If You Find an Injured Raptor...
Finding an injured raptor can be overwhelming. Before attempting
anything, it is critical that you make sure the bird is clearly
injured. Young birds when learning to fly, get away from their
nest and sit on the ground to rest. They may return to their
nest or be taken care of by their parents on the ground. Please
make sure something is VISIBLY wrong, such as the bird is having
trouble walking or cannot fly, before capturing a bird because
it may be completely healthy. Do not attempt to capture an
injured raptor unless you feel comfortable! Contact the WSU
Veterinary Teaching Hospital at 509-335-0711 if you have any
questions or concerns. And please, use extreme caution!!
Alaska Air generously
donates round trip air transportation at NO COST for raptors to the
WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for treatment, rehabilitation, and
release back to native habitats. Injured raptors anywhere within the
Alaska Air service area can be quickly and conveniently flown to us
so we can provide the proper care. If you have a bird you would like
to transport via Alaska Air, please contact Dr. Nickol Finch
the Veterinary Teaching Hospital to make arrangements.
- FIND A BLANKET OR THICK JACKET
An adult should grasp the raptor with both hands using the blanket
or thick jacket, making sure to keep the wings folded in. Wearing
thick, leather gloves will provide the most protection if at all
possible. Use caution because the raptor will try to defend itself
by using its talons and is capable of injuring you in the process.
- PLACE IN A CARDBOARD BOX
Place the raptor in a cardboard box or a hard plastic animal kennel
(not wire!) large enough for the bird to stand up in. If placing in
a cardboard box, please make sure to provide the bird with small
holes cut near the bottom. NEVER place a raptor in a wire cage
because the wire damages their feathers. Keep the box in a quiet,
warm, dark place, away from other animals or danger. If a box is not
available, hold the raptor firmly in the blanket or jacket until
turning it over to a veterinarian for proper care. Keep its head
covered and maintain a secure hold of its feet.
DO NOT attempt to offer food as if the bird is dehydrated it may not
be able to digest it. Attempting to feed the bird may kill it! Water
may be offered and is often readily accepted by dehydrated birds.
- CALL LOCAL FISH & GAME DEPARTMENT
Alert them that you have found an injured raptor and get approval to
transport it to a veterinarian for further care.
- BE PROUD OF YOURSELF
Helping injured birds of prey is not an easy thing, but many times
it provides these birds with a second chance. Also, when bringing in
an injured raptor, we ask if you would like to be present in the
case that release of the animal is possible. This is a wonderful,
exciting opportunity, of which you will be notified of and invited
to participate in.
CAUTION: All native birds are protected in the United States under
the Migratory Bird Act of 1918 - even those species that have a
designated hunting season. It is ILLEGAL to harass, catch, possess,
or house raptors without special permits. Violations of this law,
including the shooting of a bird or even owning a feather from a
bird, are extreme and involve high monetary penalties or even
imprisonment. Do not risk it!!
Do not attempt to care for an injured raptor! Raptors require a well
balanced diet and many die because people take them in and try to
care for them. Please turn any raptor over to a licensed
rehabilitator IMMEDIATELY for proper care.