had to miss because of the event on campus…decisions, decisions, decisions. The documentary about our work, “The Weight of A Feather”, was well represented by the remarkable folks at Quantum Leap Productions. And, it was a very good thing they were there to carry off all of the awards they generated from their memorable work.
The Emmy® for the category Environment/Science Long Form Content went to “The Weight of a Feather” by Quantum Leap Productions: Kristin Atwell Ford, Producer, Bill Davis, Producer, Misty Wilson, Editor. A second Emmy® went for Editor Long Form to Misty Wilson and Bill Davis. The Graphic Arts Emmy® went to Misty Wilson and the Emmy® for Writing Long Form went to Kristin Atwell Ford. And from my perspective, it appears they just cleaned up…I am so proud and happy that they chose to tell our story.
Also this weekend, the National Charity League held their annual tea at Paradise Valley Country Club, and they invited representatives from Liberty Wildlife to be the keynote speaker. The Sunday afternoon event also included wildlife ambassadors, a Non-Eagle Feather Repository booth and a glimpse at our film. I had an opportunity to remind all of the young women there how important it is to find a passion in their work or volunteering efforts. And Robert Mesta was given an opportunity to promote the values and successes of the program he created at Liberty Wildlife, the Non-Eagle Feather Repository. It was fun and hopefully full of thought-provoking ideas for these young women’s futures.
Finally, I was able attend another private party planned as part of the annual Wishes for Wildlife celebration. The party was a time to appreciate the company of all neighbors, including the beauty and benefits of our wildlife neighbors. This is a great group, who gather annually and are supporting our cause, with our wildlife ambassadors on hand to educate and entertain the residents.
Whew. Just another typical weekend in the busy life of Liberty Wildlife. A weekend like this is one of the many things that I feel thankful about as we near Thanksgiving Day, and it will probably be easy for me to come up with even more examples in the next couple weeks. Stay tuned.
This Week @ Liberty – November 7, 2023
What. A. Week(end)! October is done, Halloween is out, and we’re well on our way to Thanksgiving in a few weeks. Between Cocktails & Condors on Saturday and a private event on Sunday (yes, you can rent our space for your event, too!), we had a jam packed two days full of great conversation, music, and animal encounters. Lots of people came to enjoy the atmosphere on a gorgeous November afternoon; not only did they get to see our resident California Condors, Millie and Marble, they also got to take a look at all of our other permanent residents here on site.
If you missed an event, don’t fret; there’s always our normal open hours (Wed, Sat, Sun, from 10am-1pm) and there will be more special events, too…in the upcoming year, of course (which, as it were, is right around the corner)!
Small Fry: A Toad Story
One of the many things Dr. Goe, Dr. Bautista and their team of Midwestern students are doing here at Liberty Wildlife are wellness checks. This can include a number of things, like spa days (where talons and beaks get trimmed), giving vaccines, and checks to ensure our animals are at their ideal weight (because unlike in the wild, our charges never miss a meal!). Over the past few weeks, the team has been hard at work checking our animal ambassadors to ensure everyone is looking good…
Our Sonoran Desert Toads—aptly named Small Fry and Big Mac—are no different. The team grabbed Small Fry last week for a quick wellness check, which included an ultrasound (which Dr. Goe was able to bring in from Midwestern University). Together, the team was able to confirm our little friend is as healthy as she can be…but, NOT in fact a girl at all! Small Fry is a male, while our resident Big Mac is female!
Sonoran Desert Toads are one of the largest toads in North America. They tend to gravitate toward areas heavy with creosote bush and grasslands, and can be found from Central Arizona to Southwestern New Mexico. This habitat gives them plenty of insects to eat, although some of the larger ones can go for small vertebrates and even other small toads! Here at Liberty, Small Fry and Big Mac get a variety of insects in their diet, though roaches tend to be their favorite.
For now, these toads get to hang in our Interactive Room and wow the public with their greenish skin and white tubercles (known as warts) on their jaws. They even get to come out and say “hi” sometimes, but beware—their skin is extremely sensitive, so you don’t want to touch!
The Time for Off-Site Events
Let’s be honest, it’s still crazy hot…yet, despite it, we’re all still coming out of our caves (as it were) to take advantage of the slightly cooled off weather. And with the seasonal changes, we seeing an abundance of field trips on-site, and plenty of off-site events, too. From weddings to corporate events, our staff and volunteers alike are busy meeting people—with birds and reptiles on hand—to teach people about our native Arizona wildlife (request a program here).
One such event was done at The Farm @ South Mountain. We were one of many booths for people to choose from, and we had plenty of eager ears and eyes keen to see who we’d brought. Quannah the Turkey Vulture, Henry the Barn Owl, Bodhi the Harris’s Hawk and Rosy the Gila Monster all came out to say hello and show off their beautiful feathers (and scales) to the public.
Needless to say, we love all the attention our permanent residents get. It’s a wonderful feeling to see people get excited about our wildlife, and how they might help to get them safe. Of course, you don’t have to wait for a corporate event to see us; we’re open to the public Wednesday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10am-1pm. Come down and say hi! I promise it’ll be worth the drive!
It’s that time again where I get to show off the randomness that is my iPhone and all that it entails. As always, I appreciate you making it to this point; I wouldn’t be here without all of you and your awesome support!
Without further ado:
- Love notes from coworkers are the best <3 (1 picture)
- A teeny tiny Sulcata Tortoise takes a quick soak (1 picture)
- A few pictures from Condors & Cocktails (lots of pictures!)
- New signs (same info, just new!) are up on the Education Trail for your reading pleasure (1 picture)
- Seems odd to post a picture of myself, but I did indeed dress up for Halloween (I rocked my Gryffindor colors, thank you very much!) Henry the Barn Owl was adorable as always and posed wonderfully for the picture (1 picture)
- A first-year juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk shows her face in triage (look at those wings!) (2 pictures)
Remember Public Hours are Wednesday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s from 10am-1pm; hope to see you soon!
Until next time!
PS: Memberships start at just $30 per year…they get you all kinds of goodies AND you get discounts on events; become a member today!
Posted by Acacia Parker
Public Outreach Coordinator