A Chimney Swift Emergency

chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)August 12, 2010

We've been doing the usual insanity at Camp Nappy including having Chimney Swifts invade our chimneys as they have for at least the last decade. The larger chimney connects to the furnace via a duct system. This is the point of entry into the basement for some of the Swifts into the house. They come in, we catch them and send them on their way.

I was downstairs Sunday morning doing one of the daily the Swift-checks. When I got near the washing machine, I heard a faint flutter. Climbing up onto the washer I found a Chimney Swift that was wedged between a large glass jar and the wall. She must have been trapped there for days!

She was so thin, exhausted and weak. Her eyes were not open. She couldn't even hold her head up.

I gave her some water into her crop and made up a combination of baby bird cereal plus jarred strained turkey. I force fed her every 10 minutes. We went outside armed with butterfly nets and caught tiny gnats, mosquitoes and midges.

These poor little guys were placed into a jar with a little bit of water and shaken up a bit. (Sorry little flies!) Now they were immobilized and floating on top of the water. They were easily scooped out and added to the Swift cereal mixture.

Now at least she was getting some of a more natural food. While we were making up this new concoction, she opened her beautiful eyes! Ooooooooo! Maybe there is hope to save her life?!?!?

Now she was being fed every 10-15 minutes and she started to walk across the towel on the counter. Not wanting her to get hurt in a cage, particularly because of those long delicate wings, she was placed in the glass door enclosed bathtub on her towel.

And then when I went to feed her she started to scream at me! She was definitely getting stronger! Two and a half hours after first being found on the shelf, she took flight in the bathroom!

WOW! I never expected such a swift recovery! LOL! We thought to keep her for a few days and get her strength built up even more. That was the plan but she had other plans.

We kept feeding her at 30 minute intervals throughout the night. She would no longer stay inside the glass enclosure but kept flying around the bathroom in the morning. Not wanting her to get injured in her need to get out, we stuffed her crop once more gave her a kiss and sincerest apologies for not having found her earlier and she flew off.

She looked soooo strong in her flight. She is VERY thin but we think she will be able to fatten up with all the insects we have around. If needed, she can always rest in the chimney. She has VERY good grip strength! Swifts and their kind are VERY difficult to maintain in captivity, not only because they catch insects on the fly, but they can easily damage their looong delicate wings.

I'm sooo happy she recovered. I feel soooo bad that she was missed during the swift checks! Will need to do a better job so this never happens again!

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Awww, I've missed these stories! You're such a wonderful human. And funny! "I never expected such a swift recovery!" LOL!!


    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:22AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Blenda! 8-) Hiya!!!

Hmmmm. You caught that little pun, ehh? LOL!

It's just the *normal* abnormality here so nothing extraordinary to report. This was about the only excitement we've had.

Daisy doesn't chase down birds any more but them thar squirrels better watch out! :-)

Good to see you again!

Chick a Dx3

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 11:31AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I've missed the Camp Nappy rescue stories too! I'm glad you found the swift in time and she is out soaring with her family. I can't believe it's almost time for fall migration to start and so many of our summer residents will be leaving it once again :(

Brenda, any owlets this year? Or baby kestrels?

Not much new here with the bird happenings ... I did have a nesting pair of louisiana waterthrushes this year. I only got to see them a few times but watching their funny strut was a real treat.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:35PM
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Glad you were able to get the swift back on her wings again.

We haven't had many hummingbirds at all this summer - not sure if it is because it is warmer than normal and they went farther north or what. I only saw one at the feeder and my neighbors out back who have a zillion feeders only saw them a few times.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 9:05AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Anne, I had a summer like that a few years ago and then during migration I suddenly had dozens of them. I had to put up two more feeders! I've been getting a few more each year but this was definitely a banner year for me. I started a small butterfly garden this year that included zinnias and the hummingbirds do seem to like those zinnias! This has also been a banner year for butterflies for the area in general and for me too! I've added lots of new butterflies to my yard list this year. It's been lots of fun!

