Message from Tom [08:46 24/05/2023]
A friend just found these in her front garden. They look like swifts. What do we do?
Message from FoSCP [08:48 24/05/2023]
Yes, they are swifts, probably youngsters that have made a mess of their first flight. If they have been on the ground all night, they will need warming up.
Message from Tom [08:55 24/05/2023}
They have landed in a tiny front garden and I think the problem is they don’t have enough room to get going. They are in a box.
Message from FoSCP [08:58 24/05.2023]
First, try putting them in the sun or warming them in your hands. If you take them indoors, don’t let them take off; they will hurt themselves if they try to fly indoors.
Message from Tom [09:12 24/05.2023]
They’re gone. They just flew away when we put them in the sun. Amazing! One flew out of my hands and the other took off from the top of the box.
Message from FoSCP [09:14 24/05/23}
Did they look okay?
Message from Tom [09:18 24/05/2023]
I think so. They seemed perfectly healthy and shot off into the sky when they had warmed up. Thanks for your help.
Message from FoSCP [09:24 24/05/2023]
The RSPB has a special page for grounded swifts and what to do and here is a link to the Swift Conservation website where you will find a list of professional swift carers – what a great job that must be.
My friends found them in the evening and kept them warm overnight in a box. A fox or cat would have had them if they stayed on the ground in the front garden overnight. In the morning once they had warmed up and the sun was out we took them in the back garden. Once they were warm and had room to get up speed, they were off in a flash. Then there were a couple of swifts flying around shrieking, I assume for joy. Not sure if they were the couple we just helped but it was nice to think it might have been.
Good morning Tom, thanks for commenting and putting the story straight. I expect they were youngsters that had either messed up entering or leaving the nest or had collided while they played. Swifts, particularly the young ones, do play just for the fun of it: they have what the RSPB calls “screaming parties.”