Missing eggs and babies.

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bobnjo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:31 am
Location: Onawa, IA

One day we have six babies, 3 days later only 4 babies. One day we have 4 eggs, then 3 days later we have 2 eggs, 2 days later, we have 1 egg. We have not found any babies or eggs on the ground. We have no hawks, snakes, or other predators around. Starlings around here are too fat to enter the cresents and clinger entrances. What's up?

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Bob n Jo,
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Guest

Bob, do you have predator guards and snake netting? Something seems to be getting to the nests, although it's rather unusual for eggs to disappear two and 1 at a time, instead of all at once. Do you have subbie males around? This almost sounds like their handywork, and perhaps some other "thing" (squirrels, crows) is getting to the eggs and babies after they are on the ground, before you see them. It may take a stakeout to find the reason....
wyatt
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: Florida/Tallahassee

Bob and Jo,

I'm so sorry. You have such a beatiful site. My first thoughts are snake, raccoon, or owl. All of them could be nocturnal and you may not see them to know that they are around.

I would make sure you have snake netting, predator guards, and owl guards in place.

Others may have some better ideas as to what did it. I know some predators leave more traces behind than others. I'm trying to decide what predator would be more likely to take one at a time verses cleaning out an entire nest. I'm just not sure.

At least you know you have a problem, and that's the first step towards fixing it. If you weren't doing nest checks, you might not even know it.

Again, I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I know it's heart-breaking.

Wyatt
Dawn~KS
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

I would suspect a subbie male. Do you have any hanging around? I know that one got to a nest of mine. Had 6 eggs and 5 were missing the day before they were to hatch. Only one dirty egg left that hatched and then was gone the next day after hatching. I found nothing under the system.

Dawn :)
Guest

Bbut where would Subbies take them?
From another Newbie
Thanks
wyatt
Posts: 823
Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 1:24 pm
Location: Florida/Tallahassee

Liz,

I'm struggling with wondering where the subbies would take them too. It seems to me that if it were a subbie there would be eggs or some sign under the system. If it were a snake or a raccoon I would think it would take more than one at a time. Maybe an owl would only take one thing at a time? But would an owl be interested in eggs?

I'm really just speculating without a proper knowledge base. I think Karen is right - it may take a stakeout to figure this one out.

Wyatt
Dawn~KS
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

It is certainly possible that an unmated SY male could remove babies and/or eggs and drop them far off from under your systems. I have read of this numerous times and believe it happens quite often. Here is a good article that Steve K. wrote that may shed some light on the subject...................

http://www.purplemartin.org/forum/viewt ... dult+males

Dawn :) :)
bobnjo
Posts: 107
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:31 am
Location: Onawa, IA

I can't be sure of the perpetrator, but there is a lone adult male that keeps stealing leaves from other houses, his home is well carpeted. He also has been seen peering into other homes with eggs and babies, but not seen going into them. He is gone most of the day.

Appreciate the input, especially those concerning purple martins themselves as the possible culprit.

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wbmiller3
Posts: 124
Joined: Tue May 22, 2007 2:23 pm
Location: Texas/Houston

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