Chicago Peregrines: Injured Birds

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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.

  1. Do not attempt to take care of the bird on your own. Get the bird to a licensed rehabilitator.
  2. Do not attempt to force feed any bird.
  3. Handle the bird only when absolutely necessary.
  4. Wear heavy gloves and wrap the injured bird in a towel.
  5. 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

Peregrines Only - Mary Hennen, Chicago Peregrine Program: Work 312.665.7718; Cell 312.909.4570

All species, including mammals - Animal Control: Main Number 312.747.1382; 24hr Emergency Number 312.747.1412

Injured or dead birds - Chicago Bird Collision Monitors (CBCM): Main Number 773.988.1867

Injured birds - Flint Creek: Main Number 847.842.8000

Peregrine information only - Stephanie Ware, Chicago Peregrine Program: Work 312.665.7756

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