Martins and Swallows - common
Fledglings are often
found underneath their nests, especially in very hot
they stand on the edge to get cool and fall out.
Younger nestlings are occasionally found on
the ground when a flimsy nest (probably built by inexperienced birds)
Often the chicks are bruised and
dehydrated, so handle them very
gently and rehydrate as soon as possible.
illustrated account of rearing a
martin and a swallow can be found in: Case
Give some re-hydration liquid such as tepid
water, Lectade, Critical Care
In an emergency: 1 tablespoon tepid boiled
water mixed with a tiny
pinch of sugar or glucose
and 4-5 grains of salt will help.
Dip a cotton wool bud or tiny artists'
paintbrush in the liquid and put
on the edge of the beak, near the hinge.
The bird should accept this and take
several drops. let it rest and then try to give more later.
NEVER try and squirt water
into the beak - you will kill the bird if liquid enters the air sacs.
If the bird is opening its beak and begging
for food, IN EMERGENCY ONLY you can give it
amounts of mashed up meaty cat food in tweezers.
Mash about a teaspoon of food and add a
drop of two if water if it
dry. if you can possibly get wax moth larvae or white maggots, they would be far better.
Pick up a small amount that will easily fit
into the bird's beak in
on a plastic coffee stirrer.
Offer it from above the bird and when the
beak opens, place the food at
back of the tongue.
Allow about 10 seconds for swallowing and
offer another small portion.
It should take between 4 and 8 small
portions and then will sit with
closed, to digest the meal.
Let it rest quietly in a warm, dark,
ventilated box and take to a
as soon as possible.
If you can't take it to a centre straight
away, give tiny feeds(4 maggots or 1-2 larvae) every half
(depending on demand) until about 8pm.
Ideally the bird should be fed chopped maggots, tiny headless mealworms or small waxworm
larve to replace their natural food of flying insects.
If you have any homoeopathic remedies,
crush a tablet of Arnica and
together and dissolve in a teaspoon of tepid boiled water.
Give this to the bird on a cotton wool bud
or tiny artists' paintbrush
edge of the beak. It will need about 10 drops then a rest before giving more.
The sugar in the tablets will help boost
the chick's energy and the
will help with the shock and bruising from the fall.
Once rehydrated, the fledgling should be returned to the nest if at all
Even after handling and rehydration, the parents will accept the chick
this is not possible, keep the chick warm in a small box lined with
kitchen roll to make a nest shapoe and contact your nearest rescue
centre. If there is some delay in getting help, please get some
fresh live food such as waxmoth larvae or mini-mealworms to feed the
chicks every hour or so until they can get professional help. if
you have nests on your property, I recommend you buy some special
insectivore supplement such as Insect Essentials from the
Birdcareco.com to dust onto the live food to prevent nutritional damage
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