...If You Find an Injured Raptor

Do Not Remove Bird Unless

  • You saw the bird become injured
    • Such as being hit by a car
  • The bird is Laying alongside a busy road
  • You have watched the bird for 24 hours and it has not moved during that time
  • You see a broken bone, bird dragging wing, attempting to fly but cannot get off ground, you see blood

Do Not give Food or Water to Injured Bird

Rein in your instinct to feed bird.  Yes, it may be hungry and it will likely eat if you give it food.  However, if bird is dehydrated, feeding it can often kill it...you will have no way of knowing if a bird is dehydrated, a professional raptor rehabilitator will.  Resist the urge to feed, please!

Do not try to hydrate bird!  Using a spray bottle to mist bird or dropping water into mouth will not hydrate bird and can cause additional problems.

You may put a bird bath basin directly on ground near bird (filled with water).  This may encourage bird to drink on its own.  

Do Not give Bird to Anyone Other than a Federal Licensed Raptor Rehabilitator

First, Do Not Panic.  Do not take injured bird to a nature center, zoo, veterinarian, or give to a state licensed wildlife rehabilitator, unless directed by a federal licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Birds of prey are protected by the North American Treaty Act, and only federally licensed rehabilitators are allowed to treat and care for birds of prey. There are reasons for this, for more information on this, go to, Regulations page