Hawk Haven

Handling Injured Raptors

  • Be certain the bird really needs rescuing. Is it an uninjured juvenile? Are its parents still feeding it?
  • Be careful! Raptors have sharp talons and beaks and unless extremely sick, they are very, very fast!
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Throw a towel, blanket or jacket over the bird and place it in an airy cardboard box.
  • AS SOON AS POSSIBLE call a wildlife shelter, veterinarian or your relevant government agency.
  • Avoid handling the bird too much or feeding it. Young raptors can become imprinted on humans severely reducing their chances of successful rehabilitation.
  • DO NOT place the bird in a wire enclosure. This may result in severe feather and cere (skin around the nostril area) damage.
  • Resist the temptation to keep the bird for any length of time. Raptors are demanding patients requiring specialised care and diet. It may need expert care urgently!