Spirit Filled Wings 501(c)(3)
Raptor babies, or young, are often picked up by the public becasue they think the babies have been orphaned.
The truth is, most orphaned raptors brought to me are not orphaned at all. Raptors are very good parents; they never abandon their young.
The young may fall out of the nest due to storms, or sibling rivilry. But, many are found on the ground as 'branchers;' this is a time when they are literally branching out of the nest. If they are unstable, they might fall to the ground. Be assured that the parents will continue to care for them.
However, once on the ground, the young raptors are very vulnerable. They cannot defend themselves, or fly away. These do need our help!
All of the raptors, including the hatchlings, are fed a natural diet while at SFWs. Sometimes this requires the use of a syringe (photo above). However, when the birds are larger, such as the Red Tailed Hawks above and Eastern Screech Owls to the right, the adult parents feed the young raptors whole prey. (Provided by SFW's, of course :)
When young raptors are brought to SFWs,
the ideal situation would be to put the raptor back in the nest, but that is not always possible. Putting a baby back in the nest isn't always easy, either. There are many things to consider, such as; the age of the baby, how many babies might be in the nest, & the location of the nest. Re-nesting should only be done by a licensed raptor rehabilitator or a professional knowledgable with raptors.
Once a baby has been removed it is imperative that it be taken to a licensed rehabilitator who can assess the needs, and determine if he can be re-nested. If the baby cannot be renested, then they are put with adult birds of the same species where they learn how to be a raptor. The parent bird teaches the young how to hunt, communication sounds, and body language. Young birds that pair up are released together as family units.