Monday, December 7, 2009

This Week at Liberty 12/07/2009

The activity at Liberty isn't limited strictly to treating injured animals and education. Other duties are required sometimes and these intertwine with the usual medical work, education, and daily maintenance of the birds and other animals that come to us for care. And sometimes, there are activities that are just fun for the volunteers. This week had a little of all of these.
Alison stars in "CSI - Liberty Wildlife"
A full exam is conducted.
Exit wounds are found.
One of the functions of the Research and Conservation group is the examination of animals that are suspected to have succumbed to electrical injury. This week, a GHO was brought in that was first thought to have been shot, but upon expert examination by Alison was discovered to have been electrocuted. This information is then reported to the power company whose equipment was involved. At this point they will take remedial actions to prevent any further incidents of the same type at the site.
"Yes, these do come in brown."
"Are you sure these don't make my feet look fat?"
Max has another satisfied customer.
We use some falconry tools and equipment at Liberty to help display our birds safely. These include anklets, jesses, and leashes to keep the education birds tethered when on our arms. There are various types of leather used, some that works better than others. Joe has been using some thinner kangaroo leather which works for the smaller birds, but Chaco has been biting through her jesses lately. This week, Max brought her into the office and he and Jan replaced these straps - not an easy task on a bird as active as Chaco.
An injured long-eared owl comes in.
Denise examines a wing as Melanie holds.
A full exam includes a throat swab.
An injured eye is cleansed.
A beautiful long-eared owl came in after suffering a car collision. Automobile injuries are one of the top five causes of animals to be brought to Liberty. This little bird presented an injury to it's left eye but seemed otherwise intact. An appointment at the eye specialist is scheduled this week. One-eyed owls are not automatically non-releasable, but they have to demonstrate good hunting ability before they can be considered candidates for returning to the wild.
Carol, Peggy, Anne, and Claudia check out some interesting birds.
"One bird, two bird, red bird, blue bird..."
A male northern harrier hunts a field.

Three crested caracaras!
Besides volunteering for Liberty Wildlife, Claudia Kirscher leads birding tours around the outlying area. This weekend, five Liberty volunteers (including yours truly) went along to the Santa Cruz Flats to look for some of the beautiful and sometimes rare birds that live in and migrate through our state. We saw nearly 50 species in about 6 hours, including 16 crested caracaras which are extremely rare in Arizona! Thank you Claudia and Anne for sharing your experience and making this outing another example of Liberty camaraderie at its best.

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