If a bird, or animal not-susceptible to rabies, is really injured, consider contacting a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. These individuals are trained to care for sick, injured or, in some cases, orphaned wildlife. Many rehabilitators specialize in caring for certain types of wildlife.
Before the state issues a wildlife rehabilitation permit, applicants must pass a test administered by the state and undergo an inspection of his or her facilities to ensure that it meets state standards.
Rehabilitators are unable to pick up injured wildlife, but they will provide advice on the best procedures for safely collecting the animal and will offer directions to their facility. Veterinarians are legally allowed to provide emergency service for injured wildlife, and some veterinarians are also rehabilitators.
→ Please Note: Most wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers who do this in their spare time, so it may be difficult to reach one immediately. They receive no compensation for their work.
Find a Rehabilitator
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) maintains a list of wildlife rehabilitators by region.
Other Ways to Get Help
The Massachusetts Environmental Police (800-632-8075) will sometimes pick up an injured hawk, falcon, or owl and transport it to a rehabilitator.
As part of the Animal Rescue League of Boston's (ARL) Community Outreach programs, ARL’s Field Services provides technical (tree climbing and swift/ice water) and non-technical rescues for injured domestic animals—including community cats—livestock, and raptors (turkey vultures, ospreys, hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls). ARL's Field Services Hotline can be reached at (617) 426-9170 x563, Tuesday–Saturday from 9:30 AM–5:30 PM.
Contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (617-983-6800) if you have concerns about rabies or other animal-related diseases.
Interested in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator?
Contact the MassWildlife Boston Office at 617-626-1575 or visit their website.