Colorado wildlife officials are pleading for people to stop shooting birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, falcons, vultures, and owls.  

A press release published Monday by Colorado Parks and Wildlife described how shots from pellet rifles are causing significant injury and trauma to birds of prey, often resulting in death. Injuries consisting of fractures, open wounds, infection, and lead toxicity have also prevented these birds from being able to properly fly or hunt for food.

According to the Birds of Prey Foundation in Broomfield, nearly 800 birds are admitted to the facility every year. In less than five months, 11 birds have been confirmed to be suffering from injuries related to pellet guns. The average cost to rehabilitate a single raptor typically ranges between $400 to $800.

A Swainson's Hawk brought in to the Birds of Prey Foundation with wounds from being shot by a pellet gun. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
A Swainson’s Hawk brought in to the Birds of Prey Foundation with wounds from being shot by a pellet gun. Photo Credit: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Birds of prey are protected by state and federal laws. This means it is illegal to shoot, kill, or hunt birds of prey or other protected species in Colorado. Anyone convicted of this crime could face large fines and possible jail time.

Colorado is home to more than 400 species of birds, including several species of birds of prey. Just remember, to respect wildlife when viewing and leave birds of prey alone and unharmed.

Leave a Reply

What We Believe

We are driven by our deep respect for our environment, and our passionate commitment to sustainable tourism and conservation. We believe in the right for everyone - from all backgrounds and cultures - to enjoy our natural world, and we believe that we must all do so responsibly. Learn More