Feeding nestlings during rain event?

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Bcorbs1217
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:22 am
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Martin Colony History: Active colony since 2005.

Feeding nestlings during rain event?

Postby Bcorbs1217 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:55 am

My initial pair of martins have 3, four day old nestlings. It's supposed to start raining here at noon and continue for pretty much the rest of the day. These birds are not used to me providing supplemental feeding but I can if folks here believe it's beneficial. I have a feeding tray attached to the gourd rack and could also place food in the gourd itself. Any thoughts? Thank you.
Becky Corbett. PM landlord since 2005; 12 supergourds.

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flyin-lowe
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Location: Indiana/Mooreland

Re: Feeding nestlings during rain event?

Postby flyin-lowe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:05 am

Fortunately I have never had to feed martins to keep them alive. From what I have read there is a bit of a learning curve involved, often times the adults have to be on the verge of starving before they will accept supplemental food. Once they learn it they will take it. I also don't think one afternoon of rain is enough to worry about. One year I had a large amount of "June bugs" on the front porch. I thought I might try those just to see what would happen. My thoughts were they are likely a bug that martins have encountered while in flight as apposed to the crickets that many people use. I flipped some of them and put a bunch of them on the feeding tray, thinking their movement would entice the martins. They left them there to die, never took them.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair with 100 babies.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.

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Bcorbs1217
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:22 am
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Martin Colony History: Active colony since 2005.

Re: Feeding nestlings during rain event?

Postby Bcorbs1217 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:00 am

Thanks, Flyin. Just worrying about those tiny babies. I wonder if the parents stockpile food for later. I can't wait to watch the nestcam to see the parents in Erie feeding the nestlings.
Becky Corbett. PM landlord since 2005; 12 supergourds.

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ToyinPA
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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.

Re: Feeding nestlings during rain event?

Postby ToyinPA » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:28 am

You don't need to worry about one day. If it were 3 days in a row then I'd say yes worry. If your colony is trained to take supplemental food they will feed it to their chicks. If not then they will try to find food between the rain showers. They do not stock pile food.

The adults would need to be very hungry to take crickets flipped in the air or off a platform. When they have chicks to feed, & insects are scarce or the weather doesn't permit them to search for food, then they will take supplemental food more freely.

As soon as the weather permits....after the rain has passed & no later than an hour or two before dark....do a nest check to see if the nest is wet or has blowfly larva or mites. If you have any of those then change the nest out.

Toy in PA
PMCA Member

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Bcorbs1217
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:22 am
Location: Silver Spring, Maryland
Martin Colony History: Active colony since 2005.

Re: Feeding nestlings during rain event?

Postby Bcorbs1217 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:34 am

Thanks,Toy. Good suggestions to keep those babies healthy.
Becky Corbett. PM landlord since 2005; 12 supergourds.


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