Raptor Emergency

Raptors are birds such as owls, hawks, falcons, vultures, and eagles.

If you suspect that you have an injured or sick adult raptor or an orphaned juvenile raptor please contact the Wildlife In Need Center at (262) 965-3090 with your observations to decide with the help of a wildlife rehabilitator whether the raptor needs help.

If you determine that the raptor needs help please follow these suggestions for safe capture, care, and transportation.


  • Find a towel, blanket, jacket, or light weight material that will completely cover the raptor.  Also, find a pair of heavy gloves to protect your hands.
  • Remember that a raptors main defense is their feet and talons.  They may not realize that you are trying to help so BE CAREFUL!
  • Approach the raptor from behind and completely cover it with the material.  Remember if the raptor is alert it will struggle.
  • Restrain the raptor under the material and hold its wings against its body.
  • Place the raptor in a well ventilated cardboard box or plastic pet carrier.
  • Make an observation of where the raptor came from so it can be returned.  Raptors are very territorial and are most successful after release if they can be returned to their own territory.


  • Please DO NOT FEED or OFFER WATER to the raptor as it can aspirate or choke on what is offered.  Raptors have very specific dietary needs and require specialized food and care.
  • Handle the raptor as little as possible and keep the raptor in a dark, quiet, calm, and warm place to reduce stress until the raptor can be brought to a licensed rehabilitation facility.


  • Place the covered and secured box on the floor or seat of your car.
  • Keep the car quiet (no radio and quiet voices) and warm to reduce stress.
  • Do NOT let a child or other individual hold the raptor in transport.  It is a safety risk for the person, as well as extremely stressful for the raptor.  Please think first about the well being of the raptor in your care.

Remember, your safety is the most important factor.  Do not unnecessarily put yourself or others at risk for injury while attempting to rescue or capture an animal.  When in doubt call the Wildlife In Need Center at (262) 965-3090.

Way to Go! You have become a Wildlife Rescuer.