Found an Owl
What To Do If You Find An Owl
The most important thing to remember is that this is a wild owl and although it may be sick or injured and need help, it will be very frightened of you and you should approach the owl very calmly and quietly.
First establish, if the owl is a injured adult or a young orphaned owlet, this is very important as this determine the action you do next.
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First aid for injured owl
An injured bird is more likely to die of shock than of its injuries. If the bird allows you to approach, it is most likely to be in a very poor condition and need urgent attention.
The following is a step by step guide to what to do if you come across an injured bird of prey.
- Never approach an owl without a pair of stout gloves. Owls have very sharp talons and will use them when frightened, so be very careful.
- Gently throw a jumper or towel over the injured bird covering the owls eyes. this will calm the owl down.
- Lift the bird carefully to minimise further damage and stress and place in a well ventilated cardboard box. The box should be a size that allows the minimum of movement without unduly constricting the bird.
- Place the box somewhere quiet, dark and warm. ( Airing Cupboard is a ideal)
- Now leave the owl in peace, human contact will stress and could kill the owl
- Do not give food or water to the bird.
- Make sure that the precise location of where the bird was found is recorded, this will be important at the time of release.
- Contact your the nearest Rescue Centre, Veterinary Surgery or the R.S.P.C.A. as soon as possible.
Note: Most vets will treat wild animals/birds free of charge so do not worry.
A grounded Tawny chick may look lost and vulnerable, but the chances are its parents know exactly where it is and will continue to feed it even though it may be on the ground away from the nest. Just move the chick to a safer place and walk away.
So, only ever remove the owl from the area where you find it if you are positive it has been abandoned or clearly injured.
Full list of Rescue Centres are listed in the Care Menu.
Remember that bird of prey centres and raptor rescue organisations are there to deal with owls and birds of prey.
Contact the RSPCA about other types of injured bird, or take it to a vet.
Most vets will treat wild animals/birds free of charge.