House martins build nests of mud on the facade of buildings, under eaves, in window alcoves and under balconies. They are sociable birds living in colonies of extended families. They are migratory but will return to reuse the same nest sites year after year.

These house martins had been nesting above the blind in a window, when it was shut the nest fell. The house was neighbouring my studio and I was contacted to take care of the birds. Being insectivorous they eat only insects, anything else can be damaging to their development or even fatal.

I fed them wax worms and luckily they fed easily. Sometimes with older birds they refuse food, recognising that it is not coming from its parent and so they have to be force fed to begin with. They have to be fed at regular intervals and it can be quite demanding. Fortunately I fell in love right away and was more than happy to serve them. Their chirruping sounds make my heart skip and I wake up each morning excited that I will get to see them.

When I care for baby birds I sway between a swelling love and profound respect for the wild. I limit contact to the minimal. I know that this will serve them best when they are released.

This trio thrived. And then they flew away.