PLEASE HELP!! Barn Swallows parenting!


14 Years
Nov 11, 2008
Vicksburg, MS
Hello everyone. There is a nest of baby barn swallows that have nested on our porch in their little mud nest thing. Well a few min. ago our cat attacked and badly injured the mother bird. Her wing is broken and it just limps down beside her. We have her in my room. We know it was the mother bird because she is the only one that swoops down and trys to attack you if you get too close. Wat I'm wondering is, do I need to get the babies down and hand feed them? I've hand fed baby birds before. And also, what do I do about the momma bird???

please reply quickly
Maybe try to give the chicks some moist chick starter.

If the mom bird can't fly, she can't bring back food for the chicks. I would try to take the nest down & bring it in so it will be easier to care for them.

The mom may never be able to fly again, you could try to care for her too, but it sounds like you may have to take care of her from now on, if she makes it.

I don't know what swallows eat, but if it's worms & bugs, you can buy those at the bait shop.

I tried caring for a baby bird once....I squished up crickets & worms from a bait shop & it gulped them down happily. I just got a glop of the disgusting mixture on the tip of my finger, it would open it's mouth and I'd stick my finger in.

Good Luck!!
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Well if the mother is that injured, I would either take her to the vet or put her down. I would deffinitly take the babies and try to hand feed them. I have no idea how to do that but i've read that you can mix some kind of baby food with some stuff to substitute for their normal food. You can look it up on google or yahoo.
barn swallows nest in pairs and both of the parents take care of the babies. the the injured barn swallow's mate should be around somewhere. Keep watching and see if the mate is around and if it is I would just try to help the injured one to get better and if the mate isnt around I would try to help the babies out. I hope this helped!

P.S. There are so many barn swallows around my barn and when one or both parents gets eaten other barn swallows take over raising the young. Im sending hope your way!

Edited to say: Barn swallow diets consist of only insects.
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Good luck!!!!
let me know how it turns out
Check with your local game warden to see if he/she can refer you to a rescue organization for wild birds. In the meantime, keep an eye out for the other parent. According to this article (, both parents feed the babies. I've observed that around my house too.

If you don't see a second parent, you may have to rescue the birds. We used to feed rescue birds canned dog food, which is what I saw someone recommending for swallows too.

Here's a second site that contains advice from experts. I'll warn you beforehand, it isn't encouraging. ( Be sure to click on the Success Stories link at the bottom of the page; you'll find much happier news there.

Best of luck!

Kathy, Bellville TX

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