It might be hard to tell, but here is a photo of the latest addition to the Parrot household, a swallow chick. It was found by my nephew having fallen from its nest in the roof of the shed at his dad’s allotment, cold and looking like a goner.
He took it under his wing, so to speak, warming it in his hands until began to move again. A site on hand-rearing swallows advised feeding it with live food if possible and a worm from the garden brought it back from the brink. They appear to eat pretty much anything, including dog food, scrambled eggs and ox hearts according to the site.
Meanwhile my nephew is playing the great white hunter, wandering the garden with a fishing net and attempting to catch flies.
That isn’t the easiest task, so in between times it is snacking on soaked dried mealworms fed by tweezers as you can see from the other photo which also gives an idea of scale. And it certainly has a good appetite.
The other reason it has its mouth wide open on the photos is because it reacts to light [hence ‘Chicklit’] and instinctively gets ready for a meal when the camera’s focussing light goes off. You can also see that it is very fond of the cuddly toy elephant keeping it company.
The website wasn’t quite as forthcoming about what to do when it fledges. The parents will normally keep feeding a chick for a week or so after it leaves the nest. The hope is that it can be returned to the allotment and that mum and dad will pick up their parental duties again.