The OWL & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE STATION Haringsee in Vienna, operated by FOUR PAWS since 2016, helps a variety of wild animals in distress, such as birds of prey, hedgehogs, bats, terrapins, and other small mammals.
The team helps with the rehabilitation (including offering first aid) and release of owls and birds of prey. Animals that can no longer be released into the wild for health reasons find a lifelong home here in an animal-friendly, species- appropriate environment.
first aid for wild animals
Not every wild animal found "stranded" is in need of human help. Before taking an animal with you, contact local wildlife experts.
In 2019, the OWL & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE STATION Haringsee was able to help 1,851 animals. Where possible, all the young owls and birds of prey were raised by foster parents of their species and 90 percent were released back into the wild.
The sanctuary is the only care unit in Austria in which young bird foundlings can be raised by foster mothers of the same bird species, in other words, in a natural family group. In this way, the harmful consequences of hand-rearing can be avoided.
European pond terrapins, bats, hares, hedgehogs and other small mammals are also frequent patients at the sanctuary. There they are cared for by experts and, when possible, released back into nature.
Birds from the OWL & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE STATION Haringsee:
Unique rearing of young birds
The OWL & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE STATION Haringsee is the only care unit in Austria where bird foster parents are used for rearing native owls and birds of prey. The sanctuary plays a pioneering role in this field. Rearing the birds by hand is avoided in order to prevent human imprinting.
Besides rearing owls and birds of prey in need, the sanctuary maintains high standards in its aviaries and has specially designed the birds' habitats because, unfortunately, not all animals can be returned to the wild. Birds that are unable to fly due to serious injury remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their lives. For this reason, Haringsee maintains quiet aviaries with minimum disturbance through human contact.
In the aviaries, the birds have numerous opportunities to withdraw just like in the wild. Nocturnal species are given special attention. In addition, the birds live in pairs, as is the nature of these monogamous animals. Naturally, the trained staff make sure to provide food suited to each species and sufficient nesting places.
Help for animals since 1975
The OWL & BIRDS OF PREY RESCUE STATION Haringsee, founded in 1975, has an area of roughly 3 acres. The animals are cared for by a dedicated team led by Scientific Director Dr. Hans Frey. FOUR PAWS has supported the shelter since 2010 and has been the sole owner since 2016.
Read more on the official (German) website or follow their daily work on Facebook.