Raptor rehabilitation

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Raptor rehabilitation is a field of veterinary medicine dealing with care for sick or injured birds of prey, with the goal of returning them to the wild. Since raptors are highly specialized predatory birds, special skills, facilities, equipment, veterinary practices and husbandry methods are necessary.

Raptor rehabilitators often use falconry techniques or gain assistance from falconers to exercise the birds prior to their release, as their muscles often atrophy during their convalescence.[1]

In the United States, a license is required to possess any bird which falls under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), and so the rehabilitators are under loose scrutiny from their state wildlife management authority as well as the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.[2]

Raptors that cannot be released back into the wild are sometimes used for education or transferred to licensed falconers. Some states require that birds that cannot be placed or released be euthanized. Most states do not allow rehabilitators to keep raptors under their rehabilitation permit for more than a few months.[3]

No funds for raptor rehabilitation are provided by the U.S. government, though it claims ownership of all raptors protected by the MBTA.


  1. ^ Zealand, AMG Web Design New. "Falconry And Bird of Prey Conservation". www.wingspan.co.nz. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  2. ^ "Do I need a License? - National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association". www.nwrawildlife.org. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  3. ^ "Sometimes young birds do need help – Raptor rehabilitation, education, and research". soarraptors.org. Retrieved 2018-02-02.