July 13: Vaux's Swifts
Several baby Vaux’s Swifts are staying in the care center, but these birds don’t do well in human care because they eat on the wing (while flying). Learn about how you can prevent more of the birds from ending up at the care center.
Several baby Vaux’s Swifts are staying in our care center, but these birds don’t do well in human care because they eat on the wing (while flying). Here's how to prevent more of them from ending up at the care center: Vaux’s Swifts often nest in chimneys, so if you find a baby in your fireplace, gently reach up into the chimney and attach the bird to the wall above the flue. Swifts have Velcro-like feet and will inch back to their nests.
If you find an entire nest in your fireplace, start by placing the nest in a small box or berry basket. Next, get a piece of wood that is at least 5 inches wide and 3-4 feet long, and then attach the box or basket near the top of the board. Carefully raise the board into the chimney, rest the board on the damper and lean it against the inside chimney wall. The nest should be as high as possible in the chimney, allowing the parents to fly down and feed the young.
Wait a few hours for the parents to locate the replaced nest – you should hear the young chatter loudly when a parent enters the chimney with food. When the adult leaves, the babies will be silent again until a parent returns with food.
Read our brochure about living with Vaux’s Swifts for more information about the species, which migrates through and nests in Portland every year.