Sunday, September 13, 2009

This Week at Liberty 09/14/09

The pace has now slowed to a dull roar as the baby bird season has officially ended. Not to say we won't get in any more orphans (nature being what it is!), but now we will see a steadier stream of birds and animals who are injured by the ongoing struggle with what nature (and humans) throw at them as they try to live another day...
Anne and Pawnee are TV stars!
We had a freelance video-journalist come out to the facility this week. He spent time touring the operation and getting footage of the action as the birds were fed and cared for by the Daily Care crew and the Education Team hand feeders. Not sure when or where it will air, but if we find out, we'll try to announce it.

Another victim of a house cat...sigh.
Feeding the hungry lesser night hawk.
Lots of calls come in about injured "owls" that turn out to be poor-wills and night hawks. This lesser night hawk was another cat attack but luckily doesn't seem to be damaged fatally. One thing going against them is that they spend a lot of daylight hours on the ground, relying on camouflage for safety. Most of the time, it works.

Burned wires and damaged equipment...

...means a bad day for two great blue herons in Buckeye.

Another electrical injury, this time to an unfortunate harris' hawk.
Electricity and birds do not mix well. The good news is that most birds are too small to touch two wires or a wire and a grounding element and are therefore mostly safe. However, larger birds like hawks, eagles, and in the case of the top photos, great blue herons, find it easier to run into problems with electrical equipment. Two great blues landed on two adjacent pieces of wire causing a connection that killed one outright, leaving his or her mate to die hours later beneath the same offending pole. The harris' hawk also got into mischief on an uninsulated connector and paid the price for his lesson. Electrical burns are very difficult to treat as in most cases, the burns occur within the body and the extent of the damage does not even become apparent for days.

A black-headed grosbeak makes an appearance at Liberty.

Feeding the pretty visitor.
Black-headed grosbeaks are secretive little birds that we don't see to often. It's too bad that this one was seen - by somebody's cat. I won't say it again...yes, I will: House cats should be kept in the HOUSE! Or if they are allowed outside, they need to be supervised at all times. PLEASE!

A little sora rail with a really bad leg.

The damaged limb is carefully wrapped.

Blue might be a good color for him...
Rails are waders that are usually found near fresh water marshes, and Soras are the most common rail. This elegant little bird came in presenting a badly broken leg, not good news for a bird who spend most of his time on his feet! But miracles are routinely worked at Liberty so the leg was wrapped and the little guy was placed in a brooder for rest and recuperation.

Carl brings in another unusual specimen.
I guess my "red-eye reduction" failed...!
The rail wasn't the only uncommon water bird to put in an appearance at Liberty last week. Ace R&T volunteer Carl Price brought in a western grebe that was found on the ground. The problem grebes (and loons) have is that they are designed to operate from water and are not equipped for land activity. It was determined that this guy was not really injured, but merely out of his element. So, he was taken forthwith to the closest body of water and released!
TW@L will return in two weeks (Yes, I'm taking my first vacation in 18 months!) But, as Arnold said, "Ahll be baack!"

No comments: