First Arrival

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
cary-nw-fla
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:27 pm
Location: Holt, Florida

Amazing.... My earliest prior arrivals in the past was Jan 30th. At a little after 10 AM this morning was amazed to see an ASY female sitting on the entrance porch of a Troyer Horizontal. Eventually flew around the area for a while, came back and landed on the gourd, finally flying away. Will be keeping a close watch to see if she shows back up, Too early as I know we will still be getting some really cold weather.
2010/2011: 0 / 2012: 8 Pair / 2013: 22 Pair / 2014: 35 Pair / 2015: 39 Pair / 2016: 73 Pair / 2017: 94 Pair
Cary
CSXengr
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 3:33 am
Location: Rockingham, NC

I am new to watching for the early arrivals, but it does seem that they are coming back early this year. I have reviewed the Scout reports for years past so maybe it's just my imagination. But if they show up too early here in NC we are not out of the woods for winter yet. I may be learning to do some feeding on my little flock from last year. :grin:

Gary Payne
mwren
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding the last few seasons and have had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Cary,
It is certainly a wake up call for all of us up north who are still in the cold grasp of winter to see reports of martins showing up already in Florida! Keep on the watch for more arrivals!

"Bird"
Mike "Bird" Wren
Dave Duit
Posts: 1854
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.

When they arrive early down south the trend continues on their trek north. Expect martins to arrive about a week to a week and a half early throughout the US.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Kegger
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Cape Coral and N Fort Myers are about 35 miles south of me. I had ASY visit my site last year but only had 2 pair of SY
fledge broods. It will be at least a few more weeks for me to see or hear them. Still installing a perch line and snack trey. 8)
Stingray
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 9:45 pm
Location: Plantation/Florida

cary-nw-fla wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 10:53 pm
Amazing.... My earliest prior arrivals in the past was Jan 30th. At a little after 10 AM this morning was amazed to see an ASY female sitting on the entrance porch of a Troyer Horizontal. Eventually flew around the area for a while, came back and landed on the gourd, finally flying away. Will be keeping a close watch to see if she shows back up, Too early as I know we will still be getting some really cold weather.
Hopefully all will work out with the timing.
We have been having some cool weather in South Florida.
Really cold weather is not good for our little friends.
Good luck!

The earliest arrivals I've had were 1/18.
Usually January 22 - 30.
My gourds are all cleaned and ready for this year's tenants!

Hope you have a great season. 👍
Have a great season!
cary-nw-fla
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:27 pm
Location: Holt, Florida

Sorry to report that my first (very early) arrival did not survive. :-( Don't know if it was the cold last night or she was weak from her trip North, or a combination of the two. Found her on the ground this morning. Hope my next arrivals will be more in line with my normal arrival times when the weather will be more forgiving. Hope you all have a great season.
2010/2011: 0 / 2012: 8 Pair / 2013: 22 Pair / 2014: 35 Pair / 2015: 39 Pair / 2016: 73 Pair / 2017: 94 Pair
Cary
John Evans
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:56 pm
Location: Cocoa Beach Florida

Ahhh, Sorry to hear.. Sad when they perish after that long journey home..
Best of luck.

John
PMCA Member
brent
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Location: Raceland, Louisiana

Oh no. So sorry to hear that. My very early arrival seems to be doing fine. He leaves about the same time every day and I look for him to return at about 4:30. It worries me that he is here so early. Can't wait for the others to arrive so he'll have company.
mwren
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:43 pm
Location: OH/Athens
Martin Colony History: I have had my martin colony on the dam of one of my ponds for nine years. The colony has grown each year, but I am now concentrating on helping friends and acquaintances who have shown interests in martins. My colony consists of three T-14's with 8 Troyer gourds attatched to each T-14, a Troyer gourd rack with 12 gourds, and another gourd rack with 18 Troyer gourds for a total of 96 nest cavities. I am having serious predation issues with hawks and owls and am experimenting with various hawk guards and "screens". Established successful supplemental feeding the last few seasons and have had a blast flipping mostly meal worms and some crickets. Faculty from Ohio University are using my colony as a research site to study parasites that target cavity nesting birds. In exchange for access to my bird trail nest boxes and martin housing, they are banding all birds involved in their study.

