Submitted by Steve on 16:55, 6th Sep, 2018 | 0

This week 2 young Swallows were returned back to the wild.

Donald and Lucky the Second arrived at the Shelter as extremely young birds having been found at a stables in St Saviours on the 11th August.

After nearly 4 weeks of care primarily by Senior Animal Care Assistant Yvonne Chauvel and Animal Care Assistant Beckie Bailey the young birds were ready to release to the wild and on Tuesday Beckie popped in on her day off to take them back to where they belonged before what will be an epic migration.

Beckie said “It was wonderful to release Donald and Lucky the Second on Tuesday.”

“It was amazing to watch them fly around the field which I got a great video of and then as I was driving away I managed to continue to watch them for some time.”

“To see them back in the wild is really amazing.”

Yvonne said “It’s never easy hand rearing baby birds as often they are so weak or injured when they arrive at the GSPCA.”

“It’s been a real joy hand feeding Donald and Lucky the Second and to get them back to the wild is what we do the job for.”

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “We often use our intensive care units when we have the baby birds to start their stay at the GSPCA before being moved on to bigger pens as they grow and develop.”

“When Donald and Lucky the Second arrived it was the same week we launched the plans for our proposed new Wildlife Hospital we would love to build.”

“We are appealing for those wishing to help with this huge project to please get in touch by calling 257261 or email .”

“There are many other ways to support and help birds like these swallows from volunteering to becoming an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor.”

“From all the GSPCA we all wish Donald and Lucky the Second good luck in the wild and with their long migration for winter and we hope to see them next year back in Guernsey having their own nestlings.”

For advice on what to do if you see a wild animal injured or sick please call 257261 or check out these helpful web pages -

To learn more about our biggest project, become an Exclusive Build Partner and support our Wildlife Hospital please visit

Our next Volunteer Induction is on Monday 1st October at 630pm and for details

If you would like to help at one of our upcoming events or book a table at our Ball please give Michelle a call on 257261 or email

To become an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor to sponsor the hoglets and support our work please visit -

To donate to the animals in our care please visit - 

To see our Wish List on our website please visit -

Some Swallow facts –

  • Swallow wingspan is 32-35cm
  • The UK breeding population is estimated 860,000 territories
  • They weigh 16-25g
  • Swallows belong to the family Hirundininae which also includes martins. There are 84 recognised species worldwide.
  • Swallows are not even distantly related to swifts.
  • Our familiar swallow, Hirundo rustica, is generally known as the barn swallow. It breeds throughout the Northern Hemisphere including every European country except Iceland.
  • The barn swallow is the world’s most widespread swallow but several similar species breed in Africa. Australia’s welcome swallow is also closely related.
  • In Norway and Finland swallows nest well north of the Arctic Circle.
  • European swallows mostly winter in Africa south of the Sahara. Curiously, populations from the British Isles and northern Europe winter farther south than those from central and southern Europe, flying all the way to Botswana and South Africa.
  • A few swallows regularly spend the winter in southern Spain.
  • Swallows like to nest in open-fronted buildings such as barns, stables and cowsheds.
  • It takes a pair of swallows up to 1,200 journeys to build a nest. Only the female lines the nest.
  • Swallows like to nest close to large domestic animals like cattle or horses. The decline in dairy farming in the UK and the resulting increase in arable farming has not suited the species.
  • Most British swallows try to rear two broods each summer and some succeed in raising three.
  • Europe’s population is thought to number about 15 million individuals, with the biggest numbers in Poland and Bulgaria. Britain’s 1 million ranks us in eleventh place.
  • Red-rumped swallows are spreading steadily north from the Mediterranean and small numbers of over shooting birds occur here every spring.
  • Swallows were likely to have been much rarer before man started practising agriculture and animal husbandry.
  • While Mediterranean swallows often fledge their first broods in April, birds that breed in northern Scandinavia seldom arrive before the third week of May.
  • The male swallow invariably arrives back first from migration, singing over his territory in the hope of attracting a mate. Females generally appear a week to a fortnight later.
  • Male and female swallows are virtually identical in appearance.
  • They will readily adopt artificial nests that resemble their own mud-built constructions.
  • Much folklore surrounds the swallow. To see the first swallow of the year is regarded as a good omen. In Russia songs were written to celebrate their return after the long, cold winter.
  • Before the mysteries of migration were understood, it was thought that swallows spent the winter buried in the mud of ponds and lakes.
  • Swallows always drink on the wing, flying low to sip the water.


To see the opening hours at the GSPCA please visit –

To see our upcoming guided tours please visit -

For other fund raising ideas and ways to support please visit -

To visit the details on the Urgent Kennel Floor Appeal please visit -

To find out how your business could help us at the GSPCA


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