Weather In Missouri

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth


Thanks so much! If I see any out on the racks, I'll try again. And if it warms up at all and the winds die down I'll lower everything.

I keep thinking that if they get hungry enough at least one will catch on to the supplemental feeding. I'm not sure why they're so skittish. When I flip, I make sure to avoid aiming at them and try to get it out high and in front of them. So far no luck, but I'll keep trying.

After today the weather improves with sun and lower 50s tomorrow, but it looks like we're getting another cold blast next Tuesday.
Posts: 451
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:25 am
Location: Wisconsin/Shell Lake
Martin Colony History: Colony started in 2009 with 2 pair.
Currently I have 3 gourd racks with 24 gourds. One gourd rack will be for sy arrivals only.
Bo Eleven gourds 20

I am sorry to hear things aren't working out with your supplemental feeding. Ditto with the keep trying though. They will get it sooner or later. I know it is frustrating. Good luck. I hope they catch on soon.
Posts: 95
Joined: Thu May 31, 2007 2:24 pm
Location: Kansas

Keep trying the flinging. When they are hungry they will catch on. Usually, it takes just one and the others catch on. This weather is not good. I have been flinging crickets and eggs. Also leaving eggs out there for them to try and feed from a platform. Platform feeding saves them a lot of energy but mine had not had to do it for a while so they are not using it. I also have maybe half of mine taking the flinging. Just hoping they will make it until tomorrow and that some bugs will come out. That rain we got was welcome but not this cold and wind.
Posts: 3522
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Candace, I was asked by the MN working group to write an article on my experiences with feeding. So I did. Check it out...send me an email at and I'll try to help more. :) ... nt-weather
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
Dave Duit
Posts: 1931
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 and join.

My martins will not take the soaked cat food on feeding tray or porches option. Apparently it is used for martins that are feed by hand by rehabilitators.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

The sun is out this morning. I had forgotten what it looked like.

It's 32 degrees, but hopefully it'll warm up quickly. I saw one martin out on the porch of my Trio this morning, and his mate was peeking her head out. The male flew off.

So far I've found one dead female on the ground about 15 feet from my housing. I'm very scared of what I'll find when I'm able to lower the housing. I want to wait until it warms up some before I do that. I had 25-30 here before that cold snap and I fear that many may be dead.

I feel so bad that I wasn't able to get them to take to the supplemental feeding. I really did try using all of the techniques that I read about here. I should've tried in years past when I didn't need it so that they would be ready in situations like this. I blame myself for that.

I really do try to provide a great home for them but then I read things here and realize I'm not as good of a landlord as I should be. I'm going to keep trying to do better.
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Oh Candace. Do not blame yourself! My male leader took to the feeding so well it made me wonder if he experienced it from a landlord down south on his way here. Because I have never flipped before either. If you are placing food on their porches/feeder trays/roofs/in compartments you cannot do more other than shoving it down their throat. I don't have enough hand warmers to put in every compartment and since mine are not nest building I can guess where they are mostly but not completely.

I fed mine just now and too plan to drop the housing later on after it is warmer. I think I am two short on count but they could just be inside. I hope so.

I am sorry about your bird, and you having to find it. I know the feeling when I found the wing entrapped female two days ago. Better days are ahead. I just know it! The ones you have will lift your spirits pretty quickly.

Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Thanks, Deb! It's always hard to lose them. I found a pile of feathers on the ground--another female. The blood looked fresh so I'm assuming it was a weak or just-dead bird on the ground that a hawk got this morning.

Three were sitting on the Trio porches when I went back out, so I flipped 60 more crickets. They look at them--I can see them turn their heads and look--but no takers. Maybe the wind is too strong and they're too weak. One female flew and went down on the ground in my horse pasture. I tried to catch her but she could fly just good enough to get away. She sailed off very low over my property and toward the property across the street.

This is awful.
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'm so sorry about the loss of some of your martins. It can be really hard sometimes to train your birds to take supplemental feeding. When I first started the training process I tried porch feeding to only find more than one of the birds carry the crickets to the edge of the porch and drop them on the ground. Every site is different and what works well for one may not be ideal at your site. Keep trying applying all the advice you receive from the forum. It can be done yours may take longer to train for whatever reason. Best of luck and I think our weather may have taken a turn for the better, I hope yours has also.

Posts: 412
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 12:03 pm
Location: Kansas/Leavenworth

Thanks, Jack. Mine Must Just Be Stubborn. Ha! But I'm Just As Stubborn And Won't Give Up Trying. I Was So Relieved Not To Find Any More Dead.
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