Sunday, January 2, 2011

This Week at Liberty 01/03/2011

The intake for the new year is now at... 4!
OK, back on schedule with TW@L for 2011! A couple of new intakes from various places around the area and the state made the update this week, and a couple of previous patients are still in our care. We did some X-ray work on Thursday - and saw some SNOW! (I was in Anchorage last night and it was warmer than Phoenix!)
Let's start the year off...
A GBH in breeding plumage is a guest in the heron enclosure.
Arlene and Sharon help as Jan examines...
Tony brought in a great blue heron from the west side last week. He had to wade out into the lake to get the big guy who had been dragging a wing for a day or two. Normally we don't attempt to get water fowl out of the water, but Tony is a hard-core dedicated rescuer and was not to be denied! The beautiful bird is now recovering outside in the heron "run" on the north side.
A black-crowned night heron - also in breeding plumage.
A Schroeder-Thomas splint is used.
Attachment is the tricky part.
The final protective wrap.
An unfortunate BCNH came in last week in terrible condition. He has a broken wing and a broken leg. The wing was a fairly straight forward, but a long-legged wading bird like the heron is in particularly bad shape when their legs are structurally damaged. We fashioned a special splint called a "Schroeder-Thomas" that fits around the leg and transfers the weight and stress from the foot up to the body, allowing the broken limb to mend. The poor bird has a lot of healing to do and the prognosis is still not great, but he has a chance, thanks to the Med Services team!
A young RTH learns about glass - the hard way!
Now he joins the rest of the Red-Tail rehab club outside!
A young red-tailed hawk was brought in recently with a damaged beak after reportedly flying directly into a window! Audubon estimates that a billion (that's with a "b"!) birds fly into windows each year. They usually see a reflexion of blue sky or possibly themselves and think they are driving off an intruder or just flying toward the open sky. The unfortunate lesson learned is that glass doesn't yield to feathers and bone and in this case, the young bird's beak was broken at the tip. If he hadn't been rescued, he would certainly have died, being unable to eat on his own until the tip grew back. Being kept safe and well fed at Liberty, he is now joining the rest of our rehabbing RTH's to recover his flying skills and will be released in the near future, having learned a valuable, though painful lesson.
Another electrical injury from down south.
Checking for burn marks on her toes.
Now we wait to see how deep the current went.
The hotline got a call from someone in Douglas last week about an injured great horned owl. Our good friend Christie van Cleve who now lives near Sierra Vista took the time to go down and retrieve the bird, gave it a quick exam and some food, and then drove up to the north side of Tucson where I met her and took the bird on the last leg of the relay to Liberty. It appears that her left wing has a probable electrical burn and is quite swollen and discolored. Some soothing ointment was applied and the wing wrapped after a complete exam was performed to look for other indications of electrical intrusion. Now all we can do now is wait to see how deep the current went and how much damage was done. Fingers crossed, please! (Thank you Christie!)
The first RTH is readied for X-ray.
Now we know what caused the break: a 22 cal.pellet!
Dr.Wyman applies some sutures.
"But I don't WANNA get my picture taken!"
Dr.Wyman and Jan study the X-ray.
Jan holds the black merlin as Dr.Wyman palpates the injury.

Yes, this IS Arizona on December 30th!
Last Thursday was X-ray day so we took five birds up to Cave Creek for a photo session! One big RTH that has been with us for a week or so (and has been featured in previous TW@L updates) had a badly broken wing of unknown origin. The break was finally shown to have been caused by a 22 cal. pellet that severely damaged the humerus above the elbow. It's amazing how well lead shows up in X-rays... We also got diagnostic shots of the prairie falcon that Tim McAdam flew in from Ft. Mohave and the little black merlin that has been our patient recently. The P.falcon should be able to fly again, though how soon is a guess. Unfortunately, the merlin does not appear to be a candidate for release at this point. We'll keep you posted.
While we were at the Animal Health Services facility, a rare event occurred: snow began falling - enough to get the staff to come outside and take pictures of this oddity in the Arizona desert! (Thank you AHS, for allowing us the use of your X-ray unit!)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Terry.....TWL starting the new year just as you left off the old year, fantastic photos and info for all the readers. Thank you......Art