Working in rescue centres there are always new things to learn. You get to know animals you haven't worked with yet and learn different ways and methods of working with wildlife or get to see birds you haven't encountered before. Every centre experiences a very busy summer but this busy season is the perfect opportunity to learn and gain experience. Previous summer I worked mainly with baby pigeons, doves and seagulls. This season I got to work with swifts, swallows, martins and other songbirds. Especially some swifts were quite a challenge to feed.
Swifts spent their entire life flying except when they come down to raise hatchlings. They sleep and catch their food while flying. A grounded swift will not eat himself, it is simply not natural. This means that nestlings and adults have to be fed during the entire rehabilitation period. Every year Drasi Agriazoi receives up to 300 swifts, having 80 to 100 swifts at the same time at the centre. They include the three endemic species of Greece; Common swifts, Pallid swifts and Alpine swifts. One feeding for all these birds can take up to three hours and this happens four times a day.
Beside the swifts we received two other special guests at the end of October, Nightjars. Just like swifts, these nocturnal and crepuscular, catch their prey while flying with their amazingly large mouth.