Projects:Effects of human presence or absence on rehabilitating raptors

Introduction and rationale:

Rehabilitation is a core activity of the Hawk Conservancy Trust. The bird of prey hospital has become an intensely used resource that is providing care to patients almost constantly.

The extent to which people enter the hospital and perform various activities changes throughout the year. Throughout all these activities, recovering wild raptors are constant feature. To ensure the best chance of recovery for these patients, there is a need to assess and wherever possible improve the methods used to care for them.

This important project will provide information on how human presence affects hospital patients. More specifically, if any human activities generate an increased stress response in rehabilitating birds.

Aim: To assess how the presence or absence of people in the hospital affects the behaviour of rehabilitating raptors


  • An understanding of how human presence affects hospital patients
  • The creation of clear guidelines for non-essential entry to hospital


  • Improved animal welfare and veterinary care
  • Information of benefit to other people working in the field of rehabilitation

Comments: This project relates to an additional project on the effects of different environments on rehabilitating birds.

Update: A valuable pilot study for this project was conducted in 2007 by researcher Ludovic Jégousse. The work will be extended in 2008 with a larger data set and additional analyses.

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