New predator in neighborhood.

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ron20m
Posts: 446
Joined: Sat Jul 03, 2004 3:01 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Norman

I'm very suburban and saw my first Roadrunner cruising neighborhood. My friend on the other side of town said he watched one fly up to his house and pluck babies out of nests. Anyone else have any trouble? I have Bo11 and Troyers so I don't think he could reach mine in the nests. Maybe when they are old enough to come to entrances.
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

I've been having trouble with MIssissippi KItes cruising around my gourd racks for the past week. They are beautiful birds but I wish they would move on.
Jeanne
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Laverne
Posts: 2216
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:58 pm
Location: TX/Alvin
Martin Colony History: Erected 1st house in 1997. Birds were checking it out before Mike got down from the ladder. Six cavities had a little colony 1st year. Grown to 88 cavities all gourds with near 100% occupancy. Most important factor for success is rain = bugs.

I am posting again in defense of the Mississippi Kite. They eat insects - not birds...

Here's a link to verify that:

http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Miss ... ry#at_food
Sincerely,
Laverne
zoefluf
Posts: 586
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:51 pm
Location: Bush, Louisiana

Well, that is a relief. One less thing I have to worry about. THANKS! :)
"Look at the birds in the sky. They do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them."
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Again, I saw them pluck frog off the ground. I don't know if the kite ate it, but the frog was gone!..I have seen them go to the ground to pick up pink babies that were thrown out, but again, I don't know if they ate the baby martins, I kinda think that they did or they would not continue to grab them. I have never seen them catch an adult martin, but they try.

I really do think that anybody can put anything on the internet. Not everything posted is true. People that put such things on the internet may actually think that they are right. I trust my own eyes more. However, the majority of their food probably are insects.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6207
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a good source of info on all kinds of birds. They also list insects as food BUT nothing is 100% in nature. Kent Justus observed M Kites going after martin fledglings and wrote an article for the Update as well. Mostly, landlords don't have anything to fear from these birds but fledglings can be at risk - from lots of opportunistic feeders, which might include crows, gulls, herons - things we would not usually worry about as martin predators.
parkerdes
Posts: 417
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:41 pm
Location: TEXAS/Weatherford

We have road runners in our area but never thought about them eating martins or being a threat! How high is your housing...I didn't think they could fly very high???
I also have tons of M. kites & the martins don't even flench unless they get too close to the housing but that is with any aerial visitor...crows, mockers, etc!!! I've had the kites for the past 3 years & usually at least 4 to up to a dozen...I guess once the babies have fledged. Again, the martins don't seem concerned at all unless they get too close!!! I'd rather have them than Coopers or Sharpies!!!
Take Care!!
Lila

2009--1 ASY & 1 SY Pair
2010--6 Pairs
2011--11 Successful Pairs + 1 Late Pair that lost their brood to heat!
2012--18 ASY Pairs & 1 SY Pair---104 eggs so far! 1 SY nest lost to infanticide! :o(
CurtWelling
Posts: 185
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Versailles, KY

I have seen fledglings take off from the nest for the first time and carom off the side of my house! They are very vulnerable during those first few days as they learn to fly, any opportunistic predator would take them.

Luckily for the martins, that window of vulnerability is very short.
Curt Welling
Ken&Sheryle - TX
Posts: 649
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Helotes/Texas

Wow, never thought about roadrunners being a threat to Martins because they can't fly that high enough to get to the babies or Martins. We do have them around, I see them getting insects and stuff like that. It's something to think about when the babies fledge...we know when and are always watching out for them and to see if any lands on the ground. Well keep an extra watch...we don't have lots but have seen them.

:)Sheryle
Martin's Rule!!!!!!!!!
Barbara - DT
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Natalia TX

I don't know about roadrunners getting the martin babies, but they sure are 'heck' on my hummingbirds. I have seen runners get 2 hummers and eat them :twisted: . I keep a water hose with a sweeper nozzle on it handy to chase the runners with.
Southern by the Grace of God!
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6207
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

I read about a lady who fed her roadrunners with chunks of beef, to keep them from dining on hummers. Roadrunner predation on martins has been observed but it is not very common. Larger compartments would help, so might SREHs and cage guards - but like I said, it's not common, which is good news.
Barbara - DT
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:36 pm
Location: Natalia TX

IMO - It seems to me that feeding the runners would encourage them to stay. As much as I like them, I really don't want them hanging around looking for a hand-out. :?:
Southern by the Grace of God!
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

IMO road runners can fly, they just prefer not to beings most of there meals are insects, lizards, small snakes on the ground. Only if they can't get away fast enough they will take off. Nothing more funny that just fledged roadrunners with the fuzzy white top notch. IMO Just like crows if the opportunity there they will take it for meal.
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