View Full Version : Swallow fell out of nest: put it close by??
Jul. 7, 2010, 03:14 PM
Mr. CC's swallows (he is in love with the nest full of babies in our barn) are having a housing crisis. One of the nearly-feathered-and-ready-to-fly fellows has either been pushed out by his too-hot fellow nestlings, or he leaped too early. He is perched on a purlin in our hot metal pole barn, about 10 feet below the nest. Mom and dad are coming at regular intervals to feed the nesters, but have missed little fly-away each time. He/she is still hale and hearty, because Mr. CC put him on a purlin higher/closer to the nest and he squawked and squeaked about it, but he tumbled off onto a lower purlin.
Mr. CC is busy building a flight school hanger (a piece of plywood with hooks to hook over said purlin to make it bigger).
Will Mom and Dad Swallow come back to him if we place him on his new pad??
Mind you, Mr. CC has already set up a fan and a mister for these birds (my horses don't even have that!) due to the fact we've gone from 65 to 95 degrees in ONE DAY. Welcome summer!
Jul. 7, 2010, 03:45 PM
I had the same problem, times 6! I felt like I was running a bird nursery.
I lost 4 of them. One was too tiny, one the cats got :(, two just died. I built a ledge for one of them that attached to the stall partition, but, he must have tried to fly again and I found him in the stall, just gone.
Two of my charges actually stayed in my hay stall. I locked the cats out of it. Luckily, they are too fat and old to put too much energy into bird stalking. My son told me that he saw the parents feeding them. Those two are the ones that actually lived!! In fact, one of them was so ugly, I actually recognized him on my fence behind the barn. I think that he was saying, "Thanks".
Jul. 7, 2010, 03:45 PM
Attach a small piece of something flat under the nest...pretty much touching it or close to touching it.
Place bambino on that. Keeps it from being booted out again and close enough for mom/dad to feed.
If mom/dad do not feed it by tonight, get some meal worms and start feeding it. They starve to death pretty damned quick. :no:
You can leave it near the nest and feed it multiple times daily, or put it in a small cage and feed it until it's feathered. When it's siblings start standing on the edge of the nest and flapping, return it to the nest.
Mom and dad will still teach it how to catch bugs after it flies even if you help it out.
And yep, my birds have their own fan too. No mister though...but I do have an extra one...hmmmm. ;)
Although I think we've lost this second clutch of eggs. 2 days 100 or over with freshly laid eggs (maybe 3-4 day old eggs) means they probably got cooked too much. Poor momma is trying to stick by the nest, but even her own fan in this weather is too damned hot in the ridge!
Jul. 7, 2010, 03:57 PM
:lol: Awww...Mr CC sounds like a real sweetheart.
I think your little flyguy will be okay.
Swallows seem to be amazing parents IMHO & from what I've observed in my own barn.
This year my swallows were ready for their 2nd hatch but the last fledgling was not sure he was ready to move out.
One morning I watched both parents build an entirely new nest, about 5' from the original then spend all morning flying back & forth from the old nest to the new, twittering like mad.
For all the world it looked like they were trying to convince Baby to make the move!
All the while the fledgling sat on the edge of the old nest, looking all crabby, stretched his wings a few times but Nuh-uh! he was NOT budging.
After 2 days he finally moved - TaDa! - to the new place.
I told everyone he had moved in with his Wii and was bugging the folks about having no food as Mom (or Dad?) kept flying over to him to feed him.
He is still in residence in his "bachelor pad" and the parents are setting eggs in the old nest.
Can't wait to see what happens when the new ones fledge...
Jul. 7, 2010, 04:15 PM
I had this happen for the first time like a month ago.
Wildlife Coallition said to either put the bird back in the nest or make your own nest. Its a myth that the parents wont feed the bird due to human scent.
I wasnt so convienced on the nest (it was small and weak) so we took a plastic basket (it was rectangle, with slits all over it, about 6"x4"), put some hay in it, and tied it to a branch in the big oak tree.
I was worried about it not being fed as I never saw the parents. But I would check its crop and it would be full. About 4 days later, it was gone, and I can only assume it flew away as when I checked on it 2 days before, it tried to fly and made it about 20' and then fell.
Jul. 7, 2010, 05:10 PM
Update: Mr. CC retrieved the baby twice (must be trying to fly, ambitious little lad! or lady!) and finally put him/her back in the nest (32 feet up in the barn roof/back wall!). So far, he's still there.
We are moving the "launching pad" up so it is right below them, to hopefully provide a safe place to hang out.
As well, the fan seems to be doing the trick to keep everyone cool enough to survive. Maybe, just maybe, we'll get a whole nestful out of the barn alive!
Jul. 8, 2010, 08:33 AM
One of the nests at our barn just emptied out. It took the parents 24 hours to get each bird out safely, one at a time. Each time one flew out the parents let it fly around the patio area for a while, and then had it wait on the fence for its sibling to come out of the nest. Once the last one came out they lined them up on an arm of the hot walker, one of the parents preached a lecture, and then they all took off. It's a lot of work being a barn swallow parent!
