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Birds injured after getting stuck in glue traps put out at apartment complex

The Lafayette complex said they didn't put the glue traps up and scraped them off light fixtures this week.

LONGMONT, Colo. — Two barn swallows got stuck on glue traps that someone attached to outdoor light fixtures at a Lafayette apartment complex and would have died if not for a good Samaritan who took them to Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

"This is a very sad consequence," said Amanda Manoa, animal care supervisor at the Longmont rehabilitation center, as she used something called chinchilla dust to get glue off a barn swallow's feathers.

The swallow was one of two brought from the Prana Apartments, at 550 Viridian Drive in Lafayette. The person who rescued them told Greenwood Wildlife they saw the birds get stuck in glue traps on the light fixtures in the outdoor stairwells.

"He got quite a bit of glue just all stuck to him, so he's not able to stay waterproof or warm cause his feathers are all compromised, and his feathers are stuck together that he usually flies with," Manoa said. "So he's just going to fall like a rock, and that is what the rescuer saw."

Without being rescued, the swallows wouldn't have made it.

Credit: 9NEWS
Glue traps on outdoor light fixtures captured two swallows at an apartment complex in Lafayette.

The business manager for Prana Apartments, Sage Aoki, said the complex didn't put the traps up and they don't know who did it or why. They have since removed them.

"We’ve received complaints about birds, and I hope someone didn’t take it into their own hands," Aoki said.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife was also called out to the complex, but when they got there, they couldn't find the traps that 9NEWS observed on Tuesday. 

Glue traps are not illegal in Colorado, but CPW said they could be if they are near an active nest of a swallow because swallows are a protected species. 

Greenwood Wildlife said there are several humane alternatives like bird spikes or a lifelike predator owl that people can use to keep birds away from their home. 

If birds are stuck in glue repellent, they advise people to call animal control and Greenwood Wildlife to be able to locate a rehabilitator nearby. They can be reached at 303-823-8455.

They added that if birds are stuck in a glue trap or a board to "leave the animal on the trap, dust the remaining surrounding glue area with flour or cornstarch, and place them in a dark and quiet space until you are able to call a local wildlife rehabilitator. Trying to remove the animal yourself could cause further injury." 

Credit: 9NEWS
A swallow injured by a glue trap.

As Monoa finished her dust bath of the little swallow, she added that people should remember how helpful these creatures are. 

"We see them at traffic lights and stuff, we see them build nests on things. But they eat so many bugs that we all hate," Monoa said. "They're just these little tiny warriors eating all those bugs."

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