Raptor Center takes in baby great horned owls after fall from their nest

Saving Baby Birds

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(KSTP) – Each spring, The Raptor Center sees an influx of over 250 young raptors in need, and it has just gotten its first nestlings of the season.

The Raptor Center, located in St. Paul, has taken in five to six baby great horned owls who fell from their nest.

Experts at The Raptor Center say the first few months of life are the toughest for the birds, who are especially vulnerable to storms, downed trees, failed attempts to fly and unnecessary human interaction.

“It’s very tempting when you see a young baby in need to want to pick it up, to take it inside. These babies need really specific and unique care to make sure they can grow and survive successfully,” said Dr. Dana Franzen-Klein, medical director at The Raptor Center.

So what should you do if you see a baby raptor in need?

First, you should call either The Raptor Center or a local rehab facility before intervening — not all birds need our help.

You can also help baby raptors survive into adulthood by postponing any tree work until late summer or fall, after nesting season. It is also helpful to keep cats indoors — many young raptors spend part of their lives out of the nest and on the ground, where predators like domestic cats can get them.