Monday, January 31, 2011

This Week at Liberty 01/31/2011

The intake total for the year is now at 90 (est.)
The work gets back to a fairly normal ebb and flow this week, working around the condor and his special needs, and admitting some new animals for treatment. As always, some survive and flourish, others, sadly, do not. But the care is always the same high level, professional work done with care and love. Even the unfortunate animals that don't survive deserve to have their stories told with compassion and respect.
Lori and Beth assess an intake GHO. (photo by Nancy Lescault)
On certain evenings, the Med Services staff is one person and they can impress other volunteers into service when the need arises. Here is Lori Reger getting help from Beth, one of the night owl team, to hold a great horned owl that came in late in the day.

More discarded fishing gear. (photo by Allen Spencer)

A little pied-billed grebe gets untangled. (photo by Allen Spencer)
A young pied-billed grebe came in last week with lots of fishing line and a multi-hook lure impaling his feet. Luckily he was found early in his predicament and the offending line and hooks were removed. He is expected to make a full recovery. Cleaning up after ourselves in the outdoors is as important as it is when we are home.

Sharon checks a wing as Lesley holds. (photo by Allen Spencer)
A striking young male northern harrier. (photo by Allen Spencer)
For some reason, we don't get a lot of male harriers in at Liberty, but last week a particularly striking example showed up. Because they fly low and hunt on the wing, they are susceptible to collision damage from ground objects, as this bird seemed to be.

An older cooper's hawk comes in.

Toba wraps an injured wing.
Several accipiters have come in recently and last week was no exception. This cooper's hawk arrived with some wing damage most likely sustained in a collision suffered while chasing some smaller bird from a local feeder. Eye color is indicative of age in accipiters and in this case, shows this bird has been around a long time. We need to get this bird back into the gene pool!

A very pretty young GHO has a terrible wing injury.

Looking for hope - where there is none.

Dr. Wyman assists the vet night crew with a young RTH.

Looking for some response...

The look on both faces tells the story.
Two of the most common birds of prey that we see are GHOs and RTHs. They are found everywhere in North America. The downside to being this ubiquitous is that if your injuries are severe enough to preclude release, there is nothing that can be done for most of them. Two birds came in last week, a little great horned owl with a catastrophically broken shoulder, and a pretty red-tailed hawk who received a mangled hip/leg injury in a car collision. We are not permitted to amputate wings above the elbow and one-legged hawks cannot survive in the wild. Sadly, this meant they both had to be euthanized. No smiles in the ICU last Tuesday...

A little female coyote arrives. (photo by Allen Spencer)
"Do I have to come out?" (photo by Allen Spencer)
Dr. Orr examines a broken leg. (photo by Allen Spencer)
Jan helps me hold as Dr. Orr checks the extent of the injury. (photo by Allen Spencer)
A muzzle is required. (photo by Allen Spencer)

The muzzle comes off as she goes back into the carrier. (photo by Allen Spencer)

Resting on the way to the clinic.
Last week Sharon Sneva and I went on a coyote rescue call. The little female had been hit by a car and her back two legs were injured. We got her into the carrier and took her back to Liberty for triage as Dr. Orr was there that morning. Getting her out of the carrier and muzzled was not easy, but after we did, Dr. Orr and Jan confirmed that a leg was broken but that the back was not involved. This was good news so we put her back into the carrier and took her to the clinic near PV Mall who does work for us and Southwest Wildlife. They x-rayed her and decided that she was a good candidate for reconstructive surgery. I left her there in good hands with high hopes for an eventual recovery and release.


Bethany F said...

Its always hard when our patients dont make it :( Poor RTH was in bad shape.

SUPER cute coyote though. Hope she does well. I love those guys.

Great blog, thanks Terry!

Gail said...

It is phenomenal work you all do, and we can only pray that the ones that don't make it were spared some measure of suffering. The wildlife of Arizona is blessed to have the good folks of Liberty Wildlife!

Anonymous said...

I too hope the little pretty coyote pulls through. Sorry about the hawk and the owl...they are free from pain now. Thats all we can ask for. Bless you all.