The Chicago Peregrine Program often receives valuable information about bird movements from birdwatchers, building managers, and other concerned citizens. These helpful folks call in to provide updates on the status of Peregrine nests or to report downed birds. However, not all Peregrines that end up on the street are injured. The first flight from the nest is usually a glide to a lower ledge, with a fledgling occasionally making it all the way down to the ground. To avoid any potential injury from cars, all downed Peregrines found in the city are retrieved. They’re quickly transported to a rehab facility for an examination. If a Peregrine has sustained any fractures, or otherwise needs long-term care, it’s then transferred to SOAR, an organization that rehabilitates raptors. If the young Peregrine is fine, it’s returned to the nest ledge. If you happen to spot a downed Peregrine and would like to help, below are a few tips for handling injured birds.
- Do not attempt to take care of the bird on your own. Get the bird to a licensed rehabilitator.
- Do not attempt to force feed any bird.
- Handle the bird only when absolutely necessary.
- Wear heavy gloves and wrap the injured bird in a towel.
- Transport the bird in a cardboard box with plenty of ventilation holes.
In Chicago, to have an injured Peregrine picked up, please call one of the emergency numbers listed below. Remember, the Chicago Peregrine Program only works with Peregrine Falcons. Please direct calls for all other species of downed birds to either Animal Control, CBCM, or Flint Creek. Emergency Contact Numbers: Animal Control - All species including Mammals. Main Number (312) 747-1382 24hr Emergency Number (312) 747-1412 Mary Hennen, Chicago Peregrine Program - Peregrines Only. Work (312) 665-7718 Cell (815) 603-2468 Stephanie Ware, Chicago Peregrine Program - Peregrine Information only please! Work (312) 665-7756 Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM) - Injured or Dead Birds. Main Number (773) 988-1867 Flint Creek Main Number (847) 842-8000