Starlings raising martin babies!

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Sherrie
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Deer Park, Tx

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'm posting a link of a video I took today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCQ3s0vVh-U
Sherrie
Archer
Posts: 757
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:09 pm
Location: Manitoba/Altona
Martin Colony History: six pair in 2014, have grown to 52 pairs in 2017.

Thanks for the video, would have been hard to believe without it. What's the story behind this, was the starling nesting nearby, did the starling kill the purple martin parents? interesting.
2011- first year trying, a few visitors.
2012-One ASY pair, raised two young, lots of subby visitors. So thankfull.
2013-daily subby visits.
2014-Six SY pairs
2015-18 pair, 83 fledglings
2016-36 pair, 147 fledglings
2017-52 pairs, 192 fledglings.
2018-60 pair, 246 fledglings.
2019-59 pair, 238 fledglings.
taxidermy lady
Posts: 2989
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:21 am
Location: IL/Ellis Grove
Martin Colony History: Started trying to attract purple martins in 2012! It's finally happened in 2017! 5 years!!! ASY male and SY female came May 1st, fledged 5 babies!

Nothing seizes to amaze me in the purple martin world. That's crazy :shock:
That did not look like a bug :shock:
Sharon from southern Illinois
KathyF
Posts: 3518
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.

I'm with you Sharon - didn't look like a "flying" insect. Since starlings are walkers, it was probably some kind of caterpillar, grub or other ground-dwelling insect.
"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
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
terrapincove
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:06 pm
Location: Maurice River, Southern NJ
Martin Colony History: Well established 90 cavity colony. Mostly plastic gourds with some custom cedar houses atop pilings out over the river. We live stream the activity on our website https://youtu.be/fvj6V0X70G8

We are on the Maurice River. The Maurice is brackish and tidal. It meets the Delaware bay about three miles down at East Point, NJ. The area is remote and consists of dense marshland and swamp. Dragonflies abound.

Swallows arrive in mid August and finish nesting mid July. There is a large annual roost in mid August upriver a few miles at Mauricetown.

Good eye and thanks for sharing. Purple starlings are rare.
Good luck Purple Martin Landlords.

Terrapin Cove

Always Live https://youtu.be/fvj6V0X70G8
klcretired
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

Hi Sherrie,
I have never ever seen anything like that before, can you tell us more about when you first noticed what was happening and how it all started as we all want to know and Thanks for sharing this video with us all. At my colony back years ago all the starling ever did was kill,kill,kill so that's all I associate with the Starlings so I naturally eliminate all the starlings I can.
Pictures Taken with Canon Rebel XT Digital using a Sigma 50-500 Long Lens.

Wishing everyone a Great Martin Year
Happy Martining for 2020 to everyone,

K.C.

klcretired@tx.rr.com
Sherrie
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 7:11 pm
Location: Deer Park, Tx

I try very hard to control the starling and HS population at my colony. I have a wonderful repeating trap that catches them all season long. I can't shoot here in the city, so I have to depend on lowering the housing and tearing out their nests. I had lowered the house and thrown away some starling eggs and torn out the nest of this particularly determined pair of starlings. With that particular kind of martin house you can only nest check the lower compartments. There were martin nests with eggs in the other two lower compartments I could see in. A day later I noticed a group of martins hovering around the house and making lots of noise. I also saw a starling emerging from one of the martin nests! I feared it had harmed the martin pair and destroyed the eggs. I quickly lowered the house to find no sign of an injured martin - and the eggs were fine - so I raised the house. I watched as much as I could the next couple of days and lowered the house every day and found the eggs were still fine. On May 23rd I noticed a STARLING going in that compartment with a bug! I lowered the house and found five of the six eggs had hatched! There was also one dead tiny martin chick. I immediately PM'd Emil because I knew it was just too weird to post to the forum after posting the pretty unbelievable story of 10 baby martins in one nest! He thought perhaps it was actually starling babies. :grin: I have kept taking pictures all along. It's hard to get pictures with the starlings because they are much more wary of humans than the martins are, but the video I posted pretty much took away any doubt. We have trapped and killed several starlings during this time, and each time I prayed that it wasn't the "parent" starlings raising these chicks. For the very first time ever, I was relieved to see those starlings return! :lol: I don't think the baby martins are thriving on the diet the starlings are providing because their feathers look a little different, but they are growing.

Something interesting I have noticed is that, in the mornings when the colony is so active and chattering, adult martins will light on the porch in front of that hole and chatter and peek inside. The babies that had been hanging out of the hole waiting for food will duck back inside out of fear of the martins! They pay no attention to the other martin parents coming back to feed their babies in adjoining compartments, but they can spot the starling approaching from far off and hang out with their mouths wide open! You can see that in the video! Interesting huh!
Sherrie
Connie
Posts: 443
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:05 pm
Location: WALKER, LOUISIANA
Martin Colony History: Had my site up to 22 gourds of which most (+/-3) stayed occupied.
Downsized to 17 gourds due to back surgeries. Had 14 families in 2017 but did not do nest checks due to health. Feeling better in 2018 and hoping for a good year.

taxidermy lady wrote:Nothing seizes to amaze me in the purple martin world. That's crazy :shock:
That did not look like a bug :shock:
Well heck!!! That amazes me!! I can hardly believe it :eek:
lol....craziest thing I have ever seen or heard about martins. :shock:
Connie
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Sherrie, I would never believe this if you did not have a video. This is so strange, but I am glad that you found the answer.

