SWALLOW CHICKS HITCH A RUNWAY RIDE…IN A CARGO PLANE!
By Trudi_B | Thursday, September 05, 2013, 22:37
When it came to teaching her young to fly, an enterprising swallow mum decided to go one better than the rest of the flock - by building her nest in an aircraft undercarriage!
These swallows are now being hand reared after being rescued at Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre
The swallows were found in a nest on a cargo plane
So one morning three tiny chicks suddenly found themselves on the move as their BAe 146 cargo plane was towed a quarter of a mile from its open air storage area and into Flybe's New Walker maintenance hanger at Exeter International Airport.
There the in-transit brood was discovered by the airline's surprised engineering team during a routine inspection.
Aircraft support supervisor Tony Arpino said: "We had no idea the nest was in there when we moved the aircraft and there was no sign of the mother bird. It took quite an effort to get the nest out. It was really well stuck in place."
But that was not the end of the trio's travels because having been carefully removed and placed in a comfortable cardboard box, a Flybe driver then transported them 50 miles to the Secret World Wildlife Rescue Centre near Highbridge in Somerset.
Mr Arpino said: "The chicks have already travelled around quite a bit with no effort on their part so hopefully they will go on and thrive."
Secret World founder Pauline Kidner said the baby swallows were none the worse for their adventure and would now be hand reared until they could be released back into the wild. The centre has cared for hundreds of birds during the spring and summer and is now preparing the site for the autumn arrivals, many of which will be hedgehogs. For more information on how to help visit www.secretworld.org.