PM Egg laying begins in Larimore, ND!

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Posts: 323
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 10:12 am
Location: North Dakota/Larimore
Martin Colony History: Will add later

This is my 12th year of hosting Purple Martins and they still continue to amaze me. Each season has been so very different, and enjoyably familiar, at the same time.

I've seen very little evidence of nest building this season. I've seen a few half-hearted attempts of bringing twigs and straw into the gourds and witnessed several violent fights with the aggressive sub-adults. The flock divides their time between my set-up of 15 gourds, my mentee's colony of three gourds and a house with 12 too-small compartments, and his neighbor's six gourds. All the racks are within three blocks so I consider all our birds one group living in connecting subdivisions. They meet up over my house when they head out to hunt. It's going to be purple pandaemonium once each of our colonies reach maximum capacity.

I decided to check the gourds yesterday evening in case any of the subbie battles caused an injury. I peeked into several gourds seeing nothing but the well-packed pre-nests I make to start each season. A couple pairs had an added twig or a few leaves. I could see indentions where birds were sleeping.

Then I opened Gourd 4 and saw five eggs! From the faintest of pink coloring and the visible air sac at the rounded end of one of the eggs I know the hen is already incubating them! I also found five more eggs in Gourd 8. For the crowning jewel there was one perfect pearly egg in Gourd 12.

None of these nests had additional nesting material beyond a very few twigs and two or three green leaves. No mud dams, just nest bowls spun into the packed cedar shavings and lovely eggs. Last year the nests were fortified barricades with two-inch high mud dams and straw and twigs packed in tightly enough to shame a HoSP.

So my guys have surprised me again. Eleven eggs in three gourds with green leaves in most of the other gourds. All this right under my nose without my noticing - and I pride myself on being observant. HA! "Pride goeth before the fall."
~ Not all those who wander are lost.
Posts: 633
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 3:21 pm
Location: Quitman, La
Martin Colony History: Super colony

Happy for your success up there Caroline. Already 10-15 nests have fledged here. MANY more to go.
Posts: 654
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:06 pm
Location: Bismarck, ND

That is great your birds are busy laying eggs. It has been so dawg gone cold here. I sure hope that does not affect the hatching percentage of our eggs. Has it been pretty cold up there as well?

Good luck with your birds.

2013 - 16 pair, 79 eggs, 71 fledged
2012 - 4 pair, 18 eggs, 18 fledged
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