Hoots, Howls, and Hollers – September 28, 2021
So, this is the last blog of September. How did that happen? Added to that phenomena is the fact that at my house it rained all day yesterday…yep, all day. It was glorious.
To the good things happen list, let’s add the Eagle Scout project that occurred on Saturday. Thirty or so eager young people and several adults representing Troop 316 showed up bright and early with plans and equipment to paint a hawk quadrant of enclosures. The harsh sun and elements had taken a toll on this part of the education trail, and as we prepare to re-open with our October programming, it was a good time to attack this issue.
The hawks in those enclosures were brought in for two days as the activity could have been unnerving, and they were returned to freshened up digs! Preparations were also made to install new species identification signs and new animal names with accompanying QR codes. The codes are direct links to that particular animal’s personal history with us, and its natural history of that species. The information is good, simple to understand, consistent for each species and will also be translated into Spanish on the website links.
It was great to see the leadership skills, the cooperation of the rest of the group and the hope for the future! Thanks for picking Liberty Wildlife as the beneficiary of the Eagle Scout project. Not to mention the fundraising part that helped to pay for the project!
And, I want to remind everyone that it is now only 26 days until Wishes for Wildlife. That means there is still time for you to make a donation to the auction, to buy your ticket, or to obtain a sponsorship.
As a virtual event, you can participate in the comfort of your home with your dog or cat companion in your snuggies. Or, you can throw a party at your home or office inviting your closest family, friends, or neighbors. The cool part is that at every level of sponsorship you can have a Liberty Wildlife education team come to your house, ambassador animals and handlers in tow, and provide a very interesting, entertaining, and amazingly powerful program for you and your guests. This is a terrific way to introduce your pals to the work that Liberty Wildlife does every day of the week, every week of the year, day in and day out.
The success of this event traditionally allows us to fund at least a quarter of our annual budget. It is what allows us to fulfill our mission to “Nurture the nature of Arizona.” And, for those of you who are participating outside of the state of Arizona, remember that ultimately we are ALL CONNECTED!
Tune in to see the behind the scenes peek at Liberty Wildlife. Participate in our impressive silent auction for many one-of-a-kind items. This year’s event also includes a great raffle. If you have been trying to purchase a Play Station 5 and haven’t succeeded, know that we did succeed—and have one as a prize for the lucky raffle winner. All you have to do is buy a ticket (or ten). And, if you have been yearning to travel, to take time off from the pandemic, to relax with family and friends, you’ll want to check out the second raffle item—a travel opportunity with lots of things to do.
So many opportunities, but time is running out. Sign up today! And we’ll see you soon…we hope!
This Week @ Liberty – September 28, 2021
The question now is, will we surpass last year’s record of 12,156 intakes for the year? My guess is YES! We have been holding steady at around 630 ahead of last year through the month of September, so unless the arrivals suddenly stop, w will beat our figure for last year. Right now, the intake rate has slowed remarkably (hence the anemic post of TW@L!) but I keep hearing that people still enjoy it so I’ll keep cranking it out as long as I can do it. As we get into the education season and we have a couple of fundraising events, I hope to get a few more interesting shots to fill this column in the weeks to come. In any case, Megan’s Hoots, Howl & Hollers section is always great to read so don’t give up on the blog!
I’m also starting a new segment I’m calling “The Way We Were” in which I’ll pick out some shots from previous years to let some of our new followers see what it was like in times gone by. We have one or two staff members that had not even been born when Liberty began (or even when I started volunteering in 1989!) who might enjoy seeing what we went through in the first 35 years of operation. If you find this section interesting, drop a note in the comments section. I hope you enjoy it…
A few days ago, I went out on a bat rescue. Due to their status as number one on the rabies vector species list, only Rescue/Transport volunteers who have had their rabies vaccination can be dispatched on this type of mission. Lucky me…
There are approximately 4,600 species of mammals in the world (that we know of), of those, there are about 2,500 species of bats. It appears that being able to fly gives you a distinct advantage over other animals more constrained by gravity. In any case, there are a lot of bats out there and they are a very important part of the circle of life. It has been estimated that a single bat can consume 1,000 mosquitoes (which carry diseases) and moths (which damage crops) in one hour. They are also important pollinators for many crops and are nothing but beneficial. This little yellow bat was found on the ground near someone’s pool in Mesa and was brought to Liberty for examination and treatment.
(Look for 2 photos)
Formerly Unidentified Visitors
One of the only difficult tasks of working the Intake Window is identifying the species of the animal when it arrives. The people bringing the bird or mammal to the window provides us with all the data that we are required by USFW to obtain, such as their name, phone number, e-mail address, and the basic situation (found on the ground, cat attack, etc.) but the species is usually up to the intake volunteer to determine. And let me tell you, when it comes to baby birds, it ain’t easy!
For a couple of weeks, these little guys were just mystery birds. Then they were thought to be some kind of flycatchers. They are now suspected to be black-throated sparrows. When most field markings involve adult, or at least, juvenile plumage, it’s tough when the orphans in question don’t really have any feathers at all to speak of, except gray natal down!
(Look for 3 photos)
Wishes for Wildlife
Wishes for Wildlife, our major fundraiser, is coming up on October 23rd. Again this year, it will be a hybrid event combining virtual and delivered to your home activities. Last year’s Wishes was a big hit with all those who choose to participate and we have high hopes for this year’s gala. The photos here are of just a couple of the items in the silent auction and are a tiny fragment of those available. There is also a Wine/Liquor pull, Wildlife Presentation (for those of you at the sponsor level), and behind-the-scenes footage of some of the animals in Liberty’s care.
Check out the website https://aesaz.co/ELP/WISHES21 for lots more detailed information and tickets.
(Look for 4 photos)
Each year, Jan and her Medical Services team orchestrate a day to bring all of the permanent resident birds and animals in for a medical exam along with other cosmetic treatments. This includes talon trimming, beak coping, feather examination and maintenance, and the care of problematic blood feathers if required. It is also a chance to replace and/or update equipment such as jesses and anklets, and gives us a chance to paint and repair their enclosures while they are inside getting the “spa treatment.”
If you’re wondering about the scary masks, the Education and Medical Services teams have spent long hours working with our Ed birds and have built a friendly rapport with them. If they then have to grab and hold the birds while their beaks are ground with a Dremel tool or new anklets are installed, quite a few of the birds would hold a grudge… The masks prevent the volunteers from being recognized, thereby maintaining their friendship with those who work with them after “spa day” is over… (we’re really not planning on our own version of “Friday the 13th Part XXl, Jason takes South Mountain”)
(Look for 6 photos)
The Way We Were
Just as a reminder of whence we came, I’m going to take some time as long as it’s slow at the intake window to rerun some older pics from years gone by. It’s always good to be reminded of how things were in the past so we don’t get too complacent about how things are now…or are to come! “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!”
(George Santayana- Spanish philosopher 1905)
(Look for 7 photos)