Caring is not enough.
If you should come upon an injured hawk, falcon, owl, vulture, or eagle, there are several important things that must be considered or done:
1) Is the bird REALLY hurt or orphaned?
Just because a bird is sitting on the ground beneath a tree or a nest does not mean it is hurt. If the bird is not limping, dragging its wing, falling over, or showing other obvious signs of distress - LEAVE IT ALONE!
Young birds out of the nest are not necessarily abandoned. Look around for signs of the nest or a parent. Whenever possible, one should try to put the bird back in the tree rather than removing it from the area. Also, when a bird is "branching" (beginning to learn to fly), it may fall to the ground but continue to be cared for by the parent until it is capable of flight.
2) How can the bird be handled and transported?
When you see a bird in trouble, call for advice. You can reach Last Chance Forever at 210-499-4080. Your local veterinarian may also be able to provide basic information. If the bird must be handled and transported it is important to do so carefully, for both your and the bird's safety. Basic equipment may include heavy gloves, an animal crate or appropriately sized, securely closeable box, and towels or blankets.
3) Take the bird to an appropriate specialist.
Take the bird to your veterinarian and request that it be forwarded to a local rehabiliator (Fish and Wildlife Service can usually identify one). If you are in San Antonio, forward it to Last Chance Forever (call us at 210-499-4080) or take it to the Kirby Animal Clinic, 4623 Binz-Engleman Road in San Antonio, 210-661-6717. Call first! Someone must be there to meet you and accept the bird, and you may need advice about how to transport.
Professional rehabilitation is needed for the survival of wildlife.