Ninety-thousand migrating swallows, stranded in Switzerland by a sudden drop in temperatures, have been given a free ride to the sun with the help of three European airlines.
LV CU Nice airport and sign
LV PAN Aircraft lands PAN TO crowd at barrier
CU Children wait
SV&CU boxes of swallows unloaded (2 shots)
CU more boxes unloaded
CU boxes opened and swallows fly out
LV Stack of boxes taken to waiting crowd
CU&SV boxes distributed to waiting people (2 shots)
SV Woman carries four boxes away
CU Child holds swallow in hands
CU Swallow given bath and released in the countryside
CU Family releasing boxes of birds (3 shots)
Initials ET/1635 ET/1652
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Background: Ninety-thousand migrating swallows, stranded in Switzerland by a sudden drop in temperatures, have been given a free ride to the sun with the help of three European airlines.
Crated and shipped from Switzerland to Nice on the French mediterranean coast by Air France, several thousand of the birds were yesterday (9 October released at Nice airport to continue their migratory flight to Africa.
Two other airlines - Swissair and Iberian Airlines of Spain - few other consignemnts of swallows to Marseilles, Palma, Madrid and Tunis.
The stranded birds were discovered by Swiss bird-lovers last week. They were found huddled as many as twenty to a nest, exhausted and starving because the insects they normally feed on during their flight from Northern Europe to Africa, had vanished with the sudden bitter cold weather.
Swiss newspapers front-paged the story and thousands of Swiss people rounded up the swallows and warmed and fed them. then the airlines stepped in with their airlift offer.
And for some of the swallows there is a bonus to the happy ending. Birds flown direct to Africa will arrive two weeks early in their winter resting places.
SYNOPSIS: Nice airport was one of the staging posts in a mercy airlift carried out by three European airlines. From here, they were released to continue their flight to Africa.
Swissair and the Spanish airline Iberia were also part of the airlift. They flew other consignments of swallows to Marseilles, palma, Madrid and Tunis.