Sunday, November 22, 2009

This Week at Liberty 11/23/2009

This week was very busy for the staff and volunteers at Liberty. Some interesting cases arrived and treatment continued, all during preparation for the annual Volunteer Appreciation picnic. Once again, we experienced a couple of sad departures, but also some releases of new life and as always the offer of a second chance to some birds who have been impacted adversely by contact with the human world...
The big golden before her last flight...
Sadly, after nearly six months of battling a wing injury, the big golden eagle that came in last June is now soaring in cloudless skies on gentle winds. Although her wing issues made her non-releaseable, we hoped she would become well enough to be placed. However, she also had an advanced case of aspergillosis and a final X-ray last week showed less than 20% lung capacity. Last Tuesday, she was quietly and with great respect, put to sleep.

Another roadrunner comes in for help.
Yet another little roadrunner arrived last week, this one missing most of the feathers on his left wing. True, RR's do spend much of their time on the ground, but they still need to aviate once in a while. So this little bird will stay with us at least until he grows in some new wing plumage.

Carl helps Sharon examine a cooper's hawk he brought in.
The cooper's hawks are still migrating, and as long as they are, we'll get in some injured birds of this type. This little guy was most likely the victim of a collision with a window as he was chasing his dinner through unfamiliar territory.

Denise and Melanie examine a young RTH.

The young bird gets a a handsome wrap.
Of the five main injuries seen at Liberty over the years, electrical burns are some of the most serious due to the depth of the involvement. However, once in a while, the worst looking victims are able to be healed if flames have caused only feather damage. This young red tailed hawk appears to be in that group. Although he has massive feather burning and a broken leg, he will go in for surgery on his leg this week and then all he needs to do is recuperate at Liberty while his feathers grow back.

The shadow of a life about to begin...
Long-time and supremely dedicated volunteer Elaine Allen passed away last week. On Wednesday, Megan, Gail, Jan, Faye (Hotline) and myself attended a brief service for her in Mesa, after which Elaine's grandson released a harris' hawk in her honor. There are certainly hundreds of birds that are flying today as the result of her efforts in finding rescue volunteers over the years. She will be missed, but always with a smile for the birds and the organization she loved.

A rare dark-morph ferruginous hawk is brought in.

It appears this beautiful bird was shot.

Katrina assesses as Carl holds.

Dr. Orr checks out a wing.
Carl Price drove to Kingman this week to bring in two birds, one of which was reported to be a swainson's hawk. When it arrived, it turned out to be a dark-morph ferruginous, a beautiful but uncommon version of this hawk. The bird had been at another facility and had his own X-rays (again, not a usual occurrence!) which showed he had been shot. We're hoping the wounds will not preclude his eventual return to the sky.

Carl brings in another golden eagle.

An unusually large crowd for a Sunday!

Dr. Orr draws blood for testing.

A handsome bird, grounded by an accident.
The other bird Carl brought down was a golden eagle who had been hit by a car. His left wing had been amputated so his flying career is over, but he seems otherwise intact and in reasonable condition, all things considered. Further tests are in order, so we'll keep you posted.

The weather was perfect, as was the company!

Skylar and her mom release two kestrels.
The annual Liberty Wildlife Volunteer Appreciation Picnic was held last Saturday. SRP donated the use of their park (The Pera Club) and the weather was perfect. Our new T-shirt designs were debuted and new Liberty neck lanyards were distributed to the volunteers who shared a fantastic array of food and drink. Skylar, the young lady who writes the kids column for Nature News (and who designed the new kid's shirt!) and her mom released two rehabbed kestrels during the afternoon.
This Week at Liberty wishes all of our readers a very happy Thanks Giving Day!

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