OH NO :( My Martins are under attack!! (pictures)

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Chriscreole
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:31 am
Location: Texas, Hutto

I Caught a Falcon trying to catch my Purple Martins off guard but the Purple Martins are the Jet Fighters of the bird family and even though the Falcon is fast on a dive, it is no match the instant maneuverability of the Purple Martins. All caught on my camera in the park behind my house. Unfortunately, I'm sure He will get one sooner or later. I've been saying to my friend there was a strange big bird in the park, lookes like a red tail hawk at first, but markings weren't there. maybe a baby Turkey Vulture, but further watching provided me a clear camera shot this morning, went online to identify it.

Bird Verification:
http://carolinabirds.org/HTML/NA_Raptor_Falcon.htm
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PMCA Member since 2010
Super System 24, All Troyer W/Conley 2 entrances.
avesrun
Posts: 1111
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:10 pm
Location: Iowa/West Des Moines
Martin Colony History: Home Site: 2017- 0
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
Satellite Site: 2017 (3rd season)
34 pair
Fledged- 102

nice photo of crested Caracara. they mostly eat carrion. they will eat small mammals. didn't know they would attack Birds.
tim
PMCA Member
Home Site: 2012-15 visitors
2016 - 1st pair, fledged 5
2017-18 Zero
2019- 3 Successful Prs.!
Satellite Site: 2014 - visitors
2015 - 2 pair, fledged 9
2016 - 13 pair, fledged 44
2017 - 31 pair, fledged 118
2018 - 44 pair, 163 fledged
2019- 49 or. 219 fledged
birdbrat
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Ohio/SouthSalem

Great photography of beautiful bird!
Louise Chambers
Site Admin
Posts: 6208
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 1:07 pm
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

First photos are of a red-tailed hawk, and other bird is crested caracara - neither of which are normally much of a threat to martins. When feeding martins, keep an eye to the sky - the martins are more vulnerable when feeding conditions are poor.
David W
Posts: 70
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:32 am
Location: PA/Hamburg-Tilden Twp

It would be very hard for any broad winged hawk to catch a PM, they are too fast. It would take a Sharp Shinned, Coopers, Merlin, and if you live in the north, a Goshawk or the king of all, the Peregrine.
2013-4 gourds 4 pair
2014-12 gourds 7 nesting pair, 32 fledged
2015-24 gourds 21 nesting pair 79 fledged
2016-24 gourds 21 nesting pair 89 fledged
Chriscreole
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:31 am
Location: Texas, Hutto

you're right Louise the first to look like red tail hawks, I can see the red better when I blow them up. Boy it sure was giving the martin a run, or the Martin was just teasing it. The Falcon has been hanging around all week cruising over the housing maybe looking for easy meal? I sure have some great wildlife here. I just planted several plants that draw flying insects, hope to get a full garden soon.
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PMCA Member since 2010
Super System 24, All Troyer W/Conley 2 entrances.
chickadee
Posts: 1126
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:02 pm
Location: ohio

Anyone know what kind of hawks we have here in ohio that are a threat to martins?
2008 first year 1 pair. 2009 3 pair. 2010 7 pair. 2011 20 pair . 2012 44 pair 280 eggs 210 fledged. 2013 67 pair. 2014?
Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

Like everyone here said that is a caracara. I've never heard of one perusing a bird in the air. They just don't have the flight skills for that. The bird might nest raid, except for fact that the shape of a gourd or apartments would make that almost impossible a caracara. The only time I would see a caracara as a threat is, if there was a grounded fledgling hopping around. The caracara might eat that one.

Sorry for giving you a scare like that by letting one of our birds loose in Williamson County, you need to send him back across the boarder to Bastrop County were he belongs. :)

Seriously, I think that Bastrop City and Bastrop County are the Texas capital of caracaras. If you drive around within 5 miles of Bastrop City limits you are likely to see one once a week or more. If you drive around in Bastrop County you will likely see one at least once a month. 8)
DebA
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.

It's good to see you are out with the camera again!
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
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
Chriscreole
Posts: 781
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:31 am
Location: Texas, Hutto

Steve Martin wrote:Like everyone here said that is a caracara. I've never heard of one perusing a bird in the air. They just don't have the flight skills for that. The bird might nest raid, except for fact that the shape of a gourd or apartments would make that almost impossible a caracara. The only time I would see a caracara as a threat is, if there was a grounded fledgling hopping around. The caracara might eat that one.

Sorry for giving you a scare like that by letting one of our birds loose in Williamson County, you need to send him back across the boarder to Bastrop County were he belongs. :)

Seriously, I think that Bastrop City and Bastrop County are the Texas capital of caracaras. If you drive around within 5 miles of Bastrop City limits you are likely to see one once a week or more. If you drive around in Bastrop County you will likely see one at least once a month. 8)

Well good news I didn't think I can do anything to help my martins against a hawk attack. There's a tone of mice here maybe that's why they're hanging around, scaring my babies.
Image
PMCA Member since 2010
Super System 24, All Troyer W/Conley 2 entrances.
bluetick
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:21 am
Location: New Lexington, Ohio

I believe in my area of Ohio the Sharp Shinned is the worst. They are almost like a cooper but just a little smaller. Hard on all birds as that is their main diet. They like to hang out at bird feeders. JMO. Dave
birdbrat
Posts: 259
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 3:20 pm
Location: Ohio/SouthSalem

Both sharp shinned and coopers hawks are preditors of birds in south central Ohio. But they only take what they need to survive. Yes, they do come to martin colonies to feed, for the same reason that they hunt at bird feeders. Anywhere there is a large consentration of birds it attracts them. If we provide them with large consentrations of food they will come and they will feed. And as I have said before, in nature, only the strongest of the species survives. Does it break my heart to see a martin go down to a hawk? Sure it does. Do I hate the hawk for it? Not in the least. They are both beautiful birds. And are both doing what nature intended.
Jaique
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:33 pm
Location: North Carolina/Greensboro

A beautiful bird, as are all birds of prey often are. I know they have to eat, too, but am so sad that he or some other bird attacked your martins. They should stick to mice, which I won't miss.
Ladybug
Posts: 203
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Indiana/ Jamestown
Martin Colony History: 2005-2019. Lots lookers, 2 successful nesting's.
2010- 1 pair nested,eggs destroyed(Wren).
2012- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged
2019- 1 pair nested, 4 eggs, 4 fledged.

Chriscreole,
WOW, that is one BIG FALCON. I will have to ck. raptor site. Very interesting. He is pretty, but not when he is hunting your Martins.
GREAT PHOTOS::
GOOD LUCK::


PMCA Member.
Joanne
Steve Martin
Posts: 68
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 9:38 am
Location: Tx/Bastrop

Ladybug wrote:Chriscreole, WOW, that is one BIG FALCON. I will have to ck. raptor site. Very interesting. He is pretty, but not when he is hunting your Martins.
While they share some of the same shape and features of falcons such as the peregrine, gyrfalcon and merlin, caracaras are really there own separate group that branched off of the falcons long before the more familiar falcons branched off from each other. They do not have the features to make them areal hunters. Nor do they use fast pursuit of prey on the ground. They are primarily carrion eaters. Like the one I saw a few days ago eating a dead goat on the side of the road. Although I would not be surprised to see them nest raiding from a larger open nest such as an unprotected crow or heron nest. Like I said, to your martins, they are harmless to anything but fall-outs.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_C ... a#Behavior
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