Injured Raptor

What To Do If You Find an Injured Raptor

Call the Veterinary Health Center immediately at (573) 882-7821 or (573) 882-4589 after 5pm and on weekends and press one for small animal.

The Missouri Department of Conservation can also be contacted to transport or help contain injured wildlife, including raptors. The Conservation Headquarters can be contacted at (573) 751-4115.

Raptor Rehab is willing to try to make transportation arrangements, though because we are an all-volunteer organization we are unable to guarantee that someone will be available to come retrieve birds outside of a 40 mile radius from Columbia, MO. We ask for your patience while we return telephone inquiries and make transportation arrangements.

Normally, wild animals will not let you approach them unless they are sick or injured. Raptors have sharp talons and powerful beaks which they can use to protect themselves. Even young or injured birds can be a serious threat. For this reason, the Raptor Rehabilitation Project recommends that you contact us instead of trying to handle or care for a bird yourself.

If you believe a bird is in imminent danger and you feel comfortable moving it, the following precautions should be taken:

  • Wear thick gloves, such as welding gloves
  • Gently throw a towel over the bird (this may help to calm it)
  • Be aware of defensive posturing, which involves a bird lying on its back and attacking with its talons
  • Carefully move the bird to a box or dog kennel
  • Keep the bird in a dark, quiet room
  • Do not offer food or water
  • Call the of Veterinary Health Center immediately

Raptors are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, it is illegal to keep raptors without proper permits. For your own safety and the bird’s best interest, please contact a licensed rehabber immediately. The sooner the bird receives medical care, the better the chances of successful treatment.