Sunday, August 9, 2009

This Week at Liberty 08/10/2009

At long last, the intake rate has dropped off. It never actually stops, but it has slowed to the point that other activities can now be accomplished. We are releasing quite a few of the orphans taken in earlier this year, making room for other intakes from the young birds now learning their skills - and making mistakes. Also, we are improving the grounds to make the operation more efficient, as well as improving the operation itself. Let's see what happened this week...
The Eagle Scout project begins with digging.
Boxed in and ready for concrete.
The material arrives.
The scouts begin to pour.
Our new sidewalk.
One of the on-going problems we have always faced is erosion of the ground in high traffic areas. A concrete sidewalk was provided last week by a local scout troop who's Eagle Scout candidates excavated, framed, and poured the concrete for their Eagle project. On two successive mornings, the boys arrived at sunup and did a nice job of planning, engineering, and executing the job which will make it easier on all of us at the facility. Thanks, guys!
Amanda explains Med Services to volunteer candidates.
Each month, Gail Cochrane, our Volunteer Coordinator, holds an orientation for prospective new volunteers. The facility is toured and the various volunteer positions are explained. In this way, we hope people who are interested in volunteering can decide which jobs they might like to do, as well as meet some of the current volunteers as they do their jobs.
Jan and Max give Pawnee some new jesses.
We use a few falconry techniques and some of their equipment for our education program. Each bird has leather anklets and straps called jesses which anchor them to our gloves. These prevent the birds from flying off and injuring themselves during presentations. Some birds are harder on their equipment than others, much like some kids go through shoes faster than others. Pawnee, our ferruginous hawk, needed some new leather this week and Jan and Max accomplished this last Saturday.
Tony holds while Amanda wraps a leg.
Canada geese are normally migratory, but some hang around all year. One such "homey" was brought in by Lenny last week with a fish hook in his leg and evidence of fishing line causing further injury to the leg, He was carefully wrapped by Amanda and is now under observation to see how extensive his problems are.
Five roadrunners are currently in our care.
A six-pack of baby black-crowned night herons.
One of the baby great blue herons in the enclosure.
Some birds are still showing up in appreciable numbers. Among them are great blue herons and black-crowned night herons. We also have a contingent of roadrunners that have been with us for a while. Despite their voracious appetites (and their relatively expensive food!), we'll hold them until they can be expected to survive on their own in the natural environment.
Tony and Anna prepare a GHO for release.
Eight owls standing by for release.
Craig prepares a beautiful barn owl for release. (Photo by Anne)
What a beautiful sight! (photo by Anne)
The local population of owls went up by at least 8 last week. A group of orphans, both barn owls and great horned owls were released around the valley by several Liberty volunteers. Raised by foster parents, these youngsters have every chance of surviving in the wild, performing their design function and keeping the rodent population under control.
Our new Hotline/Rescue program.
Last week I showed the time tracking program written by Volunteer John Glitsos. He also wrote a super program to help the Hotliners find rescue people! If they are on-line (and we're trying to get them all up to speed...), all they now have to do is start the program, enter the address of the rescue, and 26 rescue volunteers appear in ascending order of distance from the rescue. As each is selected, their contact information is displayed along with their availability on that day. Hopefully innovations such as this will make it easier to find people to man the Hotline! Again, thank you, John!!

Little screech owl in his favorite artificial tree. (I just had to put this one in!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love those Eagle Scouts they do so much good in our communities, including Parks. Seeing releases makes it all worth while!