The Glen Helen Raptor Center operates the area's only raptor rehabilitation center. The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to release healthy individuals back to the wild. We are able to do that with nearly half of the 150-200 birds admitted each year, giving them a second chance at life in the wild.
Why do birds come to the Raptor Center?
Injured and orphaned raptors are brought to the Center by concerned individuals. Most of the injuries the raptors receive are human-related, directly or indirectly. Collisions with vehicles and windows are common; raptors are sometimes trapped in buildings, barbed wire, or netting; and nest sites and habitat are destroyed.
What kind of birds come to the Raptor Center?
Although there may be 15-18 different species admitted each year, five species account for over 80% of the admissions: red-tailed hawks, Cooper's hawks, American kestrels, Eastern screech-owls, and Great horned owls. Additionally, the Raptor Center has one of the state's largest rehab cages which allows for rehabilitation of Osprey and Bald Eagles.
Returning Birds to the Wild
When possible, we return nestlings and fledglings to their parents or the nest site area. This is especially important for the larger hawks and owls, because they spend a long period of time with their parents before they can hunt well enough to be on their own. When it is not safe to leave small raptors, such as young screech-owls and kestrels where they were found, they may be raised at the Raptor Center, given the opportunity to catch live prey, and released into suitable habitat. Adult raptors are released where they were found, because they may have a territory with a mate and young depending on the time of year.
If you encounter a raptor that appears to be injured or ill, first call the Raptor Center at 937-767-7648. We can advise you on whether the bird needs help and what steps to follow. If you are unable to reach us, please follow these steps:
When handling a bird, use gloves to avoid injury from its talons and beak; a towel or blanket temporarily thrown over the bird may allow easier handling. Place the raptor in a cardboard box slightly larger than the bird itself or in a suitable-sized pet carrier. Never put a wild bird in a wire cage, because of the possibility of damage to its feathers.
To ensure that we are ready to help the bird, please call 937-767-7648 and let us know you are on your way. If you are unable to reach us, keep the bird in a cool, quiet place. Do not offer food or water or attempt to care for it yourself. Not only is it against the law to do so, but it may result in injury to you or the bird.
Each year, the Raptor Center receives 150-200 birds that require emergency care. With only one permenent staff member, we are unable to pick up every bird that needs our help. The best way you can help an injured raptor is to transport the bird directly to the Raptor Center. This allows us to optimize the care for each individual bird to the fullest extent possible.
If you find other wildlife that needs help, Brukner Nature Center, located in Troy, accepts songbirds, waterfowl, reptiles, and most mammals. They can be reached at 937-698-6493.
If you live in another part of Ohio, check the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association for a list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators, or call your Ohio Division of Wildlife district office for assistance.