Tuesday, July 22, 2008

This Week at Liberty 7/21/08

By Terry Stevens

OK, last week's cute-fest didn't end the parade of the "Awww" factor animals that are coming in to the facility (We're very close to hitting 3,000 for the year and we still have 5 1/2 months to go!)

A smallish female desert tortoise found her way to Liberty and might be joining our education group. Our two males certainly hope so... The desert tortoise, once handled by humans, cannot be released back to the wild because they are apt to carry a specific respiratory virus that could decimate the wild population. Hence, her days in the wild are over. They can be adopted by going through Arizona Game and Fish or the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

This little baby dove was just growing his primary feathers and was in the running for the cuteness trophy as well.

We also have two fledgling burrowing owls in rehab (one with blue eyes!) keeping each other company.

A little fledgling screech owl was found near Ahwatukee after being separated from his family. He apparently had gotten his wing caught in something and had stripped the bones bare of tissue. The Med Services team reluctantly amputated the wing, but he's doing well and will most likely live a long life as an education bird. Did you know that most birds of prey can live twice their normal life expectancy in captivity? It helps when you have no competition and get free food and medical care for life!

It's a little late in the season for babies, but two little kestrels came in, were evaluated, and placed with two adult mentor/foster parents. for future release.

A call came in from Fountain Hills last week about an owl in a chimney. Our Ace Rescuer, Carl Price, was dispatched and after extracting the juvenile GHO from the fireplace, he emerged looking like a refugee from a West Virginia coal mine. The sooty owl was examined and after determined to be basically intact, was hydrated and placed with our older foster kids prior to being released.

The biggest project took place last Friday morning. Because we are now in the monsoon season and have been getting rain, mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus are again appearing in the valley. In order to protect our priceless education birds, all of them need to be inoculated against WNV. Naomi Berg, the best procurement volunteer since James Garner in The Great Escape, was able to get enough of the expensive vaccine donated to do all of our Ed birds. An assembly line was set up by Jan Miller and Denise (OK, I helped a little...) and in 2 1/2 hours, all the birds were done, along with some much needed beak coping and talon trimming!

Click each thumbnail for a full-size image.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Good job Terry! I got in & look forward to the fancier way of seeing what is going on at Liberty!
Thanks, as always, for all the great pictures!