Raptor Rehabilitation: Banding Data and Idaho Manual

Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Science



Major Advisor

Tom J. Cade


The first section of this thesis is an analysis of data for 5846 diurnal birds of prey banded following rehabilitation, obtained from the Bird Banding Lab, Office of Migratory Bird Management, U.S. Fish and wildlife Service. There were 351 encounters with banded birds within that category, a rate of 6%. Numbers of birds banded and encountered increased dramatically from 1955 to 1988. Young of the year comprised 31% of all birds banded. Species were banded in proportions representative of their commonness and distribution. In 85% of the-encounters birds were recovered dead. Rates of encounter were similar for both sexes, but time elapsed from banding to encounter was significantly longer for females. Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Bald Eagles (Haileaetus leucocephalus), and Golden Eagles (Aguila chrysaetos) were encountered at higher rates than other species. Time elapsed from banding to encounter was significantly lower for Coopers Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) and Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus) than for other species. The period from banding to encounter was significantly longer than average for Bald and Golden Eagles. The utility of banding and encounter data for assessing the success of released, rehabilitated birds of prey is discussed.

The second section of this thesis is an Idaho raptor rehabilitation manual. Raptor rehabilitators and resource agency personnel are the intended audience for the manual. It is a compilation of published and unpublished information relating to the care and treatment of sick and injured birds of prey. Chapters cover information on legalities, working with a veterinarian, equipment and facilities required, and methods for keeping records of rehabilitation activity. Illnesses and Injuries and their treatment are described. Methods of conditioning and training birds are included, as are approaches to releasing recovered raptors.

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