• June 8, 2023

Migratory swifts return to Milan, and on the Navigli the painter Greg ‘adopts’ a swallow pullo

They return every year to their nests among the Milanese buildings, but throughout Europe they are now considered an endangered species. For this reason the swifts must be protected, especially in the city. Every spring they also arrive in Milan after a long journey from Africa to nest, but they don’t always find the ideal conditions to do so. The appeal of animal welfare and veterinary facilities is to protect the nests of this species, which are not built on trees like most birds but in the crevices and under the tiles of the roofs of buildings.

The nests that the swallows return to occupy every year must not be removed or destroyed, as often happens if there are renovations of a building at stake. In some Milanese municipalities, such as Opera, the mayor Barbara Barbieri has signed a ‘save swallows’ ordinance which provides for a fine of 250 euros for those who destroy a swallow’s nest. But there are also those who take care of these birds as happened on the Navigli of Milan, one of the most chaotic areas for nightlife, where the painter Gregorio Mancino, known as Greg, has adopted a small swallow to prevent it from being killed. from other animals.

“I feed him with sugar water and sodium through a syringe,” explains Greg with the baby perched on his finger in the workshop where he makes his paintings. The little swift was recovered by the painter to prevent him from having a bad end: “But he must not get used to the man”, Greg clarifies in the video in which we see the little one who does not want to detach himself from his hand.

After the publication of the article of the Republic, the association SelvaticaMilano intervened by going to the painter’s atelier and verifying the good state of health of the small bird. Immediately afterwards, the volunteers transferred him to the Enpa headquarters in Milan where the pullo passed into the hands of the veterinarian. Later he will be taken to the Cras, Vanzago wild animal recovery center, where he will complete his growth. So he will be released.

The protection of these animals is essential to guarantee biodiversity and safeguard the ecosystem of the territory. The swallows, in fact, play the role of ‘natural balancer’: they feed on mosquitoes and flies, acting as natural insecticides. According to scientific studies, in the breeding season a pair of swallows has the ability to capture up to 20 thousand insects a day. Furthermore, swallows and house martins are faithful to their nests and return to occupy them, during their migrations, for several years in a row. This is why it is important to protect and protect their nests or, alternatively, to compensate for their destruction with artificial nests.

The attention and respect for the birds must not only concern the swallows, but all the species that choose the city as their home. In Milan, for years now, even the pair of peregrine falcons have chosen the attic of the Pirellone to lay their eggs, which usually hatch in early April. All monitored by a webcam that captures what happens in the nest 24/7. A few days ago, the singer Fedez also gave a good example by saving for the second time a pigeon that was stuck in his terrace, making the ENPA operators intervene to recover it.

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