Monday, December 1, 2008

This Week at Liberty 12/01/2008

OK, This will be somewhat short this week, but hey, there was a major holiday involved. Everybody else I had to deal with used that as an excuse to put in less effort than usual, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it! But still the animals arrive, and the work goes on.  Several of the volunteers took time on Saturday to go on a short birding expedition that also added a release to the activities...
Denise and Joan assess a little male cooper's hawk.
A handsome old boy...
This is one of several accipiters that have arrived in the past week or so.  A male cooper's hawk with a shoulder injury, he was assessed by Denise and Joan and is now in the ICU for rehabilitation.  The dark red of his eyes indicate a bird of notable maturity, and the injury is evidence of a collision with an immovable object, not unheard of in the world of those that chase other birds for a living.
A young cooper's hawk in the area.

Brave ladderback woodpecker!
A wild ferruginous flies over the group.
This burrowing owl watched us warily.
One of our veteran volunteers, Claudia Kirscher, is going to lead a birding tour for one of the local Audubon Society chapters next week and went down to the Santa Cruz Flats area, just south east of Casa Grande last Saturday to scout the location.  She was kind enough to drag 8 Liberty volunteers and staff along to do some birding in this 'target-rich environment' not too far from home. The young cooper's in the first photo was at a golf course in Casa Grande, sharing a tree with the totally brave ladderback woodpecker in the next shot. Later on, alittle farther out near the Santa Cruz Flats area, we saw a gorgeoous ferruginous hawk flying overhead, a very cute burrowing owl patrolling his territory, and almost 6 other species!  Thanks, Claudia! 
Anne releases a prairie falcon.
A strong flyer!

A joyful departure!
Anne and Craig brought a prairie falcon along that had just completed rehab. He was set for release the day before but if got too dark so he made the trip with the birding crew and got turned loose in a great place with great territories for raptors of all sorts.  Being used to flying in short bursts in the flight cages, the bird seemed overjoyed to be free and flew in ascending circles of increasing diameter until we could no longer see it! Home for the holidays!!
And for an added treat for those that enjoyed last week's video, here's the follow-up: Two days later, on day 6 of her training, Sonora ate 213 grams on the glove. The video begins right after Joe brings her out and is pretty much real-time until she finishes just a couple of minutes later!  All this just 2 days after the one little fish in last week's movie!

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