Dead baby swallows

Hello, 

I had a really upsetting experience this evening. I walked into the horse’s stable just about to go and get them in for the night. When I noticed 4 dead baby swallows in the floor under the nest.

The nest hadn’t fallen and didn’t look damaged. I couldn’t see the parents. So very sad when the parents have been actively feeding the babies every night. 

Does anyone know what could have caused this? So so sad. 

  • Do you know how old? or What stage were they at? any feathers, eyes open etc

    we have lost broods before during cold wet weather, but these have been in there first few days, do feathers or down and the parents removed them from the building.
  • Did a cat get in there? Or any other mammal? Do you have house sparrows nesting in and very near the stable?

  • In reply to Cyclist:

    I’m not too sure how old they were but they had some feathers and were about 2 inches long. There eyes were open.
  • In reply to Cyclist:

    that should of read 'did not have feathers or down'
  • In reply to Robbo:

    The stables have very high roofs and there wouldn’t be a way for a cat to get up. The only cat is 20 and she definitely couldn’t get up there she’s very old and spends most the time sleeping in the barn.
  • A few years ago on Springwatch they featured an incident where a male Swallow tried to take over a nest and evicted all the chicks. It was quite upsetting to watch. I wonder whether that's what has happened here.

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to Lizzie May :

    My only guess is they have may be picked up a virus or illness and died, and may be they were just too big for the parents to take them away from the nesting site so just dragged them out of the nest and let them fall. ?

    We once had a fully formed and feathered one die in the nest (may be within days of fledging) and for the second brood the parents then built an entire new nest on top of the old one with the dead young one still inside.
  • In reply to TeeJay:

    TeeJay said:
    A few years ago on Springwatch they featured an incident where a male Swallow tried to take over a nest and evicted all the chicks. It was quite upsetting to watch. I wonder whether that's what has happened here.

    Well remembered Tony,   I think you may have the answer and I think I've found the link to the Springwatch video clip   ….   https://youtu.be/NwrKt6rjGJM     

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    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Gosh Hazel, you did well to find that clip. It must have been longer ago than I remembered with dear old Bill Oddie in it.

    ____________________________________________________________________

    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    TeeJay said:
    Gosh Hazel, you did well to find that clip. It must have been longer ago than I remembered with dear old Bill Oddie in it.

    Just call me Miss Marple     LOL       it certainly dates back quite a few years but it was archived well in your memory bank and well remembered.   

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

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