Monday, March 30, 2009

This Week at Liberty 03/30/2009

Easter is fast approaching, and the onslaught of baby birds is not far behind. Every day the brooders fill with berry baskets and the peeping gets a little louder. And on top of the orphans, there are injured birds who need help showing up as well. The volunteers are equal to the task and help is at hand for whoever needs it...
An orphan baby towhee.
We are well into the Baby Bird Season with lots of orphaned doves, sparrows, mockingbirds, and towhees like this little guy. The brooders are filling slowly and pretty soon the first person into the facility in the morning will be greeted by hundreds of little peeps as the lights come on.
The injured Montezuma quail makes progress.
Our official endangered specie, the little Montezuma quail with the broken wing, is making a slow recovery.  It’s still questionable if he will be releasable but his progress is steady so far.
A repaired wing is looking good.
The little screech owl who had surgery on his broken wing a couple of weeks ago went back to Dr. Driggers’ this week to have the pin removed. He is also making good progress towards a full recovery and possible release.
Go ahead...make my day!
Not all the arrivals are babies, or small, or endangered. This strikingly beautiful GHO arrived with injuries indicating a possible car collision. He is progressing nicely and hopefully will be released to contribute to the gene pool soon!
An unusual sight at Tempe Towne Lake.
A 600mm lens, used as a diagnostic tool, shows the broken wing bone.
A call to the hotline a while back alerted volunteer Tony Sola to a white pelican at Tempe Towne Lake that didn’t appear as mobile as he should be.  We observed him for a few days and when he didn’t fly during the observation period, I went out and took some photos with the “big glass.”  Jan was able to determine from the photos that his wing was broken badly and he needed to be brought in for treatment. He was subsequently captured and Tony brought him up last Friday.  He has indeed lost the end of his right wing and after healing, will be placed in a safe environment for his future as a non-releasable.
Sonora is gaining skill each day.
A soft landing on the glove.
Sonora is making great strides towards being a flight display eagle.  Joe has her flying from glove to glove now and her landings are as soft and graceful as can be. (Much better than mine ever were…!) Passing vehicles get a great view of this majestic bird practicing her flyingt out in front of Liberty on a daily basis.
The baby eagle is growing fast!

Even at 7 weeks, his wings are impressive.
The little eagle with a single mom as a parent is doing well, especially considering the two wind storms he survived this week. The grey down is now being replaced by his dark juvenile plumage which is coming in nicely.  He did a lot of preening as I watched this week, working to get his new feathers out and in shape to start flying in the months to come.
Melanie examines another baby GHO.
External pins hold a badly broken leg.
Then his sibling arrives.
"Do I hafta share a room with my brother?"
Two little orphan GHOs came in this week, both from the same nest.  One broke his leg badly in the fall from the safety of his home, but he was taken to Dr.Driggers the next day and had his leg pinned and set. When his sibling (a bit older and bigger) fell the next day, she also was brought in and they both are in the same enclosure.  This will hopefully prevent improper imprinting on humans as the two babies share food and each other’s company before they are placed with our foster parents. 

*******Hey folks!  If you've ever considered being a Liberty Volunteer, now might be the time! We are in need of a few (just a few...) dedicated people who want to man the front lines at Liberty and work a Hotline shift once a week.  This is one of the most critical and important positions we have for volunteers as without them, almost nothing would make it to the facility! We will train you and it should cost you nothing, as you can do it from your home!  If you're interested, contact Gail Cochrane, our Volunteer Coordinator, at and get on the team! You'll be glad you did, and so will hundreds of animals!********** 

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