Wednesday, July 05, 2006

God's Tiny Creatures...

This morning, quite early I might add... around 5:30am I was making my farm rounds when I found the baby barn swallow that had tumbled from it's nest yesterday. Mark saw it yesterday but opted not to help it as putting it back in the nest would prevent parents from tending the other babes due to human scent. Mark didn't know if a parent might try picking up the baby & carrying it back up to it's nest that was carefully constructed of mud, sticks, grass & feathers above our barn door.

Needless to say, the baby swallow laid gasping with wings stretched out, on the wet ground.... very cold. He looks very weak. His beak keeps opening silently as if gasping for air. Head too heavy to lift. Unable to watch him suffer, I brought him in to warm him up... and give him the best TLC I possibly can in an effort to give this helpless bird a chance at life. Mark of course feels as if it is a parent reject that got pushed from the nest perhaps due to illness or weakness. That it is going to die no matter how well I nurse it. (And I am usually the realist).

Barn swallows are not the most harmonious birds when it comes to song http://www.birds.cornell.edu/AllAboutBirds/audio/Barn_Swallow.html and some think of them as a menace because of their mud nests...but in all actuality... they are very useful for the fact they feed solely on flying insects which keeps the mosquito population down.... which means keeping the West Nile Virus at a minimum.

Click on the above link to hear their sounds.

Now.... I have to figure out how to catch him some flying insects! Do they even eat insects at this newborn age? I am guessing he is 2-4 days old.

Here is an interesting fact. As a nurse I have this odd habit of checking vital signs. This little teeny tiny bird has a heart beat of 138 beats per minute. I am still trying to figure out how to check his blood pressure though. :o)

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