Monday, July 20, 2009

This Week at Liberty 07/20/2009

I'm not sure if it's the heat, or just the time of year, but the level of activity is still quite high, though the time seems to pass slooowly, even when we're busy! The onslaught of baby birds is still upon us, and I think we're into the second season of fledgling owls. Right now, we're absolutely being buried in herons, both the black-crowned night and the great blue types. This is unfortunate since these little guys don't eat that well in captivity, but we're still hammering away and keeping them alive. And despite the 115 degree temps, we still managed to get in our annual Education Group Pool Party last Saturday.
A baby great blue heron in a brooder.
OC volunteer Anna feeding still more babies.
A baby costa's hummingbird.
"Where do I find the free food?"
Speaking of free food...
Orphan Care never really seems to slow matter the species. Right now it's raining herons, but the little gapers (mockingbirds, grackles, finches, etc.) along with the doves and other tubers, and the generous supply of hummers and nighthawks headed for WildWing keeps all the OC volunteers as busy as possible. Then we had this gopher snake show up and help himself to a buffet in an outside aviary. (That large bulge is an unfortunate little bird of unknown species that fluttered in to eat some of our food.) Well, that's the food chain at work.
Denise holds a long distance GHO.
After his leg got splinted, his wing is checked.
Another broken bone is found and wrapped by Jan.
Purple is a good color for a young owl.
Talk about your networks! Last week AZGF called about an injured fledgling GHO in McNeal, AZ. If you don't know where that is, don't feel bad. It's way down southeast of Tombstone where, as luck would have it, our friends and master falconers Robbie and Shannon live. They got the owl and held him until Tony Sola, one of our sensational rescue volunteers, drove to Tombstone and brought him back to Liberty. His broken leg and wing are being treated and he is currently in the ICU at the facility. Nice job by ALL you guys!!
A sad looking barn owl fledgling.
Susan checks a young wing while a gov* holds.
Fluids are always required.
As I said, it looks like we're into either some very late clutching or a second season for some birds, like barn owls. There was a nest north of Apache junction from which we got three fledglings over a weeks time. The last one was a sad looking little guy that came in on one of our 115 degree days. They're all holding on despite the environmental extremes of this month.
*GOV = "Grizzled Old Volunteer")

The Education Group get-together (pre-monsoon dust storm!)
Each summer, we have a pool party at my house for the Education Group. Naturally, not everyone can make it, but those that do hopefully enjoy themselves apart from the confines of a Liberty Presentation. Even with the thermometer pushing to 46C, everyone cooled off in the water - including Jan's cell phone which rode into the pool in her pocket (don't try to call her for a few days!)
Lesser nighthawks are not overly easy to rehab, being notorious for being difficult to feed. This season we are sending our LNHs to WildWing as Gloria has had great success in getting them to survive. Today I took some video of some nestling lesser nighthawks (and one tiny baby) being fed. I find nighthawks and poor-wills fascinating as caprimulgids are one of the most ancient species of birds existing in their present form. A lot of injured owl and hawk calls result in nighthawks being "rescued" from their normal activity: sitting on the ground in the daytime.

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