Cow Bird Eggs

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ljd-kc
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:05 am
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Martin Colony History: Started my Colony in 2008 with 32 gourds and one ASY pair. As of 2017 I had 106 cavities with 106 pair.

I have a friend who called and said he found a speckled egg in with his clutch of Martin eggs. I believe it is a cowbird egg. What are the chances of survival of the rest of the clutch, since the cowbird is protected by the migratory bird treaty act.

Jack
Guest

Cowbirds are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nest of other birds and leaving them to the care of the foster parents. The young cowbird grows quickly at the expense of the young of the host, pushing them out of the nest or taking most of the food.

Me, personally...I hate the cowbirds.
ljd-kc
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:05 am
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Martin Colony History: Started my Colony in 2008 with 32 gourds and one ASY pair. As of 2017 I had 106 cavities with 106 pair.

DW,

I agree with you but not much can be done at this point, since they are protected. Maybe they will hatch and develop at the same rate as the rest of the Martin eggs.

Jack
Sandy - NC
Posts: 617
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:40 pm
Location: Rocky Mount, NC

If you don't move that egg to an unoccupied nest, or accidently drop it, then you have just doomed the Martins that hatch. Believe me now, or after the fact, but you will end up believing me.
Don't ever, ever give up. It will happen.

sbunn1@suddenlink.net
CMF
Posts: 335
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:18 am
Location: Georgetown, DE

Sandy - NC wrote:If you don't move that egg to an unoccupied nest, or accidently drop it, then you have just doomed the Martins that hatch. Believe me now, or after the fact, but you will end up believing me.
Sandy is 100% correct. Cowbirds develop faster than all the other species they parasitize, thus consuming more food at the expense of the species the egg was laid with. They are also responsible for the demise of our Warblers. Cowbirds, Starlings, House Sparrows, all the same.
CMF
In my many years I have come to a conclusion that
one useless man is a shame,
two is a law firm and
three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
Guest

Sandy - NC wrote:If you don't move that egg to an unoccupied nest, or accidently drop it, then you have just doomed the Martins that hatch. Believe me now, or after the fact, but you will end up believing me.

Agree with you 100% also. And if the "gub-mint" man wants to come to my neck of the woods about the situation, he will surely get my very honest opinion of him and his little made up rules!!...and promptly be removed from my property..which God gave to me and I paid for, it don't belong to the gub-mint and ain't none of their business!! I better stop here before I get all stirred up. :roll:
Linda Reynolds
Posts: 1308
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:33 pm
Location: Adamsville, TN

Those eggs are very slippery.............OOPS!
Ever-Grateful,
Linda
GeneP
Posts: 523
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:35 am
Location: Kansas, Lawrence
Martin Colony History: 1 gourd rack with 24 gourd capacity. 2018, my 11th year hosting martins.
18 pair in 2017.

Cowbirds will return to nest sites and "check up" on their eggs. If missing they are likely to lay another and remove or peck the other eggs. addling eggs crosses my mind.

Texas has gotten smart and allows a hunting period on Cowbirds.
PMCA Member, Single Gourd Rack, 2019 marks 12 years hosting martins.
Mike1624
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:10 am
Location: NC Burgaw

Gene is dead on in his advice to addle the egg (or freeze it and return it to the nest) My neighbor, who is hosting one of my blue bird boxes, removed a cowbird egg and the cowbird returned and destroyed the entire clutch. Sandy said it best, take care of the egg or the PM's will suffer the consequences. Good luck.
Mike Morgan
2009-4 Pair,24 Eggs,23 Fledged. 12 Cavities
2010- 18 Pair, 96 Eggs, 86 Fledged. 18 Cavities
2011- 23 Pair, 113 Eggs, 99 Hatched, 93 Fledged 24 Cavities.
2012-22 Pair, 109 Eggs, 95 Hatched, 89 Fledged
2013-19 Pair, 89 Eggs, 77 Hatched, 77 Fledged.
Tim Stover
Posts: 505
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:04 pm
Location: Tennesse/Madisonville

had this to happen before one actually hatched i will just say another will never do so like linda and others say they are very slippery
2009 2pair 2010 24pair 2011 106 pair
2012 124 pair
2013 145
2014 170 pair
+
ljd-kc
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:05 am
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Martin Colony History: Started my Colony in 2008 with 32 gourds and one ASY pair. As of 2017 I had 106 cavities with 106 pair.

Thanks for the replies everybody. From the replies it sounds like the martins in that clutch will probably not survive if the cowbird is allowed to hatch in that nest. I will pass on the info to him and hopefully he will take a pro active approach.

Thanks

Jack
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2939
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Can cowbirds get into SREH? I have a lot of cowbirds around my yard but heve never seen their eggs in any nest's, martins, bb's, or TS.
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
ljd-kc
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:05 am
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Martin Colony History: Started my Colony in 2008 with 32 gourds and one ASY pair. As of 2017 I had 106 cavities with 106 pair.

This one must have. It is my understanding all of his nesting cavities are Bo gourds with crescents.

Jack
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

Cowbirds rarely enter nestboxes or cavities, preferring to deposit their eggs in open nests - chipping sparrows, warblers, etc. So that's one reason there's not much info about them using martin boxes, bluebird houses, etc - it's not common or typical, thank goodness!
ljd-kc
Posts: 162
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:05 am
Location: Kansas City, Mo.
Martin Colony History: Started my Colony in 2008 with 32 gourds and one ASY pair. As of 2017 I had 106 cavities with 106 pair.

Well he emailed me today and said he had a sparrow nest with eggs! He is moving the cowbird egg to that nest. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Jack
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