Apparent disinterest in eating cannot be used to determine the intake of food at this stage. Chimney Swifts in this condition that do not gape must STILL ingest at least 5-6 mealworms dipped in a nutrient solution every 1/2 hour for 14 hours each day. And in order to accomplish this, they must be force-fed. Force-fed using absolutely NO force whatsoever.
After an indepth discussion with the rescuer, we are cautiously optimistic that we can return these birds to the active and strong condition that they were at noon on Sunday when he saw them last. Eyes open and bright, they scampered about their basket on Sunday as healthy swifts do at this age.
They have been thoroughly examined by a veterinarian, have had the proper medication administered and are now receiving nutritional supplements as prescribed by the doctor. The supporting fat layer had disappeared behind their eyes giving them the sunken appearance on admission but just recently, we have observed them opening their deep brown eyes. A welcome and encouraging sight.