Injured martin

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

I was horrified this morning to find a female martin on the ground near our deck, being beaten up by other martins. I went out immediately and she couldn't fly --- only a few inches off of the ground, and she was easy to catch. I brought her into the house, wrapped her lightly in a dry wash cloth and put her in a very small box. I couldn't tell where the injury was, so called a bird rehabber immediately. He wanted me to bring her to their clinic, which I did. He kept her today, x-rayed her for broken bones and gave her fluids and some sort of steroid. By late this afternoon she was ready to come home, so I released her. She flew very well, but i couldn't tell where she was going, so I am not sure which martin i am looking at now.

The rehabber thought she could have hit a window, and that is certainly possible. What shocked me was the reaction of all of the other birds in the colony. They were really vicious. She lost feathers, and her wing was bloody. I am so glad I was able to get her right away, and get her to some help. The rehabber thought she was nesting, and it wouldn't surprise me because I counted 85 eggs today in 20 occupied nests. I just hope she finds her nest and her eggs didn't get too cold today, if she is setting. Time will tell, I guess.

Sue P
Posts: 2122
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Delaware/Dover

You did the right thing by acting so fast, glad the bird is fine.

She might not be one of yours, could be a new arrival or from another colony.
~Ray~ Gingerich
1999 1pair, 2006 2 pair, 2008 2 pair,
2009 23 pair, 2010 39 pair, 2011 67 pair,
2012 115 pair, 2013 160 pair,
2014 152 pair, 2015 174 pair, 2016 178 pair
2017 187 pair, 2018 200 pair, 2019 171pair
2020 233 pair
Anthony Neira
Posts: 1317
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:12 pm
Location: San Antonio /Texas
Martin Colony History: Started in 1992 From neighbors old 1950-60's colonies. Have 8 Trio 6 Room Houses, 4 MPP Poles, 1 Heath Deluxe Gourd with Troyer Porch, 8 NatureLine Gourds with Troyer Porches, 5 Troyer Horizontals ,& 2 S&K 11" WITH Troyer Porches ready for 2019 Season !

Way to go Sue! Sounds like she beat the odds. Your " wings "sure help save her's! Hope you treated yourself to something special. ( mine would be pecan pie ) cheers to you!
Posts: 1046
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania/Espyville/Pymatuning Reservoir Area
Martin Colony History: Taking care of 11 active public colonies and trying to start two more in northwestern PA. Also attempting to restart another one in southwestern PA, in Collier Township's Hilltop Park. In 2017, not sure what happened but the ASY male returned and then a couple of weeks later he was gone. It could have been weather related. No other birds showed up. I had a starling nesting at the Public site that I had trouble getting rid of.
In 2018, we fledged 629 martins at all of the sites.


Good work on saving that bird, and congratulations on growing your colony so quickly over the last couple of years.

Birds must be rebounding in WV as well as in PA.

Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

Good work on acting so quickly to get her help. That has to make you really feel good that you caught up with her before she was injured to badly. Nice job!

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
Sue P
Posts: 395
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:10 pm
Location: Morgantown, WV

Thank you all so much for your comments and kind thoughts. There are no dead birds under my martin housing today, so I will assume that "little girl martin" is alright.

I was interested in the rehabber's comment that he hadn't had a martin come into their clinic before --- they are very unusual in this part of the US. But now he knows they do exist here!

Sue P
Post Reply