Monday, November 22, 2010

This Week at Liberty 11/22/2010

The intake total for the year is now up to 3149.
Things are really kind of slow right now, which is normal for this time of year. There are still birds and animals arriving, but the pace is manageable. This gives us time for other duties such as training new volunteers and wellness checks for our resident birds and long term rehabs.
Plus, this week, the "Case of the changing specie"...!
The head trauma RTH is getting better.
Last week, I reported on a red tailed hawk with a broken wing. His surgery was delayed because he also had a significant head injury resulting in blood in his eye and a swollen face. Dr. Orr thought it would be better if we waited to see how his head recovered as he might have been a poor candidate for surgery due to possible complications from anesthesia. Well, his head seems much better this week, the swelling has gone down (compare this picture with last week's blog)and the blood in his eye is diminished. Hopefully his surgery will be scheduled soon.
Jan demonstrates what to look for in a wing injury.
Sharon and Joanie take over.
Juvie talons are checked for use.
Notes are important for follow up and as a permanent medical record.
Two adult tail feathers are growing in!
A couple of young RTH's and HaHas are currently in our care with various injuries. It's important to do all possible to successfully rehab these guys as if they are not fully releasable, they are nearly impossible to place since they are so common across most of the country. Harris' hawks can even be purchased on the web by falconers! One of our little HaHa's is getting his first adult feathers as seen in his new tail growing in.
A pretty little prairie falcon arrives and is checked.
A sharp-shinned hawk gets a warm bath.
This green heron has a lot of "heart!"
Handsome young RTH.
Among the new arrivals for the week are a pretty prairie falcon and a cute little sharpie (the accipiters are still coming in!) A little green heron is wearing his "heart" on his sleeve, er...wing, due to a decorative wrap from Joanie and Toba last week, and a very handsome young RTH rounds out the photogenic arrivals now in our care.
The initial trim on a beak...
...followed by some skillful grinding...
...and a final polishing and shaping by hand.
Periodic wellness checks are performed by the Medical Services staff, time permitting. Since the intake rate is now slow enough to allow it, the checks were done last week with Jan demonstrating some tips to the rest of the volunteers. Usually talons and beaks are worn down naturally by the normal activity of wild birds. In captivity, since a lot of their normal work is done for them, these appendages sometimes get overgrown and need to be trimmed. The first rough cut is from a cutting tool, followed by some artful grinding with a Dremmel rotary file, and completed with an emory board. This is all more art than science, but the end results are good for the birds as overly long talons and beaks can be problematic.
Melissa demonstrates proper assessment for Amy and Marta.
Melissa joined Jan as teacher for new Med Services (and one Rescue and Transport) volunteers. Marta was working Med Services today when "Ranger Amy" brought in an injured GHO. Missi guided the assessment of the new bird and the two volunteers got some hands-on experience in the process.
Speaking of GHO's, check the shading difference!
OK, just an interesting photo op: One of the rehabbing GHO's (probably a non-releasable) has been noted as a very dark little guy. In contrast, we posed him with especially light Hedwig this week to demonstrate the morphological difference between the two birds.
"Look! It's a crane!'s a duck! No... it's a..."
Last Saturday night, Jo on the hotline took a call about what was reported to be a baby sandhill crane near the town of Gisela, just south of Payson. It seemed highly unlikely that it would actually be a sandhill, but supposedly the ID was confirmed by a local vet. The next morning, our R&T volunteer in Payson, Mary Williams, was sent to the site to retrieve the bird, whatever is was. At first we were told it was actually a duck of some sort. Whatever it was, it didn't seem injured, just unable to fly. When Mary got the bird home, she searched the internet and some of her bird books as she is a fairly accomplished birder. I asked for a photo for a positive ID and this picture arrived entitled "COOT." This was very close as they are both small water fowl with lobate feet. The picture confirmed that the little guy was in fact a juvenile pied-billed grebe. This also confirmed that he was actually not injured, just out of his element. Grebes can't take-off from land but must have a long water "runway" from which to launch. Mary took him to a good sized lake at the Green Valley Park in Payson and released him. It seems he's doing fine and is enjoying his new surroundings (and is probably telling his story to all his new friends!)
Thank you all for your readership loyalty!! Especially thanks to all who made last week's blog the "Most commented on" since we started. All were wonderful and touching.

1 comment:

Linda Gonzalez said...

many thanks terry for all your info and great pics....always enjoy them as i miss liberty (baby bird season volunteer), but other things happen this time of year....a very happy holiday season to you and yours, see you again in the spring!