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Swifts

Swift is a bird that is a little bigger than a common swallow, it has a blackish and blunt head, narrow body, forked tail and long, rigid, crescent-like wings. There is a small white patch on their chins.

Because the swifts spend their lives in the air, they must be as good fliers as their parents when leaving the nest, that is why the nesting period is uncommonly long for such a small bird – up to eight weeks. The duration of this period depends mainly on the weather, because the parents of the swift feed their nestlings only with bugs caught in the air.

Then again, the nature has given the swift nestlings the ability to starve for a long period of time and so the young bird, who has been left without parents but who has been previously fattened, can stay in the nest without food and grow “real” feathers on its body and wings. Of course, a young swift is not happy with the abandoned state, it makes a lot of noise in the nest and may sometimes fall out of it. However, the swift nestling cannot take wing from the ground on its own.

If you, for example, find this bird with long wings on the ground in front of the house, you may be able to help. Throw the bird gently into the air and do not fear that it falls and hurts itself: it had to fall on the ground in front of the house from much higher! It is highly probable that the young swift flies when feeling the air under its wings. If this attempt fails, however, hold the bird in your hands for a while. If the birds starts to shake, it is not panic – this little swift just pumps blood into its wings and is ready to fly when the shaking stops. If no shaking occurs, then the bird is too young and chubby and has insufficient plumage. In this case, leave it to a place protected from cats (for example, a shoe box) for a few days to use its fat supply and grow feathers and pretty soon you will have it flying.


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