Monday, November 24, 2008

This Week at Liberty 11/24/2008

Another fairly quiet week...actually, very quiet: The phones were out of service! But, fortunately, the HotLine was up and running fine. A couple of red tails came in, notable for their size if nothing else, and some progress was made on training some new education birds...
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Our little one-winged screech owl.
The small screech owl that came to us a few months ago has almost completely recovered from his wing amputation.  Doing well, He will either join our foster parent group, mentoring orphan screeches, or placed with another facility for education.
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The first robin of...autumn?
A bird we don't often see at Liberty, or anywhere in Arizona for that matter, came in yesterday.  A little robin, common in the eastern part of the country, had been in a tiny cage for the past few months. Not as lucky as the screech owl, someone had found her and, deciding she couldn't fly, caged her until she was delivered to our window. Hopefully her damage isn't debilitating or permanent.
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The first large red tail arrives and is evaluated by Toba and Alison.
Some talon damage is assessed.
Melissa holds while Toba and Alison wrap an injured wing.
The first very large RTH arrived last Tuesday.  In the raptor world, females are larger than males so it was almost certain that this bird is a girl! Not a youngster, she has a small wound on her right wing. Some talon deterioration was noted but for an adult hawk, that's not uncommon.
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That's why they're called 'red tails!'
A beautiful lady of maturity!
Signs of an old injury, long since healed.
"I'll fly when I want to!"
Another big RTH came in the next day, this one larger than the first! This bird has been around for many season, exhibiting dark eyes, and obvious signs of an old leg injury that healed long ago.  She was fat, fairly well hydrated, and otherwise healthy, but had a slight wing droop that's still under evaluation.  You have to wonder how many superb additions to the RTH gene pool she's contributed over the years.
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Day four on glove training for Sonora.

She's so powerful, she nearly pulls Joe from the feeding chair!
For the past several months, we have been slowly getting Sonora, our 2nd year juvenile bald eagle, used to associating the arrival of food with the presence of our eagle handler crew. Four days ago, Joe Miller began the next phase of her training, getting her to eat on the glove. This can take months, depending on the bird and the skill of the trainer.  Today, on day 4, she came out on the glove, seemed very comfortable with myself and Anne Peyton watching as Joe sat and attempted to feed her.  After one hour and eighteen minutes of patient  attention, she ate one little fish from Joe's hand.  It may not seem like much, but it was a gigantic accomplishment for her...and Joe! (Click on the video below and see the instant the bond of trust between Joe and this impressive bird was reached!)
video
(Click the play arrow)

1 comment:

inside*out said...

thanks for including the video. that was so touching....you could just feel everyone holding their breaths. wish i lived in phoenix and could be more involved. you are all just amazing. love the newsletter and photos every week.

sandy