Triage – The First 24 Hours

Upon arrival, an injured or orphaned raptor is weighed and given a thorough exam by our rehabilitation staff. Conditions that need immediate attention are identified and treated, fractures are evaluated and stabilized, and wounds are cleaned. Birds are given fluids subcutaneously (under the skin) to correct dehydration, given pain medications and antibiotics, if needed, and then placed in a darkened and quiet environment to rest.

The injured birds that come to us are stressed and frightened. Typically, an injured raptor will spend at least the first 24 hours in the critical care (CC) area. Birds will be moved to an outside enclosure as soon as they are able, but this time in the CC room allows them to heal and rest. The critical care area provides a controlled environment that allows the rehabilitation staff to closely monitor the injured raptor and give it the supportive care and treatment it needs for those first critical days.

Along with medical care, nutritious food is presented in a way that the bird will begin to self-feed as soon as possible. If at first the bird is unable to self-feed, we assist until it is strong enough to pick up and eat food on its own. Throughout a raptor’s time at RMRP, an effort is made to balance the medical care that is needed to recover while minimizing human contact.

The Stages of Rehabilitation

  1. Initial 24 hours
  2. Recovery
  3. Release