I made a big mistake :-(

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Agilityscots, Aug 15, 2007.

  1. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    I made an awful mistake tonight.

    I went down to do some laundry and thought I heard some squeaking in the air conditioning duct. I tapped it and it stopped, then it started again. That's when I realized it was either a bird or a chipmunk that had slipped down the flue.

    DH got home shortly after, and he took the duct apart; the duct ran into a cinder-block column that formed the structure for the flue, which runs up to the roof. We could tell that we were very close as he chipped away dirt and tons of soot from inside the flue, and then we started seeing pieces of bird's nest fall down. Finally, the nest came crashing down and two baby birds were squawking their heads off. We pulled them out of the flue, and that was when I realized our mistake: they're chimney swift babies. At the same moment I realized what they were, I heard mama bird fly into the flue, and she began calling for them. Anyone who knows birds knows that chimney swift calls are unmistakable.

    I feel terrible. We tried reconstructing a nest to put them back in, but chimney swift nests are not built like little bowls; they're sort of like half-wreaths that cling to the side of a chimney, and the babies hang like little bats to the wall surface. I have a vet friend and she recommended putting them in a tupperware bowl with nest material, and mama would take care of them. Even so, I feel AWFUL. I had no idea what they were when I heard them crying, or else I wouldn't have opened it. I think they were crying because of the exhaust from the AC blowing right over them.

    Here's a pic of them before we put them back in the flue:

    [​IMG]

    I guess I'll just try to listen for them and for mama and hope for the best. I feel awful.

    Amy
     
  2. Chelly

    Chelly Cooped Up

    May 11, 2007
    Oh Amy don' t feel bad, I think I would have done the same thing!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Galesburg, IL.
    Me too [​IMG]
     
  4. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central Ohio
    Thanks you two...I just feel sick. I ruined all of mama bird's hard work on that nest, and there's no way I can get the babies to cling to the inside of the flue now, where they need to be. I just hope they're strong enough and that mama can find them.

    Amy [​IMG]
     
  5. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    wow......I have never heard of chimney swifts......how could you know ? hope they make it......... so sorry
     
  6. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Wow, I am so sorry. I would have pulled it out as well. Its ok....im sure momma will be back for them. They look pretty feathered out...so maybe they will be leaving soon, then get that chimney covered! hardware cloth around it works great!
     
  7. yearofthedog

    yearofthedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have a local bird sanctuary or rescue, they maybe able to care for them if in any case the mom doesn't or can't. I found an injured dove and took her to my local bird sanctuary recently and I was so relieved to do so knowing she was in good hands!

    And, don't worry about what you've done, it's what any of us(who love animals too) would have done!

    Hope all turns out well!
     
  8. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Yes, I was hoping that since they were feathered out that they'd be close to fledging. Their eyes aren't open yet, although we did see one eye pop open very briefly on one of the chicks. I looked up some info on the internet and it said that if you can hear them begging for food, then they're about 10 days from fledging. I'm afraid to go down there and check on them this morning. I'm going to call our wildlife center and get some advice...still feeling bad. [​IMG]

    Oh, and DH says we can't cover the flue because of carbon monoxide (if snow or leaves pile up on the cover it would block the CO from escaping). And besides, I don't mind that they're nesting in there. In fact, aside from the fact that I destroyed their nest, I'm THRILLED that they're nesting in the flue. I'm an avid birder and I'm glad we can provide a safe nesting site for a bird whose numbers are declining.

    Amy
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2007
  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Sevier County, TN
    Just make sure you have the flue cleaned each fall. Bird nests can stop up the flue, too, and lead to carbon monoxide poisoning...
     
  10. Agilityscots

    Agilityscots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 9, 2007
    Central Ohio
    Quote:Good thinking, Wegotchickens! We're definitely adding it to our list. We'd never opened that flue before (the cap was painted over by the previous owner!) and the amount of soot was unbelievable. Earlier today, I heard the chicks were still alive and I think I heard mama twittering in there too. I'm hopeful, but I'm afraid to open the cap and check on them...

    Amy
     

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