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How do raptors get injured?

Injured and orphaned raptors are brought to the Center by concerned individuals or rescued by our staff. Most of the injuries the raptors receive are human-related, directly or indirectly. Collisions with vehicles and windows are common; raptors are sometimes trapped in buildings, barbed wire, or netting; and nest sites and habitat are destroyed.

What to do with an injured bird.

If you have found an injured bird or a baby bird that you think is in need of help, please read this information first!

Are the birds released back into the wild?

These two young Barred Owls were cared for at the Raptor Center as nestlings in April 2012 until they were old enough to climb the tree to rejoin their family.

The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to release healthy individuals back to the wild. We are able to do that with more than half of the 150-200 birds admitted each year, giving them a second chance at life in the wild. This does not impact wildlife populations, but is certainly important for the individual birds that are helped, and for the people who find them.

What kind of birds come to the Raptor Center?

Although there may be 15-18 different species admitted each year, five species account for over 80% of the admissions: red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, American kestrels, Eastern screech-owls, and great horned owls. More than half of them are usually first-year birds, displaced from nests or running into trouble soon after they have fledged.

What do we do with young birds?

When possible, we return nestlings and fledglings to their parents or the nest site area. This is especially important for the larger hawks and owls, because they spend a long period of time with their parents before they can hunt well enough to be on their own. When it is not safe to leave small raptors, such as young screech-owls and kestrels where they were found, they may be raised at the Raptor Center, given the opportunity to catch live prey, and released into suitable habitat. Adult raptors are released where they were found, because they may have a territory with a mate and young depending on the time of year.