A Message from
Anne G. Miller

Every spring, wildlife rehabilitation centers are flooded with baby raptors.  A lot of these juveniles are uninjured, but were rescued as ‘orphans’.  But what if as many as half of these young birds are not orphans at all, but just had some mishap—a storm, a tree cut down—that separated them from their parents? What if well-meaning humans are unintentionally taking healthy young raptors away from their parents just because they don’t understand the birds’ normal behavior patterns?  We need to do what’s best for these young animals—reunite them with their own parents.  If that is not possible, then fostering to another wild nest is a good alternative.  Wildlife rehabilitation centers are vitally needed to provide care for injured animals, and for real orphans.  Reuniting and fostering puts healthy juveniles back in the wild, and allows us to do a better job of caring for the animals that truly need us.


How to use
this Website

This web site offers some basic information on how to reunite raptors.  If you are new to reuniting, please read Basic Steps in Reuniting Juvenile Raptors, and then go on to Options for Returning Young Raptors to the Wild, to get an overview of how to reunite raptors.  Please remember that all migratory birds are protected by federal law.  If you are not a federally-licensed wildlife rehabilitator, please read about Reuniting and the Law.

A separate section provides detailed information about eleven species of eastern raptors.  Each section begins with essential information about the behavior of the individual species, followed by photographs of the juveniles at different stages of development.  I’ve also included a number of actual case histories of birds that were rescued and reunited with parents or fostered to a wild nest. The case histories are especially helpful if you are trying to decide whether or not a particular ‘orphan’ can be reunited or fostered, and if so, when and how it can (or can’t) be done.