Jul. 8, 2010, 09:32 AM
Our first swallow family was 3 this year, a nice number for those tiny swallow nests! (4 or more raises the chances of one getting booted out or not fed enough) 2 were flying within 12 hours of each other. The last one was stubborn or timid and 2 days later was getting as far as the electrical conduit outside of the nest despite mom and dad calling to it.
Day three it took a big leap off of the conduit and started flapping...at the same time my roof vent fans turned themselves on (thermostat controlled) and I had the screen off of it for cleaning. :no: :eek: It tried flying right under the fan...lost the poor thing. :cry:
Now babies 1 and 2 rarely come back to the barn and momma laid new eggs 3 days before the massive hot weather. I doubt those eggs are still viable now. They're probably air-boiled. Gotta give momma credit...she stuck by those eggs despite having to stand on the edge of the nest with wings spread and beak wide open due to the massive heat up there. The nest fan wasn't helping much at that point.
Last time we had a bad heat wave in the summer we lost the second batch of babies. They were born 2 days before the temps went to 110 and over for 3 days. By the end of day one they were all dead. So I'm glad these hadn't hatched yet. I'll be surprised if they do hatch in a couple weeks.
Jul. 8, 2010, 05:43 PM
A starling booted all our babies out of the nest once, they landed in the stall bedding. We put the three live ones back right into the nest successfully, but the starling came back. I sat there with a corn broom and whacked it, missing it actually, but it didn't come back.
Put the babie back again, successfully this time.
Jul. 8, 2010, 06:08 PM
Our second round just started flying. Had five the first time. Saw four heads
when they were little. Not sure how many are left--saw two sitting on the
I beam on our porch (they like the back porch instead of the barn) with one parent last night so assumed the other parent was some where with the other ones.
For a couple of years, we had two sets of parents and two nests, but this year only one set of parents. We had the outside of the house repainted two
years ago and the nests had to go (it was in the fall). Come spring, the swallows showed up and had a hissy fit. They sat on the I-beam chattering
at us every time we came outside, then got busy and made new nests.
Jul. 8, 2010, 10:35 PM
I have them EVERYWHERE! and they are aggressive! Saw 8 sitting in a nest just yesterday. Here you all are trying to save them and I'm considering how to be rid of them. My dog seems to enjoy chasing them though!
Jul. 8, 2010, 10:42 PM
We have nests in the ferns on our porch every year. First batch of 5 just fledged and flew!! Parents are already sprucing up the next for the next brood. We just water around the nest. It's in a pretty cool spot and the ceiling fan on the back porch gives plenty of air circulation. I love watching the chicks grow.
Jul. 8, 2010, 10:47 PM
Of course we save them! :winkgrin: They're lovely adult birds who eat their body weight in bugs daily and when they're nestlings they look like grumpy little old men glaring at you from over the edge of the nests! :lol:
Who can resist bug eating machines that start out looking like grumpy old men and then turn into sleek fighter planes? :cool:
Plus I like them aggressive...they attack and help drive out the very destructive sparrows that I hate. And the swallows only ever poop right under the nest, so hanging a piece of feed bag under it keeps the barn immaculate.
I even get a laugh out of babies learning to flap around the barn and performing emergency landings on me. The look they get when they realize what they landed on is priceless...as is the panic-ridden PEEP!
Although I have had babies who apparently lack both navigational skills and the ability to retract their landing gear get stuck in my ponytail before...a madly flapping peeping baby trying to lift off with half my ponytail clutched in it's little feet is still funny though! :lol: Mom and dad dive bombing me makes it funnier! :)
Jul. 8, 2010, 10:52 PM
Grumpy little old men is the perfect description on them lol!!
The mamma bird doesn't even give us a second look now when we gently tilt the hanging basket little so we can have a good look at her sitting on the nests. I can picture the rolley eye icon over her head and imagine she is thinking "Yes stupid humans, I am still sitting on these eggs. Just like I was yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the day before that . . ."
Jul. 8, 2010, 11:34 PM
Well, day three of the Heat Wave After the 4th, and all the babies are still alive! One more day of ungodly hot temps here in the green, cool, suffering PNW. The grumpy old men are hot, but relaxing under their fan/mister. Mom and dad were not thrilled with all our arrangements, but the scolding they give is just fine. As long as they aren't starlings, I'm happy with bird poop in the barn.
Loves to ride
Jul. 9, 2010, 06:38 AM
Despise sparrows, starlings and cowboirds but love my swallows!
Even my non-horsey husband enjoys watching the swallow antics in and around the barn. Not wild about the bird poop but when I watch them fly and swoop and know they are eating the evil insects, I figure, what the heck, a little poop can be tolerated.
I do admit that barn chores take a bit longer when the youngsters are learning to fly! (They are SO much fun to watch!) :D