Sunday, February 13, 2011

This Week at Liberty 02/14/2011

The intake total for the year is now at 102
We'll see some general updates this week involving new patients as well as some previous intakes. We're also beginning to gear up for the upcoming orphan care season and we'll show you what's on that horizon in the weeks to come. The condor is still in our care and will be for some time yet, and the osprey is making progress toward eventual release.
Let's see what's up this week...
Jan assembles a tail.
In our role as one of the two Non-Eagle Feather Repositories, we respond to requests by native Americans for both feathers and bird parts to be used in religious and cultural ceremonies. Often, whole tails are requested and when this happens, the feathers must sometimes be assembled by our staff prior to shipment. Artistic aptitude and knowledge of bird anatomy and structure is required. Luckily, Jan and Nina have these skills.
Twice a day, every day...
Access to the crop.
Condor 122 is still in our care. The effects of lead contamination is devastating and often takes several months of careful therapy to overcome. In this case, the muscles of the bird's crop are not working so food must be pumped into his stomach, effectively by-passing the crop. The crop itself has been left open for cleaning and periodic testing for proper function. Twice a day, the bird must be manually held (especially the beak!) while the crop is examined, cleaned, and food is injected to maintain the bird's strength and weight. It promises to be a long process.
Jan examines an injured GHO wing.
A kestrel is evaluated.
A red-tail gets to go outside.
A lively discussion.
Joining the team outside.
It's a major step when a bird has progressed enough to move from e brooder/cage in the ICU to an outside enclosure. This is usually one of the indications that the bird is getting better and is now expected to begin flying again, at least short distances. They get to acclimate to ambient conditions and associate with others of their species prior to being released outright. This week two birds made the grade by being transferred outside. One, an RTH, and the other a little harris' hawk. The HaHa held his own in the 30ft enclosure with several other harris' hawks and is now able to regain his flying skills. Next step: RELEASE!
The cooper's wrap is checked.
A cooper's gets a tail guard.
Making progress.
The big young cooper's hawk is making progress in recovery. The wrap was checked last week and since it is still a good candidate for eventual release, a guard was installed to protect it's tail feathers. A broken/damaged tail often leads to leads a prolonged stay as the bird needs to molt in new feathers prior to release.
Feeding the osprey.
He'll be flying soon...
The osprey from down south is making a slow recovery and is now outside in a flight enclosure. The biggest problem with rehabbing ospreys is their reluctance to eat in captivity. This means that more often than not, they must be force-fed while during the recovery process.
The male harrier is making slow progress and got wrapped in a "bird-burrito" in order to get weighed last week. The all seeing eye was the only indication that the towel held precious cargo...
Visiting neighbors.
Sitting on the wires over the north side enclosures, these two local harris' hawks watch the activity at the facility. The whole family is constantly flying back and forth over the Liberty grounds, sometimes worrying the patients and the full-time residents.
"I said, LEFT face!"
These starlings were seen on the raptor perch behind Liberty last week. There's always one in every crowd who follows the beat of his own drummer...!

Veto shows he has "heart"!
OK, this photo has run before, but since it's Valentine's Day, here is another look at Veto, our official Valentine Heart bird! Wishing all the TW@L followers and supporters a warm and heartfelt HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!


Anonymous said...

Another great issue....thanks everyone. Regarding there no demand for pigeon feathers?


Anonymous said...

Love the starling pic! too funny! DM

BethanyF said...

1. Veto sure does have heart...the heart of a dedicated escape artist. Love that guy!

2. The picture of the Harrier burrito reminds me of that one scene in Jurassic Park...the T Rex eye?