Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Week at Liberty 02/22/2010

We have our first bona-fide baby in, although when you're over 2 feet tall, the term baby is bit incongruous. A couple of our earlier patients are updated (with good news!) and we have a couple of new patients in (not such good news...) but as always, we can't take too much time to either celebrate our successes, or to mourn our losses. The grins as well as the tears remain for a few seconds, then it's time to get on with the work that's always at hand...
A beautiful red-winged blackbird gets help.
A t-a-l-l baby GBH.
The baby bird season doesn't officially start for another several weeks, but a baby great blue heron is now at the facility. Fish-eaters are sometimes difficult to rehabilitate, but this little (!) guy is too cute to not get special care. Another seasonal arrival is the pretty red-winged blackbird that arrived with an injured wing. The smaller the bird, the more difficult it seems to be able to successfully mend intricate hollow bones when they break, but the effort is always made.
Dr.Wyman helps out during "vet night" at Liberty.
Dr.Wyman studies an Xray - on real film!
Our usual Tuesday crew for "vet night" was supplemented last week when Dr. Wyman arrived to help out. Having some extra help was welcome as there were some fairly serious cases to treat, as well as some older files to evaluate.
Dr.Wyman checks a cooper's hawk foot.
Fishing line and birds does not mix...
But now he can go outside!
Tony brought in a little cooper's hawk that had been preying on some hens at a local chicken farm. Normally, cooper's will go after flighted birds but this guy had some knotted fishing line around both of his feet, severely restricting the use of his talons! Luckily, he found some slow birds (domestic chickens!) that he could still nab and even more fortunately, the owner of the chicken farm didn't mind. He even helped Tony catch the handicapped hawk - twice! Now that the offending plastic line has been removed, he is getting the use of his "tools" back and is being moved outside for more rehab and flight therapy.
Joanie holds for Dr.Wyman.
Toba and Joanie wrap an improving leg.
The young harris' hawk that came in with electrical burns and lots of cholla spines is getting better. His wing is still in jeopardy, but his leg is showing definite signs of improvement. For any future at all, both legs are essential.
"Arizona Chainsaw Massacre"
The remains of a delicate leg are wrapped.
OK, just a couple weeks ago, Megan spoke about the danger of trimming trees in the springtime. Then last week, we took in a sad little screech owl that had her leg traumatically amputated by a tree trimmer using a chainsaw. It is amazing this little bird survived at all, losing her right leg and sustaining a break to the bone that remains. Her prognosis is still guarded as many questions as to what can be done to save her life.
Almost ready to go!
A good release.
She's a strong flyer!
A few weeks ago, we reported on several birds that had been shot right after the holidays. One was a big red tailed hawk with a poor prognosis. She sustained a bad break in an even worse spot - very close to the elbow. When the X-rays were seen, nearly everyone shook their heads and doubted she had any chance at all of a positive outcome. But, with the unspoken motto "Never give up! Never surrender!" in mind, the wing was wrapped and care began. To everyone's amazement, the break healed and the joint remained mobile and fully articulated. Last week, she was released by Liberty friend and supported Don Rogers in Paradise Valley.
Gymnogyps californianus
Jan helps Dr.Orr with treatment of the condor.
She inhales her food!
A very special bird indeed.
In December of 1996, six california condors were released at the Vermillion Cliffs west of Page, Arizona. The thought was to start a second breeding colony outside of California to prevent a single catastrophic event from destroying the entire population. There are now 74 condors in the "Arizona flock," from the original six and subsequent releases. One bird that has successfully raised offspring in the wild and is the only survivor of the first group of six is now being treated at Liberty Wildlife. Suffering from the effects of lead poisoning, Number 33 is being cared for by Dr.Orr and the staff of Liberty Wildlife as she struggles to survive. While improvement is incremental, hopes are high for this very special bird.


Anonymous said...

Go 33!

zopeloti said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Terry...the blog is now in Argentina at the Andean Condor Research group.......hope to hear back from them.

Anonymous said...

The Vermillion Cliffs will seem more vibrant thanks to the Condor population...and your caring work!