Rescue Techniques

Important – Please note the following

In common with most other wild creatures, birds of prey fear people more than anything else. Any raptor which allows itself to be picked up is very ill and probably close to death.

Unnecessary handling will only jeopardise its chances of survival.

Injured birds of prey require immediate, specialised care and any delay in administering this attention could seriously reduce the possibility of the bird making a full recovery.

The successful rehabilitation and re-release of wild raptors requires specialised knowledge and proper facilities. Raptor Rescue has a countrywide network of rehabilitators who have the necessary experience and are equipped to handle injured birds of prey.

The following rescue technique would be suitable in most circumstances, however these are only guidelines and we should stress that each case is different and should be treated on its merits.

1. Obtain a cardboard box of a suitable size to accommodate the bird to be rescued. Ensure that the box is well ventilated.

2. You will require a towel or blanket large enough to completely cover the bird.

3. Position yourself between the bird and any possible hazards, such as roads, rivers or ditches.

4. Approach the bird slowly, but positively. Place the towel or blanket over the bird.

5. Expect the bird to struggle when first covered. Quickly restrain the bird under the covering.

6. Once it has calmed down, ensure that the bird is completely covered.

7. Using both hands, pick up the bird complete with towel or blanket and place it into the box.

8. The box should then be put in a quiet, dark and warm position. Resist any temptation to look at the bird, as this can often do more harm than good.


9. Contact specialist assistance such as Raptor Rescue, a local veterinary practice, the RSPCA or DEFRA.