When I first began helping injured and orphaned raptors, a very wise man told me “Raptor rehabilitation is only a Bandaid for the problem; education and habitat preservation are the real solution.” With this philosophy in mind, I began rehabilitating raptors over 25 years ago. It has been an amazing journey ever since. There is a never ending quest for education to learn new and better ways to help birds in our care.
We have traveled to symposiums and seminars far and wide to learn from other experienced raptor rehabilitators, biologists, veterinarians, falconers and permit officers to gain this information.
Carol McCorkle, CVT
The purpose of raptor rehabilitation is to take injured or orphaned birds, nurture and care for their needs while retaining their wild instincts and return them to their proper place in the wild.
The rehabilitation and release of raptors back to the wild helps wild populations better withstand the problems caused by human-related activities. Perhaps, the greatest impact of wildlife rehabilitation is the awareness it raises and the connection it provides between people of all ages and the natural world we share.
Our patients come to the center from the public, found injured or orphaned in our area, and from other licensed rehabilitators throughout the Southeastern United States.
When the public finds an injured or orphaned bird of prey, we are contacted and the bird is brought to us for a comprehensive evaluation, treatment and, when necessary, reconditioning.
Once the bird arrives we evaluate and stabilize it, feed and hydrate it and, if need be, take it to our veterinarian for further examination. Often times nestling raptors are able to be returned to their nest site, even if the nest tree has fallen or accidentally been cut down.
One of the most important aspects of rehabilitation is for the bird to be treated as quickly as possible, with minimal stress to the bird. Some cases are transferred to us from other centers when further evaluation is needed to determine if the raptor has the potential to survive in the wild.
Oftentimes, simple rest and room to grow stronger is enough. Other times, our resident master falconer must work one-on-one with a bird to determine if it is capable of normal flight and to survive in the wild.
When needed, lab work is done to provide a full assessment of the overall health of the bird. ARC’s onsite lab allows our Certified Veterinary Technician to perform tests which provide vital information regarding the birds health.