Brenda, weren't you having problems getting butterflies in your garden .... or was that someone else??? Any luck this year??

    Bookmark   August 14, 2010 at 8:37PM
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Awww, I was just looking at my old Daisy pic stash, Chicka! I miss her! And how is Rani??

Hi, Jean! I haven't spotted any owlets this year, but the adults barn owls are still here, so they must be out there somewhere. Unfortunately, we also have rats, and the owls haven't learned the "fetch" command yet. Roscoe the dog has been hunting them for us, though. Actually, just cornering them so *I* can fetch them...with my shovel. *wince* Blah, no kisses from HER after that, though! LOL Glad she's up to date on her shots, too. :D I have recent pics of her....I just need to get them posted. Anyone have more time I can borrow?? :D

I have a bunch of your bird pics still saved, too, Jean, especially now that you're published. :D

No luck getting more butterflies (or many hummers for us, either, Anne). The butterfly bush is blooming really well this year, as well as tons of other ByFy favorites out there. We're surrounded by farmland, though, so that may deter them quite a bit.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 6:04PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Brandy! :-)

Mmmmmmmm! RATS! :-X We could slap a few stamps on Little Simon and send him to help with the rat hoards.

Rani is fine, thanks. We tried to get her pregnant with Bosco's ~representatives~ in May but she went into a false pregnancy. :-/ We shall try again in October or whenever she goes into season again. I think Rani needs to care for someone who looks more like her! LOL!

Wish there was spare time. That and a winning lottery ticket! I'd share! :-)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2010 at 6:46PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

That picture gets me every time! Especially with kitty doing the knead-the-blanket-mommy :^)

Brenda, please do post some pics soon!

The new kitty (okay, we've had her two years and still call her the "little kitty") is doing so well! No more infections or snotty nose! She is such a sweetheart. And to think, the vet was ready to give up on her :^(. Thanks to everyone who convinced us we needed a new vet! And believe it or not, I don't have a current picture of her ... but I will remedy that soon!

    Bookmark   August 18, 2010 at 11:16PM
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LOL!!! Rani is such a cuddle bunny! She's going to be such a great momma.

It's SOOO funny that you referred to me as "Blenda" up there, Chicka! Grandson Jonah used to have trouble with certain R's, so he'd call me Gramma Blenda. LOL

Jean, big kisses for your kitty from me! I haven't met her yet, but it sounds like she's had a rough go of it. :( Bye-bye, vet....hello, kitty!

Ok, I'm going to post pics now! Woohoo! :D


    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 7:47AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi Brenda. Good early morning! :-)Nice to see you can visit here more often!

I remember you mentioning you were Blenda from a waaay early post. You're Brandy too. I'm sure there's others ... :-)

Rani IS very sweet but she's become overly protective of me since my car accident. We're working on that. :-/

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 8:26AM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

WHAT!!!! What car accident! Fess up!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2010 at 9:09PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)


That is a waaaay long story so I'll spare you and just give you the highlights (?) about the car accident.

The girls (Rani and Daisy) and I were going to go to the store and some Twazzook crosses over 4 lanes of highway while trying to make a U-turn and smashes into us ... forcing both cars across the 2 lanes of oncoming traffic and into a guardrail! At least she had enough brain cells to have her infant correctly in a car seat and the baby wasn't hurt!!!

Rani and Daisy both bit their tongues and Rani's face was swollen and Daisy's rt. eye was all bloody / bruised. :-(

I was injured the most and the worst of my injuries is ruptured ligaments in my left ankle. Every time I take a step I can feel the bones of the ankle grinding and sliding over one another. When I take the weight off I can feel the bones seperate from one another. *VERY* creepy feeling ... hurts too! I've seen 3 orthopedic specialists, so far ...

I'm in what's called an AFO ... an ankle brace type thingy and that's gonna be permanent as no surgery, short of lower leg amputation will *fix* my ankle issues. Going to see someone from Pain Management at Cleveland Clinic Thursday to see what can be done so I can work more than 3 hours a day. :-/ The car was in the Bug Hospital 2 months getting repaired.