Having these early arrivals in Florida is exciting to hear, but as Dave Duit has noted in his reply, the early arrivals down south seem to be a warning to landlords up north to not be surprised when our birds are a week to two weeks early also. This "early arrival" up north like we had last year in Ohio saw many landlords finding dead birds on the ground or piled up in nest boxes. In spite of a very aggressive supplemental feeding program that consisted of flipping live meal worms and crickets multiple times per day, I watched more martins not survive the very cold weather and lack of enough insects to feed on.
These early arrivals down south should be a warning to all of us up north to make sure that we have our inventory of meal worms, crickets, and plans on how to successfully "deliver" life saving food to our early arrivals come March.
The difficult times of finding dead and dying birds in two of my colonies last March was softened a bit by a three week successful rehabilitation of an ASY male we were able to rescue and return to the colony. We kept the bird in a netting covered area in our warm basement that served as our "intensive care unit". As the birds condition improved, he was able to use the perches that we had for him to sit on. After the first week of feeding two to four times per day, we moved up to 4 to 6 times per day as his condition improved. We weighed the bird when we first found him on the ground, and did not turn him back to the colony until his weight was in the range of a healthy adult martin over 3 weeks later. One of my orinthologist friends who is also a bird bander was a big help providing assistance in determining when the bird was healthy enough to return to the colony.
It was an exciting day when that bird left my hands and flew off to join his buddies in the sky above the colony!! :)
I share this story of last season 's difficult times to encourage landlords anyplace you are to be sure to be prepared to help any early arrivals with a supplemental feeding program ready to go. Be careful, because supplemental feeding is just about the most fun you can have with these birds, and you will quickly get hooked on interacting with your birds!! As my birds begin to arrive at my colonies, I can recognize birds that are returnees to their homes by how quickly they remember what this old man is doing down below with the white serving spoon in his hand!!! Birds that have to watch their buddies flying around above me and feeding, eventually catch on to what is going on, but in the meantime, they have "told" me that they are "newbies" by not understanding the process!!
Be ready to help your returning birds this spring if the weather is anything like last spring !!!
Mike "Bird" Wren
John Evans
Posts: 311
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:56 pm
Location: Cocoa Beach Florida

Excellent post Mike!!

I'm glad I don't have to deal with those Ohio winters and trying to keep my early arriving martins alive anymore. Unless you've lived up north with a martin colony it's tough to comprehend the emotional roller coaster early spring weather brings us for our martins.

Take care my friend and best of luck in 2021!

John
PMCA Member
C.C.Martins
Posts: 891
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:15 am
Location: Corpus Christi Tx
Martin Colony History: 2016- didnt know anything about martins, put up an all wrong house in 2016 and had two come by and inspect all the cavities. Left soon after not to return. Learned what i could on PMCA made adjustments and next year was successful.
2017- 5 pair. 15 fledged
2018- 18 pair. 85 fledged
2019- 17 pair. 81 fledged
2020- 25 pair. 111 fledged
2021:
Home colony: mix natural gourds, enlarged compartment house. All SREH.
Satelite colony: Oso Bay Preserve: 12 gourds: PMCA excluder gourds, 6 room trio mino castle with enlarged compartments.
2019: Visitors
2020: 3 pair, 11 fledged
2021:
PMCA member

Cary,
Sorry to hear that. Wish you all the best this season and hope your arrivals show in force.
Tom
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
Kegger
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

Kegger wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:51 am
Cape Coral and N Fort Myers are about 35 miles south of me. I had ASY visit my site last year but only had 2 pair of SY
fledge broods. It will be at least a few more weeks for me to see or hear them. Still installing a perch line and snack trey. 8)
I have 4 or 5 flying around today just hope somebody spends the night. If so then my prediction
will be 2 days early for my site 8)
Kegger
Posts: 148
Joined: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:58 am
Location: Awesome Florida
Martin Colony History: Newbie in 2020: 2 pair of SY with 4 eggs each in Troyer Horizontals
fledged a total of 7 Martins

The 2 male ASY finally started spending the night in their gourds from last year. One has a mate with him
Great to have them back as adults!! They started to defend the house against the Sparrow I still have not
eliminated. 8)
Post Reply