Raptor injuries in Montana nearly double from last year - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Raptor injuries in Montana nearly double from last year

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Another bird of prey has been injured. According to the Montana Raptor Conservation Center, raptor injuries have nearly doubled from last year.  And we're only 27 days into the new year.

So far, within the first month of 2017, there have been 19 raptors injured.

ZooMontana Director Jeff Ewelt said the reason behind the spike can mean one of two things.

He says the raptor population has either expanded, or they're coming around people more often. Ewelt said the latest raptor injury that came to them was a Rough Legged Hawk, a migratory bird you only see in the winter. It came in with a dislocated wing. Ewelt said the wing was set by the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. He said one way to help ensure a raptor's safety is to stop throwing food out of your car.

"Because what happens is if you throw, let's say an apple core out of your car, the mice will come and eat on that on the side of the road and sitting up in that
tree is a hawk or an owl or something like that will fly down and get that mouse. They're not going to look both ways before crossing the street, and they're going to get hit, so keeping that food in the trash cans is one of the best things we can do to help out," Ewelt said.

Ewelt said when the bird of prey is ready to be released, the Raptor Center will set it free, back into the wild near where it was found.

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