Baby raptor no feathers or with downy feathers found on ground
If possible, locate the nest. Often the nest will not be reachable as these birds nest high in trees, on cliffs or in tree holes or crevices. If the bird does not appear injured, gently pick up the baby and place it in the nest. Make sure the other babies in the nest look like the one you are replacing. Watch the nest from a distance to confirm that the parent bird returns to the nest. This could take several hours. Even though you have touched the baby, the mother bird will not reject it.
Young raptor or turkey vulture on ground—no longer nestling—has lost downy feathers
There are many different reasons a young raptor might be on the ground. Many young birds can climb trees and reunite with their parents. Parents may also feed the youngsters while they are on the ground. If the bird is alert and has no obvious sign of injury or trauma and is in a safe environment, leave it alone. Check the bird a few hours later (or the next day) for signs of parental care. If the bird appears unhealthy or is in an unsafe environment call New Mexico Wildlife Center at 505-753-9505 for advice before picking the bird up.
It is easiest to catch a raptor using a sheet or towel – talons and beaks can be powerful weapons. Wear gloves and wrap the bird in the towel, gain control of the feet. Do this gently. Place it in a secure container such as a cardboard box with a lid. If you are not comfortable handling the bird, contact New Mexico Wildlife Center at 505-753-9505.