How to Rescue an Injured Raptor (Bird of Prey)
To contact Hoo's Woods 608-883-2795




Be aware of the following facts:


Under Federal and State law it is ILLEGAL for any person to injure or possess a bird of prey. (this includes nests and feathers). Rehabilitators are licensed by both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the WI DNR to salvage and rehabilitate injured or orphaned raptors. A raptors feet and talons are very dangerous. BE CAREFUL!  An injured raptor requires immediate specialized care.
Any delay reduces the bird's chance of recovery.

The best method of rescue is to cover them completely with a towel, blanket, jacket or other light-weight item that is large enough to cover the entire bird.

Proceed As Follows:

Note the geographic location where the bird was found. This information will be necessary when
ready to release.

Approach slowly and quietly, do not make direct eye contact. It may struggle when first covered.


When close enough, carefully cover the birds entire body.


Quickly restrain the bird under the covering. Usually you will end up with a covering full of talons
but at least you will know where they are.

As the bird calms down, gather the covering together, being careful to get the bird's wings folded
against the body.

Try to obtain a cardboard box or pet carrier, but not so large the bird will thrash about. Carrying a
flattened cardboard box in your trunk and a pair of inexpensive welding gloves can be very helpful.
Duffle bags tend to create problems with sharp talons getting caught in frayed edges.

Do Not Feed an Injured Bird or Mammal!

Do not stress the bird or mammal by holding, cuddling, photos, etc. They feel stress like we do and are naturally fearful of humans. If you can approach a wild animal it is hurt or sick!
If you do not feel comfortable trying to contain the bird yourself, that's okay. Covering the bird until someone arrives will reduce the bird's stress and usually immobilizes it. If the bird is in the road, it's okay to move it to the side, but do not chase into any thick areas of cover. They are very good at hiding and their plumage blends very well with natural surroundings.
In the event you find a deceased bird, it's okay to put it back to the land. The public may not have feathers or the bird for mounting purposes. This is to be decided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or State DNR.
CALL A REHABILITATOR IMMEDIATELY! You may call your local Department of Natural Resources, Sheriff's Dept, Police Dept or Humane Society for someone near you.