Saving the Birds of Prey: Steps to Take if You Encounter an Injured One
If you have stumbled upon an injured raptor, there are a few things you should know as you try to figure out what to do.
First and foremost, if you do find a raptor that’s in trouble, there is a number you can call. That number is 843.971.7474. They can give you explicit instruction and guide you through the process.
A veterinarian may can help but more often than not, they are not properly set up to do so and will end up calling the same number for relief of the matter. So it is best to go directly to those who specialize in the area of helping injured raptors.
If you cannot reach anyone, like perhaps you are out in the wild without phone reception, you can still do your part to help. Start by securing the bird. You may have to actually catch it. Using something like clothing, gloves, a towel or even a blanket is the best way to catch the bird.
Beware that an injured bird will be terrified and that they may lash out or become even more stressed as you are trying to help. Do your best to make gentle and slow movements and be sure you are wearing protective gear such as gloves.
Then, place the injured bird on something such as a piece of clothing, or in a cardboard box or whatever is around that will support and hopefully hold the bird in. Cover the bird so that it doesn’t escape and whatever you do, keep it away from children and other animals and protect yourself as well. Birds can carry diseases so better safe than sorry. Do remember to poke holes if you secure it in a box or to leave breathing room if you use a towel, blanket or clothing to cover him.
It is for sure not to give the bird any food or water unless directed to do so by an authority in the subject. In fact, it is illegal to even have a bird of prey since they are protected federally so handle the situation with care. Call the authorities and follow the instructions given.
If you end up needing to keep the bird for a time until you can get him somewhere for help, keep him in a dark, quiet warm spot. Generally, you will need to deliver the bird to the place of help. There are places that will come and get them but it is never a given that that will happen so be aware of that when you take one in. You are responsible for doing so once you take the project on.
It is unfortunate that birds do get injured. They sometimes encounter things that just happen in the wild like being attacked themselves and they can also get shot or injured by a human or machine. The good news is that if delivered to a facility that is set up to help the injured bird, it is very hopeful that it will survive as there are people who are specifically trained to treat them.