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: Injured Bird :

Back to Wildlife Rehabilitation

What do you do if you find an injured raptor?

If you encounter a raptor that appears to be injured or ill, first call the Raptor Center at 937-767-7648. We can advise you on whether the bird needs help and on how best to do that.

When handling the bird, use gloves to avoid injury from its sharp talons and beak. A towel or blanket temporarily thrown over the bird may allow easier handling. It is helpful if there are two people, one to distract it, and one to capture it. Grasp the bird on its sides, folding the wings down or just put a box over the bird. For transporting, place the raptor in a cardboard box slightly larger than the bird itself, or in a suitable-sized pet carrier. Never put a wild bird in a wire cage, because of the possibility of damage to its feathers.

If you find a young bird you think is abandoned, be certain that it truly needs help before removing it from the area. Young birds are often out of their nests before they can fly, being cared for by parents that are nearby, but possibly not visible. The adult birds can do a much better job of raising their young than humans can. You can help the parents by keeping dogs and cats out of the area.

Do not offer the bird food or water, or attempt to care for it yourself. Not only is it against the law to do so, it may result in injury to you, and is not in the best interests of the bird. It is very helpful if you can transport the bird directly to the Raptor Center, after you have called us to make the arrangements.

If you find other wildlife that needs help, we can give you information on rehabilitators and facilities in the area. Brukner Nature Center in Troy is the main facility that accepts songbirds, waterfowl, reptiles, and most mammals. Their number is 937-698-6493, with the rehabilitation clinic reached during the spring and summer at 937-698-4607.

If you live in another part of Ohio, check the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association for a list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators, or call your Ohio Division of Wildlife district office for assistance.