Mississippi Kite


News & Stories

Native American Eagle Aviaries

Young Eagles Nest

Snowy Owl

What causes the problem
I found a baby .....
Veterinarian care
Training & Certification
Capture and Transporting
Permits, and Laws
Raptor ID


Raptor Diet
The Starfish story
Rehab Organizations
Schweitzer Prayer

I found a Baby......

Please consult this link for instructions if you found a baby bird.

For help in identifying a raptor see Raptor ID

What ever you do, don't keep the bird yourself.  It's against the law

 Veterinarian care

Most injured wildlife will require veterinary care. In school, Veterinarian students generally receive two weeks of training on wildlife. Many will graduate in debt, and there is generally no money associated with treating wildlife.  These students get most of their training with Dogs, Cats, Horses, Cows, Pigs, Chickens/Turkeys.  Some get Emus, Llamas, and household exotics (tropical birds, snakes, lizards, etc). When they graduate, they need to mentor under a wildlife vet, and if there aren't many, this becomes even harder.  A few vets will treat wildlife, but fewer have experience and specific training on them.  The association of Avian vets is a good source for veterinarians with training and experience with birds. To locate a vet in your area visit: AAV Find your local Avian Veterinarian 

 Training and Certification

In order to be a wildlife rehabilitator, you need training and some experience.  NWRA and IWRC, provide training.  After you receive training, you will need supplies, a veterinarian who will take wildlife, a food source, various equipment, and caging. You will need a state permit or license, and if you rehab birds you will generally require a federal permit as well. Both NWRA and IWRC have annual symposia where rehabbers (both experienced and novice) get together and exchange information. Generally, it's very hard to be a rehabilitator if you have a job away from the house, or if you have small children.  You will also need extra money to cover all the related expenses.


Capture and Transporting

Birds are protected by Federal Law, and international treaty.  It is illegal to keep a wild bird.  However, the law does provide the ability of a person to transport, an injured animal to a rehabber or veterinarian if it is in need of veterinary care.

Title 51, part 51 "A rehabilitation permit is required to take, temporarily possess, or transport any migratory bird for rehabilitation purposes. However, any person who finds a sick, injured, or orphaned migratory bird may, without a permit, take possession of the bird in order to immediately transport it to a permitted rehabilitator."

Never endanger a Human life in an attempt to save an animal.  If in doubt, get professional help.

Climbing a tree or going into traffic is dangerous!

While attempting to rescue an animal:

1.    You may get hit by a car.

2.    Another car trying to avoid you, may swerve and injure or kill themselves or a third party.  While you may not value your life over that of an animal you can NOT make this choice for others.

3.    You may scare the animal into traffic and cause it to die.

Do not climb a tree to put a bird in a nest.  You could fall and injure or kill yourself.  Get assistance or advice from a rehabber or game ranger.

Be careful when picking up a raptor.  Their feet are their defense, so promptly gain control of their feet.  They have sharp and powerful talons (nails) and beak.  It is often recommended you throw a towel over it, and use welding or other heavy duty gloves to pick it up.  Grabbing them from above and behind typically works best.  Put it in a box where it can stand up.  Make air holes in the lid prior to putting in the bird, and fasten the lid securely so the bird can't escape. Many people use duct tape.  Try to keep the bird at room temperature (70 degrees Fahrenheit).    Keep the box, dark and quiet and get to a rehabilitator or vet as soon as possible, within 24 hours.


Imprinting a species-specific, rapid type learning during a critical period of early life in which social attachment and identification are established; (can be a problem with rehabilitation birds if incorrect identification by a nestling bird with inanimate or animate objects occurs with a resulting abnormal parental/sexual species identification. (from NWRA)

This typically happens between an animal and it's mother and father.  A youngster usually imprints on the species it is being raised by. It is VERY important that the animal not imprint on a human.  Some animals imprint very easily and it's irreversible.  To be releasable, the animal must bond with it's own species and be afraid of humans.  An example of animals imprinting easily are: Raccoons, American Kestrels, Vultures, Condors, and Eagles. Do not keep these animals for more than 24 hours, and don't let the young see you.