A Peek into the Center's Raptor Trauma Clinic and bird care programs
Audubon Center for Birds of Prey treats more than 800 sick, injured or orphaned raptors each year. These patients reach our doors from concerned citizens (the public), animal control, wildlife officers, and other rehabilitators. What to do if you find an injured raptor.
Once a patient arrives at the Raptor Trauma Clinic, staff examine each patient and determine appropriate medical care, nutritional support, and husbandry. Injuries vary and are primarily due to human-wildlife interface and loss of habitat. Some examples include vehicle strikes, nest destruction, electrocutions, poison, and gun-shots. The Center’s patient load is seasonal with the spring being our busiest time for bird care. Baby Bird season is a frenzied period with many young birds being temporarily displaced from their families and nests.
The Raptor Trauma Clinic building includes a large examination and treatment area, lab, radiology, ICU, and separate recovery rooms based on species and size of the raptors. Similar to a local veterinary hospital, the Raptor Trauma Clinic has specialized equipment and procedures for treating these unique and dangerous species. Our goal is to reduce stress on birds and provide a calm environment for recovery.
Once a patient has responded well to medical treatment they are moved to the Center’s rehabilitation areas or mews to continue recovery. Our rehabilitation area includes 17 various sized outdoor enclosures (mews) for patients to regain strength and stamina and prepare for release back into the wild.
Patients ready for release are returned to the site where they were originally found. The Center has released thousands of raptors back into the wild, including over 600 rehabilitated Bald Eagles since 1979.
Medical Miracle Workers
The Center has worked with Robert Hess, DVM, owner of Winter Park Veterinary Hospital, and his team since 1982. Working alongside this team, Audubon performs innovative treatments for raptors and is well known for our specialized care for Bald Eagles.
Daniel Priehs, DVM, Heidi Denis, DVM, and Melanie Church DVM, of Animal Eyes Associates, generously donate their services to the Center.