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Janet to the rescue again! - Scraps & Stitches
justmej
justmej
justmej
Janet to the rescue again!
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.
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Comments
andeincascade From: andeincascade Date: January 20th, 2007 10:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Janet, I simply love you! You are any animal's best friend. What a great story. And I can totally see you doing all of it!
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
If I see something in trouble, I do like to try and help. One of my rescue job's even made the evening New's not to many years ago.
angelvette67 From: angelvette67 Date: January 20th, 2007 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow! All that bird swapping can't have been easy. I would have thought the birds might not take the babies after they had been handled by people/other birds. But it all worked out wonderfully!! It must have felt great to see the babies thriving so well. Well done!!
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's lucky that birds do not react as animals do about being handled by humans. I must admit, I felt pretty good knowing they had all made it and I had helped.
chriselora55 From: chriselora55 Date: January 20th, 2007 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm so glad everything worked out in the end. You must have felt happy they survived to fly away, and sad to see them go. Children leaving the nest right enough.

Thank you for sharing.

P.S. I think you're brave doing all that climbing up and down.
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah! It felt good. Was lucky the rafters were not to high.
snailbones From: snailbones Date: January 20th, 2007 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's wonderful - you are such a star! I love the story - but I keep thinking the poor wee babies must have been confused with all the different nests and mums... bless! You must have been thrilled to see them fly after all your efforts.
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Was made easy for me with them still having there eye's closed! Might have had a differant ending had they been older. I love to let thing go when they are all better, it is a good feeling. But this was extra special.
snailbones From: snailbones Date: January 21st, 2007 07:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
But this was extra special.

I'll bet - I can only imagine how good something like that must feel. Fabulous!
betagoddess From: betagoddess Date: January 20th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful thing for you to do! You really do seem to have "the touch" with birds.

At our summer cottage, we have a Martin house and it used to be just filled with them. These past few years though, they have not come back. =<{
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have been around birds all my life. If I can help I do, if not I find someone who can.
Martins always come back to the place they were born, to breed the following year. Maybe none of the last one's bred there lived to make it back. I would hate it if we didn't have any around in the summer. Though they do tend to take over my hay barn and stables.
betagoddess From: betagoddess Date: January 21st, 2007 08:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's sad that the Purple Martins no longer come to the cottage. No one really knows what happened to them, but they're scarce around there now.
slipperieslope From: slipperieslope Date: January 20th, 2007 10:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
How wonderful! You are a bird genius! Ok, that sounds weird but that you actually got all that to work out is amazing. We have Martins here, too. My grandfather kept a big Martin house on a pole in his garden all the time I was growing up. It looked like a big old Florida cum Spanish style beach hotel to me. I wanted to get it down and play with it so badly. He really loved those Martins!
justmej From: justmej Date: January 21st, 2007 07:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
No one was more suprised than I was when it worked. If I had not had that good Canary at the time, I think it would of been a different tale.
vamysteryfan From: vamysteryfan Date: January 21st, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing it and thanks for saving the babies. ::happy sniffles::
justmej From: justmej Date: January 22nd, 2007 09:54 am (UTC) (Link)
I am full of such stories! I am always saving something. This was very special, simply! Because it worked.
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