by Malcolm Palmer
I often hear from people, usually in summer, who find young wild birds in a distressed condition – I usually offer them little help, I’m afraid, knowing how difficult it is to rear a young bird. So here is a heart-warming story. My neice, Maria Piedad, who, far from being a biologist (in fact, she is a remarkably talented graphic artist) found, in her edificio in Murcia, a baby Common Swift. With incredible patience and dedication, she raised it to adulthood, feeding it – dogfood! The bird has become attached, not only to Maria Piedad, but to the family dog, riding around on his back! It sleeps with Maria Piedad in her bed at night, and seldom leaves her side. I know of no other case of an insectivorous, aerial bird being raised in this manner – but perhaps you know different.