We are very fortunate to have RAPTOR, Inc., a world-class raptor rehabilitation center, in Southwest Ohio! The following is excerpted from RAPTOR, Inc.'s website.
Birds of prey are typically recognized by their sharp curved beaks and talons. There are over 20 different species of birds of prey indigenous to the Greater Cincinnati area. Birds of prey include owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, osprey, harriers, kites and vultures.
What do you do when you find an injured raptor?
Raptors face many environmental hazards including collisions with vehicles and windows, entanglement in fishing line, kite and balloon strings, and barbed wire, and injuries from predators. They are also vulnerable to infections, starvation, and poisoning from pesticides.
An injured or ill raptor is a wild animal and will likely react aggressively out of fear, pain or defense when approached by people. Handling of these animals can be dangerous, aggravate the illness or injury, and can also kill the animal just from the stress of being captured.
Our goals are to safely contain the animal, place it in a stress-free environment, and get it to the licensed raptor rehabilitators at RAPTOR Inc. as soon as possible.
Call the Raptor Center – at (513) 825-3325. We may be tending to injured birds so if there is no answer, listen to the recording for instructions about how to reach our Emergency Dispatcher. The dispatcher can give you detailed instructions about how to proceed.
Prepare a box – Place newspapers and an absorbent material, such as a towel, in the bottom of a box that can be securely closed. Pet carriers or cages are not desirable options because of the damage they can cause to the bird’s feathers.
Carefully contain the bird. Safety First – Use thick gloves, such as welders gloves, to protect yourself from the bird’s talons and beak. A thick towel can also be useful for some species. These birds can be dangerous. It’s best to call for advice before proceeding in an unsafe manner.
Secure the raptor in the box – close the lid securely, cover the box with a towel, and place the box in a warm, quiet area. At the very least, place a box or laundry basket over the bird so it can’t disappear.
Arrange for Transport to the Raptor Center – transport the bird to the Raptor Center if possible. If this isn’t possible we will try to find a volunteer to pick up the bird depending on distance.
Do not offer food or water – this can kill an injured or ill bird.
Resist the temptation to look at the bird or to take pictures – stress can be deadly. Consider what is best for the injured raptor.