My neighbors cardinals raised a nest of babies, and one was a cowbird, it fledged with the cardinals, and that is a shame but those things do happen.
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
RC Moser
Posts: 1537
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 3:25 am

No chance that happen at my site. I fed all the staring lead and will continue to do so even after the greatest tale even told :lol:
lynnh
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:07 am
Location: Iowa, New Sharon

it will be interesting to see if these babies ever make into the martin world or they will be raised like starlings provided they can survive on their diet. At the very least pretty interesting.
2007 2 pair 8 fledged
2008 4 pair 18 fledged
2009 21 pair 87 fledged
2010 44 pair 174 fledged
2011 68 pair 244 fledged
2012 82 pair 364 fledged
2013 82 pair 359 fledged
2014 86 pair 415 fledged
2015 101 pair 427 fledged
terrapincove
Posts: 349
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:06 pm
Location: Maurice River, Southern NJ
Martin Colony History: Well established 90 cavity colony. Mostly plastic gourds with some custom cedar houses atop pilings out over the river. We live stream the activity on our website https://youtu.be/fvj6V0X70G8

We are on the Maurice River. The Maurice is brackish and tidal. It meets the Delaware bay about three miles down at East Point, NJ. The area is remote and consists of dense marshland and swamp. Dragonflies abound.

Swallows arrive in mid August and finish nesting mid July. There is a large annual roost in mid August upriver a few miles at Mauricetown.

Consider having them banded.
Good luck Purple Martin Landlords.

Terrapin Cove

Always Live https://youtu.be/fvj6V0X70G8
Chris B
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:10 pm
Location: AL/Toney

Wow. I have seen Starlings come out of my gourds once and the Martins kept using the gourd. No nest check yet cause my gourds are up on a PVC rack that doesn't lower and I would have to use a ladder in the back of my PU truck and the ground has been wet from all the rain.

A friend says he has starling babies oin one of his gourds and martins are feeding them.

I see Martins and Starlings on the power lines, as well as Doves and Swallows, and they all seem to get along fine. Could this just be the way the locals here are?

These birds are very cool.
2014 8 gourds, 3 pairs nested. Ended w/ 24 total
2015 24 gourds, 22 nests. Lotsa birds!
2016 24 gourds and good activity.
2017 32 SREH gourds. Great activity.
2018 40 SREH gourds. Good finish despite big storm damage. No more dangling gourds.
2019 56+ SREH gourds, all on 3/8 rods. Birds did very well.
2020 56 SREH gourds.
Matt F.
Posts: 3896
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 9:48 am
Location: Houston, TX

lynnh wrote:provided they can survive on their diet.
That would be my concern as well Lynn.
I'm not sure how much of a starling's diet is "Martin friendly" (bugs, etc.), and how much is not, like discarded french fries, dog/cat food, etc.
One thing I read sometime back, posted on the net by someone who hand raised a starling, was how easy it was to care for one.
The baby starling thrived, and grew, simply by being fed soft dog food, and, only in the mornings and evenings, since the person apparently worked during the day.
That is a hardy bird.
Like creepy, Cyberdyne Systems cyborg, hardy......:shock:
tonyg
Posts: 1520
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 4:16 pm
Location: Olpe, KS
Martin Colony History: 22 year landlord, 14 at current residence..offering 9 racks and a homemade T-8 for 166 total cavities. 160 Pair in 2018 Racks consist of a Deluxe 12, AAA 16, Starburst 16, 2 K-18 Series, Super 24, 2 Gemini, Multi-purpose/two trio’s/4gourds and a T-8..Great hobby to be involved in..

Any chance of transferring them to another nest with nestlings their age? Then trapping or shooting the starling? I agree with the diet posts..Starling mom won't teach them to catch insects on the fly for sure..and what Martin wants to eat cold French fries... :)
22 year landlord..9 Rack Systems for 2018 and my home built T-8 for a total of 166 cavities..160 pair in 2018 ..SUPER COLONY!!! Love You Bev... Fan of those St. Louis Cardinals!!!!!
lynnh
Posts: 390
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:07 am
Location: Iowa, New Sharon

Hi Sherrie, I was wondering if you knew how things turned out.
2007 2 pair 8 fledged
2008 4 pair 18 fledged
2009 21 pair 87 fledged
2010 44 pair 174 fledged
2011 68 pair 244 fledged
2012 82 pair 364 fledged
2013 82 pair 359 fledged
2014 86 pair 415 fledged
2015 101 pair 427 fledged
threelilkids
Posts: 386
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:11 pm
Location: Denham Springs, La
Martin Colony History: 2014 1 pair 3 hatched 3 fledged
2015 1 pair 5 hatched 5 fledged
2016 1 pair 5 hatched 4 fledged
2017 2 pair 8 hatched 8 fledged
2018 4 pair 15 hatched

Put them with their own kind. It was an amazing video, but they will die if left to be raised by the Starling. Why keep them alive by being fed by a Starling just to die by not being raised by a Martin? The Martin and the Starling have two different life styles and one can not live in the others. We go crazy each year to help the life of the Martin, isn't this going against all that we do? :roll: Please put them with Martins of their own age. I do not want to step on anyones toes, nor am I being rude, but I feel this is helping the Starlings up one step past the Martins. The Starlings are doing to good on their own :???: Good luck with whatever you choose.
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