Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week at Liberty 02/01/2010

Although things are still a little slow in terms of the number of arrivals, we know it's only the calm before the storm (the storm known as "Baby Bird Season"!) Right now we're seeing mostly first year birds who are still learning their survival skills. We did see some amazing improvement in a couple of patients that just go to prove what total miracle workers the volunteers at Liberty are!
Toba checks a wing as Kristine holds.
One of the badly wounded RTH's is much improved!
Toba and Jan study his chart.
The bird is going outside - Toba makes a leg ID band.
One of the gun shot wound birds from a few weeks ago has made a surprising recovery. The red tail hawk with the dimmest prognosis has made a turn-around and is now ready to be placed outside in a flight enclosure. Once again, the skill and care of our volunteers has produced amazing results as the Liberty team never gives up!
Cars and barn owls don't mix.
A broken beak will heal, but very slowly.
Of the big 5 problems we see time-and-again, vehicle collisions are close to the top. Hollow bones and soft feathers don't tolerate being struck by cars, and since a lot of the birds hunt along roads, the numbers pile up. This little barn owl had a close encounter of the worst kind with a vehicle and, among other things, broke his beak. Given enough time, it will heal but his recovery will certainly be elongated.
Denise examines a young HaHa.
Sarah works to remove cactus spines.
A cholla bush is NOT a good hiding place!
Jan discovers electrical burns...
A special dressing is applied.
Last week I rescued a little harris' hawk near Liberty. He was on the ground and when I tried to pick him up, he ran under some cholla branches. The gentleman who called helped me retrieve him and he was brought in for evaluation. After plucking out the cactus spines, it was discovered that he had some serious electrical burns to his right wing and left leg. The Med Services team applied a special gel-type dressing that will help heal and also contains some pain medication. Electrical burns are particularly disheartening as they tend to cause damage that will only show up with the passage of time. Alison and the R&C crew are investigating. Keep your fingers crossed for this kid...
The bald eagle gets a snack.
Dr. Orr arrives for an assessment.
A hood keeps her calm during the exam.
The site of the surgery is unwrapped and examined.
The bald eagle that came down from Flagstaff recently is doing better, although her prognosis is still guarded. The wing has not healed entirely as Dr. Orr discovered during an exam on Saturday. More X-rays are scheduled and will tell more. Joe and Jan assisted during the procedure and she wore a hood to keep her calm.
Carl brings in an injured GBH.
A beautiful bird in breeding plumage.
As long as I've been doing rescues (almost 21 years) there have been three huge cottonwood trees on the north side of Ocotillo that were home to almost two dozen great blue heron families. The farmer who owned them refused to sell to developers in order to protect the trees and the birds who called them home. Last week in the big storm, one of the trees collapsed, taking part of the adjacent tree with it. Carl was called to rescue a beautiful GBH, one of the few that survived the event. It was reported that many eggs and birds, both old and young, were laying on the ground amid the broken branches and limbs. Sadly, despite all our efforts, this bird also died from the injuries he incurred in this natural disaster.
Katrina and Amanda examine another HaHa.
As always, fluids are administered.
Yet another little (most likely male) harris' hawk came in on Sunday. The young of all species make mistakes, and we hope they learn from them. Unfortunately, nature is a tough teacher and the test often precedes the lesson. Hopefully this little guy will recover and live to contribute his wisdom to his own offspring someday.

One of two infant bunnies.
Two brand new baby bunnies were brought to the window last week. In not too bad a condition, they are certainly a bit early, but being rabbits, I guess breeding really knows no limits! Ruth Scott has already taken in the first of the new lagomorphs!

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