EGG PICTURES & should I close the remaining gourds?

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Carrera Mike
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:23 am
Location: VA/Chesapeake

Just got back from Canada this afternoon (20May) and of course first thing I did was to check the gourds. When I left 4 days ago, there weren't any eggs at all, today there's 26! + unknown number on the house that I can not lower. I know theres two pairs in that house. Here are some pictures!

QUESTION/Advice please:

I finally got rid of the female sparrow this afternoon. She had 6 eggs in one of the gourds. Cleaned that gourd out and closed the entrance.
-Should I close the rest of the unoccupied gourds? There's about 8 of them that are not being used.
-At this point of the season, is there still a chance that some of them will partner up?


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Mike

2014: 8 pairs, 43 eggs, 39 currently Fledging now
2013: 3 pairs, 8 fledged
2012: 3 pairs, 7 fledged
DakotaLady
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

I do not close any of my unoccupied gourds/housing. With all the martin activity I have not had anything try nesting. I do have troubles before the martins arrive and I trap them immediately. But I have never had anything try nesting with all the martin activity.

Besides, what if another pair show up and need a place to stay?...sy birds or a pair that lost their housing due to storms or predators. I want as many birds as I can get to fill up my housing.
~Tangula~

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Ed Svetich-WI
Posts: 798
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:05 pm
Location: Brooks, Wi (McGinnis Lake)
Martin Colony History: 24 Super and Excluder Gourds on two gourd racks, all SREH. Full occupancy. My philosophy is to maximize fledge % with existing cavities rather than adding gourds to grow colony, thus providing opportunities for new colony expansion. Fledge over 100 nestlings yearly from 24 gourds. Band nestlings in cooperation with state university. 2019 Adendum: Reduced colony size to 12 gourds to focus on more intensive management regimen.

I agree that you should keep vacant cavities open. SY birds or displaced ASY martins can always show up as DakotaLady says. Leave them open if you can control sparrows. I assume you are using SREH, so starlings should be a non issue.
Don~VA
Posts: 391
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:01 am
Location: Virginia/King George
Martin Colony History: Had a colony many years ago which dwindled over a couple of years and then did not return. Kept trying each year for almost 20 years and finally had a small success in 2011 with two pairs nesting. Colony has grown slowly each year with 22 pairs in 2015. In 2016 my gourd rack of 18 gourds filled up so I added 4 more gourds and then put up a small rack of 6 gourds. All of those were claimed within a few days so I believe I have at least 25 pairs this year.

Congratulations on all those eggs Mike! Sounds like you have a real booming colony. I would not close any compartments as we still have several weeks for new SY arrivals. I have only seen two SY's here so I am counting on many more in the coming weeks.

Nice pics, thanks for sharing and Good Martin Season to you. :grin:
Don~Northern Neck of Virginia-PMCA Member
Carrera Mike
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:23 am
Location: VA/Chesapeake

Thanks TL, Ed & Don!

Sure will keep the remaining gourds open. Appreciate the advice.
Im trying to get rid of a male Sparrow that's very persistent. I got the female yesterday. UPDATE: Just got the male 2 minutes ago! Sparrow free ..for now! :)
Mike

2014: 8 pairs, 43 eggs, 39 currently Fledging now
2013: 3 pairs, 8 fledged
2012: 3 pairs, 7 fledged
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