Check for capped eggs when doing weekly nest checks.

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Dave Duit
Posts: 1955
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.

Just a friendly reminder to look for capped eggs when you do your weekly nest checks or egg counts. I do weekly checks and this week I found a capped egg. For those new to martins; a capped eggs is when a baby hatches his or her half shell flips over onto another egg in the nest that has not yet hatched. It is then impossible for that baby to hatch because the shell thickness with the additional half egg shell is to thick. If you find a capped egg, VERY VERY gently pull off the half cap from the unhatched egg. I use a delicate pull with my finger nail. Then replace it back to the nest.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
SoIndyDon
Posts: 202
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:45 am
Location: Indiana/Scottsburg

Good advise. I found 2 this year out of 31 active nests. One I saved to lead to hatching, but the other failed to hatch.
Landlording since 1996 in beautiful southern Indiana.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1955
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 Soindydon,
Thank you for being a great landlord. It always feels good to know the capped eggs you check save a life. Nice work.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
sawhisker
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:06 pm
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

I was unaware that capped eggs were something that could happen. I will add this to my growing list of things I have learned on this forum. Thank you for the information.

By the way, I had a rat snake attack two weeks ago that wiped out half of my colony's babies, but the remaining 17 babies are all growing and doing well. I added a ton of bird netting to my existing snake guard and hopefully all are safe for the remainder of the season.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1955
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 sawhisker,
If the snake netting doesn't work, consider using a pole baffle. The baffle should be wide enough so not to allow the snake to go to the outside of the baffle. Snakes are not inherently a bad creature, they are doing what comes natural. But the baffles work great. The biggest difference between baffles and netting are that the netting can sometimes kill the snake. Once the snake learns it is a lost cause from being unable to get up the poll, they usually never try again. I hope this was helpful.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Post Reply