Monday, February 28, 2011

This Week at Liberty 02/28/2011

The intake total for the year is currently at 132.
This week we'll highlight some of the individual birds/animals that are here in our care, plus some shots of what eagles have to go through prior to being released. Also, the weather has again been an issue and it's probably a good thing that only the biggest and strongest birds (eagles and great-hoirned owls) are nesting right now.
Let's look at what's going on...
A beautiful GBH in breeding plumage.
The great blue heron that is in the water fowl pen is sporting his finest breeding plumage and hopefully will soon be released so he can do what he needs to do: contribute to the gene pool!
As soon as he has demonstrated his ability to fly well enough, he'll be taken back to the lake where he was rescued and allowed to return to his job of shore and shallow policing!
The harrier moves outside.
The pretty male harrier has progressed enough to be transferred to an outside enclosure. This will allow him to grow accustomed to the ambient temperatures as well as keep him from damaging his tail. He also eats much better on his own when he is out of the inside cage so this is a win-win deal for him. Next step: freedom! Another bird that needs to get back to replication!
A little hummer eats heartily.
This little hummingbird was dropped off at the emergency clinic last night and was looking fairly sad when I brought him in. By noon, he was standing on the basket and eating almost continually - a good sign! No obvious trauma, he was most likely just torpid from the cold.
Let the cuteness begin!
OK, so even though only eagles and owls (mostly!) are breeding now, bunnies pretty much breed all year, especially in Arizona! This little guy came in last week and was quickly transferred to a bunny care specialist. (It is getting close to Easter...!)
This is why they call them "Red-Tailed Hawks"!
The dark-morph RTH in last week's update displayed his defining field marking so vividly last week that I had to get this shot. No wonder this is one of the most requested feathers at the NEFR (Non-Eagle Feather Repository)!
Dr.Orr cleans a broken beak.
A wooden splint is glued in place.
A gila woodpecker was brought in from Superior last week. the little bird had a broken beak from hitting a window. Some birds fly into windows trying to drive off an intruder - only to discover that it was their own reflection. Glass is mostly impervious to feathers and small bird bones so the result is often an injured bird. In this case, Dr. Orr thought that since the beak wasn't broken all the way off, this wooden splint could be glued on with surgical CA adhesive to hold it in place while the beak healed.
The bald eagle with the X-Files eyes...!
The beak is measured next...
...followed by the tarsi.
Red is for "Rehab".
Bald eagles get two bands: one federal, one state.
Jan gives her beak a final trimming.
All the measurements are recorded.
The female bald eagle that came in last year is finally ready to be released. The surgeries to repair her broken wing healed and she has demonstrated her ability to fly in the 60ft. flight enclosure. Last week Kyle from AZG&F came by to measure, weigh, and band her. He carefully used a micrometer to record the length of her talons, the length and width of her beak, and the diameter of her tarsi (legs), all of which were recored. Then her applied two bands, one silver - the federal band, and one red (for "REHAB") - the state tag. These are so she can be identified both close up and at a distance. Now, it's all up to her!
The golden gets his feet checked.
A good cleaning is in order.
Kyle carefully mic's the talons.
Kyle weighs the bird - almost 10 pounds!

Red shoes for his last pair!
In the enclosure next door to the big bald, was this male golden. Dave Kendall brought him down from the northern edge of the state last year and he gradually grew healthy in our care. The last hurdle he had to jump was a case of "bumble-foot." This is a foot infection some heavy birds develop for unknown reasons. After his feet were checked and wrapped one more time (with dazzling red wraps!), he went through the same measurement routine with Kyle, except he only got one band (the silver federal variety!) God speed, big guy!

1 comment:

Gail said...

Great work Liberty Wildlife!!