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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

Housemartin chick needs care (1 Viewer)


New member
Please help! Is it possible that housemartin parents leave early in autumn and abandon their nest with nearly grown chicks? My nest with chicks seems abandoned this morning as I have not seen any housemartin nor swallow activity for the past two days. The chicks are still alive, chattering away. One baby with nearly all feathers has fallen from the nest. What shall I do? It seems strong and lively. I need advice urgently in the next hour so I can get food for it. The nest is so high up that I can't reach it to put the chick back.
Thanks very much!


Old Berkshire Boy
This does happen with late broods of House Martins. Either try to put the juvenile back in the nest or see if it can fly ( launch into the air by hand ). Insect food is hard to obtain.


Well-known member
I had exactly the same dilemma a few weeks ago, and I am afraid that if you cannot get it back into its nest, there is little you can do. If they have gone they will die anyway sadly.

They usually struggle around on the ground and it died the same day. I tried keeping it warm in my hands, tried getting it to fly but it fluttered down to the ground, just not quite strong enough to maintain flight.


New member
Housemartins abandoned?

Hi! Our House Martin story has not found a sad ending so far! We've been feeding 'Martina' for over a week now. She's been developing well and today took her first tentative steps out of her nest! Please see video below.

We've found a lot of great help videos on You Tube which encouraged us to have a go and support Martina and not give up on her. Also see link below to a very inspiring video.

We could not put Martina back into her nest because it is too high up and dangerous to reach. We were observing the adults feeding the young and heard the chicks chirping inside the nest until yesterday morning. Now all is still. Had we have put Martina up there, she would be dead like her siblings by now. Instead, she is very healthy, always hungry and will - probably - tomorrow - be ready to go and fly BUT it's too late now. All the swallows and House Martins in the area are gone already and we are looking into overwintering her somehow. We would have no problems sending her into freedom if she had been a first brood bird with all summer ahead of her.

We are in the process of finding a rescue centre with some House Martins already in their care so that Martina will not be all alone for the next nine months! If we can't find anywhere we are considering making our conservatory a temporary aviary where Martina could fly around. The space is small enough for Martina not to be able to pick up speed and fatally collide with the windows - we hope very much. We also hope that she will learn where her boundaries are and avoid too many headaches - hers and ours!

From what we've found out so far is that House Martins have been fed and kept and successfully released by many people around the world, see You Tube. We feed Martina on meal worms, small locusts from the pet shop and Daddy Longlegs caught in the garden! She grew well on these! In the You Tube videos people mention ants and cat food too.

So I think it's worth having a go if you find one on the ground. I'll keep you posted on Martina's progress from time to time!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQGIdwkvwtk this is a wonderful video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezcAvkr43s useful too

I'm going to upload Martina videos when I'm at work next week - internet too slow here!!!
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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
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