Monday, September 22, 2008

This Week at Liberty 09/22/2008

Winding down, but by no means winding up!  The Orphan Care season is officially over, but the window still sees the arrival of birds and animals needing help...and so it goes.
OC Ghost town
A far cry from even a month ago, the walls of Orphan Care are now empty.  The brooders and incubators are all cleaned and put away, the tubes and pen tops are washed and dried, and the joyous, urgent peeping and chirping that greeted everyone in the morning are now silent, at least for another few months.  But next spring, it will all come to life as nature and a thousand baby birds are reborn in an endless cycle. Good job, OC'ers!
An uncommon visitor: A Red-naped Sapsucker
It's not sap, but a little dex helps him feel better.
We had a visit from a Red-naped Sapsucker this week. Slightly injured from either a ct attack or a window collision, this pretty little bird is being treated and observed while he recuperates prior to release. Art gently administers some medicine that should help him recover from his injuries.
A Green-tailed Towhee
Checking a beautiful wing.
Another of the migrant arrivals was this gorgeous Green-tailed Towhee.  Also the victim of an over exuberant house cat, this little guy lost almost all of his tail feathers. After getting some fluids (EVERYBODY gets fluids!), he was given some brief cage rest and then passed his flight test and was released.  Who says you gotta have a tail...? 
Our rehabbing Flammulated Owl
The little Flammulated Owl that arrived a few weeks ago is almost ready to be released as well.  His weight is checked closely and as soon as he is up to normal for his species and he also passes his flight check, he'll be on his way back to doing what he was designed to do!
Pack rat, redux
Do I know you?
Rebecca brought her little Wallaby in last week, along with the little pack rat that she's been rehabbing (see last week's TW@L)  I had to put in some more shots of the little guy 'Butters' and his much larger friend as they interacted at Liberty.
Hoary Bat... Beautiful but dangerous.
Did I mention that a few weeks ago, I had to get the last two rabies shots due to getting bit by a mother raccoon?  Well, this week, Jan Miller was handling this Hoary Bat in order to give it some fluids, and even though she was wearing gloves, it bit her finger slightly. Later on, the small mammal exhibited some noticeably abnormal behavior and because of that, was tested for rabies and came back positive.  Since Jan had also already had the pre-exposure series a few years ago, she had to get the last two shots as well.  So two of the most senior mammal handlers at Liberty were bitten in the same month, both of us through gloves, and both of us had to complete the rabies vaccine series.  This points up the danger in handling mammals of all sizes and species, even by experienced people. If you find a bat or any other mammal behaving strangely, call Liberty!  It's no joke!
Small Top Gun
A call came in recently from Maricopa that a lady had an injured hawk in a cage.  It turned out to be this beautiful little male Peregrine Falcon.  His presentation was unremarkable except for being very thin and being unable to fly long distances.  He is now in a brooder and seems to be recovering slowly as his strength builds.  Keep your fingers crossed!
Injured Swainson's Hawk
The Swainson's are one of the few hawks that migrate in classic fashion, that is, in large numbers all at once.  The migration is on now as huge flocks of these buteonine hawks are flying through the area on their way from the Great Plains to Argentina.  This little guy somehow injured his wing near Coolidge and wound up coming to Liberty last night. The jury is still out on his chances for recovery...
Sad Harris' hawk

The X-rays confirmed Jan's suspicions...
A Harris' hawk arrived last week with what appeared to be two broken legs.  A double fracture like this is always suspicious, and Jan thought he might have been shot.  He was taken to Dr. Driggers who does many of our X-rays and the films confirmed it: he had been shot! The lower break ( on the right in the picture) looks worse but is mid-shaft so it will most likely be pinnable. The upper one (left side of the photo) is very near the joint making it more serious in the long run.  But he's in good hands now, so let the miracles begin!

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