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PROWLS saves tree swallow

Tree swallow

Two nestling tree swallows were found by the water near the mill in Powell River. They were hiding under a truck and the parents were attempting, with great difficulty and risk, to feed them.

Scooped up and brought to PROWLS for safety, only one survived. It appreciated mealworms even though its preferred diet is flying insects, and was soon ready for release, which was fortunate because their fall migration was imminent.

Taken to the river by the old hospital grounds in Townsite, the cage door was opened. Perching on the edge, stretching one wing, and then, very slowly, the other, this young tree swallow then went back into the cage. Attempts to entice it out were futile.

Finally, taken out of the cage and gently tossed up in the air, it fortunately spread its wings and was soon surrounded by other tree swallows, circling about and happily calling out.

Tree sparrows need to take in about one third of their body weight in food and another one third in water each day. A full day’s fasting is usually a death sentence. Their body temperature drops and they lose nearly a fifth of their weight in that short time.