Monday, June 14, 2010

This Week at Liberty 06/14/2010

The intake total for the year as of today: 1684
The intake number for the week is impressive since it is, after all, 200 more than last week. But the really impressive thing is that almost 75% of those new intakes occurred in three days! I'm not sure what happened, but last week it was raining birds of all species! On Wednesday evening, the last couple of arrivals had to spend the night in their rescue carriers (after evaluation, fluids, and some food) as every brooder, incubator, and cage, was occupied. The gulf coast rehabbers are definitely swamped, but so are we!
It was a very busy, very hectic, and very emotionally draining week.
Little boy kestrel surveys the ICU.
Our strange little owl is still hanging on.
While all the other stuff was happening, the usual rehab activities were going on in the background. A cute young male kestrel was treated with care among several other little falcons that arrived. And the little great horned owl with the small eye and the flat head continues to get treatment as he improves slowly. His candidacy for release is doubtful, but he probably has a bright future as a display/education bird.
A tiny gaper gets a gentle bath.
A newly hatched barn owl is fed.
Holly has a picnic in the sun with some of the baby ravens.
Nina feeds some others in a brooder inside.
The torrent of babies is still keeping everyone busy with feeding duties. I now share my desk space with several baby ravens that get fed every 30 minutes or so, and the raven mew outside is absolutely cacophonous! We seem to be beating the 80% rule (only 20% of baby birds will survive their first year) and these little corvids are doing better all the time.
One of many baby cooper's hawks to arrive.
Another fuzzy bird-killer-in-the-making.
Kristine gives fluids carefully.
"The Wild Bunch" - from three nests.
It was the "week of the cooper's hawk" as in 5 days, we got in a total of 9 of these gorgeous hawk babies. Several did not survive their fall from high places, but some are hanging on tenaciously. Predators have an important place in the environment so these avian specialists get the same terrific care that all our intakes receive.
Gilda has 24 foster kids!
Part of Hogan's family.
Sedona's group (Who's that little guy on the top shelf hiding under mom?)
Back in the foster area, the number of tags is astounding! Gilda, our foster mom kestrel, is again leading the pack at 24! But Hogan and Sedona are both doing wonderfully in rearing large broods of GHO orphans. In fact, I couldn't get all of their respective groups in one picture.
Dr. Orr checks on the fledgling bald eagle.
Bright eyes and a good attitude.
Kyle measures her beak.
The federal tag is attached...
...then the AZ tag goes on.
25Y weighs in at 3.8kg (8.4 lbs)

Ready for the trip back home.
Late last Tuesday evening, AZGF brought in a young bald eagle from the Chino Valley area. She had been found on the ground and appeared weak. She arrived and was examined and blood taken for testing. The next morning, Dr. Orr gave her a more specific exam and found her to be in good health generally. She had been given fluids and some food and her spirits were good (meaning she was NOT enjoying her confinement.) As she was very close to fledging, Kyle came back on Wednesday afternoon to weigh, measure, and band her. They wanted to get her back to the nest ASAP as she obviously wanted to fly! Art did the holding duties as Kyle worked, and by 1:40PM, she was back in the carrier and on her way back to her home nest. The very next day, she flew!
Then, on Friday morning, she was found under a power pole, having been electrocuted by landing on the lines above.
The young of all species makes mistakes, hopefully to learn from them. Sadly, in nature, the test often precedes the lesson. This beautiful young eagle, with all the promise her life held, made one tragic error in judgement and paid the ultimate price. We hope her parents try again next year.
"The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long."

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