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Chinese farmers postpone demolition of old house for young swallows

(People's Daily Online)    14:10, June 08, 2018

Finding four young swallows and seven swallow eggs still under its roof, farmers have decided to postpone the demolition of an old rural house until the young birds grow up and fly away.

Young swallows wait to be fed Photo by Xu Zheng

The engineering, starting May 30, was carried out after residents were relocated to another area because the original spot was found to be sitting on a geologic disaster point.

The demolition was scheduled to be finished by June 5, said Chen Xinjun, secretary of the Party branch of Zhuyuan town, east China’s Zhejiang province.

“When we were working in the house, we heard birds tweeting, and it turned out that there were four swallow nests on the roof beams, four young swallows were chirping for food, with their heads peeking out from one of the nests”, said the person in charge of the demolition.

Four swallow nests attached to the roof beams Photo by Xu Zheng

He then called a friend who works in an animal conservation station for advice. He was advised not to move the nests because placing them elsewhere would leave the smell of humans on them, causing the parents to abandon the nestlings, and that the young birds were unlikely to survive if raised by humans.

He also learnt from the director of the Wild Bird Association in Zhejiang Province that the eggs take 15 days to hatch, and these new-born nestlings need about 10 days before they can fly and forage independently. He predicted that it will take around a month before the birds move out and find new homes.



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