Every year here in the UK from late spring to beginning of September we have these wonderful little birds visiting. The House Martins! They fly all the way in from Africa about 5000 miles to raise there young here in the UK.
At the livery yard where I used to keep my horses before I moved, these birds nested every year in the roof rafters of the stable my old horse Gwena lived in.
Now it is the end of May first part of June they had there nest built, and hatched off there first round of youngsters. The babies would be about one week old when we had a really cold spell. I realized that the parent birds were not flying in & out as usual with it being so wet & cold there were no flies for them to catch, this is all they eat, they had abandoned there nest of young.
So I climbed up to have a look, and a feel poor little things were so cold. I took them out of the nest. The best way to warm baby birds like this up is, to hold them in your hands and just breathe warm air on to them. I began to think they were dead until I felt them start to wiggle. Ok now what do I do with them?
It was breeding season for my Canary’s as well. I had this one hen that had been sitting on her eggs for longer than they take to hatch, I knew her eggs were no good, but she was very broody so I left her sitting in case I needed her to rear another birds young for me. I was lucky she was a good bird would take on any babies so I thought I would give it a shot. She was of the Norwich breed, they are a pretty big bird so she would be able to sit on all these babies ok. If not, they were going to die!
I had to get some food into them pretty fast! there eyes were still closed,so they let me feed them no problem, was Canary food but any food would do right now. Then I took them down to the shed lifted the Canary off her nest took the old egg’s away and gave her 4 babies to sit on to keep warm. She took to them straight away. I left her for a couple of hours them went back down, in time to see her feeding them.
I wasn’t out of the woods yet! As long as there eye’s were closed it was fine but they needed the live food flies & such that was there normal diet.
Anyway for 3 days the Canary took really good care of the House Martins. Then the weather got back to June temperatures! The parent birds were back getting the nest ready to start again. I jumped in the car and drove home took the babies from the nest gave the Canary a couple of babies from other nests and headed back to the livery yard, hoping my plan would work. I slipped the babies back into the nest, and then sat down to keep watch. Thank goodness! The birds after having a good look and the young insisting to be fed they started feeding them again.
It felt so good about 10 days later when they all left the nest and flew for the first time.