Sunday, April 11, 2010

This Week at Liberty 04/12/2010

This update might be titled The Condor Special, but the entire tempo of Liberty is increasing as the days pass. The full weight of baby bird season is approaching as is the heaviest activity for the R&C team, plus as we near Earth Day, the Education group is also booked completely most days. Add to this, a lot of songbirds are migrating right now, so it's no surprise the "joint is jumping!"
A beautiful solitary vireo.
A sad house finch gets treatment.
Two more tiny baby hummingbirds are fed.
Do we just do raptors? Not even close. Certainly the bulk of the intakes are in the 'bird of prey' category, but during migration, lots of smaller birds show up needing help. Right now we have a solitary vireo, an ash-throated flycatcher, a house finch, and several other assorted migratory and resident perching birds that are being helped. Because they require specialized care, the hummers are usually transferred to volunteers who are specifically trained and experienced in this area such as Gloria at WildWing, but everyone gets help if they need it.
"I'd rather NOT move..." (photo by Alison Kocek)
A little male peregrine arrives.
Alison suspects an electrical injury.
Three nestling RTH's, refugees from a nest relocation.
An older RTH orphan.
Our Research and Conservation team has been busy last week with burrowing owl relocations near Tucson, and assorted other nest moves and relocations around the state. While some birds are "nest loyal" (that is, willing to stay close and defend their nests from predation - or relocation), raptors tend to be more loyal to the location of the nest. Thus, even if the nest and it's contents along with any attending adults are moved even a short distance, the chances of the parents continuing to stay with the nest are virtually nil. So, once a permit to remove/relocate a nest is obtained, if any eggs or babies are involved, they are salvaged and brought to Liberty for care and fostering. Our R&C team does an outstanding job in this respect, along with evaluating possible injuries sustained from contact with electrical equipment.
#133 is ready to go home. (The tag is too small for all the digits!)
Jan uses a big net!
Dr. Orr takes one more blood sample.
She's ready to travel.
An interim stop on the way to the hacking pen. (photo by Dr. Orr)
Chris Parish greets his old friend. (photo by Dr. Orr)
A group of youngsters hang out together. (photo by Dr. Orr)
She even looks happier! (photo by Dr. Orr)
An interested male shows off for the big girl. (photo by Dr. Orr)

The ultimate goal! (photo by Dr. Orr)
The california condor that has been in treatment by Dr. Orr at Liberty for the past several weeks was placed in a travel cage after being weighed and one last blood sample was taken last week. Then Dr. Orr and Megan drove her up to the condor staging area at the Vermillion cliffs where she was first released in December of 1996. The Director of the Condor Recovery Project for the Peregrine fund, Chris Parish, met them and greeted his old friend, #133 as she was placed in a holding pen for the night. The next morning, they hiked to the hacking enclosure and where she will be allowed to acclimate to the climate once again, and to meet some of the other condors that are getting ready to be released. Since this is her sixth encounter with lead poisoning, we all hope the efforts to ban it's use in ammunition will soon be successful.
DON'T FORGET: Wishes for Wildlife is this Saturday!!!


Anonymous said...

Awesome story and photos!

zopeloti said...

You and Dr. Orr have to be in seventh heaven after this amazing release. The expierence will forever be etched in your heart and memories.

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring! So good to see the great results of your good work. - Beverly

Julia said...

Thank you so much for the update on #133. How much did she weigh at the last weigh in? What a remarkable bird...