Monday, September 29, 2008

This Week at Liberty 09/29/2008

Now that the Orphan Care operation has shut down for the season, the intakes are transforming in adolescent birds who bring with them injuries suffered as they grow and learn to survive in a world filled with things curious...and dangerous.

A loss for us all...

A sad event this week was the loss of the beautiful golden eagle that was brought to us a few weeks ago. After showing some improvement in the last couple of weeks, his condition took a sudden turn for the worse recently. Although every effort was made on his behalf, the decision was made on Sunday morning to let this magnificent young bird fly to his final destination. More investigation is to be made, but it's been theorized the aspergillosis infection attacked his brain and became untreatable. We were deeply saddened by his loss, but we know he is flying freely now, no longer a prisoner of a damaged body.


A handsome hunter arrives.
Jodi and Louise check for damage...
"No, please, really, it's OK!"
Long time volunteer Donna Mueller rescued a very handsome Great Horned Owl last week. It seems some local residents had a water feature in their yard, complete with some koi as living decorations. The groundskeeper advised them to string lengths of nylon monofilament line over the pond to protect the fish from predators, not realizing that other birds might suffer the consequences of this tactic. This owl must have swooped in, possibly to drink or chase some prey, and got caught in the line, slightly injuring his right wing. Luckily Donna arrived in time to save him from more serious damage.
A young Cooper's Hawk with classic CH injuries.
Cooper's Hawks are avian specialists in that they hunt other birds, usually on the wing. In doing so, they are prone to colliding with things like windows as they chase after their prey in hot pursuit. This young bird apparently suffered a collision with something that caused some head or back injury. He has shown slow but definite improvement and continues to be cared for in the ICU.
An injured Sora Rail.
A somewhat rare inmate at Liberty arrived last week, this little Sora Rail. A wading bird who relies on his legs, this pretty little visitor suffered a badly broken legt, reportedly from a cat attack. A realignemtn and a gentle wrap was in order, along with cage rest and recuperation.
Ahhhh, another bat!
Yet another little bat arrived for care this week. This one is a Mexican Free-tail, much smaller than the Hoary bat from last week, and much more common in the Phoenix area. This little guy had an obvious wing injury so his behavior (and the fact that he got caught!) doesn't indicate more dire problems.
A barbed wire encounter of the unpleasant kind.
Dr. Orr evaluates the damage.
A saline spray cleans the wound.
Skilled hands work under watchful eyes.
Some soothing medicine and a warm wrap, then into a quiet brooder for rest and de-stressing.
An early morning rescue call this week took me to the north west valley and a small Great Horned Owl hung up in a barbed wire fence. He was being guarded by two Humane Society rescue people who helped me cut him free from his entanglement. Unlike most owl-wire interactions, this bird's wing was not damaged irreparably and Dr. Orr was able to suture the tissue back over the wrist joint. He still has some rehabilitation to go through, but he has a fighting chance for eventual release, making him this week's "Keep you fingers crossed" candidate!

No comments: