House Martins


We're about more than just birds (though obviously we like them a lot).
Feeding Garden Visitors

House Martins

  • I have house martins nesting on my house but I am worried that with all this rain and cold weather we are experiencing at present should I be helping them to feed? If so, what should I feed them with and how should I deliver it to them? 

  • Not sure about feeding them,I am sure someone on this site will know


  • Hi Cristin, thanks for posting.

    House martins feed on flying insects of various species so you cannot feed them directly. However making sure you avoid using garden chemicals, have a rich and diverse array of plants and habitats in your garden and a pond will mean that there are more insects around for the martins to eat!

  • Hi Ian,

    Thanks for replying to my posting. I am so thrilled to have them nesting on my house but I am worried about all this rain and cold weather we are experiencing this spring and summer. I never use garden chemicals and have a wildlife area in the rear of my garden with a pond and raised vegetable beds, so I am happy that you stated this is a good thing to do. They used the pond and surrounding earth to make their nest! So I will keep expanding on what I am already doing and keep my fingers crossed!

  • Cristin,they will no doubt come up against much worse weather than this so not using chemicals as Ian says should encourage plenty of flying insects.Just enjoy the sight of the wonderful birds.

  • Hi Cristin,

    Pleased you have House Martins nesting on you house, I too have three nests on my house at the moment and like you say with all the bad weather it does worry you, I think there are chicks in at least one of the nests saw them looking over the edge of the nest the other day so I am hoping for better weather its does help, but if you have plants and a pond in your garden all these things help a great deal.

    Let us know if any chicks appear soon:)

  • It is really sad to see the effects this 'summer' is having on our wildlife.  

    I live in Nottingham and we have house martins nest under the apex of our roof every year, they are such a joy to watch, but about a week ago I was devastated when I arrived home to find four dead chicks had been thrown from the nest onto my drive, they didn't look more than a couple of days old.  Obviously due to the cold, wet and windy weather the adults have been unable to find food for the chicks.

    They are still in the nest so i'm hoping they have laid more eggs, lets hope the weather improves soon or they may lose these as well!

  • I have a pair of Swallows nesting at my house. I am very sorry to say that their brood of 3 nestlings died over the weekend during a spell of very cold and windy weather. It is so upsetting - so I fully understand all you House Martin 'owners' being so worried. I must admit that when the Swallows are here I'm obsessed with the weather forecast.

    Good news is that they have started another nest - so the worry starts again for me...

    Come on sunshine!


  • Hi CJ,

    Sorry about your swallows. Pleased to say our two broods locally on the Thames have recently fledged and doing well - 5 from the Yacht Club and 3 from Turk's pier. They're all feeding on the wing. The weather hasn't been fantastic here, but recently turned warm enough to get decent hatches of flies off the river.