Chimney Swifts spend almost all of their time in the air.
They dive and weave through the sky, catching flying insects with their large mouths and even scoop water from a pond on the wing for a quick drink. When they do roost, it is usually high up in a hollow tree or chimney. Spending time on the ground is extremely unusual for a Swift, but most people don’t know this and would probably assume that a grounded Swift was just looking for food. They would walk right past without ever knowing anything was wrong.
Luckily for Matt, he wasn’t found by most people, he was found by a bird expert. Knowing that Swifts never land on the ground to forage for food, the man who found Matt knew immediately that something was wrong.
Scooping him into a bag, he transported him to the Wisconsin Humane Society for help!
Matt had suffered a mild concussion from a collision and was stunned. Because Swifts eat on the wing and don’t know how to feed on the ground, Wildlife staff diligently hand fed mealworms to Matt every half an hour to make sure he had enough to eat. After several days of hand-feeding and medical treatment, Matt finally perked up and was ready to be released! As soon as he was taken outside, he took off and flew expertly, diving and weaving and looking for food!