Our rehab team works tirelessly to provide top-notch care to our patients. While it may sound like a fun job (and it is!), it’s a unique role and relies on expertise in:
  • Wild animal behavior
  • Wildlife conservation
  • Natural history
  • Veterinary nursing
  • Microscopy
  • Anesthesia
  • Medical ethics
  • Pathology
  • Parasitology
  • Radiology
  • Nutrition
  • Wildlife conflict
  • Habitat design
  • Wound care
  • Fluid administration
  • Phlebotomy

Rehabilitation Process

The main goal of our raptor rehabilitation program is to provide professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned raptors with the ultimate goal of releasing them back to the wild.

Patient Spotlights


The Oldest banded barred owl

In 1993, CRC's Raptor Hospital treated and released a Barred Owl that was trapped in a chimney. More than 25 years later, the bird was found less than 2 miles from where she was originally released.  This time around, the injuries were unfortunately fatal, but she broke the US Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory Barred Owl longevity record. Not only did she provide some serious rodent control for that area, but most importantly, she had the potential to produce 50+ babies over her lifetime! 

Before our rehab patients are released back into the wild, our team fits a small aluminum band to the bird’s ankle.  Each band is engraved with a unique number that allows scientists to keep track of individual birds. When a banded bird is caught again in the future, we can learn important information about its life.


Betbait: The Foster Mom that raised nearly two hundred babies!

Every spring, our hospital is inundated with orphaned and injured baby birds. Even with expert care, it is very difficult to raise baby birds and ensure that they have the skills needed to survive in the wild. Special care must be taken to meet their needs in regard to growth rate, nutrition, temperature, and humidity.

In 2015, our team noted that a resident Great Horned Owl named Betbait was exhibiting nesting behavior. With a full house of orphaned Great Horned Owls, we decided to give her a chance as a foster mom. She took to it instantly! She kept babies warm, fed them, protected them from pesky human caregivers, and made a perfect role model.

In her lifetime at CRC, she successfully raised 197 nestlings, all of which were released!


Over 25,000 raptors treated at Carolina Raptor Center!

In 2022, we received our 25,000th patient! To celebrate our conservation success and rich history as a raptor hospital, we released a Bald Eagle back into its habitat. In the 1970s, Bald Eagles were threatened with extinction due to DDT poisoning. But because of dedicated people and conservation efforts, Bald Eagle populations have made an impressive recovery and were removed from the Endangered Species list in 2007. 

Bald Eagles serve as a symbol of conservation success, we know that when people work together to save a species, we will succeed! Through rehabilitation and environmental education, our team at Carolina Raptor Center will continue saving the world one raptor at a time!

    Donate to the Raptor Hospital

    An average raptor rehabilitation often costs more than $1000, with more complex cases going up from there. Your donations allow us to continue to provide high-quality care to hundreds of sick, injured, and orphaned birds each year.

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