If you find a young bird of prey, or nestling, first look around for a nest, or parents. Often, young birds will spend some time on the ground while they're learning to fly. If the bird looks alert and healthy, and you can see their nest, please place them back in the nest. This is the best thing for the bird. No one can raise it better than its parents!
All injured birds of prey are dangerous, even young birds have sharp talons and beaks, which are dangerous to bare hands.
- If you can, use a pair of thick work gloves, and approach the bird slowly, and throw a blanket or towel over the bird.
- The bird may struggle at first, so give it a moment before you pick it up. Take care to fold the wings against the body and be cautious of the legs and talons.
- Place the bird in a cardboard box, or similar container with plenty of ventilation. Keep the box in a room temperature, dark, quiet place away from children, pets, and loud noises. Cover the box with a towel or blanket.
- Do not disturb the bird once placed inside the box. This rescue will probably be the most stressful thing that has ever happened to the bird, and shock can do just as much damage as any injury.
- The bird may not be strong enough to digest solid food, so do not offer food or water to the bird. Even if it appears hungry, feeding could harm or even kill the bird.
- Remember, or mark the location where the bird was found. If at all possible, we will try to return the bird to its original location.
Injured raptors require specialized treatment and care. It is illegal to possess any migratory bird without state and federal permits. The best thing that you can do for an injured bird of prey is to get it to a rehabilitator as soon as possible.