Swift Rescue

07 Aug 2005Steve Schwarz

Had one of those “did a good thing” moments yesterday. I was driving Mr. Peabody and Milo to Nancy’s from TOPS Vet-Rehab after their bi-monthly/monthly chiropractic adjustments. As I was pulling into the alley I saw a small black bird laying in the middle of the alley, on its belly with its wings spread. I stopped and went to see if the bird was dead, alive or stunned from hitting something. It was mid day, the sun was beating down and it had to be over 100 F on the road.

The little bird was breathing but didn’t seem able to move. It didn’t seem to be injured in any obvious way; it just lay there with its wings spread wide. But I just couldn’t leave it there to be run over or die from the heat. So I carefully slid my hands under it and it actually climbed into my hands and held on to my palm/finger with its little warm feet. I carefully got back into my car, held it facing out the open window, so it could fly away if it regained it’s senses, and drove ever so slowly the 200-300 feet to the house.

I knew Nancy would know best what to do. I set the bird down in the cool, shady grass of the backyard. At first it would close its eyes and then open them after a second or so. While I stood guard against the neighborhood cats, Nancy got a small eye dropper of water and then water with a little honey mixed in. The little bird eagerly drank the water from the dropper. Within a couple minutes it started to keep its eyes open and was standing up. Then quick as wink it flew off and down the block.

I’m no birder but it appeared to be a Chimney Swift. I’ve never seen one before, but the Percevia website had a nice wizard interface that helped me identify it. It may have been a young one, as it was predominantly dark brown/dark grey and I didn’t see any white underneath - although I didn’t look at it’s underside and tried not to handle it any more than necessary to get it home.

So I can’t speak to whether we did the “right thing” but anything we did would have been better than to just leave that bird to its fate on the hot road. It felt good to help it out that little bit.

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