Monday, April 4, 2011

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 04/04/2011

So, do you smile or laugh out loud when you walk into work and when you walk out the door at the end of your shift? You are a lucky person if you answered yes to this question. Last Friday, yes that would have been April Fool’s Day, that is exactly what happened at Liberty all day long!

In order to keep an official tally on our staff and volunteer hours we have installed a bar coded system that reads everyone’s identification badges when they enter and leave….making sure that at the end of the day everyone has checked out and no one is inadvertently locked in an enclosure in the back of the property out of ear shot of the staff (and yes, that has happened before…thank goodness for cell phones). This system also lets us make documented statements regarding staff and volunteer hours related to our needs, etc.

Thanks to our savvy volunteer, John Glitsos, the system has been functioning for almost two years. Everyone coming in is greeted with a voice from the box that says something normal like Good Morning upon entering and Good Day upon leaving….becoming wallpaper and to be expected after a while.

Not so on Friday. As staff or volunteers entered they were greeted by a sound track of voices, statements, ditties, etc. from none other than The Simpsons…..very, very funny stuff….Homer sang to some people, Bart yelled for his burrito and the dog barked relentlessly for others. Every person walking in the door came in with a belly laugh and a really big smile. People greeted others coming in to hear what the box said to them….and then everyone had another big laugh together.

And, guess what….not one person failed to sign in or out. As each person left at the end of the day, they left with a smile and a chuckle.

It was hot on Friday. The rush of orphan season is beginning. The flies have moved in for the season, and it would be very easy to find something to grouse about even though the work being done is rewarding and important. But it was really hard on Friday to stop smiling and chuckling throughout the day.

Thanks, John, for a most pleasant surprise; thanks for being fun; and thanks for reminding us that humor can go a long way towards making everything we do more enjoyable.

This Week at Liberty 04/04/2011

The intake total is now at 275.
Life is a learning process, and we're learning new things at Liberty all the time. This week, we confirmed that baby bird season starts with a bang, windy days this time of year can be a dangerous thing (at least for baby birds), motorcycle riders of all ages care about wildlife, and we learned that we have two educational birds that are misnamed!
Let's start off with more recap of the Born 2 B Wild annual motorcycle run...
The weather was perfect and turn out was high! (photo by Allen Spencer)
Amanda educates a young biker. (photo by Allen Spencer)
Sonora and Joe are always stars. (photo by Allen Spencer)
Awards and raffles capped the day... (photo by Allen Spencer)
Followed by a dual Harris' Hawk release! (photo by Allen Spencer)
The results are in for this year's annual Born 2 B Wild benefit motorcycle run and it appears to have been a hit! The weather was perfect and attendance was high. From the start at Logan's in Mesa to the finish at Cody's in Carefree, everyone seemed to have a great time! As always, two rehabilitated harris' hawks were released to complete a wonderful, successful day in the Arizona sunshine!
Something about that wing...
Does this remind you of a cigar brand?
Some suspicious marks on the feet.
The beautiful white barn owl that is in our care is still being treated. The verdict on what caused the bird's injury is still not in but as time passes, electricity is becoming one of the prime suspects. Lesions on the bird's feet are suspicious as is his sometimes drooping wing. We're still hoping that a full recovery is possible as this guy would produce beautiful offspring if he is returned to the gene pool.
The egret is examined by Toba, Joanie, and Sharon.
A young GBH comes down from Camp Verde.
Two pretty waterfowl are in our care. One, a great egret in the onset of breeding plumage, is slowly recovering from a wing injury. The other is a young great blue heron that Carl brought down from Camp Verde last week. The first year bird has a break in one bone of his right wing but the damage is minimal and in a fortunate location and since he is so young, his prognosis is excellent.
A little sharp-shinned hawk is improving.
A sharp-shinned hawk came in with a head injury last week. These are all too common and generally, the birds frequently don't do well after such an injury. This little guy, however, has made drastic improvement and is responding to treatment. Fingers crossed, please!
Henry (or should we say "Henrietta") adjusts her eggs.
"Do you mind...?"
Magellan (or "Maggie") is also setting up a nursery.
Must be the vitamins...
Two of our education birds have demonstrated why naming raptors is such a difficult thing, unless you name them all "Pat!" Both Henry and Magellan have laid eggs and are currently incubating. It seems we guessed incorrectly as to their gender when naming them, as we have done so frequently in the past. I suppose it's only really important that THEY know who're the boys and who're the girls in their world. Since they are housed alone, the eggs are infertile, so they will be allowed to sit on them for an appropriate time and then, when the hormones subside, the eggs will be removed so the birds can resume their normal duties.
A very new baby green heron (note the egg tooth).
A big yawn from a little bird.
The star of the nursery last week was this little newly hatched green heron. He seems to have started the onslaught of baby birds that is beginning to grow each day...
It's a big world out there!
The "goth look" is in!
Another hatchling GHO orphan.
Yellow could be his color.
Some tender care from Bethany before meeting his new foster mom.

Liberty Orphan Care: It's not just for raptors any more!
Babies, babies, babies... All species are dropping on us, and the strong winds over the weekend didn't help. Carl brought in couple of newly hatched GHO's and I did my share today as these two came in from the Phoenix Humane Society. The orphans were found on the ground, probably blown from the nest prematurely by the wind. Too young to make it on their own, they were marked (with colored talon paint and a dollop to the head!) and placed with one of our wonderful GHO foster parents for care and proper imprinting! It's a system that works well and the older birds seem to love it as well.