Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Nursing a swift back to life

When I arrived home this evening, I found a bunch of really strange white and black marks on my floor. One of them was still wet, and after sticking my finger in it, I realised it was guano - bird droppings. The next five minutes saw me roaming my small apartment to find the source of this strange occurance. Then I found it, a cowering little black-grey bird next to my shoe cupboard.

Apparently, it seemed to have flown into my house last night when I fell asleep on the couch after a long day. I did remember a disturbance in my curtains but didn't really know what it could be, so I fell back to a deep slumber...

I was a bit worried, not knowing if it is injured, or if it is still in full health. I ventured in to pick it up gently and wondered what I should do. First thought - take it to my balcony so at least its closer to its natural habitat than in my apartment.

I then thought about what my mum used to do with grounded or injured birds and proceeded to get some water for the poor little thing. It didn't seem to want any, but I knew it was dehydrated. So I dipped my fingers in and it started to take some of it in.

Then I looked at it thinking what it could be so I can look up on the internet to see if I can do anything to help. My primary school education got me as far as a "swift" so Google was the next obvious route. It brought me to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in the UK and, after checking the pictures and diagrams with my little friend, I found a section called "How to help grounded birds?"

It said that swifts will not feed themselves so I have to force feed it to a point. So I did that. Then it said that they usually live on cliffs so they can't fly from a flat surface. However, I should check if it is injured in any way, if not, then I should put it in my palm with the face outward to the sky and move my arms up and down.

It worked! Little swifty flew away gracefully and joined his friends in the skies again. Although, it did leave a bunch of guano in my palm as a parting gift... Oh well... Another life saved today, thanks to the RSPB - the website is really great!

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