Our local birds need undisturbed native habitat in which to live and find food. Owls and hawks can roam over hundreds of acres looking for food, and one owl can require 40 acres or more of woodlands and prairie to survive.
Preserving habitat is not so simple. As HUMAN population in Lake County increases, development pressures increase. Development damages habitat in three ways:
- Reduces its size
- Degrades its quality
- Fragments it into smaller parcels
The habitat required to support an owl or hawk must also support their food supply. Problems arise if the area is too small, if it is pavement or turf grass instead of native woods and prairie, or if it is not connected to other habitat areas to provide migration corridors.
People and wildlife are competing for habitat. The challenge is coexistence – to live in nature while minimizing disruption, so it remains available for the benefit of future generations of humans and wildlife.
If you find a wild animal:
If you find an injured animal, avoid touching it. Birds in particular, have remarkable recuperative powers. If the bird is simply stunned, it may fly away after a few minutes if you leave it undisturbed. Keep pets away. Let the animal rest. If the animal appears to have a serious injury such as a broken bone or wing, you can contact one of the following for advice:
Barnswallow, in Wauconda (owls, hawks and falcons) 847-487-3606
Flint Creek Wildlife, in Barrington (birds, deer and other mammals) 847-602-0628
Chicago Bird Collision Monitors hotline: 773-988-1867
Ryerson Woods: 847-968-3321
Do not try to rehabilitate any wild animal yourself. They require specific diets and generally do not benefit from inexpert human contact. It is illegal to keep a wild animal, including a raptor or migratory bird, without a license.