Rescue Information

Important Notice:

We do not accept any mammal species. If you have found a mammal that appears to need help please contact the ODNR Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543). Before approaching any wildlife please read the guidelines below to determine if intervention is necessary.

We do accept injured raptors or songbirds.

If you have spotted a bird that needs to be rescued please contact us by telephone at (330) 591-7300. Do not e-mail us since we may not receive your e-mails until it is too late to help. Also, please make sure to read the following information below so you are fairly certain that the troubled bird(s) you have seen are indeed in need of help.

The Center cannot do the following:

  • Water fowl cannot be accepted at the Center due to the threat of Avian Flu.
  • The Center cannot treat injured mammals (deer, raccoons, opossums etc.). Contact the Ohio Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (OWRA) or the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) for help with abandoned baby or injured water fowl or mammals. Please refer to OWRA and DNR for authorized rehabilitators for baby deer.
  • MRC does not rescue or provide medical services to domestic birds such as parrots or canaries etc. or waterfowl. We also do not accept European Starlings or House (English) Sparrows.
  • The Center does not rescue birds from inside homes or a business. We can suggest to you safe ways to remove a bird from your house or business.
  • The Center is not an animal control business.

Our experience with baby birds:
2015-spring-newsletter-hungry-babiesFact is, orphaned birds are rare. What some people may perceive as abandonment is in fact the secretive and protective way that bird parents care for their young. Unless you have observed an obvious injury to a young bird or direct evidence that a parent has been killed (cat attack or hit by a car, for example), the advice is always the same: DO NOT INTERVENE. Baby birds eat every ten minutes or more, a schedule that most people cannot meet. Remember that people are always a wild birds’s last hope for survival, but never its best hope.

At Medina Raptor Center, we have a very high success rate in saving baby birds. We can provide a young bird with it’s nutritional requirements, but have no way of teaching it survival skills such as predator awareness, foraging for natural foods, and migration. Unfortunately, many of these “survivors” quickly become part of the food chain.

Injured adult birds
If you believe you have spotted an injured adult it’s always a good idea to observe the bird for a short period of time before calling. Raptors will often mantel over their prey while eating and often this behavior is misunderstood for an injury.

mantling bird

Photo courtesy of The Modern Apprentice

Watch the bird from a distance for an hour, this should be enough time for the bird to leave and fly back up to a tree or beyond. If it does not, give us a call.

Guidelines and Recommendations

Kit Chubb of the Avian Care and Research Foundation in Ontario, Canada, has compiled an excellent set of guidelines for dealing with wildlife during the breeding season. We are reprinting here with her permission:

1. Found an active nest? Watch with binoculars from a distance. The smell of your feet on the ground, and hands on the branches or nest, are neon signs for hungry nocturnal mammals to follow and investigate.

2. Federal and state law protects nests, eggs and babies. Do not disturb them. Taking wildlife into captivity is unlawful – you can be fined. Be sure the children know this.

3. Broken or fallen nest? Quickly put up a substitute nest nearby in some shade. Use Easter-egg baskets, small cartons, strawberry boxes – just as long as rain can drain. Robin nests are mud-based and can often be “mudded” back together. Line with dry material, not green grass.

4. Nest boxes need either a cylindrical tunnel over the entrance to prevent a cat or raccoon poking its paw deep inside, or a metal shield below to stop a predator climbing up.

5. Wildlife parents don’t abandon. It is people who misread situations. Example: many birds do not start to incubate until all the clutch is laid, which may take up to two weeks.

6. Found an egg? It was discarded or put there for a reason, or it may even belong there. Leave it untouched. NEVER NEVER try to incubate it! Only the parents can do that. Example: Killdeer often have to leave their ground clutch because of children, foot traffic, dogs and cats. Just leave the eggs. The female will promptly re-lay elsewhere.

7. Leave babies alone. The parents will come to the call of the hungry when you are gone. Just watch. Babies are fed most often early mornings, and also when they are small. Parental time away varies with luck finding food, self-feeding, bathing, level of hunger, time of day and interruptions.

8. “The mother has disappeared”. Very rare. Usually it is the result of inexpert observation. Stuffing insects into a gaping mouth is done in seconds and coming and going is rapid and very discreet. If she is truly dead, don’t forget that most males share the baby-care and can usually cope. Sometimes unknown to you there are even other bird “helpers”.

9. Enjoy by watching. 1) Use bird books and binoculars to learn their biology. 2) Trust the parents to do the best. Unless you’re a bird, it has to be better than you can do!

10. Remember cats belong INDOORS and birds belong OUTDOORS.

Still feel you have to help? There are things you can do to make your yard more bird-friendly.

1. Plant native bushes like some of the dogwoods, viburnums, junipers, or hawthornes. These are fruit-bearing bushes that help provide food for birds, expecially during the winter.

2. Provide water in the form of garden ponds or birdbaths. Either one is a magnet for drawing birds to your yard. Garden ponds have the added benefit of providing habitat for other aquatic critters like frogs or turtles. Remember that water is critical in the winter too.

3. Provide shelter in the form of bushes and shrubs. Evergreens provide year-round protection from predators and the elements. And put up next boxes for cavity-dwelling firds like bluebirds and chickadees.