Depending on the time of year, not all young birds are injured. Tawny Owls in particular will often leave their nest before they can fly. These young owls are relatively easy to identify and appear as balls of fluff with big eyes.
Unless there is specific danger nearby (e.g. loose dogs, cats, cars) young owls should be left alone. Their parents will return to care for them.
If there is danger nearby, the best option is to carefully move the owl to a safe place (i.e. away from the roadside or into a suitable tree or bush).
Fully grown birds of prey are different, and if they can be approached or touched, they are usually very sick or badly injured. Where this is the case:
- Catch/cover the bird using a large towel or similar and put it in a dark, well ventilated box. Ideally put the towel in the box with the bird.
- Do not use a wire cage/cat cage or similar
- Make a note of where the bird was found
- Do not attempt to feed the bird or provide water
- Contact either your local vet, the RSPCA or bring the bird to the Trust