If you find an injured raptor...
If you find an injured raptor, special steps are needed to protect it and yourself. The following steps will ensure everyone's safety:
- Never feed an injured raptor. Raptors have very specific dietary needs and even the best meat available to you may be inappropriate for a raptor. Also, most injured raptors are suffering from dehydration and/or emaciation, so food or water may kill it.
- Handle the raptor only if absolutely necessary! The less contact it has with people, the more likely it will be to survive. Stress is deadly for these birds.
- If you must handle a raptor, wear long, heavy gloves and use a blanket or towel to cover the bird. Gently fold the raptor's wings against its body into a normal, relaxed position.
- Place the raptor in a cardboard box with small ventilation holes cut near the floor of the box. The box should be slightly larger than the bird. Less room to thrash around means less chance of the raptor causing itself injury.
- NEVER use a wire cage, transport raptors in the open bed of a truck, or leave the raptor in a place where temperatures could reach extremes.
- Provide the raptor with a dark, quiet, and warm environment. DO NOT keep the raptor any longer than absolutely necessary and always keep it away from pets and children.
- Remember, even a seriously injured or seemingly incapacitated raptor can be potentially dangerous. Even if you are trying to help the bird, it will be frightened and may perceive you as a threat. Raptors can be quite unpredictable. Be particularly wary of their beak and talons.