Martins and Swallows   -   common problems

Fledglings are often found underneath their nests, especially in very hot weather as 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) collapses
Often the chicks are bruised and dehydrated, so handle them very gently and rehydrate as soon as possible.

An illustrated account of rearing a martin and a swallow can be found in:  Case Histories
 
Rehydration
Give some re-hydration liquid such as tepid water, Lectade, Critical Care or even Dioralyte.
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 a drop 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.

Emergency Feeding
If the bird is opening its beak and begging for food, IN EMERGENCY ONLY you can give it tiny 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 seems rather 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 tweezers or on a plastic coffee stirrer.
Offer it from above the bird and when the beak opens, place the food at the 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 eyes closed, to digest the meal.
Let it rest quietly in a warm, dark, ventilated box and take to a rescue centre 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 hour (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. 
 
Medication
If you have any homoeopathic remedies, crush a tablet of Arnica and Aconite together and dissolve in a teaspoon of tepid boiled water.
Give this to the bird on a cotton wool bud or tiny artists' paintbrush on the 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 medication will help with the shock and bruising from the fall.

Replace in nest
Once rehydrated, the fledgling should be returned to the nest if at all possible. 
Even after handling and rehydration, the parents will accept the chick back.

If 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 affecting feather development.

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