Bird fans in flap over unusual swift rescued in Devizes
6:30am Tuesday 12th August 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
An unusual coloured swift which is being treated at Wiltshire Wildlife Hospital has created interest.
The silver male bird was taken in by the hospital at Newton Tony, near Salisbury Plain, after it was rescued by a woman in Devizes.
The bird was in the gutter of the woman’s house following storms two weeks ago.
After she put a broom up to it, it crawled on.
The young swift, which is just a few weeks old, is thought to have a bruised right shoulder which the hospital has been treating and will be ready to be released soon.
Staff at the hospital have not seen a swift this colour before and wildlife care supervisor Marilyn Boyes Korkis said: “It’s very unusual, whether it’s the only one in England I don’t know. It’s just the most beautiful bird.”
Andrew Carter, a farmer based near Downton and who has been ringing birds for the British Trust for Ornithology for 25 years, examined the swift and said he had not seen one of this colour before.
“It’s a grey/silvery colour rather than dark brown," he said.
"It’s certainly unusual. It’s not a true albino but the colour could be due to leucism, a condition which reduces pigment.
"When we first heard about the swift we wondered if it was an unusual species that had come in from overseas, but I think it is a leucistic bird.”