Monday, January 5, 2009

This Week at Liberty 01/05/2009

As we enter the new year, although some of the animals are new, some of the volunteers are new, and some things remain the same, like training new volunteers and training some of the education birds. So, for a brief, modest update to kick off 2009, let's get going!
Holly (left) and her husband (right) are shown procedures by Kristine.
Many Liberty volunteers work in more than one area. When people are training for Daily Care, one of the larger groups at Liberty, they are guided initially by one of the more experienced volunteers.  Today, Holly and her husband (it's important to promote spousal support in this type of activity!) got a walk through by Kristine, one of the most dedicated DC people we have!
Marion and Travis work on the BCNH.
The noisy(!) black-crowned night heron that came in last week is getting better slowly. His wing was checked today by Travis and Marion and his leg was unwrapped for therapy as he was moved to an outside enclosure which seems to give him a better appetite.
A snowy egret recuperates.
Next door to the BCNH is a beautiful snowy egret with a damaged wing.  This bird is doing well so far, and is also better at eating outside with fish in the tub than being force-fed inside. many waders and water birds are difficult to rehab as they don't eat well in captivity. (And, fish are very expensive!)
An interesting gathering of raptors... and raptor lovers!
OK, this is the time of year that we Zonies look forward to all summer long: NOT SUMMER! With clear blue skies and mild temps in the upper 60's, what better way to spend New Year's Eve than sitting among friends in front of Liberty with a manned raptor on your glove? People who attend one of our large booth programs always comment on how calm the birds seem. It's not by accident, as many hours are spent socializing the ed birds in order to have them tolerate large public venues. In this photo, we have nine Liberty people and three kestrels, a red-tailed hawk, a zone-tailed hawk, a harris' hawk, and a bald eagle all tolerating each other's proximity!
Joe and his latest student, Sonora.
Sonora shows her wing span of around 80 inches.
Sonora, our going-on-three-years-old bald eagle is still making tremendous progress under the guidance of Joe Miller. Joe says that she, after about a month of working on the glove, is where Lady Liberty was at more than three months! What is really cool is watching the change in her plumage as new feathers come in.  The first year, eagles are the largest they will ever be, as nature gives juvies larger,longer feathers for flight training.  Then, for the succeeding three or four years, each molt will produce smaller, shorter plumes giving the birds the better maneuverability and lower drag that experienced fliers can use. (Check out the trailing edge of her wings and you can see the longer, older feathers before they are replaced.)
Our little one-winged screech owl.
Yes, this is my home!
We now have two little screech owls almost recovered from their medical conditions.  Both are living outside in 'Chez Screech' near the north gate.  Both are healthy and well adapted and will undoubtedly be easy to place as either foster parents or education birds.

Lance makes a soft landing on Jan's glove.
The training for our flight display team also continues. Each day, Lance, the harris' hawk, and Chaco, the dark red-tail hawk, are put through their paces at the equestrian park near liberty. lance flies freely on a triangle course while Chaco is on a creance (kree' - ans) which is a string tether to keep her from getting too far afield. 
As I said last time, some folks fly kites at the park.  Liberty flies hawks!
(I apologize for the jerky camera work.  I'm more adept at doing still photography, and the shoulder pad for my video camera is at the bottom of the lake beneath the Flight Deck at Bosque del Apache!)

1 comment:

Amy said...

Oops! The pic should be corrected to say 'Great Egret' (not Snowy Egret).

Thanks for the beautiful article!

'Ranger Amy', Ed & Transport Vol.