Finding injured birds of prey

Although luckily not for very frequent occurrence anyone may have to rescue a wounded bird of prey. There are some basic rules to keep in mind:

  • If you can get help by experts (Forestry Department, Supervisory Agents,  Animal Guards, Vets, etc.) at least by phone.
  • Make sure the bird really needs your help. For example the young of the tawny owl (one of the few owls with blue eyes) go out from the nest even before knowing how to fly and are fed by the parents near the nest. If you come across an animal like that in the months from February to May DO NOT pick it up because it does not need your help.
  • Move calmly. Wild animals do not understand our good intentions, at least initially, so even if injured they tend to flee.
  • A wild wounded bird of prey, though no longer able to fly can use dangerously its claws. In general, the best method is to cover the bird of prey with a suitably sized cloth, or a thick towel. Better wear a pair of gardener gloves. The grip on the animal should be firm even if we must not tighten too much.
  • The prey should be placed in a cardboard box with holes for ventilation on the sides (downward).
  • All birds of prey are protected animals and require special care; please contact the Park or the competent territory provinces or the supervisory agents (Regional Forestry or gamekeepers, Animal Guards, etc.). They will give you precise instructions for the wounded animal’s delivery.
  • Do not attempt to forcibly give food or medications that in many cases produce harmful effects. The dosages and the active ingredients administered to birds of prey are not always the same ones used in medicine for our pets.
  • Do not make medications of any kind; often a broken wing if blocked in the wrong position can no longer be healed.
  • For any other difficulty use common sense.