House martin babies

Just come home to find all 5 House Martin babies dead on the path.   Both parents were around this morning.   Is this cold, wet weather to blame?   I'm devestated,  not had this happen in the 10 years they have nested with us 

  • Hi Em
    Sorry to hear about the babies, this bad weather certainly can't have helped them find food.
    I think a lot of nesting birds will have been affected by the rain.

    My Flickr photos

  • Just so sad to lose all 5 in just a few hours. There was also a broken, unfertilized egg on the path. Wondering if survival of the fittest came into play
  • It won't be the weather. Do you have house sparrows on or around the building? Is the path directly under the nest and is the nest largely intact?

  • I agree with Alan re weather being very bad for nesting birds though. I expect a lot of ground nesters have lost their eggs, and their young chicks have drowned or died of cold.

  • In reply to Robbo:

    We do have a few house sparrows in the garden. The path is directly underneath the nest and yes the nest appears to be intact.
  • Just photographed the nest, it is undamaged. The only difference this year is the appearance of Gold Finches which usually stay further up the estate.
  • Thanks for the reply. My suggestion is a sparrow has entered the nest and thrown out the contents. They often take over nests, and just as frustratingly, they often then don't bother and just abandon it.
  • In reply to Robbo:

    Thank you for the info. How sad, nature can be so brutal
  • In reply to Robbo:

    2 more bodies this morning, but the parents are still visiting the nest. Hoping there are still some babies up there that will make it to adulthood (it's a double nest, an extension was build on the original nest 5 years ago)

  • I make that 8 in total. That is two nest's worth. It's possible that a new pair has taken over a nest. However, what you have described is, as I said, two nest's worth and it all seems too much coincidence that both nests all starved and got turfed out in 24hrs. Hard to imagine anything is left in the two nests. They're very long lasting, to have been one built 5 years ago on an existing nest and still both be intact.

    If it is a rival or replacement pair of house martins, you may get another clutch laid and it all work out. If it's a house sparrow, you should be hearing it chirping either under the nest site(s) or on the roof over or at the side of them. You won't necessarily see it entering and leaving. Depends how much time you spend watching.