Has any one experience having a nest with chicks abandoned by parents?

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brent
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Hi everyone,
I have one last nest with 3 chicks that are about 17 days old. There is a lot a food. Weather has been good, no mites, no obvious reason for parents to abandon the nest. I don't see much feeding today. I did a nest check yesterday and they seemed fine but today hardly any, if any, activity. Should I be concerned? Could they have begun migrating back?

Thanks, Brent
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

If they are SY parents it could be the reason. They don't always make the best parents. Often late nests are pushed to fledge earlier than normal, as the parents want to leave for roost. Fledge age is around 26 days or so. Parents slow down feeding a few days before to encourage them to fledge. Even if you were to hand feed them, a few times a day, the parents may not stick around long enough, since your season is basically over, to fledge them. It's a hard call to say what to do.

Toy in PA
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brent
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Toy,
Should I just leave them? They will not live. I checked the nest. One was dead. The parents are not around. All other birds are gone.

Brent
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

It sounds like the parents have abandoned them & they will not survive. Do you know of anyone near by that may have a late nest? If so see if you can relocate them.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
brent
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Toy,
I don't know anyone with Martin's. Do you think I could feed them to the point of them flying?
Brent
brent
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Toy!!! To my great relief I just witnessed a lone SY female feeding the 2 remaining chicks. I counted 8 visits in about a 30 minutes time. I'll keep checking on them. Thanks so much!
Brent
ToyinPA
Posts: 2126
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 6:07 pm
Location: PA/Avis
Martin Colony History: The 1972 St. Agnes flood wiped out all the Martins in my area. One day, in 1997-98, 5 or 6 Martins landed on the power wires crossing my back yard. I had no house for them. They kept coming back day after day. We got a martin house a few weeks later & they have been coming back every year since. I average 12-15 pair per year.

Thank goodness!!! Don't assume because she is visiting she is feeding. Check them daily for dehydration & being under fed. Wrinkled abdomen is dehydration. Sharp keel bone is lack of enough food/starvation. You may need to supplement/hand feed a little to help them along. I'd try 1-2 feedings a day, 8-10 crickets each feeding. That will keep them going & also not over feed them when Mom comes in to fed them too. Hopefully they will make it & fledge.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member
Dave Duit
Posts: 1796
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Hi Brent,
You could assist by placing water soaked crickets on the porches. The young parents may feed these youngsters the crickets for rehydration.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
gotham
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:36 am
Location: Wellington, On, Canada (our summer place)
Martin Colony History: -Wife's family martin house shore Lake Ontario since 1967.
-2017 martin house taken over by starlings.
-2018 did research and purchased new martin house -Lonestar Alamo aluminum 14 compartment with perching rods and nest trays.
-2019 opened new martin house but frustrating season long battle with wily HOSPs (see posts) and martin visitors but no settlers.
-2020 Covid-19-honored request of locals that seasonal home owners stay away and only reached summer home too late to attempt to start colony. Aiming with determination and hope for next year.

Just read these posts. Did the 2 surviving nestlings eventually fledge?

gotham
brent
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Sadly no. I tried my best to supplement feeding with crickets and dragon flies but neither survived. The lone parent just stopped coming. A good year though with 84 fledglings. Still very sad to lose just one. It moved me to write this poem I titled "Quietly and Softly".

Quietly and softly life left,
Her head head hung gently over.
No movement, no sound-
Others flew in and gathered.
As if they knew one of their own has gone,
Quietly and softly.

Hope you don't mind me sharing but I felt such a loss and I know so many landlords know the feeling.
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