Swift First Aid & Carers

You have found a fallen Swift...
Stop!  Don't throw it in the air!  Don't feed it!  Read this first!

Swift chick at 2 weeks old - it weighs
38 grams

Swift chick at 3 weeks old - it weighs 45 grams

Swift chick at 4 weeks old - it weighs 50 grams

Swift chick at 6 weeks old - it weighs 44 grams

Don't delay!
   1. Put it in a quiet, warm, safe, calm environment  - a ventilated cardboard box (like a shoe box) is ideal, and put it somewhere
       like a spare room or  a shed, well away from any disturbance.
   2. Take a photo and weight the bird too
   3. Give it water by
running a wetted cotton bud around the edge of the beak avoiding the nostrils
   4. DO NOT FEED IT  - if it needs food a specialist carer will advise you (see contacts list below)
   5. DO NOT THROW IT INTO THE AIR - this may seriously injure or kill it

Get it to a professional Carer
Don't "do it yourself" as it is high-risk, very difficult, expensive and time consuming & it is illegal to keep wild birds in captivity
unless you can convince the authorities you can care for them competently & will release them back into the wild a.s.a.p.

1: Ask your Vet -  they may be able to help, they may know of local wildlife carers

2: Call a UK Swift Carer -  providing competent advice, treatment and care

First things first!
Because of its aerodynamic qualities a Swift can only fly if its wings are each at least 16cm long
The distance to measure is shown as a red line on the photo below


Weigh and photograph your Swift and e-mail the photo and weight details to the carer, or if not feasible before contacting the carer, you should compare your Swift with the photos above - this will greatly assist the carer in assessing condition and prognosis
You can also download the full age & weight chart here to see more example photographs  
Age & Weight Chart

The individuals, charities and organisations below may be able to assist:
nb: These are all independent care providers. We list them because they have volunteered their services

S Hart - Manchester area - Click the link to e-mail or telephone 0161 798 7122 & leave a message

D Lauterpacht - Hertfordshire - Click the link to e-mail or telephone 01763 262532 mobile 07710484867

C Piggott - Bishop Auckland, County Durham - click the link to e-mail / 'phone 01388 602707 / 01325 321871

RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, London Road, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 7JW
Open for the public to bring in wildlife casualties between 08:00 & 20:00 (21:00 May to September)
telephone 0300 1230722

B Thorne - Ilkley, West Yorks - Can transport birds to local carers - Click the link to e-mail / 'phone 01943 816488

Vikki - Fauna Wildlife Rescue, Cardiff - telephone 02920 569914

J Wakelam - Mildenhall, Suffolk - Please 'phone 01638 715971

G Westray - Broadway, Worcestershire - Please phone 01386 584691

Wild Bird Aid - Isle of Wight (only) -  Click the link to e-mail - 'phone 07935 487306 - http://www.wild-bird-aid.uk/

Wildlife Aid Foundation: Randalls Farmhouse, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 0AL 
    Hours: daily 9am – 8pm - Click the link for full details

Wildlife Haven, Thirsk, North Yorkshire 01845 526 567   www.facebook.com/thewildlifehaven

 Wildlife RescueRingwood, Hampshire- Please phone 01425 477500 / 07765 327558

3: Consult this Facebook Page - for advice, guidance, photos - click on the Swift Swifts on Facebook

4: In Europe contact these EU Swift Carers - providing advice, treatment and care

Quando si ritrova un nidiaceo     Silvana di Mauro (Regione di Trieste)      Oriana Ferrandino (Regione di Abruzzo)           Hilde Matthes (Frankfurt am Main)

     Enric Fuste (Catalunya)            Miguel
 Carrero Gálvez (España)          Lynda Huxley (Eire)

e-mail link      Refuge de L'Arche de Noe, Saint-Joseph des Genêts, 53200 Château-Gontier, Mayenne, France 0033 2 43 07 24 38

Fundacja Ratujmy Ptaki       Wiecej informacji na temat jerzyka, kwestii zwiazanych z jego gniazdowaniem oraz innych wskazowek mozna uzyskac na
                 stronie Fundacji Ratujmy Ptaki e-mail:
Warszawa , e-mail Szczecin  

5: Advice for Vets
You can contact these advisers listed below for full guidance on professional care for Swifts
G Westray :
Please 'phone 01386 584691
S Hart : Please 'phone
0161 798 7122 or e-mail here
J Wakelam :
Please 'phone 01638 715971

6: Essential reading for Vets and licensed wildlife rehabilitators

Handrearing the Common Swift "The Hand-rearing of Common Swifts" - download this article by Hilde Matthes & Gillian Westray. It gives detailed care instructions

Hints for Vets  Christiane Haupt's "Hints for Vets" - Swift condition and injury assessment, diagnosis and surgical procedures

See Swifts Live Next - Videos, Webcams & Downloads          Back to Contents Back to Contents                                                                                                      Photographs Copyright © G Westray