Bank Holiday heat and it's effects

August 25, 2019

Firstly I hope you are all able to enjoy at least some of the drier weather this weekend; it has been rather wet in the UK at times of late!


A flurry of calls this weekend has prompted me to post this report...


Whilst the bulk of this years' baby season is now over, and the migratory birds are starting to wend their ways back towards their winter homes, there are still some birds nesting and need us to keep an eye out if they get into difficulties.


Although the bulk of the swifts have now left us, to migrate back to North Africa, there are still some stragglers where the parent birds have either nested late, or had a 2nd brood. These birds CANNOT take off from the floor in this country, and should you find one on the floor, it needs urgent help as it cannot help itself nor can its parents help it. If an adult and uninjured, it can be released from an upstairs window (over grass) as it needs to swoop down in order to get speed and lift to get high into the air. Please NEVER throw a bird into the air to release it - this can severely damage a bird both with the upward thrust and the collision back to earth should it not make it. Imagine you being dropped from a moving car onto the road - just because you 'can' run along one and imagine how traumatising it would be to go from ground zero to 20-30 feet in the air. Releasing from an open palm from the upper window allows it to take its time to study its route and take off when ready. An eager to go swift will vibrate in your hand, and have bright eager eyes to show it is wanting to go.


If you find an injured swift/swallow/house martin, it needs taking to your nearest wildlife rescue centre/sanctuary asap as it needs regular intake of waxworms (not garden worms) to repair and survive. (These are the nearest thing to the 8-10,000 flies it would normally eat each day, and its body will accept this diet change without consequence once returning to its natural fly diet.)


The other babies still in abundance are pigeons (wood, feral, and stock doves), and collared doves. These will nest in gardens until the end of September.


If you find a young bird all fluffed up and not moving, it is most likely unwell, and in hot weather like this is will quickly dehydrate. If you give it a drink of some sugared water and pop it in a box on a towel for an hour somewhere quiet, it will usually come around quickly and can be released where found. If in doubt, contact us for further advice.


A phone call from a gentleman in West Yorkshire only yesterday who had found a young pigeon in just those circumstances; he made up the sugar solution thanks to a local cafe and gave it a drink and rest as advised. It was lovely to receive the follow-up call later that morning to say the bird had fully recovered and returned to the wild.


Nigel

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