Sask. wildlife rescue caring for more than 20 birds of prey
REGINA -- A Saskatchewan wildlife rehabilitation centre has more than 20 birds of prey in its care.
Megan Lawrence, the director of rehabilitation at Salthaven West, said 12 of the birds came to the rescue in the last few days.
“We’re seeing a lot of the young fledglings now leaving the nest, hawks, owls, falcons, they’re learning how to fly,” Lawrence said.
“They’re very clumsy, they’re not sure what to do and how to find food.”
Many of the raptors were injured after being hit by a vehicle or sustained injuries from barb-wire fencing. Lawrence said many parents also sustain injuries while hunting for their young.
“The adults that are feeding the babies are constantly hunting, so they’re putting themselves in that much more danger than if they were just feeing themselves,” Lawrence said.
The Ministry of Environment said aside from the four raptor species that are at risk in Saskatchewan - burrowing owls, short-eared owls, peregrine falcons and ferruginous hawks - the rest of the population is healthy.
“That’s usually because these raptors species are quite adaptable and you’ll sort of find them living anywhere from the centre of the City of Regina, throughout the prairies and up in to the Boreal Forest,” Landscape Conservation Specialist with the Ministry of Environment, Ryan Fisher said.
If you come in contact with a young bird trying to fly, Lawrence suggests look around for any adults, as parents may be teaching the young raptors. She said to call the rescue if you aren’t sure if the young bird is in danger or you can see injuries on any raptor.
“Certainly if anyone hits one with their vehicle, if it’s safe to do so, you can pull over, check if it you’re comfortable picking it up,” Lawrence said. “We also have volunteers who can attend.”
Salthaven said it is equipped to care for all the raptors, but the cost of food is expensive and they do appreciate any donations.