Injured Owls & Other Birds of Prey - What to Do
What to do if you find an injured Owl or other Bird of Prey
Remember the following:
Minimising stress is the prerequisite of effective first aid - more birds are killed by shock than by their injuries! So, whatever you do, swift action is a prime necessity as any delay increases stress.
If you are actually able to approach and pick up an injured wild Owl or Bird of Prey, it is likely that it is in a very poor state indeed, and will further be traumatised by being handled!
Never attempt to examine any injured bird yourself as this is also very stressful and requires a trained rehabilitator or vet to do correctly!
Recognised practice for dealing with an injured bird is that you:
Gently throw a jumper or blanket over the injured bird to keep it warm
Put the bird into a well ventilated, darkened cardboard box - not so small that the bird will sustain further damage, but not so large that it can jump around inside. The box should preferably be lined on the bottom with another towel or, if not available, newspaper. Never use straw or sawdust and do not place water in the box.
Do not try to feed the bird. Get the bird to the nearest bird of prey centre as soon as possible.
Remember that bird of prey centres and raptor rescue organisations are there to deal with birds of prey - see this list to find one near you. Contact the RSPCA about other types of injured bird, or take it to a vet.
Always wash your hands if you have touched a bird.