Rehabilitation & Emergency Resources:
While the Raptor Education Foundation is not a rehabilitation facility, our high public profile has many people contacting us requesting information about raptor rehabilitation/emergency care specialists in their area. The individuals and organizations on this page have been vetted by REF, and meet with our minimum standards for competent raptor care and scientific integrity. This list is geographically limited to Colorado with a few notable exceptions. If you or your organization wish to be placed on this list, please contact REF.
If you have found an injured raptor, please contact one of the following: Colorado Parks & Wildlife (303-297-1192), Colorado State Patrol (303-239-4501) . The CSP is a great number for emergency contacts as it is often very difficult to get through to anyone at CPW in a timely manner. The CSP dispatch will attempt to get in touch with a CPW field officer. Please report the bird’s location exactly where you encountered it, or if you have taken the bird into your possession, please follow the guidelines below from our colleagues at the University of Minnesota Raptor Center (see below):
1. Please do not attempt to rehabilitate a raptor on your own. Always contact a licensed professional!
2. If you must handle or move a bird, first cover the bird with a blanket or towel to reduce its visual stimulation, and protect yourself by wearing heavy gloves and safety glasses. Then, gently fold the bird’s wings into its body with your two gloved hands. Gently but firmly lift the bird into a transport container. Remember: Even a seriously injured raptor is potentially dangerous. Wild birds do not understand that we are trying to help and will defend themselves. They are quite unpredictable, and you should be especially aware of their sharp beak and talons. 3. The best way to transport a raptor is in a plastic dog or cat kennel, or in a sturdy cardboard box with the top closed. Avoid bird or wire cages, as these can cause feather and soft tissue damage. The carrier should have plenty of ventilation holes and should only be slightly larger than the size of the bird. The less room an injured bird has to move around, the less likely it is to cause more injury to itself. However, on the flip side, if a container is too small, a bird can sustain extensive wing and feather damage. 4. Never feed an injured raptor unless you have been instructed to do so by a licensed rehabilitator. The dietary needs of raptors are more delicately balanced than people realize. Even the juiciest steak imaginable will not provide a raptor with what it needs. Also, most injured birds are suffering from dehydration, and attempting to feed them or give them water orally may worsen their condition. If a bird has not eaten for a while, its digestive system shuts down and it cannot handle any food. At The Raptor Center, these patients are given a special fluid therapy for a day or two to jump-start their systems before any type of food is provided. 5. Handle an injured raptor as little as possible. Stress resulting from human contact can reduce a bird’s chance of recovery.
6. Until the bird can be transferred, provide it with a dark, quiet, calm, warm environment. Darkness has a calming effect on birds. Extra care should be taken to keep the bird away from children and pets. 7. Do not keep a raptor any longer than is necessary to get it to a veterinary professional, raptor rehabilitator, or state/federal wildlife representative.
If you cannot get a timely response from the numbers above, please contact the following groups/individuals. In some cases you will be asked to deliver the bird to the facility listed, in other cases they can arrange to have the bird picked up.
Caution: Not all veterinarians or rehabilitators have equal levels of expertise and experience in working with raptors. In fact, raptor specialists are not common. There are some individuals and/or organizations who employ highly dubious “new age” alternative therapy techniques to treat raptors or other animals. There is no real science behind such treatments, just touchy-feely sounding rationalizations which sound plausible to the lay person. Avoid such entities at all costs.
Arapahoe Animal Hospital: Dr. Greg Hayes: 5585 Arapahoe St. Boulder, Colorado: Contact phone # 303-442-7033
Aspenwing Bird and Animal Hospital: Dr. Jolynn Chappell (owner), Dr. J. David Remple (certified specialist raptor medicine and surgery); 3904 W. Eisenhower Blvd, Loveland, Colorado: Contact phone # 970-635-1850. Dr. Remple conducted raptor rehabilitation for the State of Wyoming from 1974-1983. He was consulting veterinarian to the Peregrine Fund, Inc. during the years of peregrine falcon reintroduction. He established the world’s first specialist falcon hospital devoted entirely to care of raptors in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While at Dubai Falcon Hospital, he amassed a caseload of over 20,000 individual raptors, which enabled the pioneering and development of new treatment and surgical methodologies in common use today. He is a Board Certified Diplomat in the European College of Avian Medicine and Surgery.
Birds Of Prey Foundation: 2290 S.104th St. Broomfield, Colorado: Contact phone # 303-460-0674
Homestead Animal Hospital Dr. Jerry LaBonde: 6900 S. Holly Circle, Englewood, Colorado: Contact phone # 303-771-7350
Seven Hills Veterinary Hospital: REF’s Veterinarians. 18325 E. Girard Ave., Aurora, Colorado: Contact phone # 303-699-1600 Ask for Drs. Demey, Mullen or Ley
Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo 5200 Nature Center Rd Pueblo, CO 81008
Raptor Recovery Nebraska: Betsy Finch, (402) 994-2009. NOTE: Ms. Finch is one of the most experienced raptor rehabilitators in the entire country, and is the contact for injured raptors for the state of Nebraska, as well as the border areas of eastern Colorado and Wyoming.
The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota: Executive Director is Dr. Julia Ponder. Contact phone # 612-624-4745