Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – October 08, 2019
Things are getting pretty busy for Liberty Wildlife this month. Each department has big things happening. We keep asking, “When is it going to slow down?” Of course, the answer is, “Never”. And, that is all good. Just when we applaud the end of our orphan season, a late baby comes in or the flurry of releases keeps things popping.
The Non-Eagle Feather Repository is having another moment with the upcoming parade for Native American Connections. Our own Aurora, the bald eagle, will be the 2019 Parade Grand Marshal, representing NEFR. The theme of the parade is “Birds of Flight, Grateful for Ceremonial Feathers”. The parade is Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. starting at 3rd St. and Oak to Indian School Road. An Open House follows at the Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center from 11:00 a. m. to 3:00 p.m. Liberty Wildlife will also have raptors and handlers there on display along with the parade riding eagle! It would be terrific to see you there in support of Native American Connections and Liberty Wildlife’s Non-Eagle Feather Repository.
Along with the parade, I am spreading the word about another big event we are hosting on our campus. Our annual fundraiser auction and dinner, Wishes for Wildlife is right around the corner. It should be a lot of fun, with great auction items including garden items, enticing trips and travel… stateside and one to Africa. There are experiences, sports, and our famous Unique, Antique and Collectible items.
The funds from this event are used to further our mission, to care for and release the 9500+ individual creatures that you bring to us. It supplies funding for our educational efforts both on site and in the community…over 1000 programs last year. Our Non Eagle Feather Repository works toward sustaining native wild birds by providing a legal means to Native Americans who use them in regalia and ceremonial practices….sustaining a culture while daunting a black market that takes advantage of the protection of these birds.
We are indeed busy at Liberty Wildlife and need your support to continue our efforts. Coming to our annual fund raiser would be a wonderful way for you to have a good time, perhaps win some awesome prizes in the auction and have a Halloweeny good time.
See the two announcements of these events.
This Week @ Liberty – October 08, 2019
So even though it’s going to get really close to triple digits on the thermometer today, the seasons actually HAVE changed. The intake rate had dropped to seasonal lows (maybe we WON’T hit 10K this year!) and everyone is heaving a collective sigh of relief that another busy season is over and we survived – mostly. But although the heavy season for intakes might be passed, we never really run out of things to do to make Liberty run even better in the future. It’s time to jump full force into prepping for Wishes for Wildlife 2019 and then looking back on what worked this year and maybe what didn’t work so well and adjusting that.
“Hope is a good thing…maybe the best thing!” Just as a 215ft sequoia that will live 1,200 years begins as a tiny seedling, once in a while things happened that give me hope for the future, and the courage to go on in the face of political upheaval, rising intolerance, and climate change. Check out the story of Nicholas and the bird he saved below…
As the season winds down, a lot of the animals that we helped over the summer are getting released. Adult territorial birds are usually returned to the areas from which they came. Orphans and non-territorial species can be released in other places, chosen for a characteristic lack of predators and a reliable supply of food (prey). We try to avoid returning injured animals to places where they will again face similar dangers to those that brought them to us in the first place. Releasing birds is one of the perks of being a Liberty Wildlife volunteer!
Look for 3 photos
Last week, a woman and her young son arrived at our window with a Cooper’s hawk they had rescued. The bird was being harassed by dogs and could not seem to gain altitude in his efforts to escape. Our Hotline advised them to bring the hawk in which they did. As they started to leave after we logged in the bird (which they had named “Uno”), the lady’s son, Nicholas, returned to the window with a $20.00 bill. It had been given to him by his grandmother for Halloween and he decided he wanted to donate it for the bird’s care. I was deeply touched by his generosity and told Megan about the gift. We sent his family some passes to come back during our public hours. His mom said he was thrilled to be able to come and visit “Uno’s hospital.” So there really is hope for the future!
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A young turkey vulture came in recently with injuries from an unknown source. We don’t get win a lot of turkey vultures, maybe because people don’t call us when they find them, or maybe they are secretive and hide when they are injured. The bottom line is, when one comes in, they are usually treated as minor celebrities. Then again, some of our volunteers have a soft spot in their hearts for these airborne scavengers. The ancient Greeks defined beauty as “Fitness for function” and by that definition, turkey vultures are drop-dead gorgeous!
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Another new veterinarian is now volunteering at Liberty Wildlife. Dr. Allison Reeder is now among our growing staff of Tuesday afternoon, “Vet Night” attendees, offering her services to the animals we have taken in. Welcome to the Liberty Wildlife Team, Dr. Reeder!
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We don’t have a northern harrier on our Education team, as we don’t get that many in. Harriers are unique in many respects: they hunt by flying low over the ground watching – and listening – for their prey, they have a facial disc that is more normal for owls, and they are one of only a couple of diurnal raptors that are sufficiently sexually dimorphic to be identified as to gender by sight alone – once they are mature. We recently took in two of these interesting birds, one of which is still in our care. I’ll try to update as information comes available.
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A cute little grebe came in last week with a problem all too common with water birds: fishing gear attachment! Most of the time, it involves the monofilament line that becomes wrapt around legs and wings. In this case, the multi-hooked plug got impaled in the bird’s beak and had to be removed. this is almost always caused by people fishing and leaving lost or snagged equipment to rust in or near the water’s edge. It then gets stuck through feet, beaks, skin, and when ingested, mouths and throats of birds and other aquatic animals.
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The baby season normally runs from around late February until sometime in July or August. Bunnies are the expected exceptions and rabbits breed, well, like rabbits! It’s not unusual to see a baby bunny come in almost any time of the year. But last week, a baby barn owl showed up. He was either very late – or very early! Or, the effects of climate change are more far-reaching than anyone imagined, disrupting the breeding cycles of animals everywhere.
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Posted by Terry Stevens
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