Monday, February 7, 2011

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 02/07/2011

Photo on Wednesday afternoon

Despite the photo this will be an upbeat blog…stay with me. The story begins on a very cold and windy day last week. A wind chill factor of 24 is brutal for a southwestern desert. The place is Gila Bend, Arizona which is about 75 miles from Phoenix. A call comes in from an alarmed worker at the Solana Generating Station and Tierra Construction Site where Liberty Wildlife has been doing some burrowing owl work. A large white bird has been found clinging for life on the side of a running irrigation ditch. Keep in mind that it is cold, windy and the bird is now very wet. The caller thinks that it is possibly a bald eagle, but isn’t sure. A call had been placed to a closer agency but no reply had come for three hours so in desperation they called Liberty Wildlife despite the distance.

Jan Miller took the call and when the photo was electronically sent to her she quickly identified the bird as an adult osprey. Her quick response instructed the workers to get the bird out of the water as it was getting hypothermic. They were to wrap it in something warm and move it into the security trailer. Finding an empty plastic tub and placing the bird in the workers’ jackets, they propped lamps up around the outside of the tub and quickly began the warming process…clever and innovative techniques….making do with what was available!

Jan then started the rescue and transport arm of Liberty Wildlife. On a first call Dave Kendall answered and was willing to drop what he was doing to make the over 75 mile journey (one way) to transport the bird to Liberty Wildlife’s intensive care. As a backup, Tony Sola stood ready to drive the distance if Dave hadn’t been available….what a crew! Cudos to the Rescue and Transport Team for rising to the occasion….this trip was at least 75 miles to the rescue, on to Liberty Wildlife and then back home for the R and T volunteer… impressive donation of time for one suffering animal in need….and with others waiting in the wings if needed!

Dave arrived at Liberty in the early evening with the bird. Jan and staff waited to make sure it was stable and comfortable after the ordeal of the day with no real idea of how long the bird had been clinging to the bank. Fellow ospreys had been seen in the area, possibly a mate observing the happenings. This always makes expediency an issue.

Fast forward to a day and a half later…’s the happy part. Osprey number 11-0078 is standing and feisty for freedom. If there is a mate waiting, there will soon be a reunion. Whatever the events were that caused this bird to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the quick action by the folks at the Solana Generating Station and Tierra Construction, the office at Liberty Wildlife, and the dedication of the Rescue and Transport team, the reunion will occur with the distinct possibility of future offspring this year.

I love a success story.

Photo on Thursday afternoon

1 comment:

Gail said...

Gorgeous bird and an inspirational story!