Funny thing is March 27th Trans Siberian Orchestra was at the Palace Theater doing their Beethoven's Last Night concert and we had AWESOME 2nd row seats! That was 2 days after the car accident so I was extra sore but I didn't care! I'm not going to let some idiot driver make me miss that concert!

There were people leaving the earlier show and they saw me hobbling on crutches and a knee brace .. making my way to the venue. They said I get ~bonus points~ for making it to the show. Actually I did! I got a drumstick that was used during the show afterwards! :-)

Hmmmmm. When I went to their Christmas Concert ... I was recovering from nerve surgery on my left elbow and wrist. Wonder what will happen to me next ... before their Nov. 28th concert?!?!? :-/

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:05AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Oh, Darlin', how awful! It makes me cringe. I hope the Pain Doctors can do some good. It's kind of shocking they can't use some sort of pin to speed healing or to attach the cartilage.

I know our injuries aren't anywhere near similar but to spread a little hope, my back surgery has finally kicked in after five years. This past month I was able to reduce my medication by half, sometimes two thirds and I can get around better without using the cane all the time. When I started taking the Lyrica it was brand new. A few years earlier, I would have been on narcotics all the time. Maybe at Cleveland Clinic they will have access to something new that can help.

I hope the other driver had good insurance.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 3:34PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Glad that you are finally doin' better, Sleepless! :-)

Lyrica? YEESH! I was on that, or supposed to be, after my ulnar nerve entrapment sx. and other schtuff. I was soooooooo loopy with just the 50 mg. dose. Later I was prescribed the 75 mg. and didn't take it. I'm loopy enough without artificial help! LOL!

I was on Tylenol with Codeine for a few months then the last MD gave me Vicodin. :-/ Talk about loopy!!! No way can I take that before I go to work!!!

The Twazzook that hit me? She has Safe Auto and they have fought me every step of the way!!!!! Grrrrrrr! I have State Farm Ins. and they'll pay for everything that the Twazzook won't up to $250,000.00. Then they will sue her for whatever was paid out. But ... A bazillion forms later ... I'm still waiting for $$$$$ .... :-(

Hmmmmmmmm ....... lemme see .....

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 4:28PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Basically I have no bone in the ankle to allow a surgical fix of the ligaments. It isn't even osteoporosis. It's ... uhhhh ... nothing! :-/

Yeah. I walk on that. Kinda.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 4:52PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

That hurts just to look at it and I'm sorry the Lyrica didn't work for you when you had the nerve damage. It is strange how different people respond to a medication. I'm hoping to reduce the original 300mg a day down to 150 for now and then down much further. I have friends who are happy with 10 to 20mg a day for fibromyalgia. That would be nice. On the other hand DHs cousin who has MS is taking 600mg a day. She was much more loopy on some of the other meds she was taking, but then she seemed a bit loopy before she got sick.

I've taken a muscle relaxer for fibro that is way above the recommended dosage and time set out in the script with no apparent mental or physical side effects. Going on 15 years now. With the advice of our doctor DH took 1/2 a pill for some severe muscle strain and it knocked my 6'2" hubby out cold for 8 hours. Then he was loopy for another 4 hours. It worked great on the muscles but he wouldn't take another dose if you paid him. I'd like to get rid of that one too but I wind up with nasty muscle spasms. I hate drugs like Vicodin. I'm always afraid I'd build up a tolerance against a time when I would really need it.

As I said, different reactions.

The insurance companies... can be frustrating. I totaled the Mazda SUV just before Christmas this past year. No injuries except strained muscles and a lump below my knee where the firewall brushed against it. Had the doctor check me out and then a final check up 4 months later. Maybe $300 altogether including an ultrasound for the knee and they still haven't been able to close the claim out. They have been very nice but it seems it should go a lot smoother. The claim for the Mazda was done with almost immediately.

I really had thought they were further along with growing cartilage in the lab for injuries like yours.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 2:22PM
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sheepco(MN z4)

Ohhh Chicka...I'm so sorry about your accident....I'm no radiologist, but that looks....mushy! ('scuse the medical terminolgy). Hope you can get pain relief and more ...Keep up the search.

I wish you a good recovery...the world needs people like you to keep goin' round. Meanwhile enjoy the things you can do....the alternative isn't so great. We see it every day...

My best wishes, Sarah

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:06PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Chickie, I am really sorry to hear about your accident. I have no idea what I should be looking at in your xray but I take it that the gap at the end of the long bone on the left is not a good thing? Showing my ignoramus here!

So there's no surgery for ankle replacement yet?

I know there is no financial restitution that will give you back your mobility and pain free days but I hope you can get some sort of financial relief for not being able to work. That is why we buy insurance! It makes me mad that fraud is so widespread that when someone has a legitimate claim that it takes forever and you end up feeling the victim all over again. GRRRRRR!!!!

Sorry, didn't mean to get on my soapbox !

I am so lucky to never have had any type of chronic pain. I'm afraid I would be such a wimp! I hope you find relief soon!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 10:26PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hey there Jean. :-) You ARE a radiologist! That HUGE gap isn't supposed to be there. That's part of the ~bones coming apart~ sensation because the ligaments are not there. :-/

You're right, Sarah. It is mush. There's a little stress fracture going across the lower part of the fibula (thinner long bone) and the ankle bones, such as they are ... some have already fused together due to earlier issues.

Wow Sandy! I'm loopy from just 50 mg. of Lyrica. I'd be hibernating deeep in the compost pile with 300 mg! Hope that you and yours are better soon.

Thanks all. We'll see what the Pain Guy says on Thursday. Hope he doesn't recommend a chainsaw. :-/

No Swifts have been in the basement since Taylor Swift was rescued from behind the glass jar. Maybe Swift season at Camp nappy is done for this year? We'll keep looking until mid-September in case any one migrating drops in.

Thanks again! :-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 8:45AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

I will be sending good thoughts your way. Hope you get the best doctor and treatment. Even if it doesn't work out this time, keep on trying. I can remember all too many times some doctor told me I would need a particular medication or treatment the rest of my life only to have a better one come along.

The Pain Docs are still a pretty new specialty. I never expected Sports Medicine was going to be of so much importance to anyone outside of Athletics.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 8:30PM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Chickie, how did the appointment go?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:09PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

I'll e mail you about that Sandy. :*(

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:53PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Oh Gosh Chickadee3, I hope it wasn't bad news. (((hugs)))

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:06PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

Oh uh, doesn't sound good. I'm hoping there is some good news in there somewhere ....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 9:57PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Thanks all! No need to panic, please! :-)

I encountered two moron MDs and reported them to the Ombudsman Dept. That's kinda the serious complaint dept. They messed with the WRONG person!

Going to try acupuncture next.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 8:58AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Whew......that's a relief. I have considered acupuncture for several problems I have, but never did it. I think its a very reasonable alternative.
Its rather frightening how many idiot docs there are out there. I've been to so many, and I would say there are more marginal ones than good ones. I always feel like I've found a real treasure when I find a really good one.
Good luck with the acupuncture and let us know how it goes!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 9:16AM
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Thanks for the great story, Chicka!

I'm so sorry about your ankle. Ouch! I know how hard it is having to choose between pain and brain fog.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2010 at 1:09AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

How is the ankle doing, Chicky?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2010 at 6:57PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi! Thanks! :-)

I'm doin' GREAT! Was trying to walk on a subluxated (semi-dislocated) ankle for the last 5 months. All is fine and dandy now at Camp Nappy. NO need for pain meds because there is NO pain PLUS I still have my whole leg! Whowoulddathunkit?!?!?

I did stir up serious problems for seriously Idiotic peepul I saw earlier. If only I could properly re-pay them for their cruelty! :-/

And so ends the Swift Season at Camp Nappy for this year too. :-)

    Bookmark   September 20, 2010 at 8:43PM
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