Halftime in Texas--A Migration Report

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taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Great to read, thanks John for bringing this back! I have never ran across this one! Good luck! :grin:
Sharon from southern Illinois
James Strickland FL
Posts: 2249
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 8:04 pm
Location: Reidsville NC
Martin Colony History: 2017 Had a lot visitors no Matins nesting, hoping 2018 will be different.
2018 Had 1 pair
2019 had 30 pair

Hi John,
I have yet to see a SY Male and really am not looking forward to have one if he does not fined a mate. All he does is cause havoc in my colony. I am sure that I will see a big influx in a few days. I hope!
Matt F.
Posts: 3903
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

Great report John!
Always love reading them!
Posts: 131
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:38 pm
Location: Louisiana/Baton Rouge

Thank you for sharing that story with us again. I had not read it before.
I do enjoy reading your post and also the articles you write in the Update.
Louise, loved the picture of the birds and their names.
2011 visitors
2012 1 pair ASY male, SY female 9 eggs, 8 hatched, fledged 5
2013 5 pairs fledged 8
2014 4 pairs fledged 15
2015 7 pairs fledged 25
2016 10 pairs fledged 31
2017 17 pairs fledged 69
2018 18 pairs fledged 69
2019 21 pairs fledged 52 (biting gnats lost babies)
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: Quitman, La
Martin Colony History: Super colony

Several subadult males here. At least 5, maybe 7 or 8.
John Barrow
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 4:12 pm
Location: Corpus Christi / Sandia , Texas

Bumping a favorite thread:
(2017 note: I wrote this thread about a week ago, making it 7-10 days into 2d half, at posting)

During the past week we have observed fairly heavy arrivals of new birds; both ASYs in the 2 year old class and a start of subadult (yearling) arrivals. My systems are functionally full--one colony of 40+ pairs in Corpus Christi, TX, and one of 30+ pairs at Sandia,TX. Many smaller colonies in the vicinity are only now seeing their first arrivals. Others remain vacant.

This thread that started in 2009 speaks to me strongly. It echoes the words of many who felt hopeless but through good management and offering quality housing have overcome difficulty in attracting a colony. Each post in the thread offers its own nugget of information. Some should help teach the value of offering quality housing and careful management.

I would concur with those that believe 2017 overall migration is down in numbers, and running behind. The next few weeks will tell. We are now moving past halftime along the Texas coast. We are down to the younger adult martins and the larger class of subadults.

Along the Gulf coast we are witnessing a decline in many avian species. Some area biologists think local shorebird population has decreased by over 75 percent in the last few decades. Several species are endangered. Many avian experts tell us that this is the wave of the future. We downplay the effects of climate change, habitat destruction; use of pesticides that destroy the insect population upon which martins survive; even the lessening of compassion for natural critters in less developed parts of the globe, where citizens have traditionally lived and let live. We live, expecting today, always to be the same as yesterday.

In early 2016 I had the opportunity to sponsor and show an award winning documentary called "The Messenger"; subtitled, "Imagine a World Without Birds". It was a moving documentary, in which PMCA scientific advisor, Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, who working with PMCA, pioneered geolocator studies, and other experts, contributed to an Oscar worthy presentation. I urge all to view this moving and beautiful documentary. It will help to understand the overall losses of bird populations and steps to reverse the trends.

https://www.facebook.com/SongbirdSOSfil ... 76/?type=3

PMCA, and its collaborators, have been the leader in advanced bird research. More is known of purple martin migration, than any other songbird species---thanks to Dr. Stutchbury, and other collaborators scattered around the U.S. and Canada, who have found sponsors, or contributed themselves, to costly research supplementing that done by PMCA. I concluded, following the second purple martin geolocator project I coordinated in 2009, “We have learned more from one geolocator return, then all the banding in history”,

As we move into halftime, 2017, I would encourage all to practice sound management, take good care of those martins that arrive at their colony, and to support organizations and social media that are leading efforts to study and protect birds.

Member/Mentor-PMCA. I do regular nestchecks and participate in PROJECT MARTINWATCH!! Coordinated 3 geolocator studies-2009, 2010 & 2013. State and Fed licensed bander (retired Jan., 2020)
Posts: 889
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
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
PMCA member

That report came at a great time; I'm near Oso Bay in Corpus and while still a martin landlord wanna-be have been fascinated by these people tolerant birds; I just wonder why I didn't figure them out earlier! I walk a park in town during lunch and get to watch two colonies during the day, they are great. when I get home zilch...had some lookers, there are some just behind the house near the bay so hopefully its just a matter of time. Im planning on placing a gourd rack on the opposite fence next week or so; will look up the Goliad. Its a long term commitment, those birds are picky about where they live, and the season short but with an influx you describe, hope is in the air!
PMCA member, believer in nest checks, venting, SREH and pest/predator protection.
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