Hurstbourne Tarrant Parish
Exhausted Swift Rescue
Hey everyone. This little chap is a Swift. They have just got back having flown 1000's of miles and sometimes they can end up on the ground squeaking. They are not hurt, it's just as they spend their entire life on the wing if they end up on the floor they can't get airbourne again. So if you see one grounded, pick it up and help it up into the air again. This one is up in the air again now and happily screeching away in the sky with it's pals.... I do like a happy ending!
If you find a grounded swift, check that there are no obvious injuries, that the breast is not sharp and thin (starving) and that any flight feathers are not still in sheathing (young bird).
If the bird is not injured, take it to an upstairs window (for an adult bird an outstretched arm when standing up may be adequate) and place it on the palm of your hand, head facing outwards. Gently raise and lower your arm, thus allowing the bird to feel the air under its wings. It should then start taking an interest and usually takes off with confidence.
If it is reluctant to leave and is either in poor condition or a young bird, make it comfortable in a box. Regardless of age, a swift is unable to pick food from the ground, and is reliant on being fed.
Since a swift is extremely difficult to care for in captivity, it should be passed on to an expert rehabilitator as soon as possible. Offer it water in a cotton bud or end of a finger to prevent dehydration. Swifts, being totally aerial, need their wings to be in perfect condition. If a wing is damaged, you should seek the help of a vet.