House Martins' nest unattended after sparrowhawk attack

Hi, I saw a Sparrowhawk take an adult House Martin from right by its nest yesterday, and I haven't seen a Martin go in since. There is a fluffy head sticking out of the nest and I think it is a chick with others in there, as they are making a noise when other Martins are around. The nest is about 5 metres off the ground on the side of a house. Any suggestions, would the local RSPB intervene? Thanks.

  • I think I've answered my own question as I've been reading more on the site and it says that the RSPB don't carry out rescues any more. I'll try my local rescue centre.
  • In reply to PaulL:

    Add to that it is actually illegal to interfere with a nest without a special licence.

    Nature is harsh, and very much hunt and be hunted, and something to take on board, while that house martin became lunch for the sparrowhawk, who will be feeding young as well, so the insects that the house martin was feeding on and feeding its young, will have taken away a food supply for the insect young....

    There is a chance that there will have been both house martin parents, so if only the one has been predated, then the other will do its best to continue the feeding program.

    I know it seems harsh, but that is nature and the law.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • There is a realistic chance both parents were predated in fairly quick succession. Hawks are allegedly ‘opportunistic’, but from my experience, they will keep returning to martin colonies. Martins can and do raise some of the brood on their own if one has survived, but can also leave quite big gaps between flurries of feeding. Therefore, it might appear that the nest isn’t being visited when it is. Wildlife rescues centres, certainly in this area, are keen to take in young martins if nests collapse. Helping chicks in a martin nest otherwise though, is nigh on impossible.
  • Yes it seems to be a case of wait and see. The local centre will take the chicks in if they throw themselves out of the nest and survive.

    Since posting my question I've seen more of a head sticking out and I think it's an adult, so fingers crossed it will eventually go out to feed.
  • In reply to PaulL:

    Ah, that is probably good news, but with a bit of probable bad news. Means female is still alive and can go on to successfully breed if there is a male about. But, if it is at incubation stage which sounds likely, it may well cut its losses. If so, ample time for another brood.

  • Wild birds and the law about not disturbing birds 




  • In reply to THOMO:

    THOMO said:

    Wild birds and the law about not disturbing birds

    Did you mean to post that on this thread?

  • In reply to THOMO:

    An error on your link again Ian...not that I think this poster needs the rule book thrown at them

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • In reply to ItisaRobbo:

    Yes! As usual my iPas is playing up Also I’ll try and post this link as well. Hope the link

    Hope this link works. These are exceptions allowed in the law on the same subject. And this time the link works. I’ve had problems for a long period.



  • The link didn’t work as there was a typo. Started ‘htpps’ instead of ‘https’.