The Canadian Peregrine Foundation

Project Rescue

All too often, peregrine falcons and other raptors become injured or trapped and require help.  The Canadian Peregrine Foundation is committed to assisting with the rescue of such birds whenever possible.

To report an injured/trapped raptor, call us at (416) 481-1233 or 1-888-709-3944.

We regret that at present we are only able to assist with rescues in the Greater Toronto and Ottawa areas.  However, if you find a raptor in need of help elsewhere, we will do our best to put you in touch with someone in your area who may be able to provide assistance.

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Initially the Canadian Peregrine Foundation's rescue efforts were concentrated on Project Watch-'em to ensure the safety of fledgling peregrines.  

However, it quickly became evident that peregrines and other raptors were in need of help throughout the year, and rescues were carried out as necessary.  Though many initially involved peregrine falcons, we have rescued individuals of eight species of raptors to date.

Case file #15:  Red-shouldered Hawk in Etobicoke, November 1998


CPF director Mark Nash releasing the Red-shouldered Hawk.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)
This juvenile was migrating through Toronto when it flew into a store window in Etobicoke.  Though momentarily stunned by the impact, it was remarkably not seriously injured.  Canadian Peregrine Foundation volunteers rescued the hawk, and after checking on its condition, brought it to the lakeshore for release.

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Case file #46:  Fledgling American Kestrels in Scarborough, June 2000

In the spring of 2000, a pair of kestrels raised a brood of three inside the attic of a Scarborough house, accessing it through a small crack in the eaves.  Unfortunately, as the youngsters were ready to fledge, they each squeezed out the hole and promptly fell right to the ground, where they were at risk of predation, and residents were concerned they might have been injured.  CPF picked up the kestrels and brought them to the Toronto Humane Society for examination.  All were healthy, were returned the following morning, and flew well.


One of the young kestrels perching on the front porch of the house after its release.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)

Since 1998, CPF volunteers have responded to more than 50 calls about injured or trapped raptors.  In most cases, these birds are brought directly to a qualified avian veterinarian with the facilities to diagnose and treat injuries.  Most of the time, injuries are minor, and the bird can be released back where it was found within a day or two.  Occasionally, more serious injuries require a longer period of rehabilitation.

Thanks to the quick actions of all involved, more than 90% of the birds rescued by CPF volunteers have been released back to the wild in good health.

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In addition to rescuing birds in peril, CPF volunteers have picked up more than three dozen dead raptors.  Most of these have been either peregrines, or birds initially reported as peregrines.

Identifying causes of death is critical to improving our understanding of the threats facing peregrines and other raptors, and we are always willing to pick up raptors which have been killed.  While not as gratifying as being able to help a bird survive, it is nonetheless important work.

Case file #21:  dead Cooper's Hawk found in Mississauga, May 1999


By the time we arrived, the hawk had been placed in a "bird coffin" of sorts, complete with a fresh flower.  (Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)
This adult Cooper's Hawk was found dead near the Mississauga Executive Centre in the spring of 1999.  Office workers found it at the base of their building.  That, along with the bird's broken neck, suggests that it suffered a fatal collision with a window or wall. 

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Case file #58:  Red-tailed Hawk in Etobicoke, December 2000

This adult Red-tailed Hawk flew too close to the nest of the Etobicoke peregrines, and was attacked by the adults.  It was found stunned on the ground and brought inside by security staff.  Once in their office, it revived quickly, posing a challenge for CPF volunteers who arrived to bring the hawk to a vet for further examination.
The hawk tempting fate with an electrical cord.  It was captured without incident and was found by the vet to be in good health, aside from remaining a bit dazed by the attack.  The hawk was ready for release after just a couple of days of observation.  (Photo by Mark Nash)
CPF volunteers have carried out all rescues to date on their own time, bearing all of their own expenses.  Though these efforts are always taken on willingly, the large number of rescues eventually can become a strain on resources, especially as we have someone on call for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

We would be very grateful to any sponsors who would consider helping us cover the costs of Project Rescue to reduce the burden on our volunteers.  Please contact us if you can help, or know of someone who might be able to.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about Project Rescue, please e-mail us.


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