ICBP has been accepting and working with injured wild birds of prey since 1967.
Over the years we have learnt a great deal on the sort of injuries to expect from a particular species of bird, what to do for birds that come in emaciated and how to help them to recover.
We know what to look for in birds that have hit windows or been hit by cars and how to diagnose the potential problems. We know how long to keep birds in, what sort of enclosures work best to aid their recovery, and how and when to release them back to the wild.
Every case is different and some can still surprise us. I will never forget having a young, nearly fledged wild Tawny Owl in that on first look, appeared fine, but always seemed to have his eyes closed, on closer examination he had been born with no eyes and so there was nothing we could do other than euthanise the bird. It was heart breaking because in every other way he was perfect, but in my opinion it would not have been an acceptable life for him to have been kept with no eyes.
A reasonable percentage of the birds can be released back to the wild fairly quickly and depending on the time of year we try to release them near where they were found as it gives them a higher chance of survival – why – because they know the territory and where the best hunting is to be found. Young birds are the most difficult to release, particularly if they have come in before they have learnt to hunt for themselves, as may not know, it is very hard for them to manage without a parent to help them learn the basics.
Some we are able to train and fly and hunt prior to release but with many it is not possible, so we just have to get them as fit and fat as possible and hope the second chance they have been granted will help them to survive.
We don't generally accept other kinds of birds, because we are not set up for them, although we do occasionally get some odd ones! This year 2012 we have started an appeal to fund raise to build a decent Raptor Hospital for the injured wild birds as we are in desperate need of one. So if you are interested and can help let us know.
For anyone finding an injured wild bird you can either contact us, look at the Injured wild birds link, or Google injured bird, or wildlife rehabilitation and then put in your county to find someone who might be able to help.