Saturday, December 13, 2008

This Week at Liberty 12/15/2008

As the major holidays approach, we had some interesting arrivals and developments at Liberty this week. Just when I think I won't have enough material for an update, something totally cool arrives! Maybe that's why I never go to the facility without my camera...
Our TV star barbed wire guy gets better!
A surprising amount of wing spread.
The little GHO who's rescue was filmed by Animal Planet a couple of months ago made real progress this week. Since it was determined he not only had tendon damage and case of aspergillosis, he was not doing well.  This week, after a modification of his treatment, he made a real turn-around!  He began eating and his wing made a big step toward recovery as it demonstrated some remarkable flexing and extension. It's still hoped he will be a good foster parent, working as a companion for Hogan.
Joe and Libby do a short program for some supporters.
Sonora is getting lots of exposure and learns fast!
Joe Miller, our head eagle handler/trainer, was on hand this week to show off his handiwork to some supporters.  Some folks who, as a group, made a sizable donation, came to Liberty for a tour of the facility. Joe was here to work with the eagles and let them watch Libby and Phoenix get fed, explaining our function and the eagle's place in the environment. Then, as he has for the past couple of weeks, took Sonora out front to further her training by having her eat and make short flights/jumps on cue. (see the video below)
A beautiful ferruginous hawk arrives
Leslie helps Missi do the assessment.
Missi cuts a splint.
An uncommon arrival showed up last Friday as Alan Spencer brought in a gorgeous ferruginous hawk with a badly damaged wing. Showing the resourcefulness of Liberty people, a splint was fashioned from a recycled styrofoam board from a tray of frozen mice. Very little ever goes to 
waste at Liberty!
Melanie and David examine an adult brown pelican.
His presentation is unclear, but he exhibits some articulation problems with his right wing.
Bobbing for fish!
Got one!
Down it goes!
For the past several weeks, there have been two brown pelicans of interest to Liberty, one in the south valley, and the other near Wilcox. The local bird is still at large, but the Wilcox bird was caught and transported to Tucson, and then made its way to Liberty on Friday. He doesn't have any overt trauma, but his right wing shows some articulation compromise that affects his flight.  He's still under observation and we'll keep you posted.  He is also one of the few adult brown pelicans that we have gotten at the facility. Most are juveniles who haven't learned that riding storms off the Pacific can lead to real trouble: There's not much sadder than a pelican in the desert!
Joe is making astounding progress with Sonora.  We'll keep adding videos to keep you updated as to her training. This was actually two weeks ago on one of her first soirees out of the enclosure area to the front of Liberty.

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