Any advice for what to do with the House Martin living in our house


Our daughter spotted a young House Martin by the side of a road yesterday afternoon. It had blood on one wing and could not fly. After some water with a little sugar, warmth and a rest it seemed Ok. Today it is much more active. We have fed it approx. fifteen House flies and several spiders with numerous black flies in addition to water. It is alert and active, including stretching out its wings and chirping! We tried to contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre near Thirsk but the answer message stated they are full. RSPB directs enquiries to the RSPCA but they only want emergency cases. We wondered what any of your members might suggest as next steps. It hasn't flown and maybe is not quite big enough or fully developed. It weighs eleven grams and is eleven centimetres from beak to tail feathers so not fully grown. We considered taking it back to where we found it but a villager has told us that the nest is empty and assumes it was left behind due to its size. It has a voracious appetite and we know it is an insectivore but it might quickly exhaust our supply of garden and house insects!

It might be useful to know that we live in York. Any suggestions gratefully received!

Edward Cockburn

  • Hi Edward have you looked on to see if there is anyone else to help you

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  • If you can't find anyone there try the RSPCA again if that isn't an emergency I don't know what is

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  • Try ringing Jean Thorpe in Ryedale she may help

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  • In reply to Alan.:

    Hello Alan
    Thank you very much for all your suggestions. The helpwildlife information has given us some hope as there are a number of places we can contact / get to including Jean Thorpe. Meanwhile our little visitor is fast asleep...!
    Kind regards
  • How did this go in the end?
  • Hello everyone
    I am pleased to say that the suggestions shared led us to make contact with The Wildlife Haven in Thirsk. Although their answer message stated that they were unable to take any more creatures, when I phoned again this morning they offered to rehabilitate our House Martin. After a breakfast of flies, it perched on my finger as I drove to the Haven and the lady who received it said it was underweight but otherwise in good shape with uninjured wings! This means that hopefully it will integrate with the swallows they have at the moment, build up its strength, learn to fly and migrate! She was clearly knowledgeable and said it was likely to be the runt from a late, third brood left behind as it was not strong enough. So great news but we are missing our beautiful weekend visitor! It is a good job our teenagers said goodbye before they left for school this morning. They are keen to keep in contact with the Haven to find out how 'Plop' gets on!
    With appreciation for all the timely suggestions which led us to find help.
    Best wishes
    The Cockburn Family
  • Excellent news Edward well done to you and your family.

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  • Wonderful to hear your update Edward and very pleased The Wildlife Haven accepted this precious House Martin to help with its eventual return to the wild. Well done to Alan also for pointing you in the right direction to get help for the martin. I'm sure it will begin to put on weight now and even if it is too late to release it this year it should eventually join its fellow martins in 2021. Let us know if you get updates on Plop !!


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"