Birds of Prey

Bald Eagle:

Bald eagles are more frequently seen in Pennsylvania today than in the early

1960’s through the 80’s when there were only 3-4 active nests near Pymatuming

State Park. Due to the concerted efforts of the Pennsylvania Game Commission

eagles have made a comeback from the detrimental effects of DDT.

Bald eagles mate when they are 4-5 years old. At that time in their growth, they

have developed the white head and tails of a mature bird of prey. They mate for

life, and nest in trees usually near waterways from year to year, building more

onto the nest each year. They usually lay 2-3 eggs once a year. So their

comeback is slower than other species of birds.

Most common Incidences where Eagles need rescued:

 

Reports of a downed eagle must be called in to the Pennsylvania Game Commission immediately.  

Eagles are often times hit by cars while they are eating road killed animals.

More recently eagles have been eating animals that have been shot with lead ammunition. The accumulation of lead in their gut, and the strong gastric acid results in the toxic effects of lead entering their system, causing them to become disoriented, grounding them and leaving them helpless.

Owls:

 

Most owls do not learn how to fly until they are on the ground for several days or weeks. 

Fledgling Great Horned owls, may be found at the base of a tree or in a yard. The parents may be seen watching from high up in a tree. At night the parents will provide food for the young owl. 

Fledgling screech owls are often times found on porch rails during the day. When left alone, they will usually leave during the night. Please keep children, adults and pets away from them during this time.

Fledgling barred owls will walk from one tree to another, and climb to a higher location by using their talons and beaks.

Most common Incidences where Owls need rescued:

 

  • When sprayed (skunk spray blinds them temporarily) or quilled by a porcupine, they are left to die if not treated.
  • Hit by vehicles/stuck in a grill of a vehicle or stranded in a chimney. Do not light a fire, they cannot fly out.
  • Owls that are cavity dwellers and nest in a tree cavity, may be injured or killed when a tree is cut down. The injured/orphaned owlets/owls will need to be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation center. 

Call W.I.N Emergency Response of PA. for any one of the above incidences. Please stay, or have someone stay in the area to watch the animal until someone has arrived, to ensure the animal can be rescued and contained quickly.  

Hawks and Falcons:

 

Most hawks and falcons build stick nests themselves. The American Kestrel is the exception. They are cavity dwellers and use hollows of trees. Sometimes they will fly inside a chimney, where they become stranded. Do not light a fire-kestrels cannot fly up the chimney.

Parents feed the young until they are ready to leave the nest. At that point they can fly as soon as they leave the nest. Since they are still dependent on their parents for food allot of vocalization can be heard for several weeks, until they have learned to hunt on their own.

If hawk/falcon is found on porch, picnic table, or outdoor swing set; stay inside and watch. Often times, young ones are resting after their first couple of days of flight.

Most calls on hawks beside road, is because they have caught something and are mantling over it. Both wings are out in order to cover its food so nothing else can see what the hawk is eating and trying to take the food away. This is normal behavior.

Most common incidences where Hawks need rescued:

 

When cooper and sharp-shinned hawks are grounded and unable to fly they can run quite well and hide under bushes or brush piles. Often times they are difficult to catch.

Cooper and sharp-shinned hawks frequently fly into windows, and fly through screened porches. Then become stranded inside porch.

Falcons and cooper hawks often fly into buildings while chasing songbirds. Must have high windows or openings to get out. Will often times become stranded and die in building, not knowing to fly down and out a door.

If the hawk is hopping, possibly dragging one wing or the other, this bird is in need of help. 

Hawks hunt by using their sense of sight. When hit by cars and have a head injury, even though they can fly away, they may not be able to hunt. They eventually will starve to death.

Kestrels that are cavity dwellers and nest in a tree cavity, may be injured or killed when a tree is cut down.

Call WIN Emergency Response of Pa. for any of the above incidences. Please stay, or have someone stay in the area to watch the animal until someone has arrived, to ensure the animal can be rescued and contained quickly. 

Turkey Vultures:

 

Turkey vultures are one of the few birds of prey that hunt by smelling their food. They will stab at their food by using their beaks. They are not able to grab with their feet. Once startled after they have eaten, they will throw-up to lighten themselves, and use this as a defense, (Very strong smelling!).

Most common incidences where turkey vultures need rescued:

Turkey vultures are most commonly struck by vehicles while they are eating road killed animals.

Call W.I.N Emergency Response of PA. for any of the above incidences. Please stay, or have someone stay in the area to watch the animal until someone has arrived, to ensure the animal can be rescued and contained